Double that of recent history

Big Sky School District sees an impressive enrollment increase

Big Sky School District (BSSD) is now accepting construction bids for its expansion after approval of the $23.5 million school bond. BSSD superintendent Dustin Shipman said the district would like the project completed as soon as possible.

School officials said in February the new construction should nicely position the district for the next decade of projected growth.

“Our obligation [to educate students] is too important to be reactive,” Shipman said at the time.

Citing historical data at the time, the BSSD student body was projected to increase by 5% annually.

“If we go back five-plus years we are averaging five percent, if we go back two-three years it is two and a half to three percent. So, yes, we expect those numbers, especially with more and more development,” BSSD business manager Corky Miller said.

All of these projections were pre-COVID-19, though. This summer saw an impressive level of traffic from people seeking student packets, registering and sending records. Some of those students showed-up for the school year, while others did not. As the dust has settled, Shipman said the K-12 number hovers around 417 students.

“So, a 10% [increase] – that’s more than what we have experienced in the most recent history,” he said.

Still, the school district did not have any major staffing issues.

“We were ready – had we grown more we would have been ready. We are getting to a point now that it is still a little bit malleable, but we are going to settle into a good size for the year,” he said.

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