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Open enrollment deadline passes for Cloquet School District

In contrast to the past two Cloquet School Board meetings with debate over music and art staffing numbers and ratio, Monday’s meeting was quick and featured little controversy or even discussion during the formal meeting.

Board members did debate some staffing positions during its work session prior to the formal meeting. They ultimately decided to form a sub-committee to consider staffing adjustments at the new middle school for art, music and phy ed along with the dean of students position at Washington and the proposed assistant principal position at Cloquet Middle School. CMS will grow to 800 students next year in its new facility with the addition of fifth-grade students to the existing grades 6-8. Board members Dave Battaglia, Jim Crowley and Nate Sandman will serve on the new committee, which will make its recommendation to the board as a whole.

On the subject of principals, Board members approved a 5 percent raise for CMS Principal Tom Brenner — because of his increased duties at the soon-to-be larger school — and a 2 percent raise for the other principals in the district.

Also Monday, Superintendent Ken Scarbrough noted the Jan. 15 deadline for open enrollment requests had passed, and he has put together a list of student applicatns the district can accept based on district requirements passed by the board in December. Scarbrough said he planned to accept all 13 kindergarten open enrollment requests, which the board approved.

“I’m going to hold off on accepting any more until after Kindergarten Roundup on March 14 and 16,” Scarbrough said. “That will still give us time to react if we need to hire any additional teachers.”

Scarbrough added that the district hasn’t capped any grades yet, although there are some with only space for maybe one more student.

In other matters Monday, Community Education Director Ruth Reeves gave an overview of the myriad programs and classes (including aquatics) offered under the umbrella of Community Ed in addition to contracting with the city of Cloquet to run recreation programs, The Beach and the Pine Valley tubing hill (which hasn’t opened in two years due to lack of snow or cold weather).

Reeves said last year they had 2,285 participant opportunities in programming for youth, totaling 9,765 program hours and 6,995 user opportunities for adult programming last year. Their Adults with Disabilities program had 2,069 participants in 5,117 program hours last year.

Scarbrough and board members also noted it was Paraprofessional Recognition Week.

“We would be hard-pressed to deliver all the services that we offer in our school district without the help of paraprofessionals,” Scarbrough said.

The next Cloquet School Board meeting starts with a work session at 5:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, in the boardroom at Garfield School.