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Island schools: Put-in-Bay student population stays afloat

Annie Zelm • Nov 29, 2011 at 4:21 PM

(UPDATED WITH VIDEO) While its neighboring schools have struggled with dwindling enrollment, Put-in-Bay is holding steady, averaging about 76 students a year for the past decade.

It looks like a typical school with a few exceptions.

There are no buses -- students walk, ride their bikes or drive golf carts to school each day.

At lunchtime, everyone gets to go home for an hour.

The school is smaller, of course, with kindergartners through seniors all under one roof.

Some grade levels are consolidated into one room with a single teacher, although the student-to-teacher ratios remain small. Some classes have just a few students. Each of the 21 staff members typically wear a lot of hats -- including the superintendent, who doubles as the school principal, building administrator and groundskeeper.

When a shipment comes in, he's the one who goes to the docks to pick it up.

One teacher, Christine Ontko, teaches language arts and social studies for all students in grades 4-6.

The French teacher, Linda Rence, is also the school librarian, enrichment director, distance learning coordinator and Quiz Bowl coach.

It takes some cooperation and a lot of flexibility.

But they make it work.

And they're obviously doing something right.

Read more in Sunday's Register.

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