The Eastern Carver County School District (District 112) released the results of its demographic study this week. The results show projections of essentially flat enrollment over the next decade. Current K-12 enrollment is 8,976 students — projections of enrollment in a decade range from 8,925 to 9,123 students. Even at the high-end of the projection, that’s only an increase of 15 students per year.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the District doesn’t face some challenges going forward. While the enrollment projections signal no new school construction is imminent, there may need to be yet another look at resetting boundaries at all levels. Let’s look at some pieces of the data that indicate that may be required.
Three of the district’s elementary schools are currently over capacity: Clover Ridge, Victoria, and East Union. The projections show no relief in sight for those schools, and continuing enrollment declines for Chanhassen Elementary and Chaska Elementary.
Keeping Clover Ridge, Victoria, and East Union at 10-20% over capacity isn’t sustainable long-term, especially given the capacity available in other facilities within the district. The good news is that after several boundary changes in recent years, this change would likely be able to be in place for a long time.
At the high school level, current enrollment of 2,805 students is expected to rise to between 3,000 and 3,100 students over the next decade. That means that the district’s two high schools (each with capacity of 2,000) will be more than sufficient for that time frame.
The issue at the high school level remains the relative imbalance between the two high schools. 56% of high school students in the district now attend Chanhassen High School, and that ratio seems likely to stay about the same for the next five years and probably through the next decade, which would mean Chanhassen would consistently be 200-300 students larger. There will need to be a district-wide discussion on whether any adjustments need to be made to bring the schools into closer balance.