Back to School

PRINCETON — Online learning has remained an option for Mercer County’s students, but the majority of families have opted to sent their children to class for in-person learning before a teacher.

Preliminary enrollment figures were not immediately available Wednesday, but most students were going to school, according to Amy Harrison, data and information specialist for Mercer County Schools. Only a small percentage of the county’s public school students are using online learning.

“The last count for virtual students is right around 360,” Harrison stated. “It might be a little

more now. Last year we had 1,300, which is a huge change. The enrollment for last year was 8,458 (students).”

It will take several days to compile this year’s final enrollment figures. Not every student who will be attending school appears in class on the first day, she said.

“They take a little every day,” Harrison said about attendance at the county’s schools. “They report the first, the third and the fifth day just to wait and see if it evens out.”

All school staff and students are required to wear masks while they are indoors except when eating, Harrison said. Masks will be required whenever Mercer County is red or orange on the state’s COVID alert map.

“If we are orange or red, we will use masks; and we’ve been red now,” she said.

Superintendent Edward Toman said he visited Sun Valley Elementary School, Spanishburg School and Montcalm Elementary and Montcalm High School the first day of school Tuesday. Masks were being worn by students and staff at each of the schools.

“They’re doing an amazing job,” said Toman, who planned to visit other schools Wednesday. “We

as a staff need to be good role models. We’re just doing the best we can. Did we want to start out this way? No way. Hopefully, it’s going to get better. Every board (of education) meeting will get an update.”

Toman said at both the elementary and high schools, he was “very impressed” with the students when he stepped into the classrooms. They were complying with the mask requirement.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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