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State of Lakeland Schools overview given to school board


At Monday’s Lakeland School Board meeting, Superintendent Risa Herber gave the board an overview of the district in her annual “State of Lakeland” report.

Starting with a snapshot of Lakeland today, Herber told the board that the district currently has 2,182 students, which is down 26 from the previous year. Average grade size is 160 students, with the current Kindergarten class the largest at 184 and the 4th grade class the smallest at 147.

Herber told the board that, for 2012, the district saw 244 students move out of the district and 225 move into the district, or about a 1 percent change in the student population. Herber said that the fluid movement between districts is making it more difficult for schools to plan ahead.

Lakeland continues to be a leader in college and career preparedness, Herber said. The high school had nearly 50 percent of its students who have three or more college credits or have taken an AP exam. The state’s goal is 25 percent. In fact, the high school has seen students earn a total of 935 college credits while attending Lakeland.

Of those graduating, 64 percent are pursuing some sort of additional education, from a four-year degree to vocational/technical schools. Nearly 9 percent of the 2012 graduates – 12 in all – were heading for military service. Only 29 percent of students who graduated were not planning on further education.

The corporation ranks as one of the largest “businesses” in the county, with a total of 293.5 employees. Of those, 137.5 are teachers/certified staff. Only 11 positions are administrative. Herber pointed out that there is only one human resources director to handle the needs of all 293.5 employees.

Herber also told the board that the district buses drove 323,370 miles last year, with an additional 29,000 miles driven for extracurricular events.

The challenges facing the district remain largely unchanged, as unfunded state and federal mandates are “exhaustive and counterproductive to working with kids.”