Archive for Thursday, August 21, 2008

Enrollment numbers change as school year gets started

August 21, 2008

The 2008-2009 school year has officially begun for the Basehor-Linwood School District and according to administrators, the first couple of days have gone smoothly.

Enrollment numbers continue to fluctuate and Assistant Superintendent David Howard said Monday, that there are approximately 1,842 residential students in the district with about 618 at Basehor-Linwood High School, 270 at Basehor-Linwood Middle School, 392 at Basehor Elementary School, 289 at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School, 130 at Linwood Elementary School and 143 at the Sixth Grade Center.

"Right now, residential students are up about 19, which isn't the same increase we've had in the past, but it's still up," Howard said.

Superintendent Bob Albers said historically the district has counted on about a 2 percent increase per year, but has over-budgeted the past few years, justifying this year's conservative estimate.

"We built our budget on 1,830 in district students," Albers said about the 2008-2009 district budget.

An official count to determine funding from the state is usually Sept. 20, but since it falls on a weekend this year, it will be moved to Sept. 22, Albers said. While the district will receive the same amount of funding for Basehor-Linwood Virtual School students, BLVS enrollment was separated from the residential count this year. About 238 students are currently enrolled at the virtual school, Howard said Monday. All of the numbers are expected to change slightly until Sept. 22.

"We have some people that will be late enrollees," Albers said. "Some people will move out, even though it's a short time, about a month and a half, you do have some movement."

One of the largest bumps in enrollment was at BLHS because the incoming freshman class was one of the largest the school has ever seen. Howard said this was expected because of last year's large eighth grade class at BLMS, but BLHS principal Sherry Reeves said the class grew even larger because of new students.

"We've had quite a few new students transferring in from outside the district," Reeves said. "There are almost 45 new students to the district and half of those have been freshmen. The freshmen are the largest class out of freshmen through seniors, by far, actually."

While BLHS has plenty of room to house the influx of students, Reeves said when preparing the schedules, they did have to monitor the amount of space in the freshmen and sophomore level classes to make sure the class sizes didn't become too large.

Other than that, she said, the students and teachers seem to be happy to be back in school.

"The kids are excited to get back in school and see their friends and teachers are excited to get back in the classroom," she said.

Basehor-Linwood School Board members also received a district construction update at a special meeting Thursday evening that shed a more positive light on the GRES addition situation.

When board members toured the district's construction projects before their Aug. 11 meeting, representatives from Horst, Terrill and Karst Architects revealed that the concrete floor slab for the GRES addition may have some quality control problems involving the reinforcing metal mesh and the vapor barrier, a sheet of plastic underneath the slab that prevents moisture from seeping into the concrete. While board members initially agreed the slab should be torn up and redone, reports from a geothermal and structural engineer on the project presented to the board on Thursday, said the structure was sound. With some small improvements, board members agreed to leave the current slab instead of starting over and delaying the project.

"The geothermal engineer couldn't guarantee water wouldn't come through," Albers said. "They're going to seal the top of the slab, which will prevent water vapor from coming through."

The district has also announced a groundbreaking ceremony for the new third through fifth grade elementary school at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at the site near 155th Street and Hickory Street. Invitations for the event will be sent out shortly, Albers said.

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