School officials tally pupils during fall count day

Big Rapids High School students work on homework during their last class of the day on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Schools throughout the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District participated in count day on Oct. 4, which helps determine the amount of funding each school receives. (Herald review photo/Meghan Haas)

Big Rapids High School students work on homework during their last class of the day on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Schools throughout the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District participated in count day on Oct. 4, which helps determine the amount of funding each school receives. (Herald review photo/Meghan Haas)

OSCEOLA COUNTY — As students attended classes on Wednesday, Oct. 4, teachers not only led their pupils in lessons, but also took a moment to tally up the number of kindergartners through seniors who filled classroom seats throughout the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District.

Wednesday was the first of two count days in Michigan. State funding for schools is tied to pupil numbers, with the minimum amount for each full-time student being $7,631 in the MOISD, according to the Michigan Senate’s website.

Ninety percent of each school’s per-pupil funding is based on the fall numbers with the remaining 10 percent dependent on the second count day numbers, which will be tallied in February, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

Numbers reported to the Pioneer are unofficial and subject to refinement as student absences are accounted for and other variables are considered.

Evart Public Schools

As of Oct. 4, the student count at Evart Public School was approximately 40 students more than what Superintendent Shirley Howard had budgeted for the 2017-18 school year. Previously, EPS blended student numbers from the three years prior to get their total on count days.

“I’m ecstatic with these numbers,” she said.

Before the start of the year, Howard had budgeted 845 students, a slight increase from the 842 pupils who attended Evart Public Schools during the fall 2016-17 count. With 885 students attending Evart schools on Oct. 4, Howard said the biggest increase was at the elementary school.

Reed City Area Public Schools

The number of students attending Reed City Area Public Schools has decreased slightly from the pupil count of 1,571 at the end of the 2016-17 school year. The current number of students also is slightly less than what the school had projected for 2017-18.

“Our hope is to not only maintain numbers but to also grow our student enrollment as well,” said Superintendent Myra Munroe. “We were a bit low on our projection for our incoming kindergarten numbers.”

Munroe hoped for approximately 120 incoming kindergartners this year, but instead has 113 students filling the seats in her kindergarten classrooms.

As of Oct. 4, 1,564 students were accounted for, according to RCAPS Business Manager Jackie Gray.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

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