High unemployment rates affect school enrollment

LINCOLN The Alcona Community Schools Board of Education got through its agenda in less than 25 minutes Monday during a noon session scheduled because of conflicts with the district’s normal 6 p.m. meeting time.

School Superintendent Shawn Thornton said that enrollment projections for next fall indicate 725 students will be attending the district’s schools. Several new students enrolled in recent days, but those figures could change.

The region has been hit harder than most parts of Michigan, because of high unemployment rates and declining enrollment, she said.

Thornton also told the board that five school days have been added to the 2014-2015 proposed master calendar currently being worked out. A new law states that professional development sessions cannot be subtracted from the number of days students are required to be in classes, she said. However, graduation will still take place the first weekend in June.

In other reports, High School Principal Terry Allison said that 38 adults attended parent-teacher sessions last month compared to 18 the year before.

He also told the board about two special assemblies that will be taking place this month. On Friday, a Michigan stilt walker will stop by the school to raise money for cerebral palsy, and on Feb. 27, Michigan State Police Trooper Ashley Simpson will teach students about internet safety.

In other action, the board:

approved $654,152 in payables for January.

accepted the resignation of special education teacher Jon Webb, who is retiring after 17 years.

approved the hiring of Karen Martindale on Feb. 3, who is replacing Webb.

heard from business office accountant Margaret Negro that the district mailed out 92 W-2s to employees, representing a payroll of $3 million for 2013.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at blehndorff@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.