April 4, 2017

Study: Watford City schools to see steady growth

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

For a school district that has seen its enrollment numbers explode from 698 to 1,379 students in the last five years, Steve Holen, district superintendent and the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 school board know all too well how important it is to get a handle on what their future enrollment trend is going to be.
Which is why for the past four years, the school district has hired RSP Associates to help arrive at projected school enrollment numbers that are critical for the board and administration to plan for how many teachers they may need. And more importantly, at what point in time does the district make the decision that it needs to construct a second elementary school or how to shift entire grades to another existing building.
But coming up with those enrollment projections has proven to be very difficult considering that no one really has a good handle on the actual number of people living in Watford City or within the school district’s boundaries. While the city’s current population is estimated to be around 7,000 people, hard demographic information hasn’t existed in the past.

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