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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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