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Kuna schools deal with growing pains, looking for community feedback on building plans

Kuna school classroom
Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 19:05:06-04

KUNA, Idaho — Growth continues to take over the Treasure Valley and the Kuna School District is experiencing it firsthand.

"We are a growing community and we are seeing that in our schools. Prior to this school year, we were full and over capacity at several schools so our community has a conversation going about how to address serving these students," Kuna School District spokesperson Allison Westfall said.

The district is likely to top 5,800 kids in its schools and has seen a 2-5% growth over the last few years.

"We have a couple of our elementary schools that are over capacity. Several are at capacity or very close," Westfall said. "So in this growing community, we need more spaces for learners. Here at Kuna High, we have a high school that was built for 1400, but we have 1800."

The district is getting creative by utilizing portable classrooms and using libraries as classrooms. Plus, teachers are having to move around and share classrooms.

"It's full, and that’s a good thing. I think it’s a problem we don’t mind having, having plenty of kids to teach," Kuna High School art teacher David Jones said.

Jones has been with the district for 12 years and says the growth is forcing staff to think outside the box.

"We have a teacher that we just hired this year to fill out our art teacher positions and she's in a different classroom every period that she teaches," Jones said.

Expanding has been on the district's radar. They recently opened Swan Falls High School, the district's future second high school which is partially being used right now.

"The community in 2017 decided to build the school in phases so it added some great career technical programs to our system and then some classroom space," Westfall said. "Bringing it out to a full-fledged four-year comprehensive school would take additional structures."

The district is also offering a survey for parents to take in regards to overcrowding at schools. Click here to take it.