School District 65 is projecting that its K-8 enrollment will increase by a total of 373 students in the next five years (measured as the difference in enrollment at the start of the 2013-14 school year and the 2018-19 school year). Almost the entire increase is projected to occur at sixth- through eighth-grades.

The projections show a net increase of 18 students at the K-5 grade levels in the next five years, and a net increase of 358 students at the 6-8 grade levels.

The schools with the largest projected increases in enrollment between 2013-14 and 2018-19 are: Nichols (+244), Haven (+103), Oakton (+47), Lincoln (+35), Willard (+26), and Dewey (+20).

In the last several years, the District completed work at Dewey, Willard, Lincoln, Haven and Nichols in anticipation of increased enrollments at those schools. Board member Richard Rykhus said, though, it appeared that Lincoln may potentially need two more classrooms due to increasing enrollment at that school.

He pointed out that the projected enrollment at Lincolnwood is moving in the opposite direction, with enrollment projected to decrease from 401 to 309 students, a 23 percent decrease, over the next five years. He questioned whether Lincolnwood’s enrollment would drop by 23 percent. On a net basis, the K-5 schools that feed into Haven Middle School (Lincolnwood, Kingsley, Orrington and Willard) are projected to lose on a net basis 115 students over the next five years.

Barb Hiller, chief administrative officer, said administrators needed to evaluate the projections and the capacity at the schools and that they would bring their analysis back to Board in January.

Board member Candance Chow asked for data showing the number of students entering and leaving the District each year. For strategic planning purposes, she said, it would be helpful to understand why families are leaving the District and to know what type of supports students entering the District may need.

The chart below shows the actual K-8 enrollment at District 65 for the school years 1999-2000 through 2013-2014, and the projected student enrollment for the next five years.

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...