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By Crystal Hayduk

The number of Chelsea School District students who attended classes for the entire day on Oct. 4, the fall count day of the 2017-18 school year, is projected to be 2,444.

Superintendent Julie Helber cautioned that this number is still unverified and is only an estimate.

“Until the count window is closed, we will not have firm numbers,” she said.

Michigan school districts have a count window of 30 days from count day to report student numbers to the intermediate school district (ISD). Students can only be counted when they attend school for an entire day, so any absent students are tracked until they meet the attendance requirement.

The ISD has until March 21 to verify and report district counts to the state. Helber said that each school building across the county is audited annually “… to confirm pupil accounting procedures and to help with the verification process.”

There were 2,407 students counted last October.  

With a downward trend in student enrollment in recent years, the district proposed a conservative preliminary budget. The current year’s School Aid fund provides Chelsea with $7,664 per student, an increase of $119 over last year’s $7,545.

Funding is based on a “blended count,” or combination of two count days. Ten percent comes from the count day on Feb. 8, 2017 and 90 percent from Oct. 4. 

Helber said in a written statement, “We are pleased to see that our enrollment appears to be better than projected. We use many strategies to make the projection; however, with [school] choice, birth rates, and the housing market it is difficult to accurately project enrollment. You can’t simply count graduating seniors and kindergarten enrollment, although that is a factor. We know that we have over 100 students/families who choose to attend elsewhere, which results in a loss of funding to the school district.

“Our kindergarten numbers are the best we’ve seen since 2011. I believe this is, in part, due to the opening of our Young Fives program. Additionally, we brought in 135 new students in grades 1-12 over the summer.”

The next legislated count day will be Feb. 14, 2018.

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One Response to “Chelsea School District reports preliminary count day results”

  1. Tim Lightfoot says:

    Go Chelsea Grow!