District enrollment jumps 9.6 percent
De Soto USD 232 Planning Director Jack Deyoe greeted Monday's official enrollment numbers with a shrug.
Figures reported to the state Monday indicate the district grew by 9.6 percent to a so-called full-time equivalency enrollment of 4,237 students. That compared to last year's total of 3,867.5.
"There really weren't too many surprises," District Planning Director Jack Deyoe said. "We were off by six on our projections. That was less than 1 percent of the total enrollment. That's not too shabby."
The increase, however, was not what was anticipated in the 2003-2004 district budget.
"We actually budgeted for a little higher at 4,350 students," District Finance Director Ken Larsen said.
School districts receive state aid for the 2003-2004 school years based on their enrollments on Sept. 22. The state gets to the full-time equivalency number through refining head count totals by crediting kindergarten and at-risk pre-school students at 50 percent. Those were the estimates he was charged with developing, Deyoe said.
The state's budget formula further adjusts enrollment by giving added enrollment credit for those students enrolled in special education and vocational classes and other factors. It was a complicated process that forced districts to make informed guesses in August, knowing future adjustments would have to be made Larsen said.
"What we'll look at is non-classroom expenditures that we can cut out for this year or delay or shift to a different fund," he said. "We have a reverse
If there was a surprise in the enrollment, it was the decline in enrollment at Starside Elementary. Deyoe said it was the result of relatively slow growth in De Soto, coupled with a small kindergarten class at the school of 64 students.
That Starside figure was the exception in a kindergarten class that was the first class level to number 400 students in the district's history, Deyoe said. Enrollment figures bear out De Soto was what he called a "a young district." The three largest classes are kindergarten, first and second grades, while the three smallest are the senior, junior and sophomore classes.
Riverview Elementary reported an enrollment of 657 students, about 30 students more than capacity. However, its kindergartners attend the Woodsonia Kindergarten Center with those from Clear Creek Elementary.
That enrollment pressure would be relieved with the opening of the Woodsonia replacement elementary next August. The new school, which will serve Woodland Park, Woodsonia, Crystal Park and the rapidly developing Grey Oaks subdivision, was projected to open with an enrollment of 550 students, Deyoe said.
The new school's opening should reduce Riverview's enrollment about 110 students next year, and Clear Creek should have an enrollment of approximately 400 students, Deyoe said.
Mize's enrollment fell slightly this year, as about 40 students living in the area south of Shawnee Mission Parkway and east of Kansas Highway 7 took advantage of a district offer to enroll in Clear Creek one year early. All students in that area are to enroll at Clear Creek next year.
Enrollment figures indicate Monticello Middle School's enrollment is 653, less than 100 students from its design capacity of 750. By contrast, the district's other middle school, Lexington Trails in De Soto, has only 356 students.
In approving the $76 million bond issue last November, district voters agreed a new middle school would be built before both Lexington Trails and Monticello Trails reached their design capacities, Deyoe said.
The process of deciding just how to draw the new school's boundaries will start with a meeting of the District Boundary Study Committee at 7 p.m. Monday at Lexington Trails Middle School. The committee, open to all interested district residents, will make recommendations to the Board of Education on future middle school and high school boundaries.