Student enrollment in Bend-La Pine Schools increased by 341 students this year to 18,375. Enrollment has increased dramatically in the past five years — up 1,775 students since 2012. For the past three decades, Bend-La Pine Schools’ student population has grown by an average of 350 students each year.
“Our community and our schools continue to grow and that growth brings with it opportunities and some logistical challenges,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson. “Thanks to the support of local voters, who overwhelmingly approved the construction bond last spring, we are in the planning stages to build a new elementary and new large high school in Bend to accommodate the influx of students.”
The district, the fifth largest school district in the state, keeps a close eye on enrollment projections through its Sites and Facilities volunteer committee and through work with Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Population Research. PSU estimates Bend-La Pine Schools’ student population will continue to grow during the next decade and is expected to reach 19,600 students by 2021.