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Brainerd School Board: Enrollment steady in Brainerd

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Brainerd School Board: Enrollment steady in Brainerd
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Around 6,300 students are anticipated to be walking the hallways at Brainerd School District buildings in two weeks.

The Brainerd School Board Monday heard from Steve Lund, the district's director of business services, about the preliminary enrollment numbers as the district is gearing up for its 2014-15 school year. Preliminary enrollment figures show that the district will see about 11 students less in kindergarten through 12th grade this fall, compared to the preliminary number of students who attended the 2013-14 school year. The district projects about 6,298 students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade for this fall, compared to about 6,309 students who attended the school year in 2013-14.

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Lund said the district lost about 48 students from what the district projected at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year of 6,357 to how it ended at around 6,309, when looking at kindergarten through 12th grade.

Compared to the previous school year of 2012-13, enrollment went from a projection of 6,288 students in kindergarten through 12th grade to about 6,298 students throughout the school year.

The district projects that there will not be many changes in the enrollment projections from 2014-19, with enrollment from kindergarten through 12th grade to stay at a high of 6,308 to a low of 6,266.

Enrollment in the Brainerd district has been on a decline since it had a high of 6,847 students at the end of the 2007-08 school year, the year when the district made several program and staff reductions.

Lund said the district has a good handle on what the enrollment numbers will be for the school year by Oct. 1.

In other business,

Accepted resignations from Lorie Duevel, emotional behavioral disorder (EBD) teacher at the Lincoln Education Center (LEC); Arthur Scott Lytle, special education teacher at Forestview Middle School (FMS); and Denise Reeser, agricultural teacher and FFA advisor at Brainerd High School (BHS).

Hired the following: William Severson, interim director of schools; Charles Durham, BHS math teacher; Christina Kavanaugh, BHS counselor; Dustin Olson, FMS eighth grade science; Danielle Patrick, FMS sixth grade science; Cassandra Scearcy, Early Childhood Special Education birth to 3 teacher at Washington Educational Services Building; Rachel Schumer, BHS EBD teacher; and April Willert, .4 full-time equivalent Title 1 teacher at Riverside.

Heard the second reading of the bullying prohibition policy.

Heard from FMS counselors Alison Medick and Trudi Storbakken. Counselor Kathy Hensel was unable to attend. The counselors discussed the effectiveness of the school's counseling programs. The counselors said they focus on three domains: Academic, personal and career and 80 percent of their time is to have direct or indirect contact with students. They said the student to counselor ratio at Forestview is 1 to 640. They talked about what programs they work on with the students that included, Top 20 lessons, bullying prevention, courage retreats and teacher and parent collaboration.

Heard from Tim Murtha, the district's curriculum director, who discussed the World's Best Workforce bill that was passed in 2013 to ensure every school district in the state is making strides to increase student performance. Each district must develop a plan that addresses the following five goals: all children are ready for school; all third-graders can read at grade level; all racial and economic achievement gaps between students are closed; all students are ready for career and college; and all students graduate from high school.

Murtha said the district's advisory committee will now have to dig deeper and provide more details in its curriculum reports. The district will have to submit a draft to the Minnesota Department of Education by Oct. 1.

Transferred $10,076 from the general fund to the community education fund to fund costs incurred in excess of state aid revenue for providing preschool screenings. The transfer in 2013 was $8,506.

The reimbursement rates are $75 for each 3-year-old screened, $50 for each 4-year-old screened and $40 for each 5-year-old or 6-year-old screened prior to kindergarten enrollment; and $30 for children who have not previously been screened and are screened within 30 days after first enrolling in kindergarten.

Heard from Superintendent Klint Willert, who would like the administration to begin the process of looking at the district's policies for student promotion, retention and program design and the graduation requirements.

Adjourned the meeting after hearing about the open houses at the schools: Open houses at all the elementary schools is from 4:30-6 p.m. Aug. 27; 4:30-6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at FMS; and 5-7 p.m. Aug. 26 at the BHS, South Campus and LEC.

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Jennifer Stockinger
(218) 855-5851
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