TUBA CITY -- Greyhills Academy High School is eyeing a total enrollment of 550 students to start off the 2005-06 school year and has already closed enrollment for 10th and 11th graders.
"We are expecting our enrollment to hit 550," said Superintendent Andrew Tah on Aug. 8, as students were going through orientation. "Right now, the sophomore and juniors have exceeded enrollment so we have closed the doors to them. We are only enrolling freshmen and seniors right now."
Students, teachers, and staff were all anxious to get the day started to kick off the new school year. During orientation, teachers were introduced and brief remarks were made before students filled the hallways on their way to the classrooms.
Tah said that Greyhills Academy is going through a budget shortfall and had to cut back on staff to meet their budget for the year. The Bureau of Indian Affairs informed Greyhills Academy last spring that budgets would be based on three-year averages of student attendance.
Tah said that although enrollment has increased during the past two years, the average of retaining students at the end of the year has caused the headaches for budget funding. Tah said that he has encouraged his teachers and staff to work on retaining students throughout the whole school year so that future funding will be secured and not have to deal with shortfalls.
The clean, waxed, and shiny floors down the hallways soon filled with students and school was underway; Teachers and staff members hurried to classrooms to start instruction; maintenance personnel and housekeeping staff took care of minor details before students arrived and it seemed no one was concerned at the moment at the budget shortfall. It was just the start of school for another year.
"It's the same ol', same ol'," said a staff member as he hacked away at his computer. "We've started another year with the same routine."
Two or three teachers had not arrived yet so the Daniel Martin, Principal, had to work around them and assign some teachers to pick up the slack for the first week.
The summer was all too short and teachers are still finishing up their degree work before returning to Greyhills Academy for the new school year. Maybe that is part of that same ol' same mentioned before.
Nevertheless, school is underway at Greyhills and the Knights are looking mighty fine for 2005-06.
(Ray Baldwin Louis submitted this story as a writing consultant for Greyhills Academy High School.)