Monday, September 24, 2012
The Wichita Public Schools has taken its official headcount of students enrolled for the 2012-2013 school year. The district’s enrollment as of Sept. 20 is 50,639 students, up by 536 students from last year.
This year’s enrollment is the district’s highest enrollment since 1975, and enrollment has grown by more than 1,574 students over the last ten school years.
“As we added new schools to the district and studied student population projections as we changed the school boundaries last spring, we were prepared for an increase of students. We saw population shifts at every grade level,” says Superintendent John Allison.
The greatest growth this year is in the district’s elementary schools, with an increase of 439 students. Middle school enrollment is the highest since 2004, with a total of 10,217 students. The Wichita Public Schools added and shifted teachers and support staff to schools with higher population increases to meet the needs of those schools and to help manage class sizes.
“For the past several years we have seen an increase on the elementary level and now those students have moved upward into the middle school level,” Allison says.
School boundary changes had an impact on student enrollment at several schools.
For example, the new Isely Traditional Magnet grew by 194 students with the move to its new building in Bel Aire and the expansion of its program.
Christa McAuliffe Academy has an initial enrollment of 552 students. Both Isely and Christa McAuliffe Academy exceeded enrollment projects by about 50 students each.
Heights High School saw some relief in overcrowding with a decrease of 157 students with the boundary changes and with the new Northeast Magnet High School accepting more students from the Heights boundary area.
The new Ortiz Elementary started with 375 students enrolled.
Each year, Kansas’ school districts are required by the state to take an official headcount of students enrolled on Sept. 20. Full-time equivalency (FTE), the enrollment on which state funding is based, will be calculated from this official count.