Residents express concern about boundary changes

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

Three parents of Eagle View Elementary School students spoke at the open forum prior to the September 27 meeting of the New Prague Area School Board.

All three were concerned about recent reports regarding a possible redrawing of attendance boundaries in the New Prague Area Schools. Because enrollment at the three elementary schools has become uneven, the district has begun looking at possible ways to even out enrollment among the three. A plan was discussed at the board's September 13 workshop that would move students from the Lonsdale area to Falcon Ridge Elementary school in New Prague. Those students currently attend Eagle View in Elko New Market.

Lindsay Goltz, Mandy McWilliams and Jason Carlson all expressed concerns about the move. They had questions as to why the move was necessary and whether open enrollment was the cause of the uneven numbers.

Board members told the parents that the boundaries discussed had not been finalized, and that the board was going to survey parents and work with parents before making any decision.

Attendance figures

Operations director Tim Rybak reported on attendance figures in the district. He said that as expected, they had lost some students from the beginning of the year. Initial enrollment numbers often include students who moved out of the area during the summer and it sometimes takes time to get them off the rolls.

Still, enrollment is at 3,743 students in grades K-12, which is up by 55 students from what had been budgeted and up 74 students from the end of the 2009-10 school year.

Energy grant

Rybak reported on an energy grant that the district had been awarded. The matching grant provides $150,000 for the district to replace boilers in the high school with a higher efficiency boiler and to install high efficiency steamers in the Central Education Campus building.

The district will need to provide about $194,000 in matching funding in order to receive the grant.

Ski team coop

The board approved a cooperative agreement with Prior Lake High School for New Prague students to participate on the Nordic Ski Racing (cross country skiing) teams. Participating families would pay all costs and provide transportation to and from practices and meets. There would be no cost to the district. The board approved the agreement on a 5-1 vote, with Larry Pint voting no and Dennis Havlicek absent.

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