Households throughout the 15 towns in the Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District will be getting visits from school census workers over the next month or two.
Four information gatherers to be hired by the district are expected to begin fanning out later this month, district Superintendent Lynn Macan said Friday.
The census is similar to an ongoing survey being conducted for several months by the Schoharie Central School District. That survey is not using in-person visits, however.
“That would be expensive,” said Schoharie schools Superintendent Brian Sherman.
Sherman said his 984-student district is using an interactive online form on the Schoharie district’s Web site, as well as the district’s newsletter and cards distributed by bus drivers.
The Schoharie district includes parts of eight towns spread over four counties.
Macan said Cobleskill-Richmondville plans to redesign its Web site to make such information gathering possible, but “we don’t have that capability now.”
In the Cobleskill-Richmondville District, the names and ages of residents from birth to 21 is being sought, as well as their highest completed level of education, according to the district’s Pupil Personnel Services Office, which is handling the survey.
Census takers will wear a Cobleskill-Richmondville identification badge to assist residents in recognizing their authorization to collect information.
The census is not required by the state Education Department, but “we need it to develop more accurate enrollment projections, and for budgeting purposes,” Macan said.
It will also help plan for the district’s new universal pre-kindergarten program, she said. The program, formerly open only to lower-income eligible residents in the district, is now considered “universal” because it was fully funded last year for all children in the district at age 4.
Macan noted that advance information about prospective enrollments is particularly vital now, when the state is wrestling with finances and cutting back on state aid.
To gather the information, Macan said the district has been divided into four zones.
The approximately $7,000 cost to conduct the census was already included in the district’s 2008-2009 budget approved last spring, according to Macan.
Currently, the district has 2,165 students in kindergarten through high school. Although enrollments have declined slightly in recent years, Macan said enrollment in September was actually up 89 students more than had been anticipated.
The district, with schools in Cobleskill and Richmondville, includes parts of several counties, and also draws students from the towns of Root, Decatur, Roseboom, Worcester, Blenheim, Carlisle, Esperance, Fulton, Jefferson, Middleburgh, Schoharie, Seward and Summit.