West Linn-Wilsonville reflects state numbers

Like most districts across the state, the West Linn-Wilsonville School District saw a slight increase in enrollment this school year.

State Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton said last Thursday that there has been a small bump in student enrollment since last year.

According to counts by Oregon school districts, education service districts and state education agencies, there were 563,714 students enrolled in K-12 public schools last fall. This is an increase of 2,768 students, or half of a percent, over 2011-12 enrollment and marks the first increase since the 2007-08 school year when enrollment hit a high of more than 564,000.

In the West Linn-Wilsonville district, the 2012-13 enrollment is at 8,687, up 208 students from last year. Of those, 4,417 are male (51 percent) and 4,270 are female (49 percent).

“Every one of the 563,000 students in our K-12 system deserves the very best,” Saxton said. “As we work to improve and redesign our education system, we have to keep in mind that these numbers represent individual kids with promise and potential, and it is our job to help them realize that potential.”

According to the Oregon Department of Education, the changes in student enrollment in recent years have been relatively minor. Overall enrollment has grown by less than 2 percent in the last decade. However, there has been a significant change in student demographics.There has been an increased demand for special education and English language services over the years. Today more than half of Oregon students qualify for free or reduced price lunch compared to just more than a third 10 years ago. And students of color now represent 35 percent of the state’s K-12 population, up from 21 percent a decade ago.

In the West Linn-Wilsonville district, 6,760 students are Caucasian, 932 are Hispanic/Latino, 512 are multiracial, 344 are Asian, 64 are black, 41 Indian/Alaskan natives.

“Our world is changing and so are our students,” Saxton said. “Our student population is increasingly diverse, multicultural and multilingual. Just as we need to adapt our instruction to meet the changing technology needs of a 21st century economy, we have to adapt to the changes in our student population to ensure instruction is relevant and meaningful to all of our learners. The future of our state depends on our ability to close the achievement gap and ensure success for all of our students.”

The state’s largest districts are Portland with 46,581 students, Salem-Keizer with 40,581 students and Beaverton with 39,488 students. 

Number of students by the grade

Kindergarten – 587

First – 607

Second – 663

Third – 670

Fourth – 661

Fifth – 644

Sixth – 713

Seventh – 681

Eighth – 688

Ninth – 754

Tenth – 662

Eleventh – 706

Twelfth – 651

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