Dist. 877 projects future declining enrollment

The Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Dist. 877 School Board heard that the district’s enrollment would slightly gain next year, while future enrollment is expected to decline.

The board also received the annual curriculum report.



Director of Finance and Operations Gary Kawlewski presented the enrollment projections for the 2013-14 school year. Using Oct. 1 numbers, he said the district would see a slight increase in student enrollment for next year (from 5,739 to 5,759) and then slightly decline in the years after that.

The number of resident students is also on the decline. Kawlewski noted that more students open enroll outside of the district than into the district. The top three districts where Dist. 877 students go are Delano, Rockford and Watertown-Mayer.

To determine enrollment projections the district takes into consideration the housing market, economic conditions, Wright County births, open enrollment, budget reductions, and new programs (All-Day, Every Day Kindergarten, The Quest Program and STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Kawlewski said he contacted the city of Buffalo and it has 26 new housing permits for next year, which looks promising.

Kawlewski recommends the district use the Merged Method to determine student enrollment numbers. It’s a more conservative method for predicting student enrollment.

It uses a variety of factors “merged” together to determine enrollments. At this point Kawlewski is projecting a 2013-14 K-12 student enrollment of 5,759.

Student enrollment is what helps determine the district’s budget, and while Kawlewski said he hopes the numbers are high for next year, they will use the conservative estimate to help shape the budget for the 2013-14 school year.


2011-12 Annual Report

In other news, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Pam Miller presented the 2011-12 BHM Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement.

The report outlines BHM student test results on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA-II), Minnesota GRAD Tests, MAP Tests (Measures of Academic Progress) and other tests administered in the schools. It also includes the school board’s goals relating to student achievement, the District/Community Teaching and Learning Council members and the 2012-13 testing schedule.

The report will be brought back to the board for final approval at the Dec. 10 school board meeting. Once approved, a copy of the report will be available on the district’s website at www.bhmschools.org.

-Compiled by Aaron Brom