Shawnee Mission School District enrollment holds steady for 2018-19 school year

Students at the newly built Briarwood Elementary this past spring. Briarwood has the second highest enrollment of all elementaries in the district.

Total enrollment in the Shawnee Mission School District for 2018-19 stayed in line with last school year, according to internal enrollment figures produced by the district each fall.

The complete enrollment figure for all 46 district buildings increased by nine from 27,586 students in 2017-18 to 27,595 this year. Enrollment numbers have been largely steady the past several years, with total enrollment of 27,651 in 2015-16 and 27,521 for 2016-17.

But several schools did see large changes in enrollment at the building level, based largely on boundary shifts that went into effect along with the opening of the new Lenexa Hills Elementary in August. Among the most notable changes were:

  • Sunflower Elementary dropped 158 students from 528 last year to 370 this year. Sunflower’s boundaries were shifted significantly on account of the opening of Lenexa Hills. Sunflower’s feeder area is actually larger now than it was last year, but it now includes a good deal of sparsely populated land north of I-435.
  • Mill Creek Elementary picked up 89 students, jumping from 408 last year to 497 this year. Mill Creek’s shifted boundary included adding parts of what had been in the Rhein Benninghoven and Showanoe Elementary boundaries.
  • Broken Arrow Elementary dropped 71 students from 410 last year to 339 this year. It ceded some of its feeder area to the new Lenexa Hills boundary.
  • Rising Star Elementary dropped 71 students from 536 last year to 465 this year. It ceded some of its feeder area to the new boundary for Sunflower Elementary.

Briarwood had the highest enrollment at 586. Santa Fe Trail had the lowest elementary enrollment at 259, followed by Tomahawk at 293.

Secondary school enrollment figures were fairly steady as well. Current enrollment figures for the district’s 10 standard curriculum secondary buildings are as follows:

  • Hocker Grove Middle: 817
  • Indian Hills Middle: 827
  • Indian Woods Middle: 736
  • Trailridge Middle: 784
  • Westridge Middle: 865
  • SM East: 1,779
  • SM North: 1,491
  • SM Northwest: 1,626
  • SM South: 1,530
  • SM West: 1,632

What’s difficult to tell from the district’s annual report is how much additional capacity each building has based on its current enrollment. Shawnee Mission Chief Communication Officer David Smith said the district last completed a detailed audit of building capacity around the time of the 2015 vote on the capital improvements bond issue. Enough has changed since, he said, that the central office does not have a good sense at this point of how many students each building could effectively handle.