School enrollment, Lenawee County 02.16.2011

Written by David Green.

SchoolEnrollment2010-11By 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.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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