Our facilities no longer provide optimal learning environments and we do not have adequate space for our growing enrollment.
Our students need more space – plain and simple. As our District has grown, the lack of space is evident.
OUR NEED FOR SPACE IS KNOWN.
Although increased enrollment is a good problem to have, and uncommon within rural school districts, inadequate space to accommodate those students presents a huge challenge.
Currently, our facilities are designed for a capacity of 2,975 students. Enrollment projections for 2019-2020 total 3,313 students – that’s over 300 additional students we do not have adequate space for.
With this enrollment increase, school administrators and staff have found and exhausted all potential uses for additional space. As our classroom sizes continue to grow, our common spaces cannot accommodate this growth.
What has ISD 518 done to accommodate this influx of students? As our facilities reached and exceeded their capacities, our District proposed solutions in 2013, 2016, and most recently in 2018. After these proposed plans were not approved by voters, our lack of space has continued to worsen.
And unless we, as a community, take action to address this problem, this issue will continue to worsen as enrollment increases. The needs of our students are real and they are not going away.
Since 2008, we have added onto our existing facilities, converted several art rooms and computer labs into classrooms, utilized storage spaces for small group instruction, and have eliminated meeting and prep space to carve out additional space for our students.
These accommodations are not a long-term solution to the current space challenge that we are facing.