This past Thursday was the first day of school for many and the enrollment number continues to go up for area schools.

The enrollment numbers for Bismarck Public Schools showed an increase of 348 students on Thursday. That was the number tallied from last school year's last day until this year's first day for the district. Last year, that number was an increase of 361 students, which makes that over 700 new students in the past two years. It is the 13th consecutive year that enrollment has increased.

Middle schools are doing their best to accommodate, as storage areas, cafeterias, and auditoriums for additional teaching spaces. Lunch schedules have been adjusted as they've squeezed in more tables as well, and students have been asked to take different routes for classes to help with the issue.

A community task force has recommended making additions to the schools, rather than building new ones. This fall, the school board will decide whether to hold an election to address school space needs.

As for the three high schools in the district; Century, Bismarck, and Legacy, the task force has recommended making improvements and adding on to the two older high schools, Century and Bismarck.

Over half of the elementary schools in the district also saw enrollment increases which needed to be accommodated for as well. As for solving those issues, a demographer may be brought in to determine whether new boundaries are needed to counter the excess enrollment.

Source: Bismarck Tribune