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.

  • 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.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.
  • 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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