AE student count expected to be up



TWINING — While other area school districts battle with student losses, Arenac County’s smallest district, Arenac Eastern, is seeing growth.

Arenac Eastern Schools Superintendent Bill Grusecki said the district has seen a growth of students, and he expects to see student numbers increase from the 2010-11 end-of-the-year count, 270 students.

“I think parents and students are excited about what we offer here when it comes to technology and classes,” he said. “We definitely have more students than what we budgeted for.”

Grusecki said the reason the number of students is up is because of new families in the area and school of choice students.

“We have received a number of students from AuGres, Whittemore and the Standish areas,” he said. “School of choice has been a benefit for us.”

One area Grusecki said he was pleased to see a student increase in was the district’s preschool program.

“Right now we have 26 preschool students,” he said. “We have two classes, split at 13 students each.”

Official student count numbers will not be taken until Oct. 5, but Grusecki said that count will be vital to the district.

“It’s the first student count that brings in the most money for the district,” he said. “We get about 90 percent of our student count funding at that time.”

Grusecki said the district has been trending downward in its number of students over the past few school years, so the recent increase is welcome.

“It’s nice to be moving in the right direction now,” he said.

Grusecki said he is unsure how much money the student count could potentially bring to the district, but added that it will be nice to have extra funding.

According to Grusecki, an increase in funding will not change the district’s spending plans for the current year.

“We just intend to hold our ground at this time,” he said. “Our staff is set and we will be able to add to our fund balance. Not a lot of districts are able to add to their fund balance right now.”


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