High school students in Sonora got back to the books this morning. But both Sonora High and Summerville High school principals say thereÂ´ll be less kids in the classrooms this fall.
Sonora High School Principal Terry Clark says enrollments at his campus this fall are down from years past. “Our enrollment is basically going to flatline over the next ten years,” Clark said. “WeÂ´ve dropped a hundred students from four years ago. Last year we were at the 1,550 (student) range and thatÂ´s what our prediction is this year,” he said.
Clarke did say educators in general are seeing declining enrollment in some areas of the county, such as the area served by Summerville High School. “TheyÂ´ve had a more dramatic drop than weÂ´ve had,” Clark said.
Summerville High Principal Dave Urquhart said while his schoolÂ´s enrollment is dropping, the district is hoping for a return of the numbers. The state funds each district based on the ADA or Average Daily Attendance numbers of students in desks each day.
“We planned on having about 520 students when the school year ended,” Urquhart said. “WeÂ´re almost at 600 right now. So, weÂ´ve had a lot of action over the summer, which is real positive for us.”
Both school principals attribute the drop to a marked increase of people moving into the area, mostly retirement-age residents.
“Most of them are not new homeowners. TheyÂ´re nieces and nephews coming to live with aunt and uncle, grandchildren living with grandma and grandpa,” Urquhart said.