Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Local school districts have been back in class for a full week and attendance figures are on par or ahead of previous year’s figures in most districts.
The Orangefield Independent School District is the lone district in Orange County which appears to have seen an increase in student attendance compared to figures from the previous school year. On Friday, Aug. 30, the fifth day of instruction for the 2013-2014 school year, a total of 1,742 students attended class. This is an increase of 35 students, or approximately 2 percent, compared to 2012. On the first day of class, Aug. 26, the district reported 1,708 children in attendance.
“We are very excited to see our attendance has increased so much this year,” said Dr. Stephen Patterson, Orangefield ISD superintendent. “Our history is we steadily climb in attendance until December, and then it levels off around the semester change.
“There is a lot of new housing construction and new developments are opening up,” he added. “And that is only going to help.”
The West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District has typically experienced a decrease in student attendance in recent years, but, as of Monday, the sixth day of instruction, a total of 2,393 students in class on Monday. This is an increase of 99 students from the first day of class and an increase of 82 students compared to 2012.
“We are excited to see that our enrollment is on an upward trend,” said James Colbert, superintendent of West Orange-Cove CISD. “For the past 12 years, our district has seen a declining enrollment every single year. Our goal, going into this school year, was to be able to try to hold our enrollment, without a decline. We have surpassed that by showing a three percent increase. We hope this is a sign of a continuing trend.”
The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District reported a total of 3,264 children attending class on the fifth class day. This is a considerable decrease from the 3,419 reported on the fourth class day in 2012.
“The LC-M school district is definitely concerned with the loss of students that we have experienced in recent years,” said Sherry Combs, LC-M CISD Community Relations Coordinator. “We know that some families choose to send their students to districts with newer facilities and we believe that the upgrades to our campuses, following the passage of the bond election, will bring some students back to LC-M. We are investigating the reasons that students leave, such as a parent working for another district, and hope to better understand and address the issue in the near future.”
Bridge City ISD reported a total of 2,711 students in class on the fifth day of instruction. This is a decrease of 14 students from 2012, but is well ahead of figures for years prior to that. The district reported 2,738 students in class on the first day of instruction on Aug. 26.
The Vidor Independent School District had a total of 4,936 children in class on Friday. This is a small decrease of just seven students compared to the fifth class day the previous year but is still ahead of 2011 figures. However, this is a sizable gain compared to the first day of class when 4,871 children were in attendance.
In previous years, the districts have found attendance figures increase significantly following the Labor Day holiday, and the trend is expected to continue.