School Business Affairs May 2020

8 MAY 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS LEADING & MANAGING CHANGE Challenges and Changes in a Growing District Growth defines a district and drives the dynamic of day-to-day decisions. By Curtis Cain, Ph.D. A s they do in school dis- tricts everywhere, lead- ers in Wentzville School District (WSD) in Mis- souri spend a tremendous amount of time each school year analyzing and addressing district growth to ensure adequate space to meet the needs of the students. The district enrolled just over 6,000 students at the turn of the century; two decades later, it is tasked with educating more than 17,400 students. The district has averaged 600 new students each year since 2001, adding as few as 394 and as many as 932 in a given year. As a result, the district’s strategic plan for fos- tering individual student growth must be interwoven with an equally strategic plan to expand the square footage of facilities to accommodate all students. The challenge lies in doing so without diverting focus from the district’s purpose, which is reflected in the work conducted in the classrooms by outstanding instructional staff and hard-work- ing students. Frequent Demographic Studies Many fluid factors affect district growth, including unemployment, the housing market, construction costs, and economic development. I firmly believe in the “measure twice and cut once” approach; so to help Educators in Missouri’s Wentzville School District balance efforts to accommodate increasing enrollment with a commitment to foster individual student growth. PHOTO COURTESY OF WENTZVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT