Local schools participate in Count Day

OSCEOLA/MECOSTA COUNTIES — A handful of snow days and flu season hitting the area did not deter thousands of students from being in their seats and ready to learn on Wednesday, Feb. 14. As teachers led their pupils in class, they tallied up the number of students at each of the schools in the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District.

Feb. 14 marked the second of two count days in Michigan. State funding for schools is tied to pupil numbers, with the minimum amount for each full-time student being $7,631 in the MOISD, according to the Michigan Senate website.

Ninety percent of each school’s per-pupil funding is based on the fall numbers, which were tallied in October, and the remaining 10 percent of funding is dependent on Wednesday’s count day numbers, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

Numbers reported to the Herald Review are unofficial and subject to refinement as student absences are accounted for and other variables are considered.

Numbers are up at Evart Public Schools, where four more students have joined the Wildcat family since October. According to school officials, the count of students on Wednesday reached 890.

Morley Stanwood Community Schools Superintendent Roger Cole said count day numbers were better than he had thought. After tallying 1,159 students in October, school officials added up approximately 1,167 kindergartners to seniors filling seats in the district.

“More students is never a bad thing,” Cole said, noting Wednesday’s number is still a decrease from last spring. “If we can maintain these numbers, we will be doing well in the fall.”

At Chippewa Hills School District, numbers are similar between the fall and spring counts. In October, the district had a total of 2,016 students. According to Superintendent Bob Grover’s best guess, considering illnesses, there are approximately 2,015 students in the school, with more than 30 alternative education pupils enrolled online. There is a month-long window for these students to be counted.

Not all schools have noticed an increase or have stayed relatively the same in their student population.

At the halfway point in the academic year, Reed City Area Public Schools officials noted an overall decrease in students filling the halls. While the middle school student count has increased, the current total pupil count is 1,523, down 20 from the fall.

Students numbers have dropped slightly since the fall at Crossroads Charter Academy. Wednesday’s count totaled 587 students, down 11 pupils from October.

While the number is contingent on students attending classes with Big Rapids Public Schools’ virtual building, an estimated 1,980 pupils were counted on Wednesday.

“We typically lose some students from the fall to the spring,” said Superintendent Tim Haist, noting 1,994 scholars filled the seats of the five buildings in the fall.

There is a month-long window for virtual school students to be counted.