By Crystal Hayduk
As Chelsea School District students and faculty eagerly anticipated the long Presidents Day weekend earlier this month, there was an important statewide event to remember—Spring Count Day.
All students in the district were tallied on Feb. 12 for a preliminary count of 2,435, an increase of five from the verified fall count of 2,430 in early October.
Marcus Kaemming, assistant superintendent, said, “Please remember that we will not have an accurate number of students because some were absent [on Count Day]. We have 30 days to count students who had an excused absence, as long as they are present for the entire day.”
Kaemming said it is not unusual to have a relatively high absence rate due to illness in winter. “Our district’s staff work very hard to ensure the student count numbers are accurate and verified,” he said.
It is essential that students are correctly counted because the number of students determines state funding for general school operations. The dollar amount that districts receive per student is called the foundation allowance.
The state uses a “membership blend,” a combination of both fall and spring count days to determine funding for two different school years. Whereas last October’s Count Day determined 90 percent of the funding for the current school year, the spring count day determines 10 percent of the expected funding for 2020-21.
The final deadline to certify the student count is March 25.
The foundation allowance for the 2019-20 school year is $8,138 per student, $237 more than the 2018-19 foundation allowance of $7,901.
The next count day will be Oct. 7.