Students are the reason schools succeed, and when the school-age population of a district declines, it can cause the school a lot of problems. Without enough students, teachers would be out of a job. Student enrollment is key in order for a school to function properly.

According to Superintendent Mr. Duane Willhite, last year’s student enrollment was 479 students. This year the enrollment number is 462. Part of this decline is due to the amount of incoming kindergarten students. Last year, there were 38 students entering kindergarten and there are only 27 students this year. Over the past few years, the enrollment numbers have been leveling off, but the recession could be a factor in enrollment numbers.

“I still think enrollment numbers will level off, but the way the economy is, we might have to lower that enrollment level that we were expecting,” said Willhite.

According to Willhite, other schools in Jasper County are showing the same things. Newton, Baxter, and Colfax-Mingo are down about the same percentage as L-S.

“Declining enrollments are going to hurt us more this year due to budget cuts and a greater impact next year when planning the budget,” said Willhite. By Taylor Van De Krol-L-S Journalism 11-09