District Education Center

District Education Center, 11 Peavey Road, Chaska.

The total student enrollment in Eastern Carver County Schools is projected reach 11,368 students by the 2027-28 school year, according to the district's most recent demographic study. 

District officials and Lorne Woods, regional manager and senior school planner with Davis Demographics & Planning, gave an overview of the study and how the district is working to plan for future student population changes with new software to the School Board on June 4.

Here are five things you need to know about the latest demographic study.

1. The district hired Davis Demographics in January 2018 to project enrollment and provide assistance with district planning.

The company conducts demographic work for K-12 school districts in 44 states, the district said.

According to Woods, the firm used information such as historical and current student counts, historical birth data, assessor data to calculate 10-year student projections.

The other services provided by Davis Demographics include creating a customized geographic information system (GIS) data set for the district, incorporating area development projects and plans, and providing training to the district for GIS software.

2. Davis Demographics leases software to districts to allow them to continue the process of tracking student enrollment figures and trends on their own.

"The intent is that the district take control of their own data. That's one of the things that's different between us and other companies is we want you to take control of your own data and help you guide yourselves because really it's about the benefit of public education," Woods told the School Board.

The district was looking for a tool that staff could internally use to do projections in-house and refresh that information each year. This will help with planning for the budget and future student capacity needs, said DeeDee Kahring, director of finance and operations, on June 7. Staff have been undergoing training and Kahring believes they will have a good idea of how to operate the software by this fall.

Kahring said the software has the capacity to incorporate a city's future planning for residential development.

"It will help with if we have to do any boundary changes. It can quickly give us details of the demographics of our students and of the age and grades of a student in a particular area," she said. "It will clearly show us key hot spots where development is going in."

3. The projected resident students are expected to increase annually over the next 10 years.

The number of resident students was 9,236 during the 2017-18 school year and that's expected to rise to 10,900 resident students in 2027-28. The total student enrollment is also expected to increase each year over the next 10 years.

The total enrollment for the current school year was 9,633, according to the presentation and the study projects that number to increase by over 1,000 students in the next five years alone, according to the study. 

4. The growth is expected to be driven by development projects.

There are 30 residential development projects actively under construction or currently planned in the district's boundaries and as many as 1,420 units could be built.

Forty percent of all active construction or planned building are in the Carver Elementary School and Victoria Elementary School boundary areas. More than 1,600 new students could be expected from the resale of existing homes along with actively built and planned homes, Woods said.

5. Increases are projected at the kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school populations in the next several years.

Woods said a rise of incoming kindergartners can be expected because of increases in local births since 2011 along with increased inward movement of families.

The elementary school population is expected to growth by 13 percent in the next decade to reach 4,800 students by 2022-23, while middle school numbers are projected to increase annually starting next year, growing to over 2,600 students by 2026-27.

"The district’s high school population may experience growth of 16 percent of the current population in the next 10 years," he said.

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