BISMARCK, N.D. — Schools throughout Bismarck have seen an increase in students enrolled this year.

The city’s 16 elementary schools gained hundreds of new students, partly because the school district closed an elementary at the end of last academic year, the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/2cd9kvs ) reported. The middle schools and high schools saw the most growth.

All of the middle schools are either at capacity or nearly there. Horizon Middle School gained 43 students to reach a total enrollment of 996 students, nearly 100 over capacity. Meanwhile, Wachter Middle School has 868 students, putting the school nearly at capacity.

Simle Middle School gained the most new students at the middle school level at 78, bringing its total enrollment to 1,031, nearly 200 students over capacity.

Principal Russ Riehl says the school hired two full-time equivalent teachers because of the growth. He says more teachers are moving across classrooms this year to ensure that all classrooms are being used.

Riehl says Simle has seen has seen an influx of English-language learners in past years, including this year. There are about five or six languages spoken at the school.

A 75-person community task force has recommended adding to all three middle schools rather than building a new one.

“We don’t necessarily need bigger houses, we need more houses,” Riehl said.

Bismarck High School has 1,229 enrolled students, Century High School has 1,233 enrolled students and Legacy High School has 1,125 enrolled students. The district has a total of 12,642 students.

The Bismarck School Board will determine later this year whether to hold an election to address school space needs.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com