Buchanan enrollment down slightly

Published 8:23 am Monday, October 19, 2015

The leader of Buchanan Community Schools says student enrollment in the district dipped slightly from last year’s numbers.

Supt. Andrea van der Laan said the unofficial fall student count is 1,569.

The count was taken Oct. 7, at public schools across the state.

“We are about 22 students fewer than last year,” she said. “We are watching the data and they are not moving to other districts in the county. They are moving out of Michigan.”

Van der Laan said they’ve had students move to Florida, Mishawaka, Indiana, Kentucky, Colorado and Texas.

“We are assuming they are either moving their families or for jobs — they don’t always say,” she said.

The loss of 22 students, van der Laan said, was spread out evenly among all grade levels with a slight lean toward the lower elementary levels.

“Plus we didn’t have as many kindergartners come in this year,” she said. “We have about 110 kindergarteners and last year we had 120 finish. There is a big pocket right there, and that’s just birth rate.”

Student counts are done twice a year at all public schools in Michigan — once in the spring and once in the fall.

The spring count occurs on the second Wednesday in February and represents 10 percent of state funding. The fall count occurs on the first Wednesday in October and represents 90 percent of state funding.

The amount of state aid allotted to districts is based on a blended count that is derived from the number of students reported during the prior spring and the current fall count days.