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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • 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.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.

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