It’s important to engage experts and carefully analyze potential enrollment growth, but it is equally important to remember that it is impossible to accurately predict the future. The experts contracted to create the projections provide the best estimates possible.
To create and refine projections, the district worked with two different organizations that have expertise in population studies. Portland State University’s Population Research Center (PRC) performed an enrollment forecast in August 2016. The Oregon Legislature designated the PRC as the entity responsible for coordinating population forecasting for Oregon’s counties and cities. FLO Analytics, a data analysis firm that has expertise in community planning, analyzed the PRC study and provided some refinements, particularly around West Salem population growth estimates.
Additionally, district Facilities & Planning Department staff are keeping a close eye on actual enrollments so they can identify where plans may need to be adjusted.