School enrollment dropping 2.25

Written by David Green.

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.

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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.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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