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USD 489 enrollment losses still expected

5/19/2012

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Hays USD 489 administrators are projecting a loss of 109 students for next year.

The enrollment projection is on the agenda for the board of education meeting Monday night at 6:30 p.m. in the Toepfer Board Room at the Rockwell Administration Center, 323 W. 12th Street.

"I don't think there's any surprises," Superintendent Will Roth said at Monday's work session.

Administrators expected to lose about 100 students when Kennedy Middle School closes at the end of the school year.

However, Deputy Superintendent Richard Cain is projecting a slightly higher loss.

"I just have to take a look at what's here now, and what the projection is, and that's what we go with," Cain said.

Unless the base state aid per pupil changes, the loss shouldn't affect funding next year.

Districts can use current year enrollment, previous year's enrollment or a three-year average, Cain said.

Considering those options, the district will use the 2011-12 figures for another year to make up the loss.

However, according to projections it will take until 2015-16 school year when enrollment is projected to return to and surpass current levels.

Classes in the elementary schools continue to be the largest. Some classes already are full for next year, Roth said.

"Wilson is full. We're adding a fourth-grade teacher, (and) next year we'll add fifth grade," he said

There are three options to deal with the need for more space at some elementary schools -- build classrooms, add new buildings or implement districting specifying which schools children in a neighborhood attend.

"If they're all full, districting won't help," Roth said.

Despite the possible need for more buildings in the future, the board has decided to consider selling the property on 12th Street known as Shively Field. It also will be an agenda item at Monday's meeting.

It isn't likely to be the site of a new elementary school, board member Greg Schwartz said Monday night.

The land is "a little bigger than a football field," Roth said.

Other items on the agenda:

* Budget hearing for republication of virtual fund

* Capital outlay for fiscal year 2013

*School meal prices.