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Back to school: Back on the school bus

Start filling those backpacks with school supplies, because the first day of the 2017-18 school year for area students is just around the corner. To help with the back-to-school preparation, the Brainerd Dispatch compiled basic information about ...

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Start filling those backpacks with school supplies, because the first day of the 2017-18 school year for area students is just around the corner. BrainerdDispatch.com Illustration

Start filling those backpacks with school supplies, because the first day of the 2017-18 school year for area students is just around the corner.

To help with the back-to-school preparation, the Brainerd Dispatch compiled basic information about some area school districts, including any new programs or changes for the upcoming year.

Brainerd Public Schools

Superintendent: Laine Larson.

First day of school: Sept. 5.

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Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 6,780.

What's new:

• Transportation will be busing students who live three-tenths of a mile or farther from their school district building.

• Comprehensive facilities planning process.

• New Chromebooks for the middle school and high school social studies classes.

• Curriculum work around the new next-generation science standards.

• Piloting new special education math curriculum at the middle and high school.

• New professional learning community structure means no more early-out days.

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New administrators:

• Aaron Sinclair-assistant superintendent of schools.

• Jenny Castle-human resources generalist.

• Carle Hoffman-payroll manager.

New teachers: As of Aug. 9

• Elisa Ailie-kindergarten teacher at Lowell Elementary School.

• Leah Bahr-first-grade teacher at Baxter Elementary School.

• Alexa Berthiaume-first-grade teacher at Riverside Elementary School.

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• Eric Bjorklund-special education teacher at Brainerd High School.

• Rena Bolt-early childhood family education parent educator at Brainerd Learning Center.

• Landon Brainerd-business teacher at BHS.

• Curtis Brisk-career and technical education teacher at BHS.

• Cassandra Brodin-second-grade teacher at Garfield Elementary School.

• Beth Cooper-special education teacher at Riverside Elementary School.

• Krista DeHaan-seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teacher at Forestview Middle School.

• Shawn Duerr-early childhood special education birth to 5-year-old teacher at Washington Educational Services Building.

• Andrea Ellefson-half-time second-grade teacher at Baxter Elementary School.

• Amelia Erickson-early childhood special education teacher at Washington Educational Services Building.

• Stacey Gorr-speech language pathologist at Harrison Elementary School.

• Eric Grimsby-physical education/developmental adapted physical education teacher at Nisswa Elementary School.

• Andrea Hamad-autism consultant at Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative.

• Richard Jensen-visual arts teacher at BHS.

• Emily Jerome-kindergarten teacher at Baxter Elementary School.

• Dana Kaiser-math teacher at BHS.

• Jeanne Kilian-autism spectrum disorder teacher at Forestview Middle School.

• Alexia Marcelo-math teacher at BHS.

• Jason Marcelo-special education teacher at BHS.

• Mandy Melby-family and consumer science teacher at BHS.

• Michael Morford-counselor at Brainerd Learning Center.

• Tamara Nelson-special education teacher at Riverside Elementary School.

• Emily Olson-kindergarten teacher at Riverside Elementary School.

• Traci Potvin-special education teacher at Harrison Elementary School.

• Tracey Riley-special education teacher at Lincoln Education Center.

• Emily Wendorff-first-grade teacher at Nisswa Elementary School.

• Mara Williams-second-grade teacher at Lowell Elementary School.

Pillager School District

Superintendent: Mike Malmberg.

First day of school: Sept. 5.

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 1,110.

What's new:

• $13.2 million referendum vote on Nov. 7. District residents will be asked to vote on a referendum for additional classrooms at elementary and early childhood area, maintenance on existing buildings for the elementary and middle school, and a 500-seat performing arts and community center.

• New science curriculum purchased for grades K-12.

• A revised specialist schedule in the elementary with all students receiving technology instruction.

• Increased physical education and health for middle school students.

• Dance team will be added to the activities at the high school beginning as a club in 2017-18 and then moving to a full-time sport in 2018-19.

• Middle school musical was added in the spring of 2017.

New administrator:

• Jason Savage-Pillager High School principal.

New teachers:

• Anna Maland-school readiness.

• Kelsie Jares-high school special education.

• Erik Espe-middle school/high school choir.

• Kelly Savage-middle school/high school special education.

• Jacob Box-sixth grade.

• Delaney Welle-middle school special education.

• Aubrey Fussy-elementary instructional technology.

• Brian Homan-middle school/elementary school physical education.

• Kellie Klimek-third grade.

• Lindsay Solheim-speech.

• Leola Schultz-high school math.

Staples-Motley School District

Superintendent: Ron Bratlie.

First day of school: Sept. 5.

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 1,200.

New administrators:

• Ron Bratlie-superintendent.

• John Regan-middle school principal.

What's new:

• Deployment of GoGuardian software at high school and middle school. This software will allow teachers to view student Chromebook screens during class and provide internet filtering when Chromebooks are taken home after school.

• Replacement of servers, installation of a server backup solution, replacement of core switch to increase speed for district network traffic.

• 1-to-1 technology with Chromebooks for grades 5-12.

• Increased wireless coverage at high school and middle school.

New teachers:

• Shari Henrikson-school readiness.

• Liz Capistrant-school readiness.

• Jesslyn Martin-kindergarten teacher.

• Michelle Karr-kindergarten teacher.

• Josh Mailhot-fifth-grade teacher.

• Lydia Olson-speech teacher.

• Nathan Thelen-choir.

• Caitlyn Strusz-high school math teacher.

• Steve Jennissen-high school counselor.

• Emily Hoeschen-family and consumer sciences.

• Jennifer Burns-health occupations.

• Denise Allshouse-early learning paraprofessional.

• Nick Reed-information technology help desk.

• Heather Kadus-middle school science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Pequot Lakes Public Schools

Superintendent: Chris Lindholm.

First day of school: Sept. 5 for grades 1-12, Sept. 7 for kindergarten.

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 1,695.

New administrators:

• Aaron Nelson-high school principal.

• Robin Golden-district nurse.

What's new:

• New scoreboard for the football/track stadium.

• Re-launching the Patriot Foundation to support students and district.

New teachers:

• Megan Tank-high school English.

• Katrina Moody-high school math.

• Toni Nelson-middle school special education.

Little Falls Community Schools

Superintendent: Stephen Jones.

First day of school: Sept. 5 for grades K-6 and ninth grade, Sept. 6 for remaining K-12 students.

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 2,450.

New administrator:

• Mary Margaret Mathers-director of special education.

What's new:

• It has been a summer of construction at three buildings-Lincoln Elementary School, Lindbergh Elementary School and the high school.

• In addition, the district is opening a new early childhood center.

• Major infrastructure improvements have been made to these buildings.

New teachers:

• Kyle Connelly-middle school social studies teacher.

• Kathleen Fuhrman-special education teacher at Lindbergh Elementary School.

• Mattia Hendrickson-third-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School.

• Dylan Magnuson-middle school math teacher.

• John Morgan-high school math teacher.

• Ellen Reber-interpreter.

• Abigail Schnobrich-middle school and high school language arts.

Crosby-Ironton Public Schools

Superintendent: Jamie Skjeveland.

First day of school: Sept. 5.

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 1,025.

What's new:

• Crosby-Ironton will begin its second year with 1-to-1 digital devices for students in grades 3-12. It will also be the second year for the elementary science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics program, where students as young as 5 years old learn coding skills and how to apply algorithms.

• The school district recently completed the installation of four additional tennis courts, bringing the total number of courts to eight.

• New this year, the school district will be hosting four tours for the public, called patron tours, of its school buildings. The patron tours are free to the public and will take place during the school day on the following dates: Oct. 17, Dec. 6, Feb. 1 and April 6.

• The patron tours will require a minimum of four and a maximum of eight participants to pre-register for either of the four dates that the patron tours will occur. During the patron tours, participants will have an opportunity to eat a school meal and visit classrooms while class is in session. Participants will be escorted around the various parts of each of the school buildings, while the tour guides point out various points of interest, as well as having the opportunity to observe 21st century instructional practices. The patron tours are intended to provide the public with an authentic lens to observe the great things that are happening inside the Crosby-Ironton School District.

• The deadline to sign up for the Oct. 17 patron tour is Oct. 9. To sign up for a tour, contact the community education office at 218-545-8822, or email Community Education Director Dale Sova at dsova@ci.k12.mn.us .

New teachers:

• Pam Clontz-high school special education.

• Lexie Freeman-elementary special education.

• Aaron Gastecki-high school technology teacher.

• Tom Ringhand-industrial technology education.

• Trevor Rohloff-elementary counselor.

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