STAMFORD, Conn. — Increased development throughout Stamford has the city’s public schools enrollment skyrocketing, and the district has enlisted the help of a consulting firm to find out the best way to deal with it.
“We just can’t keep adding and adding, we don’t have the space,” Interim Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. Louise Spolowitz said during Wednesday’s Board of Representatives Education Committee meeting. She added that more than 300 students are expected to come into the district next year.
The district recently submitted information requested by the firm Milone and MacBroom and will be receiving regular updates before it completes its 10-year projected study, Hugh Murphy, the school district’s executive director of Finance. The first update to the Board of Education should come on March 19, he said.
The final study will look into short- and long-term crowding solutions, new school construction, adding fifth grade to middle school, consolidating bilingual programs, transportation and magnet schools, Murphy said.
“We’re hoping to not leave any stone unturned,” he said adding that the firm will take previous studies into account.
In the past, the district has received projected numbers from the state, but, because of budget constraints, those research positions have been lost, Murphy said. He added that Milone and MacBroom will be able to get more accurate numbers being able to focus only on Stamford.
The increase in the school’s population has had the biggest effect on the kindergartens throughout the district, where some schools set up to hold five classrooms have had to increase to six, sometimes happening as late as September, Spolowitz said.
The district has also had to hire people out of contingency, add para-educators to classrooms, and move specialists around to keep student ratios low and deal with the enrollment problem.