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Enrollment up in DL school district, board vice chair resigns

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

Opening day enrollment numbers at the Detroit Lakes School District put a smile on school board members Tuesday.

In addition to kindergarten numbers that were expected to grow based on eligible children in the district, other grades gained students as well.

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According to opening day figures, 2,753 total students are now enrolled in K-12, which is about 80 more than the 2009-10 year-end number.

In the kindergarten class, 229 students are now enrolled at Rossman and Roosevelt elementary schools.

"We hoped we'd be in that 230 area for kindergarten," Superintendent Doug Froke said. "We actually hit that 70 percent acquisition rate."

The middle school gained four students -- 637, -- while the Detroit Lakes Senior High School lost 22 students -- ending up with 813.

Grades 1-5 at Rossman and Roosevelt gained 24 students with teachers welcoming 1,036 this year.

"That's another measurement of the quality of education that we have," board member Thomas Seaworth said. "These are good numbers."

Vacancy

The Detroit Lakes School Board accepted the resignation of board vice chair Barbara Boyle who will be moving out of the district.

In a letter to the school board, Boyle stated that she has taken a job in Lakewood, Colo. and expressed her appreciation for being able to serve on the board.

"The experience has enlightened me to the scope of responsibilities and challenges school districts must face," Boyle wrote. "I leave knowing the district is managed by extremely capable individuals..."

The vacancy comes seven weeks before the Nov. 2 election, in which two incumbents and two challengers are running for three open seats.

Incumbents David Langworthy and Terrie Boyd plan to run again along with Tom Thompson and Brenda Muckenhirn.

The school board "with reluctance" accepted Boyle's resignation effective Sept. 13 and decided to leave the position open and run as a five-member board until the election.

But with member Cyndi Anderson running for District 2 on the Becker County Board, there is a chance the school board will have another vacant position.

Therefore, Chairman Langworthy asked the rest of the board to send him recommendations for possible appointments they may make following the elections.

Members agreed that there are good candidates out there, but often times it's difficult to fill school board positions.

"It's maybe not sometimes so easy as one would think," Seaworth said.

Activity fee increase

The school board accepted a recommendation to increase the activities fee for 7th and 8th graders from $35 to $40 and for high school students from $65 to $70.

Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch are eligible for a reduction of a minimum of $15 per activity for grades 7-12.

"There shouldn't be any students that couldn't participate because of the fees," Seaworth said. On the other hand, the district can't risk losing activities due to budget issues.

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