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      Hayes Center Schools Thrive Despite Declining Enrollment

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      Rural America struggles to keep the population growing, which leads to the decline of school enrollment.

      Hayes Center's school enrollment is no different; now down 15 to 20 students in the past two years, to 125 throughout K-12.

      Open enrollment, consolidation in other counties, and distance between schools all play a factor in how many students roam the halls, but school officials aren't really worried.

      "I don't feel like it's an issue because I feel like we can and do provide every educational opportunity for our kids, so we're smaller but sometimes small numbers are good," said Hayes Center Superintendent Ron Howard. "There's probably folks in other school districts who would love to have a student to teacher ratio of eight to one instead of 25 or 30 to one."

      Administrators say even with this decline, the school still offers the best education for their students with up-to-date classrooms and modern technology.

      "We've pursued that. We feel that technology is a vital link to the educational process and so we have pushed that to provide that for our kids," said Howard.

      Hayes Center schools offer one to one learning including iPads and personal laptop computers, distance learning, and dual credit hours.

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