The district has experienced extreme growth in student enrollment over the past few years. According to a recently published district newsletter, “Tomorrow’s Students, Today’s Challenges: Planning for Growth and Achievement in LMSD,” enrollment has increased by more than 1,000 students over the past five years and is expected to increase by approximately 1,000 more students in the next six years. Enrollment growth in LMSD is caused by many factors which include decreased enrollment in private schools and the development of new housing. Many schools have already expanded to accommodate the increasing class size. This year, LM moved the chemistry classrooms into the largely unused District Administration building and Penn Wynne Elementary School installed temporary classrooms to hold their kindergarten classes.
The district will see this pattern continue for the upcoming school year, as Bala Cynwyd Middle School is preparing to undergo a large expansion into the secondary athletic fields. The expansion will hopefully relieve the pressure of an increasing student body and large class sizes. During the long process of construction, an immediate solution will be the introduction of trailers as temporary classrooms for students. Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, the BCMS math department will move into the trailers. The temporary addition will consist of six classrooms together under one roof including both student and staff bathrooms. Speaking to the mixed feelings among the math department, BCMS math teacher Georgine Heibeck explained, “The nice thing about the move is that the six math teachers will be in closer proximity to one another. This will make it easier to collaborate and plan lessons together. The difficult part of the move is being away from the other teachers on the team.” Heibeck believes that “the math teachers here are pretty resilient and they will adjust to the change with grace.” While the change will require some adjustment from both students and faculty, overall it will be beneficial for the middle school and district as it seeks to solve the problem of enrollment growth.