Franklin County Schools is looking at a slight increase in enrollment next year.
The FCS board heard a report on initial allocations for the next school year during a working meeting Monday at Peaks Mill Elementary.
“These are our proposed allocations as we’re moving forward,” FCS Superintendent Mark Kopp said.
Attendance is projected to increase from 5,903 to 5,962 with Collins Lane having the highest increase of 29 students. Franklin County is next at 24.
Elkhorn Middle is projected to have the biggest decline with 17 fewer students next year.
“This is what we’re shooting at right now,” Kopp said. “This is what we’re going to present to you as our initial allocation. When we get to a school, it may get 20 students that aren’t on here, and if that’s the case we’ll say you need another teacher and post the position and hire it.”
With the enrollment projections, the effect on certified staffing would be one less person at Elkhorn Middle and Bridgeport, an increase of 1.5 at Collins Lane, an increase of 0.5 at Elkhorn Elementary and Hearn, and a decrease of 0.5 at Bondurant and Western Hills.
The projections call for no changes in certified staffing numbers at the Early Learning Village, Peaks Mill, Westridge and Franklin County.
“What we try to do is we try not to impact schools incredibly significantly, but at the same time the formulas we have in our procedure are what we use to make those determinations,” Kopp said.
“What we try to do is stick to the formula as best we can, make an informed decision, and if we start seeing something that starts to happen even over the next few months, like (Peaks Mill principal) Cassie (House) may call and say ‘I just had 11 new kids enroll for next year’ then we would have the ability at that time to say you’re going to need another teacher. It’s not chiseled in stone.”
And it will be awhile before any allocation numbers are finalized.
“This is just information right now, the initial allocation process,” Kopp said. “This will go to our schools. They actually already have it and are already starting to work on it. They’ll present it to their school-based council. And they’ll come back with their final allocation approval that we will then put on the board agenda.”
On another topic, Kopp said there has been a lot of discussion about building a new school.
“I do think after speaking to our financial adviser and speaking with lots of folks, deputy and assistant superintendents and our team, just going through numbers, I think we’ll be in a lot better shape if we hold off on making a decision on building a new school until our bonding capacity increases a bit,” he told the board.
Kopp said the district’s financial people are hopeful that over the next few months the district will have some opportunities to increase its bonding capacity.
“Right now don’t have the ability to say this school or this school just because we’re a little limited in our bonding capacity,” he said. “Some things they’re projecting over the next few months should get us to where in the fall or early fall, I’ll be able to say ‘OK, let’s make a decision here.’”
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