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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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