During the past few weeks, about 900 Missoula high school seniors graduated, and according to estimates by Missoula County Public School Superintendent Mark Thane, that class will be replaced by even more students as enrollment at area schools climbs.

"In the high school district, in addition to our 8th graders, you factor in the 8th graders that are transitioning from all our partner districts like Hellgate Elementary, Target Range, Bonner, Clinton, Lolo, Potomac, etcetera," Thane said. "We expect to have an incoming freshman class that will be about 40 to 50 students larger than the senior class that graduated."

40 to 50 students is a lot of growth, but the growth numbers are about double that at the elementary level.

"If we look at the 2017-2018 school year as an example, we were up about 150 students K12," Thane said. "Our K8 district has an 8th grade class that is transitioning to the high school that is about 540 strong. We will expect our incoming kindergarten class to be about 100 students larger than that. Our K8 district should should grow pretty close to 100 students next year."

The rate of growth has filled many local facilities to capacity, even the nearly completed Jeanette Rankin Elementary school is expected to be at capacity on opening day next year.