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Enrollment projected to decline at West Bend School District

abeld@conleynet.com 262-306-5046

Projected enrollment numbers for the West Bend School District continue a downward trend for the largest district in the county.

The West Bend Board of Education discussed the enrollment numbers during their Monday evening meeting, as well as the numbers for summer school.

Interim director of finance and support services Dave Van Spankeren presented the expected enrollment numbers for the next five academic years.

“This is also just a projection,” Van Spankeren said.

The district is expected to have about 6,509 students during the 2018-19 academic year and by 2023-2024 that number is expected to decline near 6,160.

“This all could change with the economy,” Van Spankeren said. The trend is normal and being seen at most other districts he said.

This academic year there are 6,729 students in the district, according to how districts are supposed to count them. The actual head count is 6,909, but students who don’t attend a full day of school, like 4K students, count as less than one.

Board member Tim Stellmacher said the district should consider raising 4K students from counting as a half student to 0.6 to benefit the district.

Funding schools receive is based on their student counts rather than head counts. Increasing the number of minutes of education for each student in summer school was also brought up during the meeting.

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Public participation

Earlier in the meeting the board was approached by former board president Charlie Hillman during public participation. He shared some advice on the selection of a new superintendent.

“I was on a school board that had to dismiss and hire a new one (superintendent),” Hillman said.

He shared three pieces of advice to the board. The first was to maintain high expectations, the second was to take time and the last was to involve the community.

“We are a desirable district and we deserve top talent,” Hillman said.

Before leaving he told Laura Jackson, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, that she was doing a “stellar” job.

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