Montague Area Public Schools bucked the trend of dwindling student enrollment for the second straight year, while Whitehall and Reeths-Puffer saw numbers dip.
Montague Area Public Schools experienced a slight increase in the number of students attending school.
The fall 2012 count taken last Wednesday is 1,500, which is up nine students from the fall 2011 count.
“We have more students attending at the Montague Area Childhood Center and in the lower elementary grades,” said MAPS superintendent Nate Robrahn. “Families want to raise their children in great communities like Montague.”
The blended 2012 count for funding is 1,499. That number is up 13 students from 2011’s blended count of 1,487.
Whitehall District Schools knew where it was going to lose enrollment, and the enrollment for its 2012-2013 budget projection was right on the nose.
“We had a large senior class who just graduated,” Superintendent Jerry McDowell said. “The senior class had 170 members, where typically we have around 150 students in each class.”
Last Wednesday’s fall count for Whitehall was 2049, 34 less than last fall’s count
The blended count used for state funding (90% of the fall count and 10% of the February count) for 2012-2013 will be 2,051 for Whitehall which is what Whitehall administration projected. Last February’s count was 2,077.
“We budgeted a drop of 30 students based on the large (graduated) senior class,” McDowell said.
The district budgeted a drop in per pupil state aid of $210,000 because of the enrollment decline.
Reeths-Puffer Schools total student count for fall 2012 is 3,870. This number is technically eight less than the fall 2011 count, which was 3,878.
The district has to factor in the full-time equivalences (FTE) and students in its infant/toddler program which bring about .2 FTE, which makes the total number as far as funding purposes 3,840.
Funding for the schools is based on a blended count from the spring 2012 count and the fall 2012 count. The spring student count number accounts for 10 percent of funding and the fall number accounts for 90 percent of the funding. The state changed the appropriation of funds from 75 percent for the fall count and 25 percent for the spring count last year. So in order to come to the blended count, the number for this year, 3,840 is multiplied by .9 and the number for spring 2012 of 3,781 is multiplied by .1. Those two numbers, 3,456 and 378.1, are added together to get a blended count of 3,834 students.
According to Reeths-Puffer Superintendent Steve Edwards, the good news is at the blended count of 3,834 students is about 71 students better than the district’s projections.
The district had three scenarios regarding the number of students: worst case, most likely and best case. The most likely scenario had the district losing 87 students. However, the current numbers show the blended count is only down 16 students.
“Considering the birth rate and movement trends, our current count will exceed our ‘best case’ assessment, which is great news for R-P schools, its students and community,” Edwards stated.
While the district still anticipates a budget deficit this year, by having more students and their parents choose R-P Schools, it is very helpful in closing that deficit, Edwards said.