The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

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.

school_enrollment2008-09.jpg

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.

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