“Where will we put everyone?”

This was the shared question from educators, school board members, and the community alike after
Rebecca Wandell, a school enrollment specialist with over 20 years of experience, presented the findings
of the 2022-23 Scarborough Public Schools School Enrollment Study during the March 2 School Board

The extensive study brought together current and projected birth rates, school enrollment, and housing
data to produce four projected models of what enrollment in Scarborough schools will look like over the
next decade. You can review the full study and the recording of the meeting at ScarboroughSchools.org
The big takeaway: Families are choosing Scarborough, but Scarborough schools are not currently
capable of choosing them back.

According to the enrollment study, K-8 enrollment is projected to increase 15-22% over the next 10 years.
That number could potentially bulge to as much as 30% depending on decisions still being made when it
comes to housing growth and development.

Our K-8 schools already exceed their ideal capacity, resulting in program inadequacies and scheduling
inefficiencies that hinder our students’ learning. Lack of adequate space has necessitated a 25%
reduction in specialist time for important programs such as art, music, and gym. Scheduling conflicts
resulting from forced shared spaces lead to late and early lunch periods, which impact a student’s ability
to learn, and inadequate special education spaces.

The enrollment study data gives us the hard numbers to confirm our current situation is only going to
continue to amplify as our enrollment numbers swell. Doing nothing isn’t an option if we want to prioritize the education, development, well-being, and safety of Scarborough kids.


The new enrollment projections provide additional and crucial data to guide our decision making as we
take these important next steps to build the future for our schools and the kids whose lives will be shaped by them.

That data confirms a piecemeal school-by-school renovation project is not only a choice which
deprioritizes our students’ educational needs, it isn’t even a viable solution.

Instead we need a holistic, strategic solution for our K-8 schools to solve facility inadequacies and
inefficiencies by reorganizing grade levels, aligning our student populations, and building a new unified
primary school. One that supports the future success of all Scarborough students through educational
equity, operational efficiency, safety & security, and 21st century learning and teaching methods.
A unified K-3 school approaches Scarborough’s future from a system wide approach. It’s a proactive plan that prioritizes Scarborough’s growing student population today, tomorrow, and for years to come.

Visit scarboroughschools.org/new-sps-building-project to learn more about the unified K-3 school and get involved in planning for our kids’ future.

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