Forecasting school enrollment is an inexact science that begins before Labor Day, and lasts long after the first month of class. As for the students who simply don't show, there's no explanation.
Elmore County Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Langham, "Some people show up with very credible explanations, but there's always a few where we wonder where they've been."
The empty desks, that will eventually belong to new students could end up costing Elmore County much-needed state dollars.
The state uses a 20 day window in the fall to determine attendance numbers called a "Average Daily Membership", or ADM, which sets the number of teachers funded by the Education Trust Fund.
Langham adds, "It's our life blood, the money is here and available, and it impacts our bottom line."
Langham says this is "make or break" funding that accounts for upwards of 70% of the system's budget.
"It's always a major issue, especially now when every penny is so painful."
In Elmore County, the 20 day window opened August 7th, and ends October 5th.
Before noon on Thursday, 2 new students enrolled at Millbrook Middle. An additional to the 41 new students, who also enrolled this fall.
Millbrook Middle Principal Steve McKenzie explains, "It's an important time, not only for funding for our teachers, but also attendance for Adequate Yearly Progress."
Langham agrees, "It's more important than every before, because all of the funds we normally receive, are just gone."