Unprecedented growth hitting Nooksack Valley Schools
Superintendent Mark Johnson put it as plainly as he could when talking about the growth of Nooksack Valley Schools: “Now we are growing like crazy.”
The district hit 1,630 students for the just completed 2016-2017, the most in the district’s history, and is projecting another 100 for next school year at 1,730 students. This growth is far outpacing any past rate of expansion and more than stressing the district’s facility infrastructure.
To help handle the near-term needs, the district has brought in two used portables for both Everson and Sumas elementary schools. But portables will only buy the district a bit of time as a now-launched facility committee examines exactly what will be needed in the future.
“We have experienced rapid growth since the bond passed in 2015,” Johnson says. “Our projections is we will have unhoused students by 2020. So far, we have had to buy portables, but we do not want to be a district that relies on portables for the education of our children. They are temporary measures to get us over the hump.”
The facility committee will continue to examine the needs throughout the district, which could include presenting a bond to the community to help expand capacity, especially at the elementary schools that are experiencing some of the largest student influxes in district history at the youngest grades.
Nooksack Valley Schools aims to keep pace with record growth in the district, but that effort doesn’t come without community commitment.