Parkland School District Shares Enrollment Growth Projections
Recommends Redistricting to Alleviate Southern Growth
On Tuesday, October 27, 2015, representatives from Stantec, the firm hired to conduct a 10-year feasibility study, presented findings related to enrollment growth projections through the year 2024 and the district’s capacity to absorb the growth. The projections showcased a need for an additional 15 classrooms in the south and southwest pockets of the District by the year 2020, and an additional 19 classrooms in that same area through the year 2024.
Stantec, rated by Architectural Record magazine as #1 for K-12 architectural design in January, used DecisionInsite to research residential development and project enrollment for the next 10 years. DecisionInsite conducted interviews with township planners and land developers and analyzed student and community demographic trends to pull together their findings. The data was then loaded into a cloud-based system that allowed school administrators to view the impact of boundary line changes on student enrollment. With this system, the District witnessed how many students would be affected by a redistricting effort utilizing many different combinations of neighborhoods and streets.
An analysis of the capacity of each school building was shared next, illustrating the surplus of student seats in the north and a deficit of student seating in the south. Richard Sniscak, Superintendent of Schools stated, “As projections for new developments occur in the southwestern corner of the school district, the data projects that an additional 500 elementary students will potentially enter Parkland in the next five years. Our buildings in the south cannot handle that projected enrollment growth. By the 2019-2020 school year, we will be short on classrooms in the south, even if we keep half-day kindergarten and redistrict next year.”
Options for addressing enrollment growth were shared during the meeting. To maintain a balanced student body enrollment in each elementary building, keep current grade level configurations and maintain the community elementary school concept, the following recommendations are being considered:
- Redistrict the entire school district in the fall of 2016 to shift the rising southern population to the north and east where the schools are projected to witness declining enrollment in the coming years.
- Build a new elementary school to absorb the southern population that is projected as a result of new home developments.
The District also asked Stantec to study the options for implementing full-day kindergarten in the District. This was taken into consideration when enrollment projections and redistricting efforts were analyzed. The School Board is expected to vote on the redistricting effort at their next meeting on November 17, 2015 at 7 PM.
Stantec will make two future board meeting presentations. The focus of those will be on recommended capital improvement projects that the District must plan for over the next 10-15 years in order to maintain facilities, options for the aging Troxell building, and futuristic planning for learning spaces across the school district.
Stantec’s PowerPoint presentation can be found here. For more information, visit the Parkland Vision 2015-2030 web site at: http://www.parklandsd.org/about/superintendents-office/parkland-vision-2015-2030/