Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
Projections on student school growth numbers were presented at the Feb. 10 school board meeting by Daphne Pippit, USD 231 human resources office manager, Amy Jackson, benefits manager, and Tyler Link from RSP Planners.
Pippitt said 55 classified employees and 76 certified employees have been hired over the last five years. Currently 390 classified and 500 certified employees work for the district.
“When staff succeeds, our students succeed and when our students succeed our community thrives,” Pippett said.
Elementary average class sizes are 19.65 students, middle school is 24.18 students and high school is 21-26 students.
Pippett said the class sizes suggest stability and good planning.
“This is comforting as a parent,” she said.
Pippett said students are their priority number one focus each and every day.
“Growth is good,” she said. “Increasing enrollment effects everything.”
Tyler Link, RSP GIS Analyst, said they project a 450 student increase in the next five years. He said the majority of 250 would be elementary school students and 170 high school students. He said middle school student populations remain steady.
He presented maps showing where they expected population growth. The map showed most population increases for the center of Gardner and neighboring areas.
Link said there are a few exceptions with decreased student populations at Sunflower Middle School and Grandstar Elementary.
“You are a younger district comparable to De Soto,” he said. “ A lot of young families are moving in. “
Link said they project over 6,000 students in Gardner schools for the 2024-25 school year.