Westonka closes sixth-grade open enrollment for rest of school year

The Westonka School Board approved a measure on Jan. 11 closing open enrollment in sixth grade for the remainder of the school year due to the large number of students in that grade.

Open enrollment is the process by which students in another school district choose to attend Westonka. The board’s action means no new sixth-grade students will be able to open enroll into the district until the summer.

Of course, sixth-graders who live in the district or move into the district will still be able to enroll.

Superintendent Kevin Borg said that this closure is only for the
remainder of the school year.

Sixth-grade open enrollment will reopen in the summer and Borg encouraged parents to enroll their children early. Then, the district will evaluate and possibly adjust staffing levels.

Sixth grade is currently the largest grade in Westonka Schools with 209 students. As of the beginning of January, there were 158 students in kindergarten, 154 in first grade, 162 in second grade, 184 in third grade, 185 in fourth grade, 194 in fifth grade, 197 in seventh grade, 186 in eighth grade, 185 in ninth grade, 132 in 10th grade, 151 in 11th grade and 134 in 12th grade.

Borg said that this is the first time the school district has had to limit open enrollment during his time with Westonka. Board Chair David Botts, board member for 16 years, said he doesn’t remember closing open enrollment before.
Looking ahead, Borg said future open enrollment caps may be needed.

“I do see this happening again, as we’re seeing growth in the community,” he said.

He assured parents that family considerations would play a role in any possible future caps.

“We’re going to support families together. We’re not going to be splitting families,” Borg said.

Contact Katie Morford at katie.morford@ecm-inc.com