County enrollment 1.28

Written by David Green.

Just when it looked like Madison’s school enrollment was leveling off, along comes a kindergarten class numbering 152.

Only Adrian and Tecumseh have a larger kindergarten enrollment in Lenawee County, and Madison’s other classes average only 110.

Or maybe there’s just something attractive about the school’s kindergarten program. A year ago, once-tiny Madison had 147 new kindergarten students, but that number dropped to 116 in this year’s first grade class. Thirty-one kids apparently didn’t hang around long.

Madison’s enrollment increased by only six students from a year ago—way down from the average of 52 for the previous seven years—but the district still advanced higher in the rankings as other districts continue to lose students.

In this year’s enrollment data from the Lenawee Intermediate School District, every public school district in the county lost students except Madison and Adrian. No surprise there for Madison administrators, but Adrian’s gain of 27 students marked the first enrollment gain in a long time.

After years of decline, Adrian’s enrollment stands at 444 students more than Tecumseh. Last year there was a difference of only 333.

One more thing to note about Madison: This year’s senior class is the last one below 100 students, barring any significant changes. The average class size, not including the big kindergarten class, stands at 110. This year’s senior class numbers only 80.

Seven other districts—from Adrian down to Sand Creek—have larger graduating classes than that, yet Madison still stands as the fourth largest district. Onsted still has 319 more students than Madison and Blissfield has 154 fewer.

In September 2006, Morenci showed a decline of 22 students from the previous year. By September 2007, enrollment dropped another 22.

There was an unusually small graduating class last May with only 49 members, but there’s more of that coming along. This year’s freshman class numbers only 50 and the third grade class stands at just 53.

Morenci’s average class size is 67 and the kindergarten started off with 71.

It doesn’t look too promising for the county’s two smallest districts. Deerfield, the smallest, lost 26 students from a year ago—seven percent of its total enrollment.  Deerfield’s average class size is 27. The average K-2 is only 17.

There’s a similar situation at Britton, the next smallest district. The average class size is 40, but only 23 are enrolled in kindergarten. Only one K-6 class reaches 40.

The other districts losing the biggest percentage of the student body are Hudson with a 7 percent loss and Addison with a 6 percent loss. Hudson is likely to dip below the 1,000 mark next September.

Across the border in Fayette, enrollment dropped by 19 students to put the total at 438.   The district has an unusually small senior class with only 23 students, but there are two other classes in the 20s. The average class size is 34.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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