Attendance at Bremen City Schools is down slightly this year as some families have chosen to homeschool during the coronavirus pandemic, Board of Education members heard at their work session on Friday.

The count was down about 12 students from this time last year, eight from the beginning of the school year, Superintendent David Hicks told them. It’s unusual for the Bremen system, which usually has a little growth each year, he said.

“A good number of families in the state are choosing to homeschool,” he said. “We have not lost many compared to other systems.”

The school system’s enrollment is not affected by students who have decided to study virtually through their school. Those students are still included in the system’s enrollment, he said. These families, a mixture of in-district and out-of-district, have decided to homeschool without using the school’s resources.

The school system went through its waiting list of out-of-district students and recruited some to fill holes in grades that were lacking, Hicks said. Despite that, the system is down about a dozen students.

The lower enrollment could have a financial impact if it continues into the official full-time-enrollment count in October, he said. There is another count in the spring that could help bring the numbers back up if the families decide to return, but that count doesn’t have as much impact with the Georgia Department of Education, he said.

The Department allots money to the state’s schools based on their full-time enrollment numbers. The amount of money can vary by the age of the student and other services the students use including such as gifted or special needs classes. The average allotment though is about $5,000 a student, so a loss of 12 students translates to roughly $60,000 for the system, Hicks said.

“I’ll keep monitoring it,” he told the board members.

Hicks added that he does expect the majority of the students to come back when “things get back to normal.”

At their meeting Monday evening, board members:

• approved an agreement with Tallatoona for special needs prekindergarten students.

• approved hiring Lynn Hodges and Donice Wood as long-term substitutes at Bremen Academy/Bremen Middle School.

• approved hiring Barbara Nappier as a substitute for the cafeteria.

• approved hiring Melanie Kin and Sarah Smith as substitute teachers.

• approved hiring Rusty Mabry as Bremen Middle School golf community coach and Mitch Hughes as Bremen High School football community coach.

• approved a sick leave request for Chris Brown.

• approved a request by Davis Russell to use the Bremen High School Football Field for a football camp.