New High School FAQs

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In the last 5 years, the District has engaged the community in two significant efforts to best plan for our future (Future Ready & Strategic Vision). As a result, classroom additions were completed at Discovery Elementary, Orchard Farm Middle, Orchard Farm High, and the Early Learning Center. Enrollment continues to grow and is currently outpacing the demographer projections. For example, K-5 enrollment is ahead of the projected "high growth" for 2024. Additionally, the three smallest grade levels in the district are all at the High School. 

Following the Strategic Vision Committee's work in 2017, the District's attempts to expand the main campus were not successful. In 2018, using Prop R funds, the district purchased 100 acres on the intersection of Highway B and Boschertown Road. 

The Board of Education has positioned the district well as we've grown. However, now we are exploring plans to build a new High School to meet the demands of our increased enrollment. A new high school would increase space for all grade levels. 

In our previous Thoughtexchange related to constructing a new high school, the District received overwhelming support. Participants connected with the need to address our enrollment growth.

Currently, the District has the lowest tax rate in St. Charles County, .22¢ lower than the next closest district. The OFSD has not asked for a tax increase in 16 years, the last increase was 2004. As we stated in the last Thoughtexchange, a tax increase will be necessary to construct a new facility. The District anticipates the construction of a new high school will require a .55¢ tax increase. The average home value in the Orchard Farm School District is $208,000, which would result in an increase of $18 a month.

-To see your home value, visit the St. Charles County Assessors website. 
1) Enter address
2) Hit search
3) Click on Details in lower right corner
4) Scroll down to see Market Value (of the real estate property address) 

We are using a tool called Thoughtexchange to gather your feedback on the tax increase. Please participate in the Tax Rate Thoughtexchange and share it with your neighbors! 

First Thoughtexchange (New HS Construction):

https://my.thoughtexchange.com/#689387309

Second Thoughtexchange (Tax Rate):
https://my.thoughtexchange.com/#938720883

NEW HIGH SCHOOL FAQs

 


1) From my understanding, a new High School would raise the tax rate? Our current tax rate of $4.43 is the lowest in St. Charles County and has been for many years. To construct a new facility of this size would require a tax increase of .55¢. As you see from the table below, our tax rate is currently .22 cents lower than the next closest district. 


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2) If a new high school is constructed, where would it go? As part of the district’s strategic planning, in 2018, we were able to purchase property at Highway B and Boschertown Road using Proposition R funds.  This occurred after the District had exhausted all efforts to acquire adjoining property to expand the main campus. 

 

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3) How would a new High School support enrollment growth at all grade levels?

The district would continue to operate one high school. The current high school and middle school would serve as spaces for grades K-8 to use and grow into, allowing the district to be prepared for enrollment growth. 

Enrollment
*Grades K-5 Enrollment currently exceeds where the demographer projected it to be in 2023-24
*Grades 6-8 Enrollment is the lowest it will be for at least the next 4 years (without any additional growth)
*Grades 9-12 Enrollment projects to increase every year moving forward.  Currently, the three smallest grade levels in the district are all at the high school. 

Current Building Capacity
*
Grades K-5 (3 potential open classrooms)
*Grades 6-8 (1 potential open classroom)
*Grades 9-12 (No open classrooms)

                       

4) What type of amenities would a new High School include?  All existing amenities will be duplicated at a new high school. Previously, our strategic vision committee identified a Performing Arts Theater and Athletic Stadium as priorities for the district. Orchard Farm is currently the only public district in the county without a dedicated performing arts theater and the only high school without an all-access turf field or MSHAA approved track.

Other Resources:
Missouri Department of Revenue Senior Property Tax Credit

                               


PROP R REVIEW
After six months of planning with the community and school-based Strategic Vision committee, the Orchard Farm Board of Education approved a no-tax-increase bond issue on the April 3, 2018 ballot. Voters approved the measure with 87% support.

The $18.4 million issue addressed Orchard Farm's aging facilities to protect taxpayers' investment. Work on projects impacting each school and campus location began following voter approval of the bond issue.

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