THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT
Between 2013 and 2019 the city added 2,281 new single family housing units.
Our elementary school kids had to change schools three times.
In 2010 there were about 700 fifth graders in Wayzata Schools. Today, nine years later, there are over 900. Wayzata Schools taxpayers have built two new elementary schools and added on to two others. We've expanded Central Middle School to its maximum capacity, and spent $60 million to expand the high school to meet the needs of 4,000 students.
Yet still, there's not enough space. Parents complain of kids being taught in the atriums. Boundary lines have again been redrawn, disrupting families and childhood friendships. Class sizes are large, and resources are spread thin.
In August 2019, Wayzata's superintendent informed the parents that enrollment is expected to increase by another 1000 students, and more than 750 new homes are planned to be built over the next three years.
None of those 750 homes were expected to be built at Hollydale.
Now we're going to add 229 more?
Enough is enough.
Classrooms are crowded enough. Wayzata School taxes are high enough. We do not need another 229 homes.
SUPERINTENDENT'S EMAIL TO FAMILIES
Dear WPS Families,
We are excited to welcome everyone back for the first day of school on September 3! You will be receiving additional back-to-school information next week, but I wanted to share some important information with you before stories begin to appear in the local media in the coming days and weeks.
I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to many of you that our resident student enrollment has continued to grow rapidly in the district.
At a July School Board meeting, Hazel Reinhardt, statewide demographer, presented updated student enrollment projections that outlined growth in a number of areas. This growth continues the trend the district has seen for the past several years, and indicates that families move into the community in large part due to the quality of our schools.
Resident student enrollment in the Wayzata Public Schools is projected to increase by nearly 2,000 students in the next five years (2018-19 to 2023-24). This is on top of an 18% increase (1,748 students) in resident enrollment over the past five years.
K-5 enrollment is projected to increase by 18% or more (1,008 students) in the next five years. Middle school enrollment is projected to increase 21% or more (610 students) in the next five years. High school enrollment is projected to increase 9% or more (322 students) in the next five years.
Reinhardt went on to share that middle school enrollment growth will be primarily at Central Middle School. "In the next five years, growth at Central Middle School will be astounding, growing from 1,320 to 1,869 students," said Reinhardt. "Growth at East and West Middle Schools will be more modest. There is very high confidence in these numbers since these students are already in our elementary schools." Capacity at Central Middle School is just over 1,600 students, so this 42% growth will clearly pose space challenges that will need to be addressed.
Reinhardt explained that Wayzata Public Schools' market share, which is the percentage of the school- aged population that chooses to go to school within the district, has increased to 83% over the past five years. This market share is very high for a Twin Cities metro suburban area. "This increase in market share is unheard of and tells me that your resident population is happy with what is being offered here and the experience that their students have," shared Reinhardt. Because open enrollment has been closed in Wayzata since 2012, the enrollment growth is coming from resident families.
In addition, there is rapid growth in the number of projected single-family detached homes in the school district and these units have the highest per unit student yield. More than 750 new homes are approved to be built in the next three years (2019-2021), which is a conservative estimate and does not include developments under consideration but not yet formalized.
We asked for this demographic study as part of our planning process to ensure we have the school spaces our students need and our families expect. Being a school district of choice is quite an honor, and benefits all residents of our community.
District staff and School Board members are currently reviewing these enrollment projections and housing trends to determine the district's future facility needs, and we will continue to share more information in the coming weeks.
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any thoughts or questions you have. Enjoy these last, beautiful days of summer!
Chace B. Anderson Superintendent