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Next fall's kindergarten numbers at 65

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BRIAN HANSEL

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Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom informed the District 2155 board Monday night that kindergarten numbers for the 2013-2014 school year were at 65 as of April 15.

The district has sent out 112 letters to the families of prospective WDC kindergarteners but experience has taught school officials to expect only a certain percentage will choose WDC.

“As we are looking at those 112 we know some are home-schooled, some are Amish and some are not going to be enrolling here,” WDC Elementary Principal Louis Rutten said.

Kindergarten numbers last year were 87. Rutten said the district’s goal is to be over the 80 mark, which would call for a fifth section.

The board approved the reduction of four full-time paraprofessionals for the 2013-2014 school year. Dahlstrom said Wednesday the reduction of staff is routine and the paraprofessionals may be re-hired at a later date.

“What it is is that we do not know how many special education students we will have in the fall,” Dahlstrom said.

Dahlstrom told the board there is still $1,153,000  of insurance money in the building fund. The funds are earmarked for several upcoming projects at the secondary school.

The board approved a property transfer of less than an acre of land to M State-Wadena. The matter dated back more than 20 years when the Wadena schools were all in District 819.

The number of sections for each elementary class is ascertained by the projected number of students. At the present time, Rutten anticipates four sections for kindergarten, five for first grade, four for second grade, three each for the third and fourth grades, four for the fifth grade and three for the sixth grade.

The board was informed of the impending retirements of six teachers - John Keranen (elementary), Cindi Koll (secondary), Deb Nelson (elementary), Terry Olson (elementary), Renee Pearson (elementary) and Audrey Ward (elementary).

The board approved the hiring of Howie Kangas as elementary physical education and head football coach, Katy Westrom as elementary music instructor and approved a lane change for secondary social studies instructor Todd Hale. Dale Becker, Chuck Venzke and Wallace Coson are retiring as bus drivers. The board also the approved re-hiring of Becker next fall. 

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