Saginaw Public Schools' Count Day revealed some good news after a rough year and a half of pandemic issues and virtual learning.

The district's total student numbers increased reversing a decade plus trend of decline.

This year's numbers made Superintendent Ramont Roberts look twice.

"We were surprised because you're coming off such uncertainty with the year last year with COVID-19 and the things that we had to do with the school schedule," Roberts said.

The district's enrollment went up by 70 students. They thought they were going to lose 100.

"In the bigger picture, we hope it's a sign that families are choosing not only to stay with us but choosing to come to Saginaw Public Schools to be educated through their K-12 public educational experience," Roberts said.

More students equal more money for the district.

"The most important thing is that means additional revenue to the district's general fund that will allow us to provide additional resources to educate our students," Roberts said.

A few years ago, the district was losing around 300 students a year, according to Roberts. He attributes the increase to his board and school staff.

"And so, the work that they do on the front lines with families is what leaves an impression on families on whether or not this is a place where children are being educated appropriately," Roberts said.

With an enrollment surplus and a teacher shortage, he's hiring what he calls "Academic Interventionists."

"We looked at hiring individuals that could come in and support teachers in the classroom, providing more adult support for kids and ultimately lowering the adult to student ratio," Roberts said.

Roberts said the plans to merge Saginaw High and Arthur Hill are still on. He hopes even more students come for the new school.

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(1) comment

Bill C.

All that really means is that the parents of 70 kids realized that they can't handle home schooling for another year. It isn't an actual increase in trust of the school system as much as it is a simple necessity for people to get as much back to normal as possible.

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