Sauk Rapids-Rice School District Enrollment Increases
SAUK RAPIDS -- Enrollment is skyrocketing in the Sauk Rapids-Rice school district.
The district's enrollment numbers are up so far for this school year. Last year total enrollment was at 4,294 this year it's at 4,459 total students. Superintendent Dan Bittman says the high enrollment numbers were expected.
"As you know for the last two years we've been very strategic and worked with our community to talk about solutions. Our board of education has been very proactive, monitoring enrollment each month at board meetings."
With Sauk Rapids' and Rice's growing communities they have had to limit the amount of students from neighboring towns wanting to come to the district.
"So what happens in Sauk Rapids-Rice is we do limit that enrollment in many different ways. One of which is we place all of our resident students in classrooms and we set targets for those class sizes. When our students are placed, if there's room in a particular classroom, at a grade level in a particular site, then we allow open enrolled students to fill those spaces, in which we already have teachers in placement."
Two of the districts elementary schools are nearing capacity. Mississippi Heights has 1,011 students while Pleasantview is at 770 students this year. Bittman says the district has been discussing plans with the community on how to accommodate the growing number of elementary students.
"Our community members have been really direct to say that we need the additional elementary classroom space and that's why the community group has recommended an additional elementary school near the high school as well as a larger more up to date elementary school in place of Pleasantview for the future."
Ideas for building an additional elementary school and renovating or rebuilding Pleasantview will be brought to the Sauk Rapids-Rice Board of Education in December. Bittman says the Sauk Rapids-Rice Board of Education school board is likely to make some decisions early next year as to what a possible referendum might look like and community members can expect to weigh in on the plans in May.