Natchez-Adams School District thankful for low drop in enrollment this year

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2001

Because student enrollment is tied to state funding, officials are pleased that the Natchez-Adams School District has only lost 13 students this year. Since September, the school district’s enrollment has only dropped from 5,070 to 5,057. Drops of about 100 students a year have been typical in the past.

&uot;I have to gloat about that folks,&uot; said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

Of those 13 students who left the school district, four were preschoolers, dropping the number of older students to nine.

&uot;That says something right there,&uot; Davis said. &uot;That says something positive for us.&uot;

Community and school district officials discussed the enrollment during a monthly community meeting Friday.

Even though the news is good for the school district, Davis said district officials cannot explain why the drop was so small this year.

In the past, the annual drop in enrollment has been blamed on the economy.

&uot;I’m hoping that it’s a situation where it’s kind of leveling off,&uot; Davis said.

Also during Friday’s meeting, the community members discussed the need to help students who should seek a GED instead of a traditional diploma. Often the students are older teenagers who have only one or two credits for graduation.&160;They are no likely to earn a traditional diploma but are not getting connected with programs to help them earn their GED.

&uot;I just wish they had a whole center for students to try to get to the point where they could take the GED,&uot; said Betty Cade, principal of the Central Alternative School.

Natchez Alderman Ricky Gray said he worried that struggling children were not getting the assistance they needed.

&uot;The students that really need help don’t get it,&uot; Gray said.

Millicent Mayo, public relations director and former principal of the Central Alternative School. said new programs put in place in the last few years may help future students from having to take the GED route because they fell behind in school.

&uot;You’re not going to see as many down the road is what I’m thinking,&uot; Mayo said.

Gray echoed the sentiments of the other community and district officials when saying the problem does not necessarily rest with the children but with the parents.

&uot;Ninety percent of the problem is we’ve got kids being (the) head of households,&uot; Gray said.

The group decided to discuss this issue at a later meeting.