Glenbrooks commission comprehensive enrollment study
Growing population at GBS prompts deeper examination and discussion
District 225 conducts annual enrollment projections each fall, to help plan educational offerings for the high school students of Glenview and Northbrook for future academic years. District leaders utilize this data to make decisions regarding staffing, facilities, and finances.
District projections for one-to-three-year periods of time have been remarkably reliable. This fall’s data showed a continuing decrease in student enrollment at GBN through 2018-19, while GBS’s population will continue to increase. At its height, the enrollment difference between the two schools is projected to be approximately 1,200 students. Currently the difference in enrollment between GBN and GBS is approximately 700 students.
“We have known about the projected growing enrollment at GBS and have been planning for it since the early 2000’s,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Riggle. “However, current district projections indicate that the enrollment growth at GBS might not be a short-term bubble as once suspected. It is expected to grow for the next five years, and then plateau for five to eight years. At the same time, the projected enrollment for GBN is trending lower than our previous projections.”
In conjunction with enrollment projections, the district periodically studies the capacity of its buildings and the learning environments provided for students. Based on current staffing formulas, the number and types of classrooms, and the daily schedule operated by each school, GBS has an estimated capacity of 3,100 students and GBN a capacity of 2,400.
Given current enrollment projections, building capacity estimates, the possibility of a sustained population at GBS, and concerns regarding maintaining equity of opportunity for students, the district has commissioned external demographers. This spring, the demographers will conduct independent enrollment projections that will incorporate current development projects in Glenview and Northbrook.
“There are many variables to consider when you look at enrollment projections and building capacities,” said Director of Operations Dr. Kim Ptak. The housing market, real estate developments, and fluctuations in the economy all have an impact.
The district expects to review the results of the external enrollment projections this March. At that time, the Board of Education will begin discussing if additional actions need to be considered. The earliest possible implementation of any potential changes would be for the 2015-16 school year.
“This is a complex challenge to our school community that will be given thorough and deliberate consideration,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Riggle. “Together, as a community, we will need to identify the best solution for our students, if a change is needed. We have positioned ourselves very well financially for this challenge and we are confident that these enrollment issues can be properly addressed without asking the community for additional support.”