By DAVID GREEN
Madison has been at the forefront of school enrollment news for more than a decade as the district transformed from one of the smallest in the county to the fourth largest.
This year is no exception—Madison experienced more growth than any district in Lenawee County and is still gaining on Onsted—but there’s other significant news.
Sand Creek jumped two notches upward to bypass Hudson and Addison. Five years ago Addison’s enrollment stood just under 1,200 students. This year it fell by another 28 to 926.
Hudson has dropped by 135 in the past five years, and even Sand Creek has fallen from 976 to 930.
It’s the same story everywhere except Madison where the average class size has now reached 116. This year’s kindergarten class numbers 168 where Onsted’s is at 109.
In kindergarten through grade eight, Madison has 1,125 enrolled. Onsted trails at 1,052. This year’s senior class at Madison is likely to be the last one in the 70s at 77—smaller than Blissfield, Clinton, Hudson and Sand Creek. But next year’s graduating class might be the last one in the 80s.
A big part of Madison’s growth continues to come from the Schools of Choice option. In the previous school year, Madison took in 590 students from outside its boundary. This year the number increased to 674. On the other hand, 224 Madison students choose to go elsewhere—mostly to Adrian—for a net increase of 450.
Madison leads the Schools of Choice charge—45 percent of the students in its classrooms are from other districts—but Britton isn’t far behind. Forty-three percent of the students in Britton’s school are from elsewhere.
At Sand Creek, it’s 35 percent and at Clinton 19 percent.
Morenci continues to lose students to Sand Creek—32 are Aggies this year—and 16 attend Hudson. Morenci gains eight from Hudson and nine from Sand Creek. For many years the district benefitted from Schools of Choice, but last year the net loss was 16 and this year it’s 19.
A total of 36 students attend school in Morenci from other districts, including 16 from out of the county—presumably from Waldron—while 55 go elsewhere.
As a percentage of overall enrollment, Deerfield was hit the hardest by this year’s decline. A loss of 35 students represented an 11 percent decline, but Deerfield is joining forces with Britton in consolidation starting July 1.
Morenci was next hardest hit at 5.7 percent. This year’s senior class is the smallest since the mid-1950s with only 44 students. The sixth grade class is also in the 40s, while four other grades are between 50 and 53.
The kindergarten class, however, shows some strength at 68.