Case Study

Case Study: Rural Public School Districts Make Educated Decisions

education and school concept little student girl studying at school

Client’s Industry: Public school districts, rural data

Client: Hope-Page Public School District

Client’s Challenge

The Hope and Page school districts formally consolidated in the 2020-2021 school year. The newly formed Hope-Page Public School District set a strategic planning initiative in motion to focus the next few years of consolidation on better understanding their combined geography and enrollment projections.

The district’s leadership and school board had historical information and school data to support the effort but did not have immediate access to useful planning data, such as economic, demographic, and housing information. Further complicating the process was the school district’s boundary extending into four counties with rural economies, forcing the district to rely on locations and resources outside of the boundary.


Prime46 developed a multipronged approach to find the necessary information and provide the school board and district leadership with a comprehensive set of data. The first approach identified what information the district had available, such as historical enrollment data and parent contact information. The second approach gathered local and county source data for housing, development, and demographic information. And the third approach compiled relevant data from secondary and syndicated services for regional economic trends, commuting patterns, and job types.

When synthesized, this information provided a comprehensive package of data for key categories related to understanding the health of the district and factors that have the greatest impact on the district’s long-term operating success.


While the enrollment history was available to the district’s leadership, Prime46 added value by extending the view and producing a trend analysis projection that showed the range of possible enrollment outcomes for the next five years. Prime46 also provided insights into the regional economy, housing and demographic information. Through this study, the client can:

  • Project the range of student enrollment when planning for resource allocation
  • Understand the regional economy and its impact on the district to predict change
  • Gain insights into regional growth to meet future demands of incoming students


Public school boards, like any organizational board involved in strategic planning, know that the better the data, the better the plan. Unfortunately, most small, rural public school districts like our client are responsible for planning capital projects, resources, and logistics, and often don’t have the resources to collect or interpret the information. Population, demographic, and economic data are most often reported by county. Public school districts often lie across multiple counties and can include more than one community in combination with a rural area. This geographical reality makes gathering data far more complex than what the district’s administration has the resources to decipher or process.