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LMSD Enrollment Growth Accelerates

Two schools began the fall with significantly more students than expected.

LMSD Enrollment Growth Accelerates

Editor's note: This is part one of a two part story on Lower Merion School District's response to increasing enrollment. Check back with Patch on Wednesday for more details on the school district's expansion plans.

Lower Merion School District grew by more than 300 students between last school year and the new school year, according to district statistics.

The district's 10 schools have a combined 7,682 students enrolled this fall, spokesman Doug Young told Patch.

That's a 4.4 percent increase from the 7,360 students of 2011-2012, and higher than the fall enrollment of 7,606 projected in the May 2012 enrollment study the district commissioned.

The increase is also greater, by number and percentage, than the enrollment increases of the two previous years; the district added 218 students (up 3.1 percent) heading into 2011-2012, after adding 190 students (up 2.7 percent) heading into 2010-2011.

Two schools have noticeably more students this year than the spring enrollment study anticipated:

  • Penn Wynne Elementary School grew from 576 to 593, instead of falling to 559 students as projected.
  • Welsh Valley Middle School, already expected to grow from 863 to 888 students, instead grew to 915 students.

The two biggest elementary schools also saw the biggest gains in enrollment among elementaries. Gladwyne grew from 633 to 675 students, while Penn Valley went from 584 to 614 students.

Those two schools are projected to grow the most among elementary schools in the next 10 years—15 percent at Gladwyne and 9 percent at Penn Valley, respectively—according to the enrollment study.

The biggest increase from 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 happened at Harriton High School, where enrollment grew from 1,086 to 1,188 students. It remains almost 100 students smaller than Lower Merion High School, although the district's enrollment study projects it will be the bigger school in 2022, growing 50 percent in 10 years.

Lower Merion School District enrollment growth 

School20122013 (projected)2013Increase2022 (projected)2012-2022 changeBelmont Hills ES451 451 452 1 447 down 1%Cynwyd ES512 520 516 4 532 up 4%Gladwyne ES633 666 675 42 731 up 15%Merion ES530 539 549 19 557 up 5%Penn Valley ES584 617 614 30 636 up 9%Penn Wynne ES576 559 593 17 544 down 6%Bala Cynwyd MS865 896 893 28 972 up 12%Welsh Valley MS863 888 915 52 1,077 up 25%Harriton HS1,086 1,189 1,188 102 1,628 up 50%Lower Merion HS1,260 1,281 1,287 27 1,574 up 25%Entire district7,3607,6067,6823228,698up 18%Source: Lower Merion School District

Click here for more on the school district's enrollment study and implications.

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