White County School’s enrollment has decreased by 3 percent from last year.
A total of 120 students either switched to home schooling or online courses. Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger said the decline was expected.
“No one knows what to really expect with COVID-19, but we certainly anticipated we would have a drop,” Dronbarger said. “I actually thought it might be more than that. We are excited to be offering an online model for students and family to partake in. So, we have a lot of people doing that.”
About 450 students learn virtually in White County. Dronebarger said he expects in-person numbers to slowly climb if schools return to normal or a vaccine is introduced. Attendance Supervisor Bryan Haley said majority of families who switched to home school made the choice before the school year started.
“A lot of folks are more comfortable doing home school than some of the things we are offering as a district,” Haley said. “A lot of folks already went home school before a decision was made to offer a complete virtual program.”
Haley said he contacted every family that decided to teach their child at home, but only a few returned.
The school system has also seen an increase in excused absentees across the board this school year. Haley said the numbers were misleading since only 120 school days were accounted for in 2019-2020.
Haley said if COVID did not happen, the attendance numbers would have stayed consistent compared to the 2018-2019 school year.