Minot's population boom means that more families are moving into the area and are often confused about what school district their new home is in.
"I'm getting one (annexation request) a week on average," said Ward County Superintendent of Schools Jodi Johnson, who said that's an increase over previous years. "And the office is getting flooded with requests and people wondering what school district they are in."
Johnson said the confusion is understandable because school boundary lines are pretty confusing.
Several families have requested that their property be annexed from the Nedrose School District to the Minot School District. Nedrose, which has seen a 10 percent increase in student numbers this year, doesn’t oppose the annexation requests, said Supt. Charles Miller.
Minot Public School Supt. Mark Vollmer said a particular lot might have been annexed to the city of Minot, but that doesn't change what school district the property is in. A particular lot might have a Minot address and the property owners might pay water and sewer fees to Minot, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are located in the Minot school district.
Some properties are located closer to Minot's Washington Elementary than they are to Nedrose, but they are located in the Nedrose school district because the back portion of their lot is connected to that of a neighbor's who is located in the Nedrose School District.
Nedrose Supt. Charles Miller said most of the properties that have been annexed from Nedrose to Minot in recent months have been from the Woodside Addition in southeast Minot. They might be within two or three miles of a Minot school compared with five or six miles from Nedrose.
Miller said the Nedrose board hasn't opposed those annexations into Minot. Nedrose, like other school districts in western North Dakota, has seen an increase in student numbers and annexations out of the district ease some of the pressure on school size.
"We've seen a 10 percent increase this year and we had a 10 percent increase last year," said Miller, who said that adds up to about 25 new kids this year at Nedrose.
Miller said board members have started talking about the possibility of adding on to the elementary or building a new middle school elsewhere in the Nedrose school district if the population growth continues.
"It's coming at us very fast," said Miller. "We're not more than a year or two away from having to deal with it."
Minot ended open enrollment a couple of years ago due to the population growth. Vollmer said when property is annexed into the Minot school district, his parents' property tax dollars then follow the student into the school district.
Most of the property annexed to the Minot school district came from the Nedrose, but other properties have also been annexed from Des Lacs-Burlington to Minot .
Johnson said the property being annexed needs to be contiguous to the school district's boundary line. If their own property is not contiguous with the school district's boundary line, families who want to annex their property to another school district can collect signatures from neighbors whose lots are bordering their property and the school district boundary line. Two-thirds of the people whose property would be annexed to the school district have to be in agreement before property can be annexed. There has to be a school-age child attending the school district living within the area to be annexed. Property belonging to families that do not have school age children can also be annexed along with the property of parents whose child attends the school district.
The county annexation board and the state annexation board must approve annexations.
Johnson said families who are purchasing houses in the area should check which school district their new house is in before they finalize the purchase. The school district is listed on the tax statement for the house, said Johnson. Vollmer said some families have bought houses outside the school district but have been under the impression that they are actually located in Minot. That causes some problems when the parents find out their children are unable to enroll at a Minot school.