Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

School enrollment increases

September 22, 2005

Lansing schools are on the "steady increase" track predicted by district officials.

Unofficial Lansing School District enrollment figures show Lansing's four schools' headcount up 6 percent, from 1,977 to 2,101 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Numbers will become official Oct. 10 when district administrators present Lansing school board with the district's full-time equivalent enrollment, which is the number used by the Kansas Legislature to appropriate funds.

Schools superintendent Randal Bagby said the district expected to grow at an annual rate similar to the yearly growth of the past 10 years' enrollment increases of 3 to 5 percent each year.

This year's increase won't have any immediate impact on the school's budget, said Donna Hughes, assistant superintendent, because the budget for this year has already been figured according to the district's estimate of what enrollment would be - 2,097 students - which was quite close to actual enrollment numbers.

District officials calculate future enrollment increases, Bagby said, by looking at a number of trends: the birthrates in the county, the number of houses built and the "cohort survival rate," which tracks the number of students who stay in the district from one grade to the next.

Lansing Elementary School principal Tim Newton said his school was now at "ideal capacity."

"If we get another 20 kids each of the next few years, we'll have to look at adding classrooms," he said.

Newton said the continuing enrollment increases at his school - LES gained 43 students - was not causing any problems, and whatever worries come with a steadily growing number of students, "It's better than declining enrollment."

Depending on how high schools throughout the state grow in comparison to Lansing High School, the gain of 47 students could change LHS's size classification for its sports teams. Gary Mattingly, activities director, said the classifications for sports other than football would be posted Sept. 26, and the football classifications on Oct. 5.


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