Archive for Wednesday, October 17, 2001

School enrollment decreases in district

October 17, 2001

Although enrollment figures indicate a slight increase in 2001compared with 2000, the majority of schools in the Basehor-Linwood School District have declined in enrollment.

The school district recently submitted enrollment figures to the Kansas Department of Education that showed four of the six district schools have lower enrollment this year than last year.

The enrollment figures are a valuable tool for determining the future of school district facilities and funding.

To determine where the need for new facilities will be, the school district designed a formula that takes into account the residential growth of the community.

There are 1,700 homes in the planning stages of construction in the city and the district formula bases future student projections on those homes being completed.

According to district officials, future enrollments will increase at Basehor Elementary School and Basehor-Linwood High.

BLHS was one of two district schools to show an increase in enrollment this year.

BLHS went from 558 students in 2000 to 574 in 2001.

The high school has a capacity of 900 to 1,000 students, but only 575 are currently enrolled at the school for 2001.

"Our high school situation is fine," said Don Swartz, school district director of operations. "You can safely say we did the right thing with the high school."

While BES has dropped in enrollment, 372 in 2000 to 364 in 2001, the school is set for a boom in students when housing developments near completion.

"Basehor Elementary School is going to see a lot of new students when some of these developments that are being built get finished," BES Principal Terri Holmes said.

Swartz said the district expects 362 more students to enroll at the elementary school when construction is completed.

It is unclear whether BES could handle that type of growth without new construction or renovation.

"At this time we could handle some more kids, but we

would have to do some switching around," Holmes said.

Those changes would include moving classes into different rooms to take advantage of room sizes.

The only other district school that showed an increase was Glenwood Ridge Elementary School.

Enrollment figures showed the school has 33 more students this year than last year, pushing the total to 299. The capacity of the school is 350.

The recent student increase is a trend likely to continue, GRE Principal Tom Sack said.

"I am going to say there is a good chance because (housing developments) Cedar Lake and Bear Lake are close to the school," he said.

The district formula indicates approximately 100 new students will be entered into the GRE area when residential construction is completed.

Swartz said the elementary school could be remodeled to add more class space.

"It was designed so another eight classrooms could be added to the south side of the building," he said.

Although the building is nearing capacity, Sack said the school has not had a problem with finding adequate space for students.

"All of our classes are at acceptable levels," Sack said.

The school that showed the greatest decrease in student enrollment in 2001 is Basehor-Linwood Middle School.

In 2000, BLMS had 273 students enrolled as opposed to the 2001 figure of 252.

BLMS Principal Mike Boyd said the school has had back-to- back classes with a lower number of students, which accounts for the decrease. The school would probably have a more students next year, he said.

Other schools that showed student decreases were Linwood Elementary School, 183 in 2000 and 182 in 2000, and the Virtual Charter School, which had an enrollment of 372 in 2000 and slipped slightly to 365 in 2001.

The school district would also weigh a possible change in grade configuration when discussing future facilities, Swartz said.

The district has organized a grade configuration committee to research the possibility of adding the sixth-grade program to Basehor-Linwood Middle School.

There has been no formal action concerning the grade configuration, school district officials said.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.