LAPEER, Michigan – The decrease in student enrollment in the Lapeer Community Schools fell far short of projections on count day, a favorable result for the largest school district in Lapeer County.
On Wednesday, the district’s count* came in at 6,027 – down 86 students from the September 2010 count. District officials had projected a net decrease of 180 students based upon a simple disparity between students entering kindergarten and graduating high school. The count day figures do not, however, indicate a decrease in student retention at the district level. The figure actually points to some success in attracting new students to the district.
And while the enrollment numbers are open to adjustment over the next couple weeks, LCS superintendent Matt Wandrie said he is encouraged by the results.
“Obviously we were prepared for a much more substantial decrease,” he said. “As a district, we’re actively investigating all enrollment variables. Of course to have attracted students into our district is a decidedly positive outcome moving forward.
“While we cannot control many of the factors that lead to changes in enrollment, we will continue to track student movements both coming and going.”
As districts across the state struggle with population loss and declining enrollments, school officials have been forced to find new and creative ways to maintain a quality educational experience with fewer resources. Since funding is tied to enrollment on a per-pupil basis, the efficiency of district services has become paramount.
“As a district, we continue to adapt to an ever-changing reality,” Wandrie said. “This new reality will not, however, alter our singular focus. In Lapeer, we remain committed to maintaining our standard of excellence in education.”
*The State of Michigan bases 90 percent of its funding allotment on the fall count day and 10 percent on count day in winter. This represents a change in the State’s former 75/25 split.