WSD Sees its Biggest Enrollment Numbers Yet

Wentzville starts school year with a record 17,640 students


Alix Queen

The bleachers were packed with students on the first day of school.

Josh Deters, Reporter

The Wentzville School District has started the 2022-2023 school year with 17,640 students, which represents the largest number of students in district history. 

The district currently has 22 total schools with the newest addition to the district being North Point Middle School. Due to the addition of the new middle school, sixth graders have once again started attending middle school. 

WSD enrollment slowed a bit during the first couple of years of the pandemic but seems to be picking up some steam again. According to the WSD website, the district has had an average of around 600 students added per year for the past 20 plus years with projections showing that the district could see almost 20,000 students in the district by 2024. 

WSD communications director Brynne Cramer said that while the district is looking at a lot of growth right now, it is still working to ensure that classes don’t get overcrowded.

“The district looks at enrollment trends and a variety of other factors to make projections for staffing. We aim to limit class sizes and provide top-tier services to our students,” Cramer said. “We are constantly monitoring staffing and space so we can adjust as needed.” 

The WSD population continues to grow. Cramer says that between the expansion of schools and opening of new schools that they are able to get the space for the growing school population.

Having more students means needing more staffing. The district uses funding from the state to support these needs and, ultimately, support our students.

— Brynne Cramer, WSD Communications

“By opening a new middle school, and expanding Frontier Middle School and South Middle School, the district was able to move sixth-grade students back to the middle schools and take pressure off of the district’s elementary schools. We gained additional space for both the elementary and middle schools. We also opened North Point High School just last fall, which gave us the space we need for a growing high school population.” she said.

Cramer also says that the increased number of students means an increased need for staffing.

Cramer mentions that there are some drawbacks to the increasing number of students when acknowledging current enrollment projections.

The district’s enrollment has slowed over the past few years, so enrollment may not be that high come 2024. It does, however, seem to be picking up again, which is evidenced by our enrollment this fall. There are both challenges and opportunities with student growth, and we look forward to facing those as they come,” she said. 

Cramer then spoke about the challenges of  creating school boundaries. Boundary changes can be challenging to parents, students, administration, and staff. The district only looks at boundaries when absolutely necessary when planning for the future. 

And lastly, Cramer speaks on the new amount of square footage in the schools.

“We are happy to share that the district’s square footage per student has increased significantly with the recent construction at JES, NPHS, NPMS, FMS, and SMS,” she said.

Liberty Enrollment Numbers On The Rise

As far as LHS goes, there are 1,619 students attending school this year, with an increase of 81 students.  

The most populous grade is the ninth grade with 429 students enrolled in their freshman year. Liberty students currently make up about 12% of Wentzville’s total number of school enrollments.  

With the large numbers, head principal Mr. Nelson and his administrative team has to  ensure students are being supervised. 

“With an increased number of students, I am concerned about the ability of our team to provide appropriate supervision at all times,” Nelson said. 

Liberty is addressing this issue as it adapts to the growing number of students. The school has added an administrator.  

Our administrative team has grown by one person, Stanton Schumacher, to address our ability to assist all students,” Nelson said.

The increase in enrollment is not a surprise to Nelson.

”Our population has grown each year for the past seven years. When I first started at Liberty, seven years ago, we had approximately 900 students. We now have 1,600 students at Liberty.”

Not all of the high school enrollments are increasing, however. 

Holt High School’s numbers went down significantly with the opening of North Point,” Nelson said.

Special thanks to Ms. Meintz for the Liberty enrollment information