A San Mateo-based private Christian school is looking to lease five empty classrooms for 70 students from .
The is constantly facing due to the , and the lease would generate approximately $100,000 for the district during the 2011-2012 school year.
But on Wednesday, the third day of the school year, enrollment had already swelled beyond its projected numbers, according to Superintendent Jan Christensen.
District staff will examine the feasibility of leasing space to the Alpha Beacon Christian School after waiting for enrollment numbers to finalize. There are five empty classrooms in a 6th grade quad at Kennedy Middle School, and is open to this option. The private school would occupy classrooms B6, B9, B10, P3, and P4 (see attached map).
However, over half the schools are at or over enrollment project, Christensen said. And registrations continue to roll in.
“I’ve never seen such high enrollment numbers,” she said.
The district can send newly-enrolled students in any grade to another school in the district after the first 10 days of school if their neighborhood school is over-enrolled. All students who have attended Redwood City School District schools in previous years will remain at their assigned schools.
“We have to be careful that we don’t do a disservice to our students,” Trustee Hilary Paulson cautioned.
Board President Alisa MacAvoy noted that because of the school's religious affiliation, it could not proselytize on campus, and would haev to keep any religious messages within the classrooms.
The private school was renting space from the San Mateo-Foster City school district, but the Fiesta Gardens school in San Mateo will undergo modernization. The displaced students will need to use the space previously occupied by the private school.
The board also mentioned concern about the dynamics of the grade difference between the middle schoolers and the pre-K through 5th graders of the Alpha Beacon Christian School and their effects.
But Trustee Maria Diaz-Slocum mentioned the positive effect the younger students could have on the Kennedy middle schoolers.
“They see younger students and may feel like they should be role models,” she said.
Trustees also cited the benefit of exposing other community members to Kennedy Middle School.
“They can see what a great school Kennedy is,” said Trustee Dennis McBride.