Foster City expects enrollment boost 

Hazel Nixon had never heard of Foster City when she moved here nine years ago from England, but for families around the Peninsula, the parks, schools and high-tech companies are no secret.

And with the economy rebounding and office spaces filling up, Foster City schools are preparing for an influx of students that will restore state funding and fill classrooms.

"We had been a district in decline and we’re pleased to see a turnaround, we’re glad to have those kids in our schools," said San Mateo-Foster City School District Assistant Superintendent for Student Service Joan Rosas.

As a revenue-limit school that receives state money based on daily attendance numbers, increased enrollment brings in more funding.

Births within the San Mateo-Foster City School district in 2002 — which translates into kindergarten students in 2007 — were at an all-time high of 1,822, according to Tom Williams, from Enrollment Projection Consultants in San Mateo, who was hired by the school district to analyze future student-body trends. By 2004, births had risen to 1,961. Given that approximately 67 percent of those children will become students in local schools, according to Williams, the district could be adding more then 200 students in the next few years.

"Clearly there will be more kindergartners in the coming years, the question is now just how much," Williams said. "Enrollment will be at least as high, and potentially higher than we expected."

Rosas said the district may have to shift some classrooms around to accommodate the students, but after the student losses during the "dot-bomb," they have the room to expand.

Like many parents, Nixon said she originally moved to Foster City because her husband works for Visa, but she decided to stay here because of the schools and parks.

"As soon as I saw Foster City, I knew that was where I wanted to live, I could just tell it was a good place for kids," she said.

Nixon has three children in school in Foster City, one at Bowditch Middle School and two at Brewer Island Elementary School.

"I think people are attracted to the schools, I know that in Foster City people move here with school-age children because of the education," said Carol Lockerby, another Bowditch parent.

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