In less than a week students will be heading back to school, and in the Bismarck/Mandan area, enrollment is skyrocketing.
We find out just how many students will be walking through the doors this school year, and how the districts plan to handle the increase.
<<One week ago we took you to the Bismarck school board meeting, where the board voted to approve four new full time teachers.
But now the board meet once again, approving three additional teachers.
"Very few days before school starts here we have 404 more students than we had last year," Bismarck Superintendent Tamara Uselman said.
And with that many more students walking through the halls, board members approved adding one full time kindergarten teacher at Centennial, one first grade teacher to co-teach at Highland Acres and one English Language Learner Teacher.
"We already have 404 new students from last year, anticipating a few more than that next week, we'll have more this year to fill an entire independent elementary school, in this one year alone," Board Member Lawrence King said.
After last week's approval from the board, some new teachers have been hired within the last week in Bismarck, with just days before the start of school.
"They're here racing against the clock to get their classrooms prepared, to get their lessons prepared, to get their paperwork in as new employees," Uselman said.
But Bismarck isn't the only school district seeing an increase in enrollment, just across the river Mandan is seeing more students, 126 more than one year ago.
"It is a very big number for us, it's in the elementary we're seeing about a six percent increase, which we were full last year, we're really full this year," Mandan Superintendent Mike Bitz said.
Bismarck public schools voted to not cap enrollment at last week's board meeting, but for Mandan that's something they've been doing for three years now to control the number of students in their schools.
"We bus kids, we balance our enrollment when someone comes into register, we assign them to the school with the lowest enrollment in that grade level, sometimes that's tough with siblings when there's two or three kids in a family," Bitz said.
But the staff is just one of the concerns for both districts, the other is finding room, that's why both Bismarck and Mandan are hoping the bond issues to build new schools will pass come September.>>
Voters can cast their ballot on September 18th to vote for Bismarck's bond issue, and September 25th for Mandan's.