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Seattle Schools Predicts 2 Percent Growth

Ann Dornfeld

Seattle Public Schools officials say enrollment appears to be up 2 percent this school year. As KUOW's Ann Dornfeld reports, it's the fifth straight year of growth for the state's largest district.


With just a few business days left before the start of school, the lobby of Seattle Public Schools headquarters is teeming with families. Most appear to be immigrants, speaking half a dozen languages. Parents and grandparents hunch over tables covered with enrollment forms while their kids fidget.

The district is on track to enroll about 900 more of those kids this school year. School Board President Michael DeBell says that's music to his ears.

Michael DeBell: "Yeah, I'm excited about the growth in enrollment. It's a great challenge for us, and it also seems to reflect growing confidence in Seattle Public Schools."

DeBell credits the new Student Assignment Plan with a lot of the growth. He says families like the predictability of kids being assigned to their neighborhood schools. DeBell says other factors include population growth and the down economy.

The preliminary enrollment numbers are close to the district's projections, so he says there will be plenty of seats this fall.

Two new elementary schools are opening in Seattle: McDonald in Wallingford and K–5 STEM at Boren in West Seattle.

DeBell says the five–year enrollment projection is for continued growth of at least a thousand students per year.

Combined with Seattle Public Schools' growth in the past five years, that would mean about 20 percent more students over a decade.

I'm Ann Dornfeld, KUOW News.

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