Fayette enrollment drops 11.07

Written by David Green.

There’s certainly no lack of variation among the class sizes in the Gorham Fayette school district this year.

The small 23-member senior class is only half the size of this year’s third grade with 46 students. In between are two other classes in the 20s and one other in the 40s, with an average class size of 34.

Total enrollment hasn’t varied much in recent years, said superintendent of schools David Hankins, although the district did experience a drop of 19 students from a year ago. That translates into a decrease in state aid totaling $105,735, at $5,565 a student.

This year’s senior class is exceptionally small at 23 students. Just last May, 40 students received diplomas. But with a kindergarten class of only 27, don’t look for any big increase once the seniors are gone.

As part of the new school construction project partially funded by the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC), the district was furnished with enrollment projections for the next 10 years, starting with the 2004-05 year. So far, the actual numbers are well below the projection.

For the current school year, the OSFC prediction called for 512 students. That number was projected to increase to 544 for the 2014-15 year.

Those projections were used in designing the new school, which leaves the district in good shape for additional students.

“We actually have some room for growth,” superintendent David Hankins said. “Each classroom is built for 25 students and will hold 30 easily.”

Hankins said Fayette was one of few districts funded by OSFC recently that was given a projection for a significant increase.

Nearly 13 percent of the student body is involved in the “open enrollment” option, allowing a student to attend school tuition-free in a district other than where they reside.

Thirty-six Fayette students take classes in other districts and 20 students from other areas attend school in Fayette.

Students often leave to obtain curricular opportunities not offered in Fayette, Hankins said, but he noted the reasons for leaving are varied.

For those attending classes in Fayette from other areas, some students prefer the small school setting, he said. In other cases, families have moved out of the district, but students want to continue their schooling where they started off.

Gorham Fayette Schools
2007-08 Enrollment

Kindergarten 27
1st grade    43
2nd grade    35
3rd grade    46
4th grade    34
5th grade    34
6th grade    37
7th grade    31
8th grade    31
9th grade    38
10th grade    29
11th grade    30
12th grade    23
Total grade    438

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