School Attendance is Key for Count Day Today - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

School Attendance is Key for Count Day Today


Wednesday is the first Count Day of the school year for public schools across the State of Michigan.

Attendance in class will determine 90 percent of per student funding for the next school year. Many schools across the state are holding special events to make sure students come to class.

The winter Count Day happens in February and that makes up the remaining 10 percent of per student funding.


As with many struggling Michigan districts, Northwest School saw a small decline in enrollment compared to last year, but district officials say they are okay with the numbers since they're not as low as originally thought.


Several years ago, Northwest Community Schools hired a firm to predict future enrollment. The number provided for this year was 2818. The actual count number collected today was about 20 more than that.


"I think we're ahead of the race," said Superintendent Geoff Bontrager. "I feel like in general, there's a lot of positive things going on. But, it's a struggle, as it is with most school districts right now."


The superintendent says having fewer kids at school in general has taken a toll, especially combined with the fact that over the past decade, the district has had problems passing construction bonds. School leaders are hopeful that a bit of this good news will encourage the community to come out to a series of meetings dedicated to giving the public a chance throw out some of their ideas on what should be done with the district's aging buildings.

"We truly need to hear what they feel the need is, and what they would support if we move forward in pursuing a bond the first of the year," said Bontrager.

The first public meeting is Thursday night at Kidder Middle School at 7 p.m. or there is an online poll available.

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