Decatur County school enrollment numbers drop slightly from 2017-18

Published 3:32 pm Friday, August 17, 2018

During Thursday night’s Board of Education Work Session, Superintendent Tim Cochran updated the Board on enrollment numbers.

The school tracks the count of students for the first 10 days of schools. If the kids have not shown up after ten days, they are dismissed from the role.

Cochran reported this year the school is down approximately 114 students. This includes the 170 that attended on the second day of school and the 80 that attended on the third day of school.

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Elementary schools are down 86 students in comparison to last year. Last year, elementary schools had a head count 0f 1,883 students and this year they have a count of 1,797.

However, middle school reported adding 14 students compared to last year and the high school reported losing 47 students.

In the past two years, the school has averaged losing 100 students, but this year they dropped more than the last two years combined.

Cochran attributes the decline in students to a diminishing in the economy. He hopes that the new industry coming to town will be a step in the right direction and will bring more children to the local schools.

While there is no guarantee, a rise in children could mean the addition of another Pre-K class. The Board is allotted a certain number of classes for Pre-K, but can file for another if there is a need.

Last year, the schools were able to accommodate all preschool-aged children, however this year 30 preschoolers are on the wait list, and the state did not approve for another class addition. This could easily change in the future if the number of preschoolers needing a class grows.