Enrollment Challenges Facing District

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

The class of 2023 is in demand.

So much so, the Lansing School District took out a thirty-second ad on tv to make sure parents know it's time to enroll their kindergarteners for next year-- and they want them to do it in Lansing.

"We have 100 spots at Post Oak Elementary, currently 54 students have registered, we're more than half full," says principal Camela Diaz. "We're hoping through kindergarten round-up we'll fill the spots."

But the tides might not be rolling in Lansing's favor.

Already the district, like many others, is facing declining enrollment; a spokesman says the district is expecting 1,000 fewer students next year.

A new charter school, "Lansing Charter Academy," set to open next year, already has 58 applications-- 18 of them for kindergarten. Windemere Park, another charter school in Lansing, has had 107 new applications-- 56 of them for kindergarten.

Diaz hopes her school's magnet program is still a draw.

"Hopefully we won't be in competition because we don't share the same program, unfortunately for other schools it's not the case," she says.

But as parents consider where to put their children in kindergarten, they have a lot to weigh out, especially with Lansing's repositioning plan hanging in the balance. The plan stands to potentially close more than a dozen schools and re-arrange students.

"That's certainly going to be an issue and have an impact. It's frustrating because none of us know anything, we just don't know what's going to happen until the final decision is made," Diaz says.

East Lansing parent Teri Sage already has one student in Lansing schools-- happily ready to enroll another next year. But hearing that closing elementary schools is a possibility, she has questions.

"How many kids will be in the classroom? Will they have extra funds to have kids in the classroom?" Sage wonders.

But it's not enough, Sage says, to keep her out of the district.

They're hoping other parents feel the same.

The Lansing Schools Kindergarten Round-Up is Weds. at all Lansing schools from 1-7 p.m. If you miss the round-up, call the schools and they'll set up a time to enroll your student.

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