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District 196 enrollment increases again and more rapid growth is projected

Enrollment in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools reached a new all-time high this year and is projected to continue growing over the next several years. 

Student Information Supervisor Kim Reis presented the official Oct. 1 enrollment report at the Oct. 14 School Board meeting. The report shows there were 29,223 students enrolled in the district on Oct. 1 this year, an increase of 348 students (1.2 percent) over last year. 

This is the seventh consecutive year of rising enrollment in District 196 and the growth is expected to continue at a more rapid rate in the years ahead. Former state demographer Hazel Reinhardt told the School Board two years ago that total enrollment could top 33,000 students by the 2026-27 school year. She said that will depend on the pace of new housing development in the southern and eastern portions of the district, including the 4,800-acre UMore Park property in Rosemount that the University of Minnesota started to sell to developers last year.  

In addition to new development, District 196 continues to enroll a high percentage of school-age students who live in the district. Last year, District 196 had a “capture rate” of 87 percent of resident students compared to a statewide average of 77 percent. “You have a very high capture rate for a Twin Cities school district,” Reinhardt told the board. “You continue to be a public school district of choice.”

The largest class in the district this year is grade nine, with 2,269 students, and the smallest is grade 12, with 1,947 students. The breakdown by level shows that on Oct. 1, 2019, the district had:

  • 12,390 elementary school students (grades K-5), an increase of 134 students from last year;
  • 6,621 middle school students (grades 6-8), an increase of 34; 
  • 8,629 high school students (grades 9-12), an increase of 96;
  • 1,029 students in center-based special education programs, an increase of 45, and 
  • 554 students in early childhood special education, an increase of 39 students from last year.

Students of color represent 38 percent of total enrollment, up 1 percent and 4 percent higher than the state average last year. Sixty-two percent of students are white, 12 percent black, 10 percent Hispanic, 8 percent Asian, 0.3 percent American Indian, 0.1 percent Pacific Islander and 7 percent reported they are more than one race. 

Students who qualify to receive English Learner (EL) services represent 8 percent of total enrollment, up slightly from last year and the same as the state average.