Upsala’s projection for kindergarten indicates a decrease

As each school district does this time of year, the Upsala Board looked at projected enrollment for the 2017-2018 year at its meeting, Wednesday. While projections can often be a “best guess” for the future, they are generally helpful for planning.

Next year’s kindergarten class appears to be on the small side, with 19 students projected. Total enrollment numbers are lower, since 30 students just graduated. But it’s the size of the preschool class that follows that is encouraging.

“We have two sections of preschool coming in and will possibly have a third,” said Supt. Vern Capelle. “There is a waiting list. There will be 34 kindergarten-ready students in fall 2018.”

The two sections of preschool are capped at 20 students each, to meet the needs of all enrolled. Depending on possible grant funding, a third section may be added.

Upsala School Board Briefs

Other business coming before the Upsala School Board, Wednesday, included:

  • Hearing Dean of Students Nick Klug’s report on the 100 percent graduation rate of the Class of 2017. Ten of the graduates will be attending four-year schools and 12 will be going to community and technical colleges. Total scholarship dollars received by the class will be $106,663;
  • Learning from Supt. Vern Capelle that replacement of the elementary lockers must be postponed. “The quote was higher than we anticipated,” he said. Demolition costs were included and it’s unknown what is behind the lockers, as they are built in;
  • Approving a contract with new speech language pathologist Karlee Peterson. “It’s a high-credentialed, high-demand, hard-to-hang-on-to position, but she’s local,” said Board Chair Dean Peterson. “We’ve gone through three personnel in the past four years,” said Capelle. “This should create stability for our speech/language services;”
  • Approving membership renewal in the Minnesota Rural Education Association;
  • Approving the hiring of Ehlers Inc. as the district’s municipal adviser for operating referendum services. “We are talking about renewal; there will be no increase in taxes,” Capelle said;
  • Accepting the quote of $40,732.59 from Winkelman for exterior wall repair on the north side of the west high school addition;
  • Taking no action on a quote from Winkelman for bus garage driveway regrading, pending more information from other sources;
  • Accepting a quote of $600 from Central Minnesota Door Service for replacement of the overhead door of the greenhouse;
  • Approving continuing contract status for Haylee Vershure, grades 7-12 science teacher; Jenna Robertson, .5 FTE elementary music teacher; Anna Wolbeck, elementary teacher and Thomas Riitters, elementary teacher;
  • Approving a waiver of continuing contract with additional probationary year for Jonathan Leither, grades K-12 physical education teacher;
  • Approving the College in the Schools/Concurrent Enrollment agreement with Central Lakes Colleges for the 2017-2018 school year;
  • Accepting the resignation of Rebecca Leither as varsity volleyball coach; and
  • Accepting the resignation of Jonathan Leither as head softball coach and assistant boys basketball coach.

The next regular meeting of the Upsala School Board will be Wednesday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school media center.