INTRODUCTION - demographics
Trends Over Time:
REALMS was in founded as a charter school in 2001 in an effort to provide and alternative education setting in the Bend LaPine School District for middle school aged students. In the early years, our enrollment was small (just 50 students) and the percentage of our students who were experiencing significant academic, behavioral, social and economic challenges was high. For a number of our early years we were a designated Title 1 school and enrolled many students who had been suspended/expelled from, or "counseled out of" other middle schools in our community.
As the mission, pedagogy, and culture of our school have deepened and matured through thoughtful implementation of the EL Education model, our popularity and reputation have grown, and so to have our enrollment and our wait lists. Our first lottery for enrollment took place in 2004, three years after opening. Since then, the number of applications we receive each year has increased.
In 2006 we began the process of doubling our enrollment in response to these growing wait lists. Consistently since 2011 we have had wait lists at each grade level that exceed the number of students actually enrolled in that grade.
As the reputation of our school has grown and the number of applications for enrollment has increased, our demographic has shifted. The most obvious trend here is that the percent of students who are economically disadvantaged has decreased over time. And, while the percentage of students who come to us with significant academic, behavioral, and/or social challenges has declined, we continue to serve a larger than average percentage of students who, for one or more reasons, are less likely to reach their full potential in a large, comprehensive, and traditional middle school environment.