Final Enrollment Numbers Steady For Emmetsburg SchoolsFinal Enrollment Numbers Steady For Emmetsburg Schools
After hearing that it appeared enrollment would be steady for the current school year, the Emmetsburg Community School Board learned the official news during its November meeting on Nov. 15. Superintendent John Joynt acknowledged that the district actually gained 23 new students into the district from last year.
“Actual new students in the district total 23, and we had 21 open-enroll out, so that would make our enrollment very steady,” Joynt explained.
In analyzing the enrollment figures, Joynt noted that there were 30 less open-enrollment students in the district for this school year from last year, but 10 new students open enrolled into the district from other districts.
“We had 10 that graduated, and nine transferred back to their home school district,” Joynt noted. “There were six who actually moved into the Emmetsburg district, one that moved to Emmetsburg and tuitioned out to another district and four students who moved completely out of the area. All told, we have 80 open-enrolled students in the district this year.”
In other business, the board was updated on the progress of the STAR reading program at West Elementary, a project designed to improve the reading skills of the students that was implemented at the start of the school year. Testing results shared by Pugh indicated that in the time since the program began, third and fourth graders have seen a grade equivalency improvement of six-months in their reading skills.
“We’re seeing good results so far,” Joynt noted. “We are optimistic that the program is helping and the results will continue to show improvement for our students.”
Several personnel issues were addressed by the board, including the approvals of Nate Garrels as the Varsity Assistant wrestling coach and Jordan Cody as the Middle School wrestling coach. The hirings of Leslie Hofstad as a para educator in Kindergarten readiness and Julie Kalkman as a para educator in Early Childhood Special Education were approved, along with the hiring of Kimberly Rouh as a para educator in the Middle School.
The board also accepted the resignation of Dan Dooley as the Head Cross Country Coach, pending the acquisition of a suitable replacement. In his resignation, Dooley reminded the board that he had stated, “If someone came into the district with a greater knowledge of the sport, I would gladly step down.”
Dooley suggested volunteer assistant coach Valerie Crutchley-Pickett as a replacement for the position, citing her college experience in cross-country as a participant as a positive tool with which to motivate the student athletes.
Several recommendations from the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee were reviewed by the board, including the group’s approval of the district’s achievement goals for the previous year and approval of the student learning goals, long-range goals and reading, math and science achievement goals for the upcoming school year.
The advisory committee also agreed that continued work towards the reduction of bullying is needed in the district. The possibility of the district embarking on a one-to-one laptop computer program was discussed at length, with the committee suggesting possible funding through a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy at some point in the future. Additionally, a way to make the program more equitable in terms of students who might not have Internet access outside of school was also discussed at great length by the committee members.
Finally, the group also discussed class sizes, noting that it was not unusual to see 28 or 29 students in a class under current conditions. It was noted by the committee that research shows classes should be around 17 students or less. However, talks on the subject of class sizes will be ongoing.