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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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