Enrollment up Over 200 Students from Last Year

Deputy Superintendent Wade Smith informed the Board of Education, at its meeting last night, that the district has grown by 213 students, relative to the same date last year. District enrollment now stands at 5,531 students, after no-shows were removed from the count.

Based on a recently-commissioned Portland State University Population Research Study, placed last year by the district’s Facility Master Planning Committee, the district expected around 100 new students, in accordance with the study’s “mid-range” growth forecast. However, the district surpassed the study’s “high-growth” projections by one additional student. “The district currently utilizes 24 modular classrooms to accommodate recent student growth; this is four more than were being utilized prior to our last bond measure,” stated Smith. “If we continue at this pace, we will need a total of 81 portable classrooms in the next eight years, where over 1600 students will be housed. Although portables are appropriate for short-term enrollment surges, they are not efficient nor cost effective to address long-term community needs.”

As a result of this year’s record enrollment, the District has been forced to cap multiple classrooms across its five elementary schools and to shuttle students to other schools that can accommodate the new students. “It is getting extremely difficult as all of our campuses are at or near their maximum capacities,” noted Smith. “Without additional modular buildings next year, we will not have any classrooms to which we can shuttle students.”

Desert View Elementary School, which was designed for 427 students, now maintains a student population of over 600 students. Class sizes are increasing across all levels as additional students are shuttled into the few remaining open spaces left across the district’s eight campuses.

Smith urged the Board to thoroughly evaluate the recommendations from the Facility Master Planning Committee and to act swiftly in addressing multiple campus capacity concerns. Based on the PSU population study, over the next eight years the high school will grow to 2,000 students, almost twice the attendance it maintained when the last addition was completed thirteen years ago and the total district student population nearly 7,000 students.

The Facility Master Planning Committee’s report and analysis can be reviewed on the district’s website by clicking here.