Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2005

Enrollment outpacing projections

So far, 41 more students in district than last year

August 18, 2005

Basehor-Linwood school officials said enrollment numbers are ever changing. But with each passing day, it's becoming more clear that classrooms are feeling the pinch from an expected growth boom.

Don Swartz, school district director of building operations, said this week that the latest enrollment numbers indicate the district has 41 more students than it did on Sept. 20 of last year.

The total enrollment, as of Wednesday of this week, is 1,761 resident students; on Sept. 20 of last year, the enrollment was 1,720 resident students.

School officials expected an enrollment increase of about 25 students.

With enrollment numbers surpassing that estimate, it appears the residential growth boom expected by district officials is occurring more quickly than they originally thought.

For the last two years, school officials have closely monitored residential building.

"We knew we were going to grow," Swartz said. "We were thinking maybe we'd get 25 new students. It appears we may be getting hit pretty hard right now.

"(The enrollment increase) is more of a sign of what's about to hit," he added.

The new enrollment figure has already had ramifications for some schools, where changes are being made to accommodate additional students.

Swartz said another section of second grade classes was added at Basehor Elementary School; the school now has four second-grade classes. As anticipated, the elementary school has seen the highest concentration of new students.

Also, Glenwood Ridge Elementary School will most likely add another half-day kindergarten class by next week.

Because of the anticipated residential growth, the school district ask voters on Nov. 1 to approve a $22.9 million bond issue. If approved, the bond issue would finance renovations and improvements at every school in the district -- save for Basehor-Linwood High School -- and construction of a new elementary school on 15 acres of vacant land west of the high school.

On Sept. 20, the district will count students and provide those enrollment numbers to the state department of education, which will use them to determine the amount of financial aid the district will receive from the state.

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