Janesville75.3°

Milton student numbers continue slump

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ANN MARIE AMES
January 26, 2010
— Student numbers continue to decline in the Milton School District.

But the decline isn’t as steep as some districts are seeing, and it’s not unexpected, Administrator Bernie Nikolay said.


The Milton School Board on Monday night reviewed student numbers from an official count taken Jan. 8.


The district has lost 20 students since an official count in September, according to district data. That translates into 23 students using Wisconsin Department of Instruction calculations.


The district counted 3,239 students Jan. 8.


The district previously reported losing 37 students between September 2008 and September 2009. That followed a loss of 20 students in September 2008.


The loss is “troubling but not unexpected,” Nikolay said.


He expects the decline to level off and turn to modest increases in the future.


“These numbers are pretty much in line with what we were told would happen,” Nikolay said. “They will level off soon, and then we’ll start seeing moderate increases again. However, predicting that is an inexact science.”


The student population will be directly correlated to the local economy, Nikolay said. Other districts, such as Janesville, have had sharper declines in student population than Milton, he said.


The Janesville School District today expects to release to the Gazette the results from its January student count.


In October, when members of the Milton School Board reviewed the official September student numbers, board members said plans for a new Milton High School would be put on hold.


Until last year, enrollment was increasing by about 100 students a year in the Milton district, largely because of growth on Janesville’s northeast side. The district created a plan to build a new high school and move the middle school into the existing high school building at a cost of $76.7 million.


But the school board put the plan on hold last year as the economic recession deepened, and it’s not likely to take it up again this year, school board President Rob Roy said in October.



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