Enrollment is up at the Escanaba Area Public Schools after officials were planning for another year of declining enrollment.
Superintendent Coby Fletcher tells the Radio Results Network that projections before the school year were of Escanaba being 60 students lower than last year.
But he says they’ve actually gained students.
“We saw it, in particular, at the kindergarten level,” Fletcher told RRN News. “We ended up with more kindergartners than we thought we would and just had to open up another section of kindergarten because we had promised to keep low class size numbers in order to provide more individual attention to kids. So, that was a good thing. It was a nice problem to have.”
Fletcher says there was also an increase at the older levels, in particular with the district’s new Early Middle College arrangement with Bay College that allows students to go five years of high school…earning college credits as they go.
Escanaba added the program after Gladstone and Rapid River had theirs terminated by the State of Michigan last year.
“The state came to some of the other schools in the area and said, you know, we don’t want to leave a gap here,” Fletcher said. “We’d like you to run these programs. We had anticipated phasing that in, actually, next school year, and this pushed our timetable a little bit because we wanted to be able to serve students.”
Fletcher says there are now 62 students who graduated from Escanaba High School last spring who are now taking a fifth year of high school as part of that program.