The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Michigan schools tally students for annual count day


Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

STUDENTS AT Sleight Elementary climb onto the school bus Thursday afternoon in Ironwood. School districts across the state of Michigan participated in the annual count day on Thursday in order to receive state funding from the Michigan Department of Education.

Schools across the state of Michigan tallied up enrollment numbers for the annual count day for the Michigan Department of Education.

School districts were required to submit the number of students in the school district, Wednesday, in order to receive state funding.

More students equal more funding, but while other schools across the state deal with unbalanced budgets, districts in both Gogebic and Ontonagon counties deal with declining enrollments.

Out of six districts between the two counties, only Bessemer and Wakefield-Marenisco had more students than last year.

Bessemer counted 437 students, 13 students up from last year.

“Eighty-seven of those students are school-of-choice students,” David Radovich, Bessemer superintendent, said.

Wakefield Marenisco had a total of 299 students, including 16 students in the Great Start Readiness Program for 4-year-olds.

“Last year with the GSRP students, we were at 297, and this year, we’re at 299,” Cathy Shamion, W-M superintendent, said.

In Ironwood, 797 students were counted, down 22 kids from last year. According to Ironwood superintendent Tim Kolesar, last year, the district had a count of 819 kids on May 20.

“The difference is 22 kids, but we had 14 more seniors last year than we do this year,” Kolesar said. “We’re actually down eight from last year.”

In Watersmeet, 170 students were counted for the district, down five from last year, according to superintendent George Peterson III.

According to Ewen-Trout Creek superintendent Loren Vannest, the numbers are “similar” to last year. The district counted 241 students, compared to 243 last year.

“That is very stable for a school our size,” Vannest said. “It’s a less than 1 percent difference.”

The Ontonagon School District did not return comment by press time.


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