MFL MarMac enrollment is up

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

MFL MarMac’s enrollment currently sits at 780, up around 20 students. The district lost roughly that same amount last year. 

“We lost a slug of money last year, so now we’re back to zero on what we lost,” said superintendent Dale Crozier to the school board at its Oct. 8 meeting. “But it’s not time to celebrate just yet.” 

The senior class will graduate 62 students, while the incoming crop of kindergartners will also be around 60 students. Census data, said Crozier, predicts several years of neutrality. 

He’s optimistic MFL MarMac could see an enrollment bump—above 800 students—after that. 

Crozier, who noted enrollment was 1,200 students when he first started at the district, said the drop over the years hasn’t been that people didn’t want to send their children to MFL MarMac. 

“[Kids] just weren’t being born,” he explained. 

Gaining knowledge for future sports complex 

During his report, Crozier noted that he recently attended a conference about building sports complexes, gaining knowledge for a project he said the district won’t complete until several years down the road. 

“We know people are coming here because of our facilities,” he said, adding that it’s important to stay on the cutting edge when developing long-term plans. The district has done that in academics and fine arts, he remarked, “and now we need to do athletics. It would really complete the district.” 

Athletic association considering “dead week” 

Crozier, who’s a member of the representative council for the Iowa High School Athletic Association, said there’s talk of creating a “dead week” during the middle of the summer, during which no sports or other extra-curricular activities would be allowed. 

To make this happen, he said the baseball season would be shortened a week, with the baseball tournament taking place at the same time as the softball tournament. The volleyball season would also be a week shorter, and boys golf may be moved to the fall, rather than held in the spring at the same time as girls golf. 

The concept, said Crozier, is meant to start a conversation. 

But moving boys golf could cost the district, he said, because the boys and girls teams usually travel together to meets. 

“That saves us a couple hundred dollars,” he said. “For us little schools, that matters. We don’t have the resources and economy of scale.”

Moving boys golf, Crozier added, might also affect participation in that and other sports. 

School board member Collin Stubbs, who is also a coach, thought the intent of the “dead week” is good, but likely wouldn’t prevent activities from occurring that time of year. 

“Participation outside school happens at the club level, not the sanctioned level,” which the athletic association oversees, he explained. “That will still continue.” 

Through his participation on the council, Crozier said it’s become clear there are different viewpoints and considerations from rural and urban schools. 

“We need more champions for smaller schools,” he said. 

After gaining more experience, he hopes to be one of them. 

“I’m going to make some noise at some point,” he stated.

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