BEND, OR -- Bend La-Pine Schools officials are looking at how to best handle this year’s record enrollment. Julianne Repman says the district is making arrangements to deal with the short-term issue of overcrowding at some schools, while investigating long-term solutions. "With this growth comes great opportunity and some challenges. So, we have students who might be experiencing some classes in unique locations. We’ve ordered modular classrooms; so, we’re definitely working with that growth and benefiting from it, as well." Benefits, she says, include the addition of new programs that help students stay involved and feel connected.
And, Executive Director of Middle School Programs Jim Boen tells KBND News those accommodations are not one-size-fits-all. "Each school is taking on its own identity and we’re being very strategic about that. But, one thing that’s very common among middle schools is breaking up into smaller groupings; sometimes it’s a house system, sometimes it’s certain wings, sometimes it’s keeping groups of kids organized together. In doing so, I think that helps with building community."
Repman says the district is investigating long-term solutions, "We’re looking at a lot of different opportunities; adding classrooms, modernizing classroom spaces so that they can work better for students. And then, also, just the fact that we know that we need to build new schools in the future. Our Sites and Facilities team of volunteers and staff members took a look, and they went 20 years out. It looks like what we need are seven new schools in the next 20 years. That’s how we’re growing in this community."
District enrollment has grown - on average - by about 300 new students a year, in the past three decades. It topped 18,000, last week.
To hear our full conversation with Julianne Repmand and Jim Boen, click HERE
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