Wrenshall uses red plan resentment in effort to drum up its enrollmentThe Wrenshall School Board is inviting Duluth parents dissatisfied with their school district’s long-range building plan to take advantage of open enrollment and send their students to Wrenshall, 15 miles southwest of West Duluth.
By: Nina Petersen-Perlman, Duluth News Tribune
The Wrenshall School Board is inviting Duluth parents dissatisfied with their school district’s long-range building plan to take advantage of open enrollment and send their students to Wrenshall, 15 miles southwest of West Duluth.
In a sticky note advertisement that appeared on the front of copies of Sunday’s Duluth News Tribune delivered to the western half of Duluth, the Wrenshall board asked: “Red PLAN not your plan? Why not change your PLAN and open enroll at Wrenshall today!”
Wrenshall School Board Chairman Dan Jacobson said every school district is hurting for enrollment, and he thought the ad was a unique way to use the red plan “buzz word” to “drum up more students” for his district.
“It’s plastered over everything; I don’t consider this any different,” he said. “You look at signs, you look at the editorial page, you look everywhere. I don’t know how this is any different from that.”
Jacobson estimated that open enrollment accounts for about one-sixth of the district’s approximately 360 students.
The ad is the first attempt by a neighboring school district to capitalize on the dissent surrounding the plan, Duluth Superintendent Keith Dixon said.
“This idea of trashing another district or putting another district down for gain — I guess people have to decide if that’s the kind of district they want to enroll their kids in,” Dixon said.
Representatives from both the Cloquet and Proctor school districts said they aren’t actively trying to recruit Duluth students. Shirley Abbot, assistant to the Proctor superintendent, said she found only four Duluth students enrolling in Proctor schools next year who cited the red plan changes as their reason for leaving Duluth schools.
Cloquet Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said his schools are happy to have Duluth students, but they’re not going out of their way to lure them. “We’re obviously thrilled anytime a student chooses Cloquet,” he said.
Open enrollment is something all Minnesota school districts must deal with, and the Duluth school district recognizes that it’s surrounded by districts in nearly every direction, Dixon said. He said he respects the work done in neighboring districts and hopes to receive the same from them.