School enrollment dropping 2.25

Written by David Green.


There’s a notable absence of “plus” signs in this year’s school enrollment chart for Lenawee County.

Britton, one of the smallest districts, showed some growth from the previous year. Every other district—even Madison, the king of mushrooming enrollment—took a drop this year after more than a decade of rising numbers.


Madison lost about four percent of its enrollment from the previous year and Addison lost almost six percent. Deerfield was hit the hardest with a decline of about 10 percent. Dropping by 36 is painful when there are only 357 to begin with.

Britton’s kindergarten class nearly doubled in size from the previous year, going from 23 to 43. Hudson’s also showed good growth with an increase from 62 to 84.

Whether or not those students will stay around is another matter. Madison lost  21 students from last year’s kindergarten class of 152 and Onsted lost 18 of its 118. Clinton went down by 17 and Morenci declined by 13.

Two districts showed large losses over the summer for this year’s graduation class. Last year there were 80 students in Morenci’s junior class. This year, as seniors, the number fe

ll to 68. At Madison, the junior class of 109 students last year fell by 22 to 87.

Several changes occurred at Madison. A year ago, the senior class of 80 students was the last one in sight below 100. This year, grades eight through 12 are all below 100.

Looking at non-public schools, Lenawee Christian School shows a potential erosion in enrollment ahead. This year’s high school classes have 214 students. By contrast, the first four grades have only 135 students.

Schools of Choice

The Schools of Choice option is nearly a wash for Morenci, with 46 students choosing to attend another school—mostly Sand Creek and Hudson—and 50 choosing Morenci over their home district—again, mostly from Sand Creek and Hudson, along with 17 from out of the county. Morenci gets new students from a total of nine other districts.school_enroll.high_school.jpg

In many other districts, however, Schools of Choice means a big increase in state funding.

In Britton, 37 percent of the students reside outside the district, including 151 from Tecumseh—an increase of 33 from last year. Without the choice option, Britton would once again be similar in size to Deerfield.

Thirty-four percent of Madison’s students are from other districts. The big trade is with Adrian: 433 in and 145 out.

Sand Creek does well, also, with 28 percent of its student body coming from other areas. Without Schools of Choice, Sand Creek’s enrollment would shrink from 913 to 700.

Sand Creek takes in students from six other districts, with two-thirds of them coming from Adrian.

Addison does the best at attracting students from out of the county. More than half of its 103 “guest” students come from outside Lenawee County. Forty-five percent of Hudson’s are from outside the county.

Schools of Choice numbers showed significant improvement from the previous year in five districts: Britton, +30 students; Sand Creek, +28; Onsted, +27; Clinton, +23; and Blissfield, +22.

Tecumseh showed a decline of 110, Madison’s went down by 38 and Addison’s fell by 36.

  • 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.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.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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