December 18, 2003 at 3:41 p.m.
Newly-elected Board members Noel Stensrud and Lori Berg will be sworn in in January.
On a related issue; teacher union representative Jim Gillach, middle school instructor, requested during public comment that the School Board consider going to seven members.
In consolidating the old Taylors Falls District and Chisago Lakes District many years ago, it was determined there’d be three board seats from each district. But, even-numbered membership is not the norm for Minnesota boards. Also, Gillach suggested that adding one would give all the board members more time to pursue their particular areas of interest within the district operations and spread the workload related to serving.
Staff is going to research the process of expanding the School Board and the 2004 Board will review the issue.
The Chisago Lakes School Board “sponsors” the distance learning charter school Wolf Creek/TRIO. The accountability report required by law was presented by Tracy Quarnstrom, of the charter school.
There are 55 students enrolled now in Wolf Creek.
When it began as a three-district (TRIO) program in 1997 there were five enrolled. The high was in 2002 with 80 students.
The charter school is headquartered in the Chisago Lakes District Offices, and pays the district to lease that space.
Quarnstrom said students enroll for a variety of reasons: one student is a model and often works during regular school hours, others have medical issues, some are teen parents and others didn’t graduate and are achieving their degree through Wolf Creek.
The charter school board meets the first Tuesday at 3 p.m., in the district office, if anyone is interested in learning more about Wolf Creek. The program has a link from the Chisago Lakes Schools website too.
Charter schools are funded directly by the state at the same pupil aid level that other districts receive. They are required to have a sponsoring district or the state education department may sponsor the school.
The transportation services contractor, Hunt’s also submitted a request for a 3 percent annual increase in the agreement with the district that expires in April 2004. The district may certainly negotiate this request, Superintendent Dr. Tom Dickhudt advised.
The district can extend this contract two more years, for a total of four operating years without re-bidding, Dickhudt added.
This item will be on an early 2004 School Board agenda. The Hunt letter on extending the contract was for information at this time.
For the Board’s information there was recently a brief report on outside of the district enrollment, or students who reside in the Chisago Lakes district but are enrolled elsewhere. The numbers are for last school year.
Forest Lake by far had the most Chisago students open-enrolled, with over 175 students there last year.
North Branch hosts the second-most Chisago Lakes students, with 43 enrolled there.
Centennial District had 14 Chisago Lakes students in 2002-2003.
Spring Lake Park had nine students, Franconia (Osceola District ) had six Chisago Lakes students enrolled and four were attending classes in the Minneapolis School District.
For 2003-2004 there are 3,587 students enrolled in Chisago Lakes; but the numbers for those open enrolling elsewhere aren’t usually available until later.