|8/15/2019 2:18:00 PM|
Fourth grade enrollment closed for non-residents of Chisago Lakes
On Thursday, August 8, the Chisago Lakes School Board voted to close non-resident enrollment for the fourth grade level at Taylors Falls Elementary and the brand new Lakeside Elementary, citing a full grade level.
The decision had made its way around social media prior to the official board meeting, and it left many puzzled how a building that hasn’t officially opened yet could already be full for a grade level.
But, as Superintendent Dean Jennissen explained, it’s not necessarily a lack of room, it’s a just falling in that in between number for enrollment where there isn’t enough students to support another staff member, but it’s enough to make the class sizes a little bit too big for the district’s liking.
“We have had larger overall classes, but typically after they clear grades K-4 , we tend to get Open Enrollment in Grades 6-12, especially 9-12,” Jennissen said. “Currently, fourth grade is nearly 27 per class with hitting 28 as something we wanted to avoid.”
He continued, saying, “We are seeing growth, particularly in kindergarten. We did add a ninth Section at kindergarten recently, but haven't closed that grade to non-resident enrollment as there is room at Taylors Falls and now, with the ninth teacher at Primary. We felt we could add kindergarten because there were enough students to justify adding a teacher. In fourth grade, we don't have enough students to justify a ninth section.”
But, Jennissen did have some positive news to report on that front. He said that as of earlier this week, all non-resident enrollees have found a "home" or have been offered one. So, having fourth grade closed isn't impacting any students right now.
The Wildcat Community Center has a soft opening on August 19, according to Community Education Director Bob Meyer. The date has been pushed back multiple times for construction delays, but the center opening is just around the corner now.
The district accepted a milk bid from Plainview Milk Products Cooperative. They came in a bit lower in nearly every product -- white milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, and lactose free milk -- than Kemps and Dean Foods.
The school also officially began calling for bids for snow removal this winter. Bids will need to be received by September 18.
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Military Kids Toolkits were provided by Corey Boogaard and Cindy Kaske from the Chisago Lakes Yellow Ribbon Committee.
This is a curriculum that can be referenced at school to support students from military families.
The next school board meeting is late September, as they want to give time for the audit process this year, which is still trending for a deficit. The meeting is slated for Thursday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m.