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.

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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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