South Windsor Schools Face Enrollment Increase

South Windsor Public Schools are facing the positive challenge of increased student enrollment in the district


Journal Inquirer

Rendering of the future Pleasant Valley Elementary School from Journal Inquirer

Since 2010, South Windsor’s population has increased 4.7 percent. That is a gain of 5,727 people in a span of 10 years with 6,201 of the 26,918 residents being children. Many more people are moving to South Windsor every year, due to the school system. 

South Windsor Schools are ranked 1,613 nationwide  and are in the top 50 schools in  Connecticut. This draws in new families searching for a good district for their young ones,” says U.S. News. Families are also drawn in by South Windsor’s inclusiveness and accessibility. “We have a little bit more variety of housing in South Windsor…We have more apartments and condominiums than some of the towns we are compared to, and that also contributes to the enrollment growth,” said Dr. Kate Carter, Superintendent of South Windsor Schools.

The growth of South Windsor Schools, compared to other school districts in the Hartford County Towns, reflects 23.4 percent growth in the K-5 schools, and 13.9 percent throughout the whole district or the K-12 program. This trend of growth is over a five-year enrollment trend and is predicted to rise over the next 10 years to 5,567 students district wide. This would be 683 more students over the course of 10 years. “Our growth is actually bigger than 70 school districts in Connecticut,” said Dr. Carter. These 70 school districts in Connecticut have a K-12 population of 1,400 or less. 

What is surprising, is that in 2013, the South Windsor Schools were projected to decrease by about 700 students from 2013-2022. But now,  South Windsor Schools are predicted to increase by 444 students in the high school, 246 enrollment increase in the middle school, and maintain a steady population in the elementary schools with a projected  decrease of only 7 students. This projection from 2013-2022 was not an exact plan, and predicting a ten year plan won’t be accurate most of the time. Even so, the predictions significantly underestimated the  increase of 1,399 who were not accounted for  in the 2013 projections. 

With this population increase in the South Windsor District, changes are bound to be made in each school. Orchard Hill Elementary School was renovated in 2017. Philip R. Smith Elementary School  and Eli Terry Elementary School were renovated  in 2020. Pleasant Valley Elementary School is the most recent build, and is still  going through the renovation process. The three elementary schools built in 2020 or previously, were built before the new growth plan, and Philip R. Smith is now not capable of holding all the population growth. 

South Windsor schools have been expanded and redone, but now at Pleasant Valley they have ‘mobile classrooms’, and are going to install them at Phillip R. Smith as well. “Currently right now, we have a plan to install two additional [portable] classrooms at PRS [Philip R. Smith Elementary School]. That is the only, current, elementary school we need to do that for” added Carter. For the middle and high school, however, more additions or changes will need to be made. 

With this increase in enrollment, South Windsor Schools are bound to peak at some point, and then decrease. Until then, the School District needs to keep the enrollment growth consistent until that decline in population is estimated, after the peak of enrollment in 2031.