When comparing 2007-2008 numbers with those from 2006-2007, public school districts in the area are reporting slight decreases in student enrollment.
Leflore and Carroll county schools both have seen a 3 percent decrease in enrollment, while the Greenwood school district has had a 2 percent decrease.
These decreases represent four straight years of overall enrollment drops at local schools.
In Leflore County, though representing a small percentage of the entire student body, white enrollment increased by 39 percent. The number jumped from 36 students to 50.
The only school in the county district to see an overall increase in enrollment was Claudine Brown. The elementary school's student body jumped from 317 to 330.
The biggest decrease in the district was at Leflore County High. The school had a 9 percent decrease, dropping from 513 students last year to 468 this year. The school has 42 fewer African-American students this year than it had last year.
Carroll County schools also have seen their overall enrollment numbers drop from 982 last year to 942 in 2007-2008.
Carroll County Superintendent Billy Joe Ferguson said gauging enrollment numbers always proves to be a fickle thing.
“When I was superintendent from 1996-2000, we saw a steady enrollment increase,” Ferguson said, adding that the increase was mainly seen at J.Z. George High School. “I think it was because we began offering softball, baseball and cross country.”
Ferguson said the district doesn't necessarily strive to attract new students; it aims to make the learning experience of current students better.
“Now, we are working on getting a marching band started at J.Z. George. We work toward adding these things to offer the children we already have that much more. But a spin-off of that is, we'll attract more children.”
There had been talk in Carroll County two years ago of closing Hathorn Elementary n which recently achieved Level 4 accreditation n because of declining enrollment. The school once again saw its number of students decrease, from 130 last year to 121 this year.
“There is a threshold you can get to that would make you (close a school),” Ferguson said. “But as of now, we are not at that threshold.”
In the Greenwood school district, both black and white enrollment dipped 2 percent when looking at overall numbers. The district's overall enrollment has dropped from 3,094 last year to 3,018 in 2007-2008.
Davis Elementary had a 10 percent decrease in enrollment, as the school slipped from 557 students to 502.
Threadgill Elementary's enrollment this year is identical to last year's, as the school has 642 students.
W.C. Williams Elementary saw a 5 percent increase in its enrollment.
Looking at the four private schools in the area, only Carroll Academy reported an increase in its student body.
The academy in Carrollton reports a 7 percent increase.
Headmaster Carl Blaylock said the reason for the increase could be any number of things.
“It's probably a combination,” Blaylock said. “We had some improvements academically, a little more discipline and structure. “But I don't think you can pin it on any one thing. It's a combination of different factors.”
Blaylock also was quick to show appreciation to the schools' classroom educators.
“We've added some new teachers who have helped improve things academically.”
St. Francis School's enrollment stayed the same, as the school once again has 108 students.
Pillow Academy in Greenwood is down five students from last year.
New Summit is down four students.
New Delta Prep, in its first year in operation, reports 20 students enrolled. The new school offers Grades 7-12.