Academic Enrollment Challenge

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, March 16 2012 at 3:09 PM, Updated: Fri, March 16 2012 at 3:25 PM

Open enrollment has led to some competition between school districts in Klamath Falls, and there's a lot at stake.

Melissa Cerone transferred to Mazama High School to prepare for a career in business management...

"I am currently graduating with 60 college credits that I don't believe I would have been able to build up in another school."

While tight budgets have taken a toll on elective classes in some schools, Mazama Principal Terry Bennett has taken a different approach...

"I'd rather increase a class size by a couple students in our core academics, and keep a construction program - keep a culinary arts program."

Having more students inproves the chances of keeping those elective classes, and Bennett notes that there's also a financial benefit...

"As students come into the district, you're going to collect money from the state."

As a result, open enrollment has led to more active recruiting for students between city and county school districts.

"We want to be cheerleaders - we're proud of what we offer our students."  Bennett says.

Open enrollment applies to all schools, and all grades from kindergarten through twelfth grade.  And as districts compete, it's hoped that students will be the winners - and help keep Melissa's dreams alive:  "My biggest dream right now is to be a CEO at Nike, Inc."

And it's the schools that are getting lessons in business marketing.

Paperwork for transfer requests for Klamath Falls City Schools, or Klamath County Schools must be turned in to district offices by the end of this month.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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