Mid-Prairie West Elementary

A recently completed enrollment study is predicting gradual growth for the Mid-Prairie school district.

The results of the study were presented to the Mid-Prairie school board at its June 10 meeting.

“We see a very slow, gradual increase in population,” Dave Wilkerson of RSP, the Overland Park, Kan., company that conducted the study, said. “The good news is that the elementary numbers are higher than the high school numbers.”

The company predicts an overall growth of 40 students (2.9 percent) over the next five years, with the high school expected to see the most growth with 29 additional students (an 8.5 percent increase).

Wilkerson noted that RSP took into account the annual enrollment dip from eighth to ninth grade because some students transfer to Iowa Mennonite School for high school beginning in the ninth grade.

Wilkerson said that the numbers show overall enrollment stability, with some years increasing, while other years decreasing.

According to the study, the district is experiencing a “modest increase” in population, but that increase is slowing.

From 2000-10, the district’s population grew by .49 percent, while it grew .8 percent from 2010-18. RSP predicts the population will grow by .76 percent between 2018-23.

In predicting the population change, RSP looked at building trends as well as areas of potential future development.

The study shows development activity currently happening on the west side of Kalona, with potential development on the north and east sides of Kalona.

However, development does not necessarily mean new students are moving to the district.

“The number of new students moving into the district has decreased,” Wilkerson said.

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James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at news@kalonanews.com

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