• News Release: 2/10/2020 WEDNESDAY SPOTLIGHT: School division enrollment continues to climb- projections show nearly 70 thousand students in the next 10 years

    Approximately 45,000 households entrust their most precious possessions – more than 63,000 children – to Chesterfield County Public Schools daily.

    Strong academic performance, a variety of course selections and outstanding teachers, support staff and administrators continue to drive family interest in Chesterfield County Public Schools. The reputation of the county’s schools often inspires families to make their homes in Chesterfield.

    “We’re excited to be a first-choice school division for parents,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said.
    Given recent student enrollment counts, more people than ever want their child to attend Chesterfield County Public Schools. Over the past four school years, Chesterfield County Public Schools’ K-12 student enrollment has grown by approximately 2,800 students. When pre-kindergarten students are included in the total, the school division crossed the 63,000-student mark for the first time last week. That places Chesterfield County Public Schools among the 70 largest school divisions in the country; the school division is the fifth largest in Virginia.

    Student enrollment growth is not projected to slow down. Based on enrollment trends and new construction, the Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget is built on a projection of 1,235 additional students attending school in Chesterfield County next year.

     “With growth comes a lot of opportunity,” Dr. Daugherty said. “However, there must be resources to support this growth. The operating budget proposed for the 2020-21 school year provides nearly $8 million in additional school-based staff members to support this projected growth. That total funding is equivalent to what the county has allocated for the school division in its approved five-year plan. That would leave us with little funding left to invest in our students and staff.”

    Projections prepared for Chesterfield County Public Schools in 2018 by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service showed a projected total K-12 student enrollment of close to 70,000 students within the next nine years. Unfortunately, Weldon Cooper’s projection for the 2019-20 school year is already off; there currently are 1,400 more students enrolled in Chesterfield County Public Schools than projected for 2019-20.
    “Sometimes we look at our own neighborhoods and what is immediately around us, and we forget just how large we are as a county and as a school division,” Daugherty said. “If you look at us like we’re a business, we’d be considered a Fortune 500-size operation and one of the largest businesses in the Richmond-metro area. A large operation requires a lot of resources.”

    • With nearly 8,000 staff members, Chesterfield County Public Schools is one of the largest employers in the area.
    • With nearly 8 million square feet of space to maintain, Chesterfield County Public Schools is one of the largest facility operators in the area.
    • With nearly 9 million miles driven each year, Chesterfield County Public Schools features one of the largest transportation systems in the area.
    • With nearly 6 million meals served annually, Chesterfield County Public Schools is one of the largest caterers in the area.
    • With 60,000 computers provided to students and staff, Chesterfield County Public Schools features one of the largest technology systems in the area.
    “Chesterfield County Public Schools continues to be cited as a model for excellence in public education; however, there are cracks beginning to show,” Dr. Daugherty said. “In order for us to continue to be a school division that parents want their children to attend, we must continue to invest in the necessary resources. We are people-intensive business: A lot of adults serving a lot of students. The proposed budget allows us to cover the cost of doing business to more students in 2020.”

    To learn more about the Superintendent’s proposed FY 21 operating budget, visit mychesterfieldschools.com.

  • “Relaunch Chesterfield” Aims to Reopen Chesterfield Businesses

    What?

    Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, Chesterfield Cabinet and Chesterfield County have united to support a coordinated relaunching of the Chesterfield economy.   Relaunch focuses on issues for businesses and elected officials around the county to consider as reopening plans are made. "Relaunch Chesterfield" is meant to work in conjunction with the Governors’ Covid-19 Business Task Force recommendations as they too begin the work of relaunching Virginia’s economy. 

    "Relaunch Chesterfield" will be developed in partnership with business leaders across a broad array of industry sectors and organizations around the county, including but not limited to the following sections:

    • Health and Safety First/Internal & External Customers
    • Retail
    • Restaurants
    • Hospitality
    • Arts & Entertainment
    • Healthcare Services
    • Personal Care Service Industry
    • K-12 Education & Childcare and Daycare

    "Relaunch Chesterfield" is meant to serve as a start to the conversation for returning more employees and businesses to work, rather than serving as a final, prescriptive set of answers or solutions.

    We are currently seeking participants to work and lead in these individual industry workgroups.  Please submit your information to be considered for an interested industry cluster workgroup by clicking here.    

    Why?
    Businesses are resilient in creating opportunities to thrive in challenging conditions.  Businesses ability to pivot their business model and allow others to learn from that change is important for the greatest number of businesses to relaunch. By joining efforts and bringing businesses and resources together we have the ability to make adjustments quickly and start commerce sooner. 

    When the Commonwealth is ready to open Virginia, Chesterfield will be ready to open.

    How?
    We are looking for 8-10 people for each industry workgroup indicated to develop a framework for success.  Models and examples are already available as a guide from across the Country.  Workgroups using best practices can have the best opportunity for a successful plan.