Enrollment of new students on the increaset schools, according to Ken Scarbrough, Cloquet superintendent of schools.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
The “news on the street” is basically all good when it comes to increasing enrollment at Cloquet schools, according to Ken Scarbrough, Cloquet superintendent of schools.
Though it’s not quite as healthy as a recent article in the Duluth News Tribune would indicate, since the numbers reflected in that article did not account for the students leaving the district as well, Scarbrough said new enrollment is in overall great shape nonetheless.
As of the start of this fall’s school year in Cloquet, Scarbrough reported there are 184 new students in the district who have come from all areas of the state.
Washington Elementary Principal Randy Thudin reported that while 41 students from Washington moved out of the district after last spring, only 11 of them have open enrolled in neighboring districts, with the balance moving out of the area due to parental job relocations and other reasons. On the flip side of the coin, he said 51 new students are attending Washington Elementary this fall, 11 of whom are special education students who will require extra staffing to accommodate.
Churchill Elementary Principal David Wangen reported that the school had 23 students leave the school after last spring, with all but three moving away from the area. However, the school has 43 new students enrolled this fall.
Warren Peterson, Cloquet High School principal, said of the 180 ninth-graders coming in to the high school this fall, 61 represent students who are new to the district, which he said is a healthy sign of growth.
Steve Syrrett of the Cloquet Area Alternative Education Program said while initial enrollment at the beginning of the fall is actually down somewhat, that traditionally turns around as the year gets under way and he expects it to grow by some 30-35 students.
Cloquet Middle School has reported a net increase of 45 students at the beginning of the school year this fall.
In other business to come before the board, members voted to reinstate department chairs. Scarbrough said the need for the move has been voiced repeatedly by district staff members. Department chairs were eliminated two years ago as part of the district’s budget cuts.
Scarbrough indicated that in discussions with representatives of Education Minnesota, Cloquet, the teachers’ group agreed to forego a percentage of the increase in site staff development dollars to which they would normally be entitled in order to help fund the department chair positions. In return, the district committed to reroute some $20,000 of district staff development dollars their way.
The new department chair positions will be in place for the 2008-09 school year and the candidates for those positions will be recommended by administrators. Scarbrough said at the end of the school year, a reevaluation will take place to determine how the new system is working and how to proceed in the future.
“I really feel this is something the teachers want and are willing to help make happen,” summed up Scarbrough.