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Dexter Loses 27, Chelsea Gains Zero Students on Count Day

Both school districts are reporting minor changes to the student population for the 2012 school year.

The numbers are in, and unofficial reports show that neither Dexter nor Chelsea had significant gains in student population for the 2012 school year.

Count Day was held across the state on Wednesday, when all public schools in Michigan tallied the number of students enrolled in the district. This is an important day for schools because each student in attendance translates into state funding.

According to Dexter Superintendent Mary Marshall, the district is reporting 3,566, a decline of 27 students from the 2011-2012 school year. Marshall said the number is not surprising, due to data that district officials reviewed over the summer.

"We made a really good projection of our enrollment," Marshall said. "We budgeted a loss of 25 students when we had to pass a budget in June."

Marshall said there are 244 kindergarten and 53 students enrolled in the Young 5's program, which is a good sign of district growth in the future.

"We have one of the largest kindergarten classes in recent years," she said.

Chelsea Superintendent Andy Ingall said enrollment at Chelsea Schools was relatively flat for the school year.

Last year, there were 2,465 students in grades K-12 and the district’s base foundation grant is $7,180 per pupil.

"This is the first time in several years that we have not seen a decline in total enrollment,” he told the Chelsea Update.

The district’s preliminary budget was based on a projected loss of 40 students, so the district could save around $280,000, Ingall said.

Count days and school funding are mandated through the State School Aid Act. The calculation schools receive is based on winter and fall student count data during the same calendar year, according to the Michigan Department of Education. For example, this year's funding will be based on February's count and October's count.

Students must be in attendance and receive instruction in all classes on count day to be included.

Chris Gordon October 09, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Villagemom, thanks for your suggestions to improve outreach to homeschool families! I'll bring these up at our next Board of Education Communications Committee meeting (Monday, October 15, 4:30 PM at the Copeland Administration Building if you would like to attend). I welcome any additional suggestions for how we can publicize district information to a wider audience - my email is gordonc@dexterschools.org
Barbara Read October 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Chris, Could you be more specific about being a perennial school volunteer? Dick Lundy and Gordon Darr are often seen at the schools and I've chaperoned a high school dance with Julie Schumacher. I know Bonnie is very involved with the band, but where are you volunteering regularly? I haven't seen you around the schools or at the parent group meetings.
Barbara Read October 17, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Follow up: Mary Marshall will be sending a survey to students who left the district, but are still in a 30 mile radius to see why they left and if there is something Dexter can do to retain more students. At the board meeting, Mary said it was fairly easy to find out where most students have gone. Each student enrolled in the district brings $7000. That's money we can use. In total, 153 students left the district and 126 new or returning students enrolled for a net loss of 27.
Dexter Mom November 19, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I personally know of 7 students who left the district because of bullying problems in middle and high school. How do I get surveys for them?
Barbara Read November 19, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I would suggest they go ahead send Mary Marshall an email with the details. Although she's leaving, it would then be on record. I'm sorry to hear about the bullying. Parents have to do what's best for their kids and sometimes that means a new school. marshallm@dexterschools.org

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