MISD expects extra students

The Mercer Island School District approved its $42.5 million budget for the 2010-2011 school year last Thursday. In an unanimous vote, following a public hearing that no one attended, the board said yes to the district’s financial plan.

The board also heard that enrollment is higher than expected, and they will be updated on exactly how many extra students the district has during the late September meeting. There are already enough students to warrant an additional portable building at West Mercer to house a classroom.

Dean Mack, the executive director of business services and human resources, said the district is also getting more students who live in the apartment complexes downtown. In the last two years, he said approximately 30 students lived there. This year, the number has jumped to almost a 100.

“I’m sure the economy has impacted that,” said Pat Braman. The district has also seen a historically low number of students leaving the district.

The district preschool, which was located at West Mercer Elementary, will now be housed in the PEAK building. Originally, the move gave the district extra space, but now, based on predictions of more students, the district added a portable at West Mercer.

“There is a demographic shift happening in Puget Sound, and we’re part of that,” said Mack. “There are also homes on the Island that are turning over. Seniors are selling them and young families are moving in.”

The district will have a better idea of just how many students there are in the next several weeks.

The board moved its first meeting of September. The board will now meet on Sept. 10 from 4 to 6:30 p.m., prior to the first home football game of the season.

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