BAR HARBOR — If you are a teenager in an off-island town, Mount Desert Island High School wants you.
School officials are looking to keep enrollment up by enticing more students in nearby towns to choose MDI High instead of Ellsworth High School or some other school. Offering transportation to more students might be one way to do that, according to Mount Desert Island Regional School System (MDIRSS) Superintendent Howard Colter.
MDI High had 538 students as of Oct. 1, 2013. The projection for next year is 520. That would be 192 fewer students than the all-time high of 712, in 2004, and the smallest number of students since 1994.
The number of students from off-island towns has hovered around 100 for the past several years. And the same number is projected for next year. Each of those students brings $10,130 in tuition paid by their home communities.
“If we can continue to draw students from neighboring communities, that will help soften the impact” of declining elementary school enrollments, Colter said.