Holt schools count day down 87 students from 2013

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By Ryan Kryska
The Holt Journal

Holt Public School District’s student count was down 87 students from last fall’s 5,811 students said Jan Dodge, pupil accounting and data coordinator of the Holt Public School District’s curriculum office.

Michigan school districts statewide underwent count day on Wednesday Oct. 1, 2014, through which Holt Public Schools counted 5,724 students.

Because of the count drop, the Holt Public School District will receive less state aid than last year. However, the district will not have to cut resources and services because of accurate budget estimates and financial planning, said Dodge.

Dodge said the reason for the 1.5 percent decrease in attendance was fewer school-of-choice opportunities being offered by the district, resulting in lower overall enrollment.

A press release by Holt School District’s Superintendent Dr. Johnny A. Scott said 38 fewer new school-of-choice students enrolled this year compared to last year. This drop, along with a smaller incoming class of kindergarteners compared to last year’s exiting seniors, is calculated to be the reason for this year’s count drop.

Holt High School Principal Michael P. Willard said attendance had a good showing and that teachers focused on making sure there was no reason for students to miss class on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Holt High School does not reward students for coming to class, but does publicize the day so that parents and students are aware of what their attendance means.

“Count day can cause districts to have to readjust their budget based on attendance being over or underestimated,” said Willard. “Fortunately our district does a great job preparing financially to avoid such problems.”

The district’s drop was minimal compared to other districts.

“A consistent population each year allows for financial planning to occur for both short-term and long-term goals,” said Holt Junior High School Principal Marshall Perkins. “This pragmatic approach has left us in a much better place financially and allowed us to refrain from laying off faculty while maintaining a fund balance that is greater than most schools in our area.”

The Holt Public School District’s Board of Education will be presenting a district-wide graph at its meeting on Monday Oct. 13, 2014.

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