Research studies show that a larger student enrollment may cause depersonalization of a school’s environment, thereby deterring the development of positive student attitude, behavior and academic achievement. Therefore, in order to foster greater personalization established through programmatic and/or smaller communities of learners, while still providing needed flexibility when planning schools for new communities, the following design enrollment guidelines for new schools are:

Elementary (K-5) 400-750 students 8 to 15 usable acres
Middle (6-8) 500-1,000 students 15 to 20 usable acres
High (9-12) 800-1,600 students 45 to 55 usable acres

(Usable is generally defined as land free of encumbrances determined to be unnecessary by the department of education, slope of five percent or less, with no ravines or stream beds. The department of education will make the final determination as to whether land is usable based on an evaluation of the specific property taken in the context of the development as a whole.)

The department of education shall design school facilities that create smaller communities of learners. For existing schools with high enrollments, the department and school staff shall analyze their school performance indicators to determine if the school size is negatively impacting student achievement. If student achievement is found to be negatively impacted, school staff and community members shall identify and implement educational programs that create smaller communities of learners.

Approved: 3/20/97; Revised: 4/18/02, 12/07, 6/08