Overall school enrollment numbers down in Adams County

Published 12:43 am Sunday, October 15, 2017


NATCHEZ — Enrollment in Adams County’s schools dropped by approximately 155 students this year.

The total number of students attending private and public schools in Adams county fell to 4,618 in the 2017-2018 school year from 4,773 in the 2016-2017 year.

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The system with the highest number of students, the Natchez-Adams School District, also saw the largest drop in enrollment — a decrease of approximately 144 students to 3,316 students. The Natchez-Adams School District teaches students from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

Public Relations Coordinator Steven Richardson said the school district had no comment about the enrollment numbers.

Cathedral School saw a slight increase of seven students in the new school year, bringing its total enrollment to 665. Cathedral teaches students from preschool 3-year-olds through 12th grade.

Principal Norman Yvon said Cathedral School is full, allowing only for small increases when a few spots in one class or another open up and students who are on the waiting list for classes can “fill the gaps.”

The school

recently finished building a middle school building and field house, and Yvon said there are no plans for further expansion projects at this time.

“The question becomes, ‘Where?’” Yvon said. “We don’t have a place for another building.”

Adams County Christian School saw the largest increase in enrollment in the county, with approximately 50 new students this year. ACCS teaches students from preschool 3-year-olds through 12th grade.

High School Principal Rick Fife said the school, which has an enrollment of 497 students, has seen steady growth over the past five years, but normally by only 10 or 15 children per year.

This year the school made room for a 10-percent growth in enrollment.

The school added in “a few” new lockers and desks to accommodate for the new students, Fife said, but otherwise there have been few changes.

Trinity Episcopal Day School’s enrollment dropped by 68 students from 208 to 140. Trinity teaches students from preschool 3-year-olds through 12th grade.

“Natchez is not really growing in and of itself,” Headmaster Christina Daugherty said.  “Due to the decline in population that we find in the area, the only way to grow enrollment, so to speak, is for one child or family to leave one school and come to another.”

Daugherty said despite the enrollment drop, her focus is on building strong relationships with the school’s current families.

“We find that when you have smaller classes and you have the ability to give one-on-one attention, the result is amazing,” she said. “Since I’ve been here, our goal has been to concentrate on the families that we have to make them happy so that our enrollment would increase through them telling their friends about us.”

According to census data from 2016, Natchez’s overall population has fallen by approximately 650 people since 2010. The 2016 number is an estimate calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau using data on births, deaths and migration.