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Cloquet School District closes open enrollment for the year

The action taken by the board happens annually to provide stability to the district's class sizes.

Garfield School
The updated school still stands today on the same site.
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CLOQUET — Under the advisement of Superintendent Michael Cary, the Cloquet School Board voted to close open enrollment into the district for the remainder of the school year at the board’s Monday, Sept. 12, meeting at Garfield School.

Cary shared with the Pine Journal that the move is made annually, and provides stability to the district’s class sizes.

“Our experience has been that a lot of the open enrollment requests or enrollment change requests that happen after a school year has started are usually (from) kids that are trying to get away from situations that they’ve created in their other districts,” Cary said. And so for the stability of our families that are with us and for the stability of those classes, we’ve decided each year to close down open enrollment at the beginning of the year.”

District enrollment for this school year currently sits at 2,570, according to the report provided at the meeting. The total is slightly lower than the district's enrollment from last year, which was 2,583.

According to Cary, the slight decrease reflects some ongoing trends at the middle and high school levels where cohort sizes have varied.

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“The middle school right now is in the middle of that decline because those big cohorts have left or are leaving and we’re not getting quite as big of groups coming in. But then the elementary (schools) have been growing, so this year’s elementary cohort right now is bigger than what we had last year,” Cary said. “So we’re seeing stronger elementary numbers, kind of some smaller cohorts moving into and through the middle school, and some of those larger cohorts right now into the high school.”

Total middle school enrollment for the district is 786 students, compared to 817 at the high school. Churchill and Washington elementary schools have enrollments of 383 and 500, respectively. Cloquet Area Alternative Education Program has 84 students enrolled across its middle and high school levels.

Tim Stark hired as new Nordic coach

Former Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Nordic assistant coach Tim Stark will take over the reigns as head coach of the Lumberjacks’ program after the school board unanimously approved his hire at Monday’s meeting.

Stark began his tenure as an assistant with CEC in 2018 after previously serving as the head coach of the Denfeld Nordic program from 2014-2017. Stark replaces four-year head coach Arne Maijala, who announced his resignation in August.

MORE FROM JAKE PRZYTARSKI:
The Harley Davidson-themed restaurant officially opened its doors Aug. 11 to the Cloquet community.

Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
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