Enrollment at Alma School District is up by about 80 students from last year after seven consecutive years of decline.
According to enrollment numbers provided by Superintendent David Woolly during the Alma School District Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, ASD has a total 3,245 students - up by 80 from last year’s count of 3,165.
ASD takes the count for its own records each year on the Friday after Labor Day, Woolly said. He provided a chart that shows the count every year from 1988 through 2017.
According to the chart, Alma schools saw a steady increase in enrollment through 2009, when the count topped out at 3,451 students.
Beginning in 2010, enrollment in Alma has decreased every school year until 2017-18.
While Woolly called the number a “snapshot of one day,” he expects enrollment to stay about the same or even increase during the remaining school year, he said.
Randy Coleman served on the board for the final time on Tuesday night. Coleman was honored with a plaque for his 25 years of service on the board.
“Randy, we’ll miss your wisdom,” said Mike Higgins, board president. “One of the things I really like about you is your wisdom, and the patience and calm you bring to the meetings.”
Pat Whorton, a former administrator for Alma schools, ran unopposed for Coleman’s seat and will take up the position at the October board meeting.
Board members also approved several routine items during the meeting, including statements of assurance that the school district will follow state and federal education guidelines and follow the law in its hiring practices with regard to minorities.
Woolly also told board members that the school district is working on a solution to traffic problems on U.S. 64 on which sits both the middle and primary schools.
The current traffic problems, especially at the middle school, make the situation unsafe, Woolly said.
“It is a problem for us - not necessarily one of our creation, but it is one we have to solve, because it’s our students and our parents,” Woolly said.
Solutions under discussion include asphalt work to the entrance or expanding the parking lot, or slight changes in dismissal times, Woolly said.