Enrollment at Shawnee Mission School District schools remained flat this year although more students may be on the way

Shawnee Mission North posted largest enrollment decline among high schools this year, down 5.9 percent.
Shawnee Mission North posted largest enrollment decline among high schools this year, down 5.9 percent.

Final Shawnee Mission School District enrollment figures for the 2016-17 school year reveal little change from last year, but school officials are expecting significant increases in a few years because of a boom in residential construction.

Total enrollment was down 1/2 percent from 27,651 students last year to 27,521 for the current school year, according to final numbers released by the district. SMSD officials had projected 27,702 students this year.

Elementary enrollment was up slightly, .08 percent to 15,235 students; middle school enrollment was down .3 percent to 3,965, and high school enrollment was down 1.5 percent to 8,321 students.

Individual elementary schools, for the most part, showed little enrollment change. The biggest swings were Diemer, up 12.6 percent to 419 students; Shawanoe, up 10.5 percent to 441 students; BlueJacket-Flint, down 15.8 percent to 415, and Nieman, down 9.5 percent to 507.

Middle school enrollments remained flat. Westridge is the largest with 857 students followed by Indian Hills with 832.

As for high schools, SM North had the biggest decline in enrollment, down 5.9 percent to 1,469 students. SM South grew the most, up 2.8 percent to 1,502. The largest high school remained SM West with 1,761 students followed by SM East with 1,741 students.

Jim Hinson, SM school superintendent said that while current enrollment trends are flat, that should change significantly in a few years because of thousands of new residential units, mostly apartments, either under construction or planned.

He cited apartment developments underway in Westwood at Woodside Village; in Overland Park at 80th and Metcalf; Lenexa at 83rd and Quivera; Meadowbrook, which includes single family homes, and the massive Brookridge development recently approved in Overland Park.

“We haven’t developed a number yet, nothing scientific, except Realtors say they expect an increase in students,” Hinson said.