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Good news for Frazee enrollment

FRAZEE - The Frazee-Vergas School District is riding a high right now, and has plans to show it off next week.

At Monday night's regular school board meeting, all personnel spoke on enrollment numbers being stable.

"We haven't seen enrollment this good. This is a sign the district is going in the right direction," Superintendent Deron Stender said.

Troy Haugen, dean of students, reported total K-6 at 501 students as of Oct. 7. Principal Brian Koslofsky reported enrollment for 7-12 grades, as of Oct. 3, is at 431. That total, 932, is up three students from last year at this time. Open enrollment out of the district has also stabilized and decreased.

Riding that good news, the district is ready to show off how the referendum money is being spent on in the two schools. Included in the passing of the referendum is the update in technology. Monday, Oct. 20, the school will be showing off the technology -- stability balls, SMART Boards, Instant Alert, etc. -- that the district has put to use. An open house is set for 5 to 6 p.m.

"Anything where you've been deciding to spend money, people can come in and see it," Stender said of the open house. "Members of the community will have the opportunity to discover the creative and fantastic opportunities our district provides for our students."

Some of the things people can view are the updated science curriculum, technology updates, Hornet Connection, construction trades, Community Education and a presentation on the energy efficiency project at the schools.

Following the showcase is a Lakes Area League of Women Voters-sponsored candidate forum. All 11 of the school board candidates have been invited to participate.

Also at the Monday evening board meeting, the board approved the sale of bonds for Phase II of the health and safety funded project, which includes heating, sprinklers and ventilation.

Although the funds will be levied for, the district has upfront costs, which is the reason for the bond sale.

When asked where the school was at on the sprinkler system, Stender said it was taken care of.

He explained that the district was given a citation from a previous fire marshal stating the district must install sprinklers throughout the schools and have access roads at the elementary school.

In the meantime, a new fire marshal took over and told Stender the school didn't need the sprinklers.

With only a verbal statement to go by, Stender told the fire marshal he wanted it in writing from the new fire marshal and his superior that the school was not required to have the sprinklers in place.

Stender said he hasn't heard back from the man in three months. And since the district is held liable for the last documented statement, the citation, the district is moving forward with installing sprinklers throughout the two schools where there aren't already sprinklers.

The bonds being sold are worth $3 million.