2017-08-24 / Front Page

Leland caps school-of-choice students

Leland Public School is bursting at the seams, leading to a cap on School of Choice students at four class levels on the eve of the start of school.

“It’s the first time we’ve done this,” superintendent Jason Stowe said. “It’s because we were reaching a point where we were one student away from having to add an aide in each class.”

As of Monday enrollment at Leland sat at 520 — the highest-ever headcount on the school campus. Among them are 61 students who are completely new to the district.

Stowe said the district is trying to juggle class size to accommodate as many students as can be managed.

“We need to have a least one slot open for an in-district student. We get new students up through the first week of school.”

School-of-choice students from other districts number 200, or some 38 percent of campus enrollment.

Leland also provides instruction in non-core classes to about 100 students at Lake Leelanau St. Mary, which will bring its full-time equivalent (FTE) student total to 620. The FTE figure is important because it determines the level of school aid received from the state.

Stowe said the district announced the SOC enrollment caps and placed announcements on the school doors two weeks ago. They do not apply to families who were previously enrolled through SOC.

Currently, Leland has four sections of mixed grades 1 and 2 that are capped at 24 students each and three sections of mixed grades 3 and 4, which are capped at 26 and 27 students, respectively. Also closed to further students is grade eight, which numbers 28.

So far only one family has been turned away, Stowe added.

Leland has three sections of kindergarten with 16 students each.

The school’s K-6 enrollment stands at 288 and secondary is at 226, principal Charlie Gann said.

— By Amy Hubbell

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So sorry to read in the last

So sorry to read in the last edition that "Leland Public School is bursting at the seams, leading to a cap on School of Choice students..." Here's an idea, Leland: Stop running your school buses into the Suttons Bay School District to facilitate "school of choice" decisions in your favor. This is the educational equivalent of gerrymandering, and it is wrong.