Low Enrollment in Alternative Ed Closes Jefferson for the School Year
Ferndale Public Schools had 185 fewer students than last year enroll into the alternative education program. This dip closes the Jefferson building for the year.
The Jefferson building, which is part of the Ferndale Public Schools alternative education program, won't see any students for the rest of the year.
Ferndale Public Schools enrollment director Stephanie Hall reported that there were 185 fewer students this year than last enrolled in the alternative education program. The program has a total of 778 students attending.
The building closed last week, which was the beginning of the alternative ed's second trimester.
With the dip in enrollment and with only about 100 students going to Jefferson, the district decided to shut down the building and send the students to the district's two other alternative education buildings: Taft Education Center or the CrossRoads Campus in Southfield.
"As we would in any other year, we look at mid-year adjustments," Hall said. "Due to enrollment we looked at staff and made adjustments. Mid-year adjustments are not foreign to us."
The consolidation also means two alternative education teachers were laid off, along with two from the secretary division of the school.
Hall said that by closing Jefferson and laying off two teachers and some of the support staff, the impact of 185 fewer students won't be felt by the district.
"The bottom line is when we're expecting less revenue, we make adjustments and with the consolidation, it won't affect the district," she said. "We do whatever we can so that instruction and programs won't be impacted."
Hall said it's the goal of the district to get that enrollment number back up to 1,000 for the start of the next school year.
Currently the district runs radio ads for prospective students but Hall said many students might be consuming media differently. She said that the district will look into ways of advertising the program that go right to the student via their handheld devices. She said the district also wants to make the program's courses more attractive.
"Maybe online courses," she said." We may look into that."
Jefferson will continue to be maintained over the rest of the year and the heat will stay on.