Alternative programs in two Spokane Valley school districts are down slightly in enrollment right now, but administrators believe that will change, based on previous trends.
In the West Valley School District, there are 3,699 full-time enrolled students. Deputy Superintendent Doug Matson said the district budgeted for 3,823 students, and expects enrollment to rise as the year continues. He said enrollment picks up alternative programs such as Spokane Valley High School and Dishman Hills High School in November, December and January.
At West Valley High School, enrollment is down by 25 students and the elementary schools seem to be maintaining enrollment numbers.
At this time last year, the district had 3,675 full-time equivalent students.
Matson said he doesn’t expect any adjustments to the budget at this time.
In the East Valley School District, director of operations Brian Aiken said the district has 4,283 FTE students. Of those, 509 are enrolled in the Washington Academy of Arts and Technology, the district’s alternative programs. He said the district budgeted for 4,423 students.
“We’re going to get more kids,” Aiken said. He said during November 2012, the alternative program grew by 96 students.
Last year at this time, East Valley schools had 4,328 FTE students.
Central Valley School District is growing. Last year, the district had an enrollment of 12,047.14 FTE students. This year, they have 12,305.35 FTE students and 12,804 students.
The district budgeted for 12,420 FTE students, which was 200 more students than budgeted for during the 2012-13 school year.
“A lot of the increase this year is at the secondary level,” said Melanie Rose, CVSD spokeswoman. To mitigate the influx of students, the district added a second portable at Evergreen Middle School and has transferred 100 students from Greenacres Middle School to Evergreen.
While FTEs in elementary and kindergarten have been fairly steady, she said the number of high school students has increased from 3,800 FTEs to 4,000.
Spokane Valley Tech, a branch of the NEWTECH Skills Center, has contributed to that growth.
This year, SVT has 185 FTEs in eight programs compared to 42 FTE students last year, when there were only four programs offered.
Every year, school districts pay close attention to enrollment numbers because they are allotted funds per student from the state.