The Edmond Sun

October 6, 2012

Student numbers go up again

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Edmond area schools are adding students each year and the two public school districts are either adding schools or planning new schools at all levels in the coming years due to student population growth.

On Oct. 1 the Edmond Public School District had a student population of 22,501, which is an addition of 505 students above the 2011 October student count.

“We have added 1,800 students within the past three years,” said Bret Towne, associate superintendent of district operations. “Our trend is we continue to grow during the school year.”

At this time the district is going through the process of naming its newest elementary school, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013 with name suggestions due to the district Oct. 31.

In 2000 the Edmond schools had 17,079 students enrolled and each year after the enrollment inched up with 19,183 students in 2005 and 21,342 in 2010, Edmond officials said.

With heavy growth in the northwest part of Edmond, the Edmond School District has one elementary school under construction, one elementary and one middle school in the planning stages and are looking ahead to breaking ground for an additional high school in the next five to six years, Towne said.

“Once ground is broken for a high school with a 2,500 or 3,000 student population we are looking at about a two-year project,” Towne said.

In Deer Creek the addition of Spring Creek Elementary next fall follows the opening of the new Intermediate Center for fifth- through eighth-graders this year.

As of Oct. 1, the Deer Creek Public School District counted 1,990 elementary students through the fourth-grade, 746 students in the Intermediate School (fifth- and sixth-grades), 720 in the DC Middle School (seventh- and eighth-grades), and 1,162 in DC High School for a total of 5,618 students.

“In 2008 we had a district-wide enrollment of 3,293 when school began.  This year we began school at 5,601 (students),” said Superintendent Sean McDaniel.

“The growth is found in two primary locations. One is the Memorial corridor from Portland west to Council on both sides of the turnpike. The second primary growth area is the Portland corridor from 164th west to 192nd Street, on both sides of Portland. Lots of established neighborhoods that are continuing to add new homes as well as new additions being cut in.”

McDaniel added Spring Creek Elementary (elementary No. 5) will open in the fall of 2013 currently board members are looking for land to purchase for elementary No. 6 and possibly No. 7.

“With the additions of the new Freshmen Academy (opening in the fall of 2013) and the new high school classroom addition (also opening in 2013) we will have space for years to come,” McDaniel said. “DCIS has 740 students currently in the fifth- and sixth-grades combined, and the building will hold around 1,000 so we are good there as well.”

Prairie Vale Elementary Principal Michelle Anderson said because of the loss of the fifth-graders going to the new DC Intermediate School, numbers at Prairie Vale Elementary are down this year.

“The majority of students who will be attending Spring Creek, the new elementary school opening in the fall of 2013, will be coming from Deer Creek and Grove Valley elementary schools,” Anderson said. “With the opening of the new elementary school we will see redistricting once again.”

Private schools in Edmond are seeing student population growth as well.

Oklahoma Christian School reported 401 students enrolled in grades Pre-K through fifth grades, 201 students enrolled in middle school (grades 6-8) and 279 in high school (grades 9-12) for a total of 881 students.

Oklahoma Christian Academy has 110 students enrolled in Pre-K through fifth grades, 53 students enrolled in grades 6-8 and 87 in grades 9-12 for a total of 250 students.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton officials reported a total of 400 students in grades Pre-K through eighth-grade.

St. Mary’s Episcopal School has 158 students enrolled in pre-school through seventh-grade with plans to add an eighth-grade class in 2013, said Gayle Jones, director of development and marketing.