Enrollment at some Clark, Champaign schools slightly down due to COVID-19, homeschool, smaller class size

A fourth grade class at Reid School in the Clark-Shawnee Local School District. CONTRIBUTED

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A fourth grade class at Reid School in the Clark-Shawnee Local School District. CONTRIBUTED

Enrollment at some Clark and Champaign County school districts has been slightly down due to the coronavirus pandemic and students enrolled in homeschooling.

Clark-Shawnee, Northeastern and Tecumseh Local School District enrollment is slightly lower due to either students being enrolled in homeschooling, students who were accepted for open enrollment but decided to stay in their home district or from class size being smaller.

“Last year’s senior class was much larger than our incoming kindergarten class, and there were some students who were accepted for open enrollment but opted to stay in their home district,” said Clark-Shawnee Superintendent Brian Kuhn.

Clark-Shawnee enrollment is 70 students smaller, Northeastern is 67 students smaller and Tecumseh is 27 students smaller this year compared to last year.

“The decline in enrollment is partly due to students who previously were open enrolled at Tecumseh Local Schools remaining in their district of residence this year. Also, we had a few families who opted to homeschool this year with the uncertainty of education this year as a result of the pandemic,” Tecumseh Superintendent Paula Crew said.

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Southeastern Local School District’s enrollment is smaller by 27 students this year, but the superintendent said the fluctuation is normal and doesn’t think it is all due to COVID-19.

“I don’t think the decrease is totally due to COVID-19,” said Superintendent David Shea. “We have seen this fluctuation range in the district before.”

Three Champaign County schools also said their decrease in enrollment is due to not only COVID-19 but also students enrolling in homeschooling and smaller class sizes.

Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools is down by two students, Urbana City Schools is down by 29 students and Triad Local School District is down by 22 students this year than last year.

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“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we did see some families opt for a homeschooling experience this year,” said Mechanicsburg Superintendent Danielle Prohaska. “We also have closed open enrollment in many grades and buildings due to the ability to space students within the classroom. Closing open enrollment has had the biggest impact on numbers, as we have denied several open enrollment students this year which we would have previously approved.”

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