KPS, Portage lost students while private schools report increases

Kalamazoo County's two largest school districts reported a combined loss of more than 500 students while nearby private schools have experienced an influx.

Kalamazoo Public Schools has 248 fewer students than it did last year. Portage Public Schools (PPS) is in the same boat, with a reported decline of 269 students compared to a year ago.

WWMT reports that many of those students have fled to nearby private schools and regional online schools.

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PPS Superintendent Mark Bielang said some parents are looking for something the district can’t give them.

“Parents we hear from the most want us to get back face-to-face K-12 as quickly as possible,” he said.

PPS is conducting lessons almost entirely online, though students in grades K-5 have the option to attend in person. KPS is online-only for all students until at least November.

At the same time, private schools with in-person classes have more students than last year. Kalamazoo Country Day School reports a 20% increase in enrollment, while Kalamazoo Christian Schools reported a 9% increase. Both schools are holding classes in person.

You can read more here.

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