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In my home town, indications are that school district enrollment for next September will be down by another 700 students. In our system that is a decline of over 3%. Many of the elementary schools, which have been operating consistently at 51 to 75 percent less than capacity, are experiencing continued erosion of numbers of students and it is expected to continue at least through 1988, according to projections of the school district's planning and engineering department.

The chances are that your school district has a planning and engineering department that is also making projections about school enrollment, because these are important in making plans for districting, and use of personnel and plant. It would be no great effort to call that department or its equivalent in your school system and inquire about what their projections are for your town. Be sure to find out and evaluate on what basis their projections are made. Their estimates may provide information that may be valuable to you in planning what you may be doing about location, and number and use of personnel and plant, and catering to adult orthodontic patients.

We have generally been remiss in orthodontics in using what businesses call market research. But, we are increasingly being forced to recognize that success may not continue to come to those who permit their practices to drift along, accepting what comes their way. It is foolish to ignore information that is easily available, which can have a significant impact for those who are willing to obtain it, evaluate it, and use it as a planning tool.



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