District Instructional Space Needs

How does the Appleton Area School District (AASD) determine and address space needs at all levels?

What are the Key Indicators of increased Instructional Space Needs?
Key Indicators

Enrollment Growth
Student enrollment trends are the primary driver of instructional space needs of any school district. The chart below provides a longitudinal overview of student enrollment for students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

For the purposes of this space needs review we have not included those student programs that do not directly impact instructional space needs at a school site. These programs include Wisconsin Connections Academy, Appleton Community 4K students, and Appleton eSchool

Level  2000 2005 2010 2015 Fall 2016
Elementary (No 4K or WCA) 7,432 7,197 7,535 7,696 7,784
Middle (No WCA Students) 2,359 2,270 2,085 2,245 2,272
High School 4,820 5,064 4,710 4,726 4,765

Student Program Growth
Providing effective instructional space for student learning and teacher work/office space is essential to the delivery of the Appleton Area School District (AASD) curriculum. While the overwhelming majority of classroom space is utilized for instructional space to meet the learning needs of all students there are also program specific classroom spaces needs. These include: 

Potential Residential Development
The AASD stays connected to the municipalities that have property within school district boundaries. As a result, we better understand areas within the AASD with the most potential and most likely to be developed for residential use in the future based on existing and proposed land use and zoning.

  • The residential growth areas north of Highway 41 in the Town of Grand Chute and City of Appleton offer the most potential for future residential development within the School District. Indications show that growth areas in the town of Grand Chute have the potential to develop faster than areas in the City of Appleton.
  • These areas are within the Houdini, Edna Ferber, and Huntley attendance areas
  • Based on historical data, and input from the City of Appleton and Town of Grand Chute, the following are projections for development within the School District area north of Highway 41:
  • 60 - 75 new homes per year (300 - 375 new homes over the next 5 years), this would equate to approximately 30 - 40 new students per year (150 - 200 students over the next five years).
  • Approximately 50% of these new single-family homes will develop within the Houdini attendance area.
  • Approximately 50% of these new single-family homes will develop within the Huntley and Edna Ferber attendance area with the majority occurring in Huntley's area.

An additional factor influencing the population in any given attendance area is housing turnover. A consistent turnover generally indicates a consistent student population. Any fluctuation is usually reflected in the student population.

Approximate Number of Housing Units Sold Per Year Per Attendance Area

2013 2014 2015
Huntley  260 units 312 units 430 units
Ferber 173 units 177 units 150 units
Houdini 133 units 241 units 220 units

How is the AASD evaluating space needs at our school facilities?

Annually school principals work with central office leadership and members of the Facilities and Operations Department to determine space needs for the coming year and develop strategies to address those space needs. 

During the second semester of the 2016-17 school year, the Facilities and Operations Department Leadership worked with Hoffman Corporation to review the use of all instructional spaces in all elementary schools across the district. The data from this study is being compiled.

How has the district worked to address space needs at particular school sites? 


  • Each year underutilized spaces at a school site have been remodeled to address a space needs. An example of this can be seen at the elementary level as all former physical education locker room spaces have been remodeled to be utilized for instructional spaces. 

Acquisition of donated facilities

  • In the past decade we have been fortunate to be able to acquire facilities that can then be remodeled and utilized for instructional space and school facilities: 
  • Fox River Academy is now located in the City of Appleton’s old Park and Recreation facility adjacent to Jefferson School on Prospect Avenue. 
  • Appleton Montessori School is now located at the old Plamann Park School previously owned by Outagamie County
  • Wisconsin Connection Academy is located in a donated Montessori School located on Capital Drive. 

Rental of space

Grade level relocation

  • In the past to alleviate space needs at the elementary school level the district has relocated sixth-grade students from an elementary school to the middle school level. While presently this is not being done the option for sixth-grade students from feeder schools to Kaleidoscope Academy on the Roosevelt Campus has helped to ease space needs at such feeder schools as Huntley.

New Construction

  • The AASD has also purchased property adjacent to the current Appleton North Campus. This property is large enough to accommodate a K-8 facility. There is no projected date for a new school at this time.

Present Space Needs

As we look to the 18-19 school year we are in a good position to address projected enrollments at all current school facilities. Looking to the future our greatest area for instructional space needs is at the elementary school level. 

Looking to the Future

Our 5k-6th-grade enrollment is the largest in our district’s history. While elementary enrollment growth is projected to be modest the district does need to think towards the future. 

During the 18-19 school year, the district will be working to pull together a future space needs study committee composed of school district stakeholders to better study and understand space needs that exist at school levels and within geographic regions of the district.

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