Morenci school enrollment fairly steady 2011.10.12

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The good thing about this year’s drop in enrollment for Morenci Area Schools is that the decline isn’t as great as expected.

When preparing the budget in June, finance director Erica Metcalf projected a decline of 24 students from the number enrolled when school ended in June, for a total of 721. That projection followed the trend in declining enrollment from recent years.

On student count day last week, 744 students were enrolled, a decline of 16 from a year ago. However, last year there were 10 students enrolled in Morenci’s alternative education class—several from outside the district—but the district has no alternative education students this year. Not including the alternative school, the change in enrollment is only six fewer than a year ago.

M.enroll.2011The biggest change from 2010-11 comes at the elementary school where student numbers fell by 26.

That’s partially due to last year’s extra large fourth grade class that’s now in the middle school—and still growing. This year’s first and third grade classes both lost seven students over the summer, while the second grade class grew by five.

This year’s fifth grade class is now up to 71—an increase of six—to help raise the middle school enrollment by 10.

The high school enrollment includes a range of class sizes, from the 45 members of the senior class to 66 in the freshman class. Total enrollment increased by 13 from a year ago as last year’s 42 seniors graduated and the large freshman class moved in.

Enrollment could still fluctuate some because any changes over the following two weeks after count day must be reported.

  • 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.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.
  • 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

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