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DL school district gets ready for vote

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Enrollment at the Detroit Lakes School District continues its slow, steady climb as student population now stands at 2,814 — that’s up by 36 students last year.

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Superintendent Doug Froke says a larger kindergarten class of 189 is exactly what school leaders were expecting, and was a large driver in the enrollment increase.

Meanwhile, the district’s plans to address the space needs of the growing student population are on track, as judges for the Nov. 5 special election have been approved.

The election will determine whether voters approve a $59 million dollar bond referendum that would build a new elementary school and tackle several significant district-wide projects.

School leaders are hoping some of those voters come out to the upcoming informational meetings they are holding prior to the election.

School board member Dr. Tom Seaworth says incorrect information is circulating throughout the community, and there needs to be a push to get accurate information to community members regarding what the project includes and what it doesn’t.

At Monday night’s regular school board meeting, the board set three dates for informational meetings, which are open to the public.

Those dates include the Monday evenings of September 23, October 7 and October 28 at 7 p.m.  Locations are undecided.

Excellence in numbers

Quality appears to be keeping up with quantity in the classrooms of this growing district.

Both elementary schools, Rossman and Roosevelt, recently received the “School of Excellence” award by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association.

Out of only 12 elementary schools chosen within the state, two were from Detroit Lakes.

“I won’t pretend to guess what the odds are on that,” said Froke, “but the possibility has got to be fairly remote that they would both be selected.”

The schools were chosen based on their application, which included a self-reflection of what the schools do from an achievement standpoint, a survey from local parents and test scores.

“Both schools and their principals are deserving because of their performance on achievement tests and what they do for kids on a daily basis is outstanding,” said Froke.

Rossman Elementary fifth grade teacher Kelli Hanninen also won the 2013 WEM Foundation Outstanding Educator Award.

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