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Admission to WDC events to increase

With some events struggling to make enough revenue to pay officials, it's come time to increase admission.

WDC students
WDC students cheer for their team.
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WADENA — Rising costs of running events at the Wadena-Deer Creek School District brought the school board to approve increased admission fees during their regular board meeting July 6.

WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum noted that after discussing the topic with area school superintendents and activity directors it sounds like fee increases are going to be seen across the region to counteract the increase in costs. Some of those costs include increased pay to pull in officials and other staff and the eventual addition of a shot clock operator.

“We’ve been at $5 and $3, and our neighbors are bumping up $1,” Westrum said during the regular monthly meeting.
The school board agreed that the increase was the right move.
The new admission fees will include the following:

  • $6 for adults. (An increase from $5.)
  • $4 for visiting students. (An increase from $3.)
  • Seniors 62 years old or older from the WDC School District may pick up a free "Golden Pass" at the high school office.
  • Season passes will increase from $50 to $75.
  • 10-punch passes are to increase from $30 to $50.

WDC students remain free to attend. Westrum noted that this was a good offering to help expose youth to these activities though it does at times result in parents dropping kids off unsupervised.
Board member Barb Tumberg, who has worked the ticket table, said she has been asked about visiting senior citizens also getting a discount. They have not received a discount in the past and that trend will continue. She also supported continuing to provide free admission to district students as many would never attend if not for that offering.

Westrum made mention of an exciting idea that could be coming next fall, where the elementary school may host a weekday matinee game that would allow the entire elementary school to step out of class to take in a ball game or some type of sport. To fill that up with screaming students could be an exciting time.

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Hot lunch prices

With free lunch the last two years, it may be a surprise to go back to paying for school lunches again for 2022-2023 school year. The costs for those lunches is not changing much over previous years, though there is an actual decrease for those in 5-8.

The board approved the following hot lunch prices:

  • K-4 at $1.95
  • 5-8 at $2
  • 9-12 at $2.05

While there may be added costs in food prices Westrum noted that they have enough money in the food reserves to handle a deficit they may experience.

Enrollment looks strong

Westrum indicated that their conservative enrollment outlook was indeed conservative as it appeared the school district will see 20-28 more students than expected. He expects an enrollment around 1,080 students starting in September.
With two of the smallest classes now graduated, the upcoming grades are showing significant increases in numbers.

Deer Creek School

Westrum expected to have a check in hand for the Deer Creek School this week and the ownership transferred out of the district’s hands. He said the action was able to occur without a quiet title.

A former Deer Creek student has been attempting to purchase the property for about a year.

In other actions, the board approved:
Hiring: Paul Ridge, MS/HS custodian; Mark Johnson, bus driver; Angela Donnay, Elementary SPED teacher; Heidi Brandt, elementary paraprofessional; Jaymie Lockwood, elementary paraprofessional; Kristin Schock, preschool paraprofessional; Dominique Browne, elementary paraprofessional; Melissa Stevens, 4’s preschool teacher

Retirements/Resignations: Trent Becker, Transportation Director; Tasha Steffens, elementary paraprofessional; Sherry Dean, elementary paraprofessional.

Related to the transportation director position, the board was pleased to hear that the school has many applicants with several highly qualified ones that were to be interviewed this month.

He's a writer, editor, photographer, truth seeker and promoter of the Wadena area.
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