With its convenient location, highly-rated schools, and small-town feel, it is no surprise that Gardner is growing. And that is a good thing for all of us here at Symphony Farms.
The Gardner Edgerton School District 231 has added 338 students in the past five years and is expecting to pick up pace quickly. According to Dr. Jody Marshall, the Director of Human Resources for the District, classified and certified staff numbers have already increased to meet the demands of the steady enrollment incline.
“It doesn’t matter if we grow 5 or 500 kids,” Marshall said at a Feb. 10 school board meeting. “We are going to serve them and we are going to serve them well. I think we have demonstrated that.”
The Gardner Edgerton School District 231 includes 11 schools, anchored by one high school. Three middle schools and seven elementary schools feed into the Gardner Edgerton High School.
Tyler Link, a Geographic Information Systems Analyst for RSP & Associates, estimates that an additional 450 students will join the District in the next five years. The majority of those are expected in the elementary school level as younger families move into the area. That shift would propel the overall enrollment toward 6,000 students by 2024-25.
“I do think it’s important for all of us as an admin team, a board of education, and a community to understand increasing enrollment affects everything, not just staffing,” Marshall said. “It affects curriculum, technology, and facilities, and just because we staff up, we add new computers this year, it doesn’t mean that we can put it on cruise control. This is an ongoing, never-ending conversation so we can stay out ahead of this and meet the needs of our students and community.”
In addition to their standard offerings, special education has been a point of emphasis for the district which has added 26 teachers, therapists, and specialists to the department. The district also added the new 28,000-square-foot Advanced Technical Center at the Gardner Edgerton High School to improve the education offerings for STEM-minded students.
Despite the growth, the Gardner Edgerton School District has maintained a reasonable average of students per class with 19.65 in elementary school, 24.18 in middle school and 21-26 at the high school.
This development continues into the community as well with an annual 5.99% population increase from 2000-2010 and 1.21% bump in the following decade. Per capita income is also up 2.87% with a lower unemployment rate than the state average.It is truly a great time to be in Gardner and we would love to see you down the street in Symphony Farms. Contact our sales team to reserve your lot today or call (913) 884-6300.