Archive for Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Enrollment numbers a little down at local schools

August 27, 2008

At Genesis Christian Academy, enrollment is down slightly from the previous school year.

Administrator Sharon Beeman reported Friday the school has 109 students in Kindergarten through eighth grade and 63 students in the preschool program, which is for ages 3-5.

Overall, the school is down roughly 25 students.

Beeman noted Tonganoxie Elementary School's switch to full-day kindergarten could have a bearing on that, as well as tighter budgets for families.

"We used to be the only option for that in the area," Beeman said about all-day kindergarten. "Now that we're not, our kindergarten has dropped off.

"We've dropped off in preschool. We're assuming the economy is a major reason for that."

The GCA's administrator said the drop in enrollment was discouraging. Despite the economy, she hoped the school at least could have maintained enrollment, but understood families are faced with higher gas and food prices and must make tough decisions.

However, she pointed out the school does offer scholarships.

"We don't have as many families take us up on that," Beeman explained. "There's a tendency to think of a scholarship as a charity rather than keep them in Christian schools."

GCA still is taking new students if families are interested in enrolling their children. Beeman said the school has gotten off to a great start and that there has been a "very positive feeling" overall.

"We always wish he we had more students," Beeman said. "We think we're the best school in the city.

"We're a little biased. The public schools are great, too."

McLouth School District

When school started recently for McLouth schools, Superintendent Jean Rush reported an overall headcount of 550, or the equivalent of 529.5 students as far as state numbers. The state counts each kindergarten student as a half-student for enrollment purposes.

At the high school, there are 185 students, at the middle school 123 and at the elementary school 236.

"It's slightly lower than last year, but about what we had projected," Rush said.

She said the schools' trend data shows the district tends to stick around the 530 to 540 area.

Rush projects there will be six to eight fewer students than the 2007-08 school year.

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