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School Enrollments Increase Areawide

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More than 24,400 students will attend public schools in the Thousand Oaks area this fall--up more than 700 from last year, Conejo Valley Unified School District officials said Wednesday.

Supt. Jerry Gross said it is the second-highest increase the district has had in a decade. Over the last five years, the district has grown by an average of 350 students a year, he said.

Lang Ranch Elementary, which opened in Thousand Oaks last September, already must spend $450,000 to build additional classrooms. More than 700 students are enrolled at Lang Ranch for the coming term, and at least 50 new students a year are anticipated as new homes are completed in the area.

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In the Oak Park Unified School District, a student enrollment of nearly 3,500 is expected this fall, an increase of more than 150 students.

“We accommodate the growth. We plan for it. Nothing like that happens spontaneously,” Supt. Marilyn Lippiatt said. “We aren’t caught without facilities or teachers to accommodate those students.”

Lippiatt said the district has grown as new residential developments are completed. Most recent is the 147-home Regency Hills neighborhood at the north end of Oak Park.

The builder, Westwood-based Pardee Homes, has begun selling homes in its adjacent 168-home Chambord development.

“We will experience growth. We’ve projected that for the next four years,” Lippiatt said. “Beyond that projection, it’s a crystal ball.”

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