How will we handle overcrowding issues at Westside Middle School?

During the past few years, in anticipation of higher in-District growth, Westside has been more conservative in accepting open enrollment students. Westside is currently using data to determine its space availability each year and is committed to this forward-looking process to keep Westside Middle School and Westside High School populations sized correctly and consistently.

Why do we take open enrollment students?

We are legally required to accept students from the Learning Community if our classrooms are not at capacity. Westside has accepted open/option enrollment students for several decades. One-third of District students currently come from other districts. This has allowed our district to maintain an optimal student enrollment, and has provided about $15 million in revenue per year to our general fund budget. Students from other districts also enhance the diversity of our student population, which we welcome. Open/option enrollment students have kept the stability in our overall student population, allowed our neighborhood schools to remain open, and provided for a greater number and wider variety of course offerings at Westside High School. Without these students, Westside Community Schools would look very different.

Why is the District talking about adding a section at Sunset Hills?

The bond calls for building a new two-section school (two kindergartens, two first grades, two second grades, etc.) at Sunset Hills. Sunset Hills is currently a one-section school. By adding additional sections, the District is able to manage anticipated growth and maintain reasonable class size. A two-section school is more economically efficient to operate.

I’ve heard the numbers of in-District students are starting to rise – is this true?

During the past few years, the District has seen an increase in the number of students living within its boundaries. At its peak enrollment, in the early 1970’s, we had 10,002 students living within the District attending Westside Community Schools. A demographic study recently conducted by RSP anticipates that in-District student enrollment will continue to rise in the coming years. The District will monitor future enrollment closely, while maintaining overall enrollment at approximately 5,950-6050 students.