BEND, OR -- Continuing an upward trend, Bend-La Pine Schools again has more students this year than last. But, gains are smaller than in recent years. "Bend-La Pine Schools is continuing that trajectory of continued growth," says Julianne Repman, with the school district, "We're about three decades into continuous growth, year after year, at Bend-La Pine Schools. That said, this year, we saw an increase of 53 students; and in past years, as folks might remember, that number has been as high as maybe 500 students."
She says the biggest gains, this year, are at the middle and high school level. The biggest loss was in the youngest grade, "It's an interesting situation to be looking at smaller enrollments, we're starting to see that around the state, perhaps. The number of Kindergartners is actually beginning to reduce."
Bend-La Pine Schools Enrollment Surpasses 18k (09/26/2016)
Repman tells KBND News enrollment forecasting by a team of experts helps the district plan ahead, "They've been very accurate in the past and been able to let us know that we might be having huge jumps like we've seen in the past with say, 500 new students in just one school year." And, she says this year's smaller enrollment gains actually help the district take stock and plan for the future. "Bend-La Pine Schools is very fortunate to be a growing school district. We're watching some of our school districts around the state starting to lose enrollment, so seeing 53 new faces in our schools is a great thing."
There are 18,425 students enrolled in Bend-La Pine Schools, as of now. Official numbers will be released October first. It remains the state's fifth largest public school district.