PASCO, Wash. -- School has been back in session for a week, and now staff are making some accommodations based on enrollment numbers.
Richland, Pasco and Kennewick School Districts all experienced growth for the 2012-2013 school year. Some of it was expected, and some of it came as a surprise..
Pasco School district is especially struggling to fit everyone in and not let the growth affect their curriculum. At the conclusion of the three-day Labor Day weekend Pasco School District has 15,380 students enrolled. This is an overall increase of 103 students, or .67% over this time last year.
"Our school was built in 1977. When it opened up, it was built for 500 students, we currently have about 880 students," says Ruth Livingston Elementary School Principal Susan Sparks.
Sparks says her school is running out of room, dealing with steady growth over the last decade. "We have about 15 classrooms outside, and there's about 20 classrooms inside, that's about half and half" she says.
And the growth is expected to continue. "We grow about an elementary school every year . I just saw that there's 26 new houses going up in West Pasco along with two large apartment complexes. so we know that the kids are coming," said the Assistant Superintendent John Morgan last week, preparing for the school year.
Sparks says this affects their schedules, their assemblies, lunch and everything in between, they even work with other schools to fit everyone in.
"Our third graders are in overload, So we're sending our students to Maya Angelou, because they have room in third grade. McGee is overloading Kindergarten, so they're sending their Kindergarten to us. so we do what we can," she says.
The growth at Richland School District was anticipated according to the spokesperson Steve Aagaard. 2012 RSD enrollment is at 11,630, which is 195 more students than a year ago, a 1.7% increase. They have a bond in place on the February ballot.
Kennewick numbers aren't in yet, but they did underestimate their Kindergarten enrollment by about 80-100 students. "We have opened up additional sections of Kindergarten at three of our schools and possible one more today. We're going to wait and see what the enrollment numbers look like today and decide if we need that fourth section," says the Kennewick School District Spokesperson Lorraine Cooper.
Cooper says Cascade, Canyon View and Lincoln Elementary are all getting new Kindergarten sections, or extra half-days. She says Washington elementary may be added to the list. The official enrollment numbers for Kennewick are out Wednesday.