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Student count: Brandon School District enrollment drops



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October 10, 2012 - Brandon Twp.- A student count conducted Oct. 3 revealed that the school district has 3,251 pupils, a loss of 30 students from last year, and a stunning 455 student decline from the 3,706 kids in district classrooms in September 2006.

"We thought would be down some— 30 is not unusual, it was anticipated," said Superintendent Lorrie McMahon, who had expressed within the past few weeks a hope that the district's numbers might remain the same. "It's too bad, but we are not surprised. Now that we know, we'll build it into the budget."

The decrease in students will equate to a loss of approximately $209,000 for the district, which receives a $6,966 per-pupil allowance from the state.

The biggest drop in district students occurred in the youngest population— there is a total of 171 kindergarteners in the district this year, down 37 students from 208 in 2011. The middle school saw an increase in students.

Class sizes at the high school remain a concern. Currently, McMahon notes a social studies class and a language arts class at the high school each have 41 students and "many" classes have student numbers in the mid-30s.

"We are starting to look at class sizes and decide whether to do anything or not," she said. "We have the numbers and will know where we stand financially right now and whether we can do anything about it or not."

McMahon did not yet have the exact number of schools of choice students, who reside outside of district boundaries, but attend school here.

School officials are also expecting within the next week a professionally done projection of numbers on student enrollment for the future, as part of a facilities review study being conducted through a team from the Michigan Association of School Boards. The facilities review study, expected to be concluded in December, is analyzing benefits and drawbacks of closing or consolidating buildings in the district.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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