“We have X number of rooms, X number of teachers, but we have a lot of students,” says Michael Campbell, superintendent of schools for the Williston Public School District.
In fact, for the last ten years, school enrollment numbers in Williston have grown and grown and grown.
“Really, we’re not prepared as a school district for this type of growth,” says Campbell.
The growth in student numbers has caused a growth in classroom sizes-
with the kindergarten class seeing the largest increase this year.
“There’s more pressure. And you just worry that you’re not going to meet all their needs. I mean you do what you can do. But you know with a class of 20, they’re getting more from you than a class of 30. That’s just the way teaching works,” says Sadie Storbakken, a kindergarten teacher at Wilkinson Elementary.
The school district is facing a projected $4.5 million deficit for the upcoming school year due to less hub city funding and an anticipated decrease in property values.
“You can’t keep going to the taxpayer all the time. But it’s also what the taxpayer wants in their community,” says Campbell.
Just one year after opening a new high school, the school board is gathering public input for another potential new school building. That’s because just like the past ten years, enrollment numbers in the district are expected to grow.
The next discussion concerning school enrollment will be held at the school board meeting at the district office on September 11th at 5pm.