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Enrollment Up in Washoe County Schools


Students crowd the hallways at Spanish Springs High School. Image: SOS Washoe

Washoe County School District student enrollment increased minimally this school year but was slightly more than projected and reached an all-time high.

This year’s student population is 64,089, up from 63,919 a year earlier. The district’s demographer projected enrollment this year would be 63,912, which equated to a 99.7 percent accuracy rate.

Every teacher was placed and 24 out of about 4,000 were overaged to other schools.

Spanish Springs High School is the largest, topping out at 2,364, followed by Reed at 2,046 and North Valleys and 2,032. Overall high school enrollment dipped to 18,656 this year from 18,909 a year ago.

The largest middle schools this year are Depoali at 1,251, followed by Mendive at 1,044 and Pine at 1,010. Middle school enrollment increased from 11,184 a year ago to 11,566 this fall. A key reason for the jump is that the district is in the process of moving sixth graders out of elementary schools and into middle schools. Enrollment in elementary schools also dipped by 634 students districtwide, likely for the same reason.

The most populated elementary schools are concentrated in South Reno and northeast Sparks. Double Diamond is the largest at 917, followed by Spanish Springs at 864. Both schools are on the multi-track year-round calendar.

Other elementary schools eclipsing the 800-student mark are Brown (861), Van Gorder (835), Sepulveda (829), and Beasley (817).

An additional 2,899 students are enrolled in charter schools.

District officials suggested stagnant enrollment could be due to two new state-sponsored charter high schools opening. The increase in housing prices are also a factor and a possible indicator that parents with children either can’t afford to move to the area or can’t afford to stay here.

According to the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors, the median home price in the Reno area was $335,000 in September, up 8 percent from a year earlier.

The Nevada Department of Education pulls numbers from the district on Oct. 1 each year and uses them to determine overall enrollment, as well as enrollment in special programs. The district then validates the numbers. The state pays the district’s apportionment based on the district’s average daily enrollment.

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.




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