Wicomico School Enrollment Grows: Second-Highest Increase in State
Wicomico County Public School System is part of statewide growth trend in public education
Posted on 02/03/2016

Maryland’s public school enrollment is at an all-time high this year, and the Wicomico County Public School System is clearly part of the statewide growth trend in public education.

Wicomico’s official Sept. 30, 2015 head count enrollment total was 14,790 students, up from 14,545 the previous Sept. 30. That 1.7% increase was well above the statewide increase of .6%, and was the second-highest jump in the state (Howard County experienced 2.2% growth).

“We’re growing in Wicomico County, and that’s exciting because it means we’re helping even more students achieve and work toward the goal of readiness for college and career,” said Dr. John Fredericksen, Superintendent of Schools. “The challenge will be providing a high quality education to a student population that is growing more rapidly than our resources. We stand ready to meet that challenge.”

Earlier this school year, in response to higher than anticipated kindergarten enrollment at some schools, Wicomico added four new kindergarten teachers – a rare mid-year adjustment. A grant-funded prekindergarten class was also added at Pemberton Elementary.

Maryland public school enrollment hit a new record this year, with nearly 880,000 students filling elementary, middle, and high school classrooms across the state. Overall, 12 of Maryland’s 24 local school systems increased in enrollment over the 2014-15 school year. Maryland’s public schools have gained 35,740 students since 2008.

Maryland public school systems collect official enrollment numbers for each school year on September 30.  Complete enrollment data can be found here

The official report on Maryland Public School Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity and Gender and Number of Schools (Sept. 30, 2015) also details enrollment by race/ethnicity for each school system. Wicomico’s student population head count of 14,790* is:

45.1% White

35.8% Black/African-American

8.6% Hispanic

6.9% Two or More Races

3.1% Asian

A small number of students are American Indian/Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.

Here are some other important numbers affecting public education in Wicomico County, as provided by the Department of Legislative Services:

  • Wicomico’s Fiscal Year 2015 percentage of students at risk was 74.9%, the fifth-highest percentage in the state. This figure includes students with disabilities, students eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and students with limited English proficiency, with some students in more than one of the above categories. About a decade ago, the at-risk percentage was 59%.
  • Wicomico’s FY2016 state aid per pupil of $9,181 per student is fifth-highest in the state and above the state average of $6,347 in state aid per pupil.
  • County aid per pupil in Wicomico for FY2016 is $2,935 per student, below the state average of $6,961 and second-to-lowest amount per pupil in the state. In a related figure, Wicomico County’s wealth per pupil is the lowest in the state.
  • State and county aid for education in Wicomico Schools total $12,116 this year, 15th in the state.


*In addition to the state’s official head count enrollment number, two other state-calculated enrollment numbers may also be used during budget discussions. State aid for education is based on a different formula for calculating enrollment; that enrollment number is 14,259. School construction funding is based on yet another set of calculations, and for state construction funding the number is 14,546.5. All three numbers are valid and are calculated and used by the state.