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Enrollment heads up in LP-A district

Though the preliminary 2013-14 revenue and expenditures budget approved by the Lake Park-Audubon School Board Monday night contains “very early” figures, Superintendent Dale Hogie says the school district’s finances currently look quite favorable for the coming school year.

The budget approved by board members at Monday’s meeting shows projected revenues of $7,059,915, and expenditures of $6,675,252, for a positive net balance of $384,663.

“That’s prior to teacher contract negotiations and other adjustments,” Hogie said.

One of the factors contributing to the district’s solid financial standing is the fact that Lake Park-Audubon’s total enrollment for the coming year could exceed 700 students, as Hogie informed board members on Monday.

Enrollment stood at 685 students in March.

“When enrollment goes up, revenue goes up … everything goes up,” noted board member Bryan Anderson in giving his report on the district’s June finance committee meeting.

In fact, the district’s finances are looking good enough that Hogie said LP-A is in the unique position of not qualifying for aid anticipation this year.

In other business Monday, the board approved a proposal from its laptop computer provider, CDI, to give the district 220 laptops at the same annual fee as LP-A paid last year for 180 laptops, as part of the district’s laptop replacement program.

As Hogie explained to the board, the district’s technology coordinator, Bob Henderson, recommended this proposal rather than one where CDI would provide 180 upgraded computers to replace the existing models, due to a hinge defect that was discovered this past school year.

As Hogie explained, the processing upgrade in the laptops was not needed for most of the students’ day-to-day activities, and Henderson felt it would be a better use of the district’s resources to get more computers, and offer them to ninth grade students as well as those in grades 10-12.

LP-A High School Principal Kevin Ricke said the projected enrollment in grades 9-12 for the coming school year is about 204 students, so CDI’s proposal to provide 220 laptops would more than meet their needs.

Overall, Ricke noted in his report to the board, there were 321 students in grades 7-12 who completed registration for fall classes; if those numbers hold, that would mean the high school is “looking at a 4-8 percent enrollment increase” for next year.

The board also approved a proposal from high school mass communications instructor Laureen Svobodny for the purchase of equipment to facilitate live online streaming of Raider sports and other school activities, via the district’s website.

The total cost of the equipment is projected to be almost $9,000, but Svobodny is in the process of securing pledged donations for about two-thirds of the total cost, leaving about $3,100 to be funded by the district or other donors.

The board also approved contracts for three new teachers: Laura Januszewski, high school business education; Derek Bjornstad, elementary school instructor; and Julianna Burkey, elementary special education instructor.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454