Demographics Report Shows Steady Growth for FPS
Demographics Report Shows Steady Growth for FPS
Posted on 11/01/2017
Demographics Report

The Fayetteville Board of Education met in a work session today to hear a demographics report from Templeton Demographics, the firm selected by the school board to research and create a student-projected enrollment forecast for the next five and ten years.

The Board of Education will use the report to determine the next steps including the best utilization of district buildings, boundary line adjustments, student transfers, property acquisition, and future facility planning. The report is available on the district website at http://www.fayar.net/webdocs/dw/2017_Demographics_Report.pdf

Bob Templeton, president of Templeton Demographics, said the key finding from the report is that Fayetteville Public Schools will experience steady enrollment growth over the next five to ten years due to the area’s strong housing market and employment opportunities. Some of the other findings from the report include:

  • Fayetteville Public Schools is the 4th fastest growing school district in Arkansas in the past five years.
  • Fayetteville Public Schools is projected to add 911 students in the next five years, for a fall 2022 enrollment of 10,950. Current enrollment is 9,887.
  • Fayetteville Public Schools is projected to enroll 11,906 students for the 2027/28 school year.
  • The junior high schools and Fayetteville High School have enough capacity to sustain the next ten years of enrollment growth.
  • By 2020, three elementary schools are expected to be over their stated academic capacity.

“Our school board is very pleased to receive this valuable information,” said Justin Eichmann, president of the Fayetteville Board of Education. “There is much to study in this report and incorporate into our planning efforts. We extend our thanks to Templeton Demographics for giving us a much clearer view of the coming years.”

The report also indicates, based on the maximum capacity of district schools, that no school is over capacity until the 2019-20 school year. Beginning that year, Holcomb and Vandergriff Elementary Schools exceed capacity with Washington Elementary exceeding capacity in 2020-21.  Beginning in 2021-22, four elementary schools will exceed capacity; and in 2022-23, five of the district’s elementary schools will have a student enrollment that exceeds current building capacity.

“The report identifies and confirms that several of our elementary schools are closing in on the maximum capacity. It will be important to develop long-range plans, but for a few of our schools, the district needs to take more immediate action,” stated Dr. Matthew Wendt, Superintendent of Schools. “There are options available to us to relieve some pressure from those schools at or near the desired enrollment. We will develop options later this school year to implement in the 2018-19 school year.”

No secondary school exceeds capacity until the 2022-23 school year, when McNair Middle School and Owl Creek Middle School will be over their stated capacity.

Fayetteville High School, which has an estimated academic capacity of 3,200 and a current enrollment of 2,549, has the capacity to sustain projected growth for the next ten years.

“The information within the report enables Fayetteville Public Schools to make solid plans for the future based on facts, rather than myth or speculation,” said Dr. Wendt. “Manageable growth is expected, and together we will create facility plans to further enhance our great school system.”

FPS will schedule Dr. Wendt to present the report to district faculty/staff members throughout the next several months. Beginning in mid-January, community meetings will be scheduled for parents and patrons to learn more about projected enrollment and short-term and long-term plans, as well as provide the opportunity to ask and receive responses to their questions.