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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 17, 2023

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

Webinar to Provide School Districts With Supports to Counter Declining Enrollment

Please join me for a webinar for local educational agencies on Tuesday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m. to assist school districts in building strategies to counter declining enrollment. It has been my priority to ensure that students and families are engaged in public schools and that schools meet the needs of families. This webinar will continue to build on efforts to help school districts counter declining enrollment through various programs and will be the first in a series of webinars on this topic.

In September, I hosted an online statewide Parent Town Hall that included 30,000 parents and parent groups (please see the news release on the California Department of Education [CDE] Year 2022 web page at for more information). The event surveyed participants to elicit feedback on ways to improve the public school experience, including ideas on how to counter declining enrollment. Parents shared the importance of continuing to focus on family engagement with an emphasis on creating caring and welcoming environments as an important element in keeping families engaged and enrolled.

This webinar will include the voices of practitioners offering examples of best practices that school districts may be able to use to offset declining enrollment. These may include strategies such as expanding dual-language immersion programs and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) academies to attract parents and families back to California schools. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for participants to learn ways they can better market new programs to families to increase engagement and boost enrollment.

Panelists include:

  • Eric Peterson, Principal, West County Mandarin School, West Contra Costa Unified School District
  • Jim Hollis, Director and Founder, Calculus Roundtable
  • Julien Lafortune, Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California
  • Nancy Kim Portillo, Deputy Superintendent, Student Achievement Branch, CDE

Please register in advance for this webinar via Zoom at to join us for this important discussion.

The CDE is also developing surveys to gather information about best practices to counter declining enrollment. School districts that want to share examples of their work in this area, including effective strategies to stabilize or increase enrollment, can email


Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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