Monday, July 8, 2013

Watford City School Population To Double


August 19, 2015: The McKenzie County Farmer provides an update for the Watford City school enrollment this year.
While classes won’t officially open for McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 until Thursday, Aug. 20, the preliminary enrollment numbers are indicating that Watford City schools will see yet another year of record enrollment.

As of August 14, McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 had an enrollment of 1,396 students, which is 171 students more than the district had one year ago at this time.

The official day for student count is September 10.

Last year the district had 1,301 students enrolled .... reasonably confident that the district will have over 1,400 students on September 10 of this year.
Much, much more at the link. 

Original Post
The city nearest the sweetest spot in the Bakken -- Watford City -- will see school enrollment double. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
The future will be here in no time and Watford City school officials got a startling look at how quick and how big it will be.
The school hired a consultant to help map that future, and the data that came in recently is nothing short of mindboggling: In three more school years, the current enrollment is expected to double to 1,600.
I posted this elsewhere but wanted to post the story as a stand-alone post. Years ago when the Bakken boom began there were many, many stories about lots of men coming up "here" to work but they wouldn't bring their families.

At the time, I did a long post on that phenomenon. I noted that in the military wives and families followed their husbands no matter where they were assigned. The military has some sites in countries like South Korea where families are "not allowed" to go. In fact, even when their husbands are assigned to these one-year assignments, families find a way to get there, ignoring the US government's "restrictions" -- at great personal risk, great expense, and great hardship. But yet they follow their husbands. (Yes, I know the service is now as much about active duty women as active duty men, but during my time in the military, I noted the phenomenon as noted.)

I posted that the same thing would happen in the oil patch. That's why the debate over man-camps vs permanent housing was so important. I won't rehash that debate. It is now what it is.

Now we will hear that these families will leave as soon as they can after they experience one North Dakota winter. Nope. I was assigned to Grand Forks AFB in the early 80's. Assignments were generally three years, but there was an overwhelming number of folks who requested 5-year controlled tours so they could see their children through five years of North Dakota elementary, middle school, and/or high school education. A lot of those families ended up staying in Grand Forks or Fargo.

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