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DL Schools forming partnerships for new year

One of the provisions of the School District's Strategic Plan is to form three new collaborative partnerships each year.

While this is certainly not as easy as it sounds, this will soon become a normal practice for school districts and other governmental agencies. "Partnering" on the delivery of services to our publics will become a common theme going forward into the new decade.

One of the partnerships the school district has worked on over the years is that of our work with Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Historically, the two organizations have had open dialogue on the educational offerings in for students wanting to access a post secondary experience. Discussions in those areas will continue for years to come.

We are very pleased, however, to announce a partnership in a new area with M-State. Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the school district's Adult Basic Education (ABE) program, formerly housed at the Lincoln Center on Willow Street, will move to the campus of M-State.

The ABE program focuses on providing educational opportunities for adults. Probably the most common ABE experience is that of assisting students with the attainment of their General Equivalency Diploma or GED. The GED is an independent program designed to assist students with gaining a degree similar to that of a high school diploma.

The neat thing about this new partnership is the impact the physical move of the program can have on the student as well as the community of Detroit Lakes.

As a student works toward attaining the GED, they are doing so in a post secondary environment. Once the GED is attained, it is the hope of both the school district and M-State that the student would continue on with their education -- a post secondary education.

The location of the ABE program creates a seamless transition for the student to a post secondary experience. We know that the level of education can increase the earning potential for people over time. We think with this move that as a student works through the ABE system, and then on to M-State for a degree, we've enhance the earning potential for that individual.

That earning potential then will likely transcend into dollars being used to purchase essential services right here in Detroit Lakes, so we're happy that this move over the long terms will have some economic benefit for the community as well.

If you have any questions regarding the ABE program, please contact Kathy Simison or Lowell Niklaus at 847-4418.

As we move forward into a new decade, be looking for more "partnerships" like this both locally and in the region. Happy New Year!