LS – Enrollment Projections and Capacity Utilization


Arlington Public Schools monitors student enrollment and assesses the need for capacity in our schools on an ongoing basis. Several APS reports are produced annually to provide an estimate of student enrollment and insight into capacity needs for the future. The process of projecting student enrollment is fluid and dynamic, reflecting changes in County birth rates, housing development, migration, and other criteria that factor into the projections process. The enrollment and projection reports are used for planning purposes to ensure sufficient capacity, budget, staffing, and other resources to meet student needs.

Reporting Timeline

APS produces reports throughout the year to monitor our evolving enrollment and capacity needs; the table below lists these reports and provides a timeline.

Planning Tools for Student Enrollment, Projection and Capacity

Report Name Report Content Primary Uses  Most Recent
Annual Projections Report
  • Fall 10-year Projection Tables
  • Projection Methodology
  • Alternative Projections
  • Does not address school capacity
  • Forecast school enrollment over time
  • Reports on projections and explains methodology
Annual Projections Report (2016)
Capacity Utilization Report 
  • Compares current and planned capacity with projections
  • Reflects boundary and policy changes approved in previous school year
  • Shows additional capacity in the school year that new seats become available for use
  • Used to determine whether APS has the capacity to meet current needs with existing schools
  • The main planning tool to identify future capital needs and assess the need for policy changes such as boundary adjustments
Capacity Utilization Report (2016)
Fall Ten-Year Enrollment Projections
  • Annual total school projections
  • Reflects projected enrollment only
  • Does not include information on existing or planned capacity
  • Used to prepare the Superintendent’s recommended budget for the upcoming school year, including staffing for schools
  • Important for updating the Capacity Utilization Report
Fall Ten-Year Enrollment Projections (Fall 2017 for 2018-2027)
Sept Enrollment Report
  • Actual School Enrollment numbers on the last day of September each year
  • Serves as a snapshot of the number of students currently enrolled in each school
  • Student record collection for reporting to the Virginia Dept. of Education
September Enrollment Report (Fall 2017)
Spring 1-Year Projection Update
  • Uses January enrollment data to update projections for following year
  • Reflects projected enrollment only
  • Does not include information on existing or planned capacity
  • Used for updating the budget for the next fiscal year
  • Helps allocate staffing and resources for upcoming school year
Spring 1-Year Projection Update (Spring 2017 for 2017-18)
10-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
  • Addresses future facility needs, including new facilities, additions and renewals of existing schools
  • Used to plan for major and minor construction needs, and major repairs of facilities
  • Serves as financial planning and project planning document for a 10-year period
10-Year Capital Improvement Plan


Annual Enrollment Projections Report (2016)

This report was most recently published in January 2017 (the 2018 report will be released later this winter). The Annual Enrollment Projections Report:

  • includes the Fall 10-Year Projection Tables;
  • explains data collection and related assumptions used to produce the projections, and provides a detailed methodology which was updated since the Fall 2017 projections to incorporate assumptions provided by Arlington County government, including, birth rates, committed affordable housing, and the timing of residential construction; and
  • includes alternative projections scenarios developed together by APS and Arlington County staff in fall 2017 that show a range for projecting APS enrollment from low to medium to high enrollment possibilities.

Capacity Utilization Report (2016)

This report was most recently published in January 2017 (the 2018 report will be available later this winter). The Capacity Utilization Report:

  • shows how APS is addressing enrollment growth by comparing school-level projections with capacity over the next 10 years;
  • compares the annual total school projections from the Fall 10-Year Projection Tables with:
    • capacity for students (in classrooms and common areas) at existing facilities, and
    • additional capacity through new facilities, additions and other modifications to existing facilities as funded in the most recent Capital Improvement Plan (CIP); and
  • reflects boundary and other policy changes approved during the previous school year and as they apply, unless otherwise noted. (Additional capacity is shown in the school year when the new seats become available for use.)

Fall 10-Year Projection Tables (Fall 2017 for 2018-2027)

This report was most recently published December 21, 2017 for the 2018-2027 school years. The Fall 10-Year Projection Tables:

  • use data from the September Enrollment Report;
  • provide one table for each of the next 10 school years that shows annual projected enrollment by grade within existing schools; and
  • reflect, unless otherwise noted:
    • existing school facilities in the September Enrollment Report, and
    • boundary and other policy changes completed during the previous school year.

September Enrollment Report

This report was most recently published in Fall 2017. Every month, APS produces an enrollment report that provides a snapshot of the official headcount of students on the last day of that month throughout the school year. The September Enrollment Report:

  • provides the official count of students enrolled in APS as of the last school day in September; and
  • is the main data source for enrollment projections.

Spring 1-Year Projection Update (Spring 2017 for 2017-18)

This report was most recently published April 1, 2017, for the 2017-18 school year. The Spring 1-Year Projection Update:


Several tools help APS meet the short- and long-term needs of enrollment growth. These include:

Note: Capital Improvement Projects that are under construction or are in the planning process to add seats at all school levels in the next decade are not reflected in the enrollment projections.  Those reports reflect only enrollment and capacity use of existing facilities.

Timline CIP

Archived Reports