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School enrollment predicted to grow

Despite a sluggish economy and a faltering housing market, families will likely keep moving to Hudson, filling our schools.

That was the message demographer Hazel Reinhardt gave the Hudson Board of Education at their meeting last Thursday night.

Reinhardt, who has had numerous years of experience analyzing school enrollment in Hudson, said that despite what is happening at other districts across the state, Hudson's enrollment will continue to rise over the next ten years.

Using both births in the district and single family housing units, Reinhardt projects that by the 2015-16 school year, elementary enrollment will gain between 194-271 students,114-157 middle school students and between 277 and 321 high school students, putting total projected enrollment around 6,100 students.

Reinhardt pointed out that Hudson has a history of attracting families with school-age children and that about 88 percent of school-age children in the district attend the public schools.

Reinhardt said that the district has grown by more than 27 percent over the last 10 years, primarily as the result of new students coming into the district and she expects that trend to continue. And the district has grown by about 2 percent annually since the recession began.

She also noted that kindergarten classes in Hudson have continued to grow over the past 10 years with the largest enrollment ever this year at 459.

Reinhardt expressed confidence in the projections saying, "Something pretty extraordinary would have to take place for these numbers not to happen. These kids are already here and in your schools. Hudson is a popular place for families with children."

She described the district as having "built-in growth momentum" with elementary classes larger than at the middle school and high school.

"The underlying message behind the numbers is continued growth," Reinhardt said, "growth that will be an issue at the high school and especially at the enormous middle school, which I understand is already the largest middle school in the state."

Tim Erickson, director of financial services for the school district, spoke on behalf of Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten. "Whether we're looking at the high or the low ends of the projection, it's more than the high school or middle school can hold capacity-wise."

In other business the board appointed Erickson as the deputy clerk for the spring election. The election will be for the seats held by incumbents Dan Tjornehoj and Lynn Robson. Candidates must file election papers at the district's Administrative Services Center, 644 Brakke Drive by 5 p.m. Jan. 4, 2011.

The board also approved four new high school classes beginning in 2011-12 including digital electronics, advanced placement statistics, Mandarin Chinese III and advanced placement language and composition.

To view Reinhardt's report go to the district website at

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604