Meanwhile, crappy charts!
BORING STUFF (skip until you see "end of boring stuff" if you're not in the mood to talk about data sources)
Why approximately? It depends what you use to count. I pulled the 2010-11 number from the OSPI website (the SPS website now only has 2011-12 onwards, so a little toggling is necessary), and the 2014-15 number from SPS October pre-adjusted enrollment. The lack of available, consistent data from SPS is strange and frustrating. Where did all the enrollment data from previous years vaporize to? Why are pre-adjusted AND adjusted no longer posted, like they used to be? Why and how high school students are counted differently as of 2014-15? Why do we not have enrollment projections for 2015-16, or even open enrollment numbers? This is enrollment data for a public school district, not top secret protocols and plans on the course of action the CIA will take if a rabid chihuahua attacks an important elected official. However, talking about it is boring, and reading about it is probably even boring-er-er-er.
END OF BORING STUFF
So, what do we know?
4,253 is a LOT of kids.
So, is it spread out relatively evenly through the grade levels?
Let's take a look at crappy! chart! number! one!
So... this surprises nobody, right?
The district has been pretty open that birth rates went up AND what they call the birth to K ratio (kids born in Seattle compared to the number of kindergartners 5 years later) has gone up.
So not only has SPS's share of the pie gotten bigger, but the pie got bigger.
But that's distributed if not with perfect even-ness, then at least in a way that is more or less manageable, right? Because district officials keeps emphasizing that growth is happening in a way they expected and can cope with, right?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahaha.
Next crappy chart.
North end K-5 enrollment growth composes 44% of all enrollment growth in SPS in the last 5 years. Anyone wanna make any guesses about how that's gonna play out as the record-setting grade bands move up? Just FYI for those of you who just started playing, north end elementary growth has been happening for the last 15+ years.
It might, just now, be reeeeeeaaaallly satisfying to berate district officials for not gearing up to deal with this sooner, but sadly, it would not be useful.
The big question, of course, is how is this going to play out for capacity? What will be useful?
The district is adding capacity in the north end - the Lincoln building will open as a high school, the Wilson Pacific campus is being made into a huge elementary and middle school complex, the Jane Addams building was turned into a middle school, the Pinehurst building is being rebuilt to have more capacity, Loyal Heights is going to be expanded, the Olympic Hills building is going to be expanded, Thornton Creek is going to get bigger, and Queen Anne Elementary is going to be expanded.
And Sand Point, Viewlands, Queen Anne Elementary and McDonald, have all opened since 2010-11.
Will it be enough?
My magic 8 ball says: DOUBTFUL
And that's kind of all I've got for the return of crappy chart Thursday. Maybe next week I'll post on the capacity crisis, since I am procrastinating really digging into work on a project.
Regarding the extended absence: bad things happened. The bad things have a name: Darth. Darth isn't hanging around at this moment, but continues to make unpleasant appearances, and Darth being Darth, those appearances are never announced in advance. Just as nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects to make breakfast and find Darth hanging out in the kitchen. Sorry to be coy. Darth is not just my burden, and because of that, sharing all details Darthy on a blog, even one that nobody reads, is pretty uncool.