Supt. Ness: Strong enrollment continues

With another kindergarten student registering last week, we are now at 215 students in 10 sections of kindergarten at McKinley School! This is the largest kindergarten class in years. Districtwide, our online school, iQ Academy, is up 50 students and our Fergus Falls school buildings are up 67 students. Our current District enrollment numbers are as follows: Kindergarten–224; 1st –210, 2nd–187, 3rd–220, 4th–225, 5th–230, 6th–238, 7th–241, 8th–246, 9th–230, 10th–225, 11th–240 and 12th–273 for a total of 2,989 students.

Attendance

This year, our schools are focusing on improving our graduation rate.  iQ Academy and the ALC are below state standards and are in the process of writing an improvement plan. There are three key factors in graduation rates – ABCs: Attendance, Behavior, and Coursework. If a student misses 10% or more of the school year; or has two or more discipline referrals, or has two or more failed classes in their 9th grade year, they they are at greater risk of not graduating.

Students who attend regularly in the early grades perform better on measures of academic and social and emotional capacities; are more likely to be able to read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade; are more likely to have passing grades in middle school; are more likely to graduate from high school and to have success in college. As District, we also believe making sure your child is in school each and everyday gives them a greater chance to move to the next grade level in good standing and graduate on time!  If you ensure that your child is in school everyday possible, this will develop a lifelong habit for school and work.

Gymnastics

In response to the Letter to the Editor in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal dated September 14, I would like to clarify some information. The School Board has not permanently removed the Fergus Falls High School Gymnastics Team or the Fergus Falls Gymnastic Academy (FFGA) from the old high school (Roosevelt) gym. The writer referred to two different gymnastics teams.  The Fergus Falls High School Gymnastics Team, grades 7-12, has been in the Roosevelt Gym since 2011. They are a school sponsored activity and a member of the Minnesota State High School League. They will continue to use this space for their practices and meets throughout the season. This year, the season runs from the first day of practice on November 12 through the state tournament held on February 22-23 at the University of Minnesota.

All of our gyms are shared spaces and used by multiple groups. School sponsored sports/activities have priority over other groups. The FFGA was informed a year in advance that the District would be removing the gymnastics equipment after the high school gymnastics season to allow spring sports to use the gym until they can get outside, typically 4-6 weeks.   

In the spring and summer of 2019, we are also anticipating a construction project to repair the locker rooms and other areas; therefore, the FFGA will not be able to return to the Roosevelt gym until that work has been completed. In the following years, the gymnastic club will have access the full year, except for the early weeks of the spring sports season in March/April.

As our District continues to grow, the School Board will continue to review all of our spaces for our school and community needs. The School Board is committed to providing a quality gymnastics space for our students and community. If you have any questions, please contact my office.