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Manteca Unified could balloon to 50,000 students due to growth

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POSTED April 19, 2017 1:21 a.m.

Manteca Unified School District expects student enrollment to grow by 5.6 percent over the next five years according to long-term modeling.
But if every single home and apartment unit that has been approved or planned for were built out immediately, it would add 26,567 students to the district’s enrollment – an increase of 111.1 percent.  The district current has 23,500 students
Welcome to Manteca Unified’s long-term challenge.
On Tuesday, the Board of Education reviewed a presentation by Davis Demographics that reviewed the City of Manteca’s existing plans for growth – combing through every single project that has been greenlit by the council and reviewing every single home built in the last five years to establish trends across the district – in order to create a long-term growth master plan that will allow Manteca Unified to accommodate the massive population explosion that is coming to the district.
And some of those stress signs, according to the data, are already emerging.
One of the areas that the data focused on was not just the population and the capacity of the existing schools across the district, but the number of students living within the boundaries of the schools themselves and how those numbers will be affected by future growth.
Currently Mossdale Elementary school in Lathrop and Veritas and Sequoia Elementary Schools in Manteca have more students living within their geographic boundaries than the schools have capacity for – Mossdale with 990 current students compared to the capacity of 920, and Veritas with 933 students living within the boundaries with a capacity of only 860. Sequoia currently has a capacity of 872 students, and as of last school year had 918 students living in the boundary area.
The number of students living within those areas will only increase through 2021 – with Veritas and Mossdale both forecasted to have more than 400 more students living in the area than the schools have room. If existing building plans were to reach full maturity, meaning every home and apartment were built out and additional schools were not built, half of all of the district’s elementary schools would have more students living in their geographic boundaries than they have room to accommodate.
And some of those increases would be drastic.
While Nile Garden Elementary School is forecasted in five years to be far below the capacity of 756 students that is currently applied, at maturity that area will have more 6,344 students living within it.
When school begins in the fall, Manteca Unified is expected to have 23,957 students enrolled across the district. At maturation that number will eclipse 50,484 students – more than double what the district currently has room for.
By mapping existing growth trends and determining the areas in which growth is expected to make the biggest impact, the report – a comprehensive study conducted on behalf of the district’s growth steering committee – will allow the district to get a better idea of where mitigation measures will be most beneficial.
To address identified growth and accommodate an expanding number of students, the district will consider creating a policy and procedure to adjust boundaries for both developing and undeveloped areas – changing the existing lines to better accommodate future growth depending on geographic location. Also on the table will be reviewing both Lincoln and Nile Garden Elementary Schools for possible expansion to accommodate more students, and revisiting existing proposals for already-planned schools like Ethel Allen and Terra Nova.
Those options will be before the board when they meet in July in order to give staff the necessary direction to steer the district forward.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email jcampbell@mantecabulletin.com or call 209.249.3544.

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