School enrollment tops 1,500

Posted September 12, 2023 at 11:02 am

The Clinton County School District has released early preliminary enrollment numbers and school attendance averages through the initial three weeks of the 2023-24 school year.
The numbers in both total enrollment and attendance rates through August, compared to a year ago, remain steady–with enrollment early on up slightly across the district going into the first holiday break, which was Labor Day this past Monday, when students had their first official break from classes.
Enrollment as of the end of last week totaled 1,517 students in the district in the four primary schools. Foothills Academy, which is mixed grades in 7-12, had 24 enrollees, for an overall district count of 1,541 students.
The number of students by school showed 206 enrolled at the Early Childhood Center (ECC); 463 at Albany Elementary School (AES); 415 at Clinton County Middle School (CCMS); and, 433 at CCHS (Clinton County High School).
Student enrollment by grade through the first month of class was: Preschool-90;  Kindergarten-116; 1st grade-135; 2nd grade-124; 3rd grade-117; 4th grade-87; 5th grade-107; 6th grade-94; 7th grade-97; 8th grade-117; 9th grade (Freshmen)-134; 10th grade (Sophomores)-117; 11th grade (Juniors)-110; 12th grade (Seniors)-72.
The most students enrolled in the district attend Albany Elementary and CCHS. However, the numbers also reveal a smaller than expected 2024 graduating class.
The Early Childhood Center (ECC) houses students in Preschool and Kindergarten; Albany Elementary (AES) is for grades one through four; Clinton Middle School (CCMS) takes in grades five through eight and Clinton County High School (CCHS), grades nine through 12.
Some preliminary positive figures that the district not only hopes to sustain, but vastly improve upon, are that of overall school district attendance, often referred to as ADA (Average Daily Attendance).
The district-wide goal has long been to have the ADA among students in the 94% range for the entire school year. The attendance averages, locally and nationwide, however, took a hit beginning in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and bringing the numbers back to where they need to be has not been an easy task.
Going into September, the overall ADA at each school stood at 93.77% at the ECC, 94.9% at Albany Elementary, 92.1% at the middle school and 90.5% at the high school, for an overall district-wide ADA of 92.8 percent.
Compared to the 2022-23 school year,  attendance averages were slightly up at three of the four schools.
Attendance was 1.3 percent higher at the Early Childhood Center, 1.6 percent higher at the elementary school and 0.1 percent higher at CCHS.
The only school that showed a slight decrease in ADA early this year compared to last year was the middle school, which was down by about 1.8 percent.
The district works throughout the school year, including summer months, to find ways to help increase attendance at all levels and offers various incentives to students to attend classes.
The Clinton County School District Director of Pupil Personnel (DPP) Julie York said there would be incentives offered once again for the schools this year, including weekly, monthly and yearly drawing for prizes including treats, bikes and other prizes. There will also be pizza parties, homework passes and more.
York also reminds students, parents and caregivers about the upcoming “High Attendance Day,” in which the district is in some friendly competition with area and state districts to see which school can have the highest attendance on that date.
High Attendance Day will be held next Wednesday, September 13.
Several incentives will also be offered on high attendance day district-wide, including, but not limited to, tie-dying t-shirts activities, slushies, outdoor activities, prize drawings, homework pass, and extended outdoor time for the obstacle course.
The DPP also noted policies regarding attendance, including those involving doctor’s statements.
“Students are permitted eight (8) parent notes per school year to excuse absences and unlimited doctor notes,” York said. “If a student will miss more than five days due to illness, a doctor may complete a home hospital packet and that student will be served in the home setting by one of the home hospital instructors,” she added.
York also noted that Home School student numbers, although still high following the pandemic, have remained about the same for the last few years at about 150 students for Clinton County.
Even though there has been a reported increase in COVID cases recently due to a new strain of the virus, it is too early to determine if that factor is playing any role in student absences.
It should also be noted that all numbers reported in this article are preliminary, early-on totals and are subject to change, via school, grade or district-wide, throughout the course of the school year.