Hermiston School District one of the fastest growing in the State
On Thursday, February 7, 2013, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released the 2012-13 school year enrollment numbers for Oregon school districts. District-by-district data revealed Hermiston School District grew by 2.3 percent, making it the 5th fastest growing district, of the State’s 33 largest. Hermiston now boasts a student population in excess of 5,200 students, making it the 29th largest district in the State, surpassing Newberg and Sherwood.
According to ODE’s enrollment database, Hermiston School District has grown by 1,123 students since 1999, which was the first year ODE provided district enrollment reports. This represents about a one hundred student per year average growth.
“We are pleased to see that we continue to attract families to our community and our schools,” said Deputy Superintendent Wade Smith. “Though reaffirming, this data is not surprising. Our growth trend continues to hold steady to forecasts provided by a Portland State University study, commissioned by the Board of Education prior to our last bond measure.”
To accommodate the steady growth, the Hermiston community authorized a $69.9 million bond campaign, which provided additional classroom space for elementary and middle school students across the district. As projected in the bond programming, the additional classrooms will provide the necessary space to accommodate growth through 2015. However, with the continued increase of students and the anticipation of full-day kindergarten offered in the 2015-16 school year, the district will likely be forced to procure additional classroom space through the use of temporary modular facilities.
Despite continued enrollment growth, the district has been fortunate to maintain low class sizes compared to its state counterparts. “Even with the impacts stemming from the economic recession, the Board has positioned the district well in order to maintain lower-than-average class sizes compared to similar sized districts,” noted Smith.
According to the class size reports presented to the Board of Education every month, kindergarten classes average around 22 students per teacher, upper elementary grades average 26 students, and the district staffs its middle and high schools using a 28:1 student to teacher ratio.