Broadway. Liberty Island. Central Park. Rockefeller Center. St. Patrick's Cathedral. Detroit Lakes High School choir students will have the opportunity to experience all these sights and more come next April, after vocal music director Kathy Larson obtained the school board's approval for a six-day trip to New York City and back at the board's Monday night meeting.
Larson informed the board that, while all of the students will be traveling together on chartered motor coaches, the actual cost of the trip for each individual will be determined by their own choices.
"The students choose which (Broadway) shows they want to see, and the ticket prices, so the cost varies based on their choices," Larson explained, adding that while she provides guidance on those choices when asked, the final decision rests with each individual, who will also be tasked with raising money for the trip on their own.
While they're in New York, students will give live performances at both the Statue of Liberty (on Liberty Island) and St. John's Cathedral. The trip will take place April 10-16, with students in the Concert Choir, Varsity Choir, Ninth Grade Choir and Laker Singers all eligible to participate. Larson said about 35 students have expressed interest thus far.
In other business, the board heard a report from Activities Director Rob Nielsen on fall activities participation. Across all fall sports, a total of 340 students in grades 7-12 participated, which was down slightly from last year's total of 364.
Nielsen said participation by seniors, specifically, is less than in previous years, but some of that can be explained by the smaller senior class. He added that participation in individual sports was "right in the range" of previous years, with some, such as football and girls tennis, showing increased numbers compared to last fall.
As for the fall musical, Nielsen said participation numbers were "very good." Larson, who directs the annual musical production, noted that they had about 50 cast members, plus backstage crew, who were all hard at work getting ready for the opening night of "Newsies" on Thursday, Nov. 4. Additional performances are slated for Nov. 6, 7, 12 and 13.
Superintendent Mark Jenson reported that student enrollment was "holding steady," with a total of 2,954 enrolled in grades K-12 as of Oct. 1: "We're not up a lot, we're not down a lot," he added.
Jenson also noted that the district's COVID-19 numbers were holding steady, as well, despite a "slight uptick" of cases reported at Rossman Elementary — where students were recently requested, but not required, to begin wearing masks again after the building fell into the moderate transmission range of between 1-2.9%.
"We're still under the threshold (for requiring masks)," Jenson said, referring to the district's COVID-19 Mitigation Matrix, which requires the use of masks for all students and staff once a building's transmission rate has increased to the substantial transmission level of between 3-4.9%.