Michigan school enrollment fell by 53,000 students during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Of those students, 13,000 were in kindergarten.
According to Chalkbeat Detroit, Detroit Public Schools lost 2,719 or 5% of students, Lansing Public Schools lost 927 or 9% of students, Kalamazoo Public Schools lost 690 or 5% of students, and Traverse City has lost 552 or 6% of students.
The decline in kindergarten enrollment is concerning to teachers, principals, administrators, and parents across four districts in Michigan.
Principals say the slide is continuing
Gier Park Elementary in Lansing has grades Pre-K-3 and Principal Christopher Cadogan has seen decreases in enrollment. Photo courtesy Christopher Cadogan. “If we just look at last year, the 2019 to 2020 school year, we ended that year with 84 kindergarteners,” Cadogan said. “This year we’re at 75 and it’s not the end of the school year.”
Comparing this to the 2018-2019 school year, Cadogan said the school had even more students at 97 and you can really see the contrast between then and now.
Cadogan said kindergarten teaches developmental lessons and tries to provide students with the basic and foundational principles of reading and numeracy.