Student enrollment numbers spike for many local districts
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash.- Many school districts in the area have increased in student enrollment size.
Director of Communications at East Valley School District Brittany Kaple says their district has increased by only 20 students, but says even with a small gain finding qualified staff has been a challenge.
"We're having a harder time finding speech and language pathologist, school psychologist and filling those roles. We have had to extend our recruitment efforts outside of the state of Washington," says Kaple.
Kaple says their student to teacher ratio falls within the standard range for each grade, but they are trying to decrease their classroom size.
Other schools have been challenged with massive amounts of kids entering their district.
Superintendent at West Valley School District Dr. Mike Brophy says the district has increased by over 220 students. He says around 250 students don't show up to class face-to-face, but rather take classes on their virtual academy program that started two years ago.
Still they face overcrowding, and Brophy says in a few years they will have to expand.
"One of the things that will be a challenge as we continue to grow, is space. We cant maintain that outstanding class size if we don't have classrooms to have kids in," said Brophy.
Brophy says the district is in the beginning stages of working on a bond issue to allow them to create extra space for the larger class sizes in the next coming years.
Brophy says with the extra space, the district will also lower the student to teacher ratio for specific grades.