Basehor enrollment inches up
Fall enrollment figures indicate what Basehor-Linwood School Board members already know, that the school district could need an upgrade in facilities within the next several years.
The school district enrollment figures recently released to the Kansas Department of Education showed an enrollment increase of six this year for a total of 1,987. A year ago, enrollment was 1,981.
However, according to school district Superintendent Cal Cormack, the figures are misleading and the actual increase is closer to 18.
"We have a 17-student resident increase, but we decreased 11 non-resident students," Cormack said.
The loss in non-resident students stems from an enrollment decrease at the Basehor-Linwood Virtual Charter School, an online school available to those inside and outside of the school district.
In effect, Cormack said, the school district has more students this year that actually attend district schools than last year.
"What we are seeing in Basehor is very obviously the beginning of growth in the city," Cormack said.
The School Board, in conjunction with Basehor and Leavenworth County officials, has been monitoring the planned growth in the area to determine a timeline of when new district facilities might be needed.
"What we have learned is that there is a significant number of homes in the planning process and with that we can certainly expect more student growth," Cormack said.
According to city officials, there are at least 1,700 homes that are now at some stage in the planning process. The influx of new homes to the area could mean some district schools would need new facilities within the next several years, school district officials said.
School Board members, who toured Basehor-Linwood High School, Basehor-Linwood Middle School and Linwood Elementary School during a work session this week, cited two specific district schools that could be near or over capacity should the expected growth come to the city.
Cormack said Glenwood Ridge Elementary School, which is near capacity now, would be one area of concern as well as Basehor Elementary School.
The area of least concern to district officials at this time is Basehor-Linwood High School. The high school, with the current enrollment of 575 students, is only at half capacity, district officials said.
Officials ar most concerned about the two elementary schools because most of the expected growth is near those schools, Cormack said.
"In a three- to five-year time frame, we are going to feel significant pressure in those two areas," Cormack said.
As of now, there are no plans for construction of a new school, although the district officials will keep looking at growth and enrollment trends.
"The board isn't at a point where they are looking at a specific parcel of land for a new school," Cormack said.