This page will be dedicated to addressing questions and rumors as the facilities planning process continues throughout the school year. Please check back often for updates.
If you have any questions, please submit an email to email@example.com.
- Is open enrollment the main reason for the district's growth?
- What must be considered when opening or closing open enrollment?
- What is the district's relationship with Nexus Solutions?
No. New housing developments in Prior Lake and Savage, combined with families moving into existing homes within our boundaries, can be attributed to our largest increases in student enrollment growth. According to a demographic report conducted in December 2016, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools can expect at least 850 resident students over the next five years.
Open enrollment trends have changed drastically over the past 10 years. From 2007-08 through the 2014-15 school year, PLSAS had a net loss in open enrollment. This means more resident students chose to attend other school districts than students from other districts choosing PLSAS through the open enrollment option (historical open enrollment). Since 2014-15 we have seen two important trends:
1. More resident students are choosing to stay and attend PLSAS. For example, this school year, 717 resident students chose to enroll elsewhere, which is different from the previous three-year trend of approximately 850 resident students choosing to enroll in other districts.
2. We have experienced a slight net gain in open enrollment. Currently this year we have 1,023 students open enrolling into the district and 717 resident students leaving our district for a net gain of 306 open enrolled students or 3.6% of K-12 open enrolled students.
Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools (PLSAS) has a legal obligation to offer open enrollment where space is available and it continues to be something we monitor very closely.
To help ease overcrowding in our schools, PLSAS has limited open enrollment to 1% for grades K-12 for the remainder of 2016-17 through the 2017-18 school year.
When deciding to close open enrollment, administration must weigh several factors, as outlined below:
|With Open Enrollment (OE), We Have:||Without Open Enrollment (OE)|
|The ability to balance class sizes among the neighborhood schools.||Because the district has neighborhood schools, class sizes will vary from school to school. If open enrollment is closed over a prolonged time period, elementary attendance boundary changes may be needed to balance K-5 enrollment.|
|Staff schools and programs efficiently||We are not able to control where students move into our district, but we can control enrollment growth and balance class sizes through the open enrollment option. For example, if one particular school has a grade level that is lower in enrollment, we can place open enrolled students at that site to create class size balance across the grade level and staff accordingly.|
|Financial balance. Current funding from the State of MN is not enough to maintain or add programming. Additional revenue from open enrollment helps the district maintain a fund balance. The district receives the same funding dollars for resident and open enrolled students. The additional revenue received due to increased student population (resident and/or open enrolled) helps to maintain and add programming.||PLSAS currently loses 717 K-12 students to open enrollment and has 1,023 students who open enroll into the district. Open enrollment provides a financial balance to offset the resident students who leave the district each year. A stagnant student population and stagnant operating funding from the state will not support our current level of programming.|
Over the past several months, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools (PLSAS) has received questions from some in our community regarding the work we have done with our business partner, Nexus Solutions, as we address the district’s facilities needs during these times of rapid enrollment growth. We have answered all questions openly and honestly. We are committed to being fiscally responsible and transparent in all that we do. That’s why we have developed the following key points and detailed fact sheet for the community.
Key points to note:
● Nexus has helped the district with complex facilities challenges due to enrollment growth, during a time of recession, while minimizing the cost to taxpayers.
● By working with Nexus, the district was able to complete projects with no increase in the school district levy.
● PLSAS underwent a thorough process prior to selecting Nexus that included a
competitive selection process, a contract review that was conducted by our attorney and a community forum.