School board reopens door for elementary open enrollment

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

The New Prague Area School Board approved a resolution reopening the district’s elementary schools to open enrollment for the 2006-07 school year. The vote, at its November 14 meeting, was 7-0.

Because of crowding in all four district schools, the board had closed the door for new open enrollment students in grades K-12 last year.

However, the district will be opening two new elementary schools for the 2006-07 school year and will operate three K-5 buildings. The resolution passed allows parents from outside the district to apply for open enrollment for children in those grades. The middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12) will remain closed to open enrollment, but are expected to accept open enrollment students beginning with the 2007-08 school year. The district will open an addition to the high school and move its sixth graders to an annex in the current intermediate school building in the fall of 2007.

Minnesota’s Open Enrollment law requires school districts to accept non-resident students unless the school board passes a resolution stating otherwise. Districts can only close themselves to open enrollment if they are becoming crowded.

Currently, New Prague has 297 students enrolled from outside the district, while there are 246 students from New Prague attending school outside the district. Before closing open enrollment, the schools net gain is usually between 90-100 students, according to Operations Director Tim Rybak.

Band trip

The board approved a trip to New York by the New Prague High School Band for March, and granted the group an exemption from the school policy to allow adults who are not chaperones to accompany them on the trip.

Sandy Gallagher, the band director, said in addition to herself, there will be four official chaperones for the trip; assistant band director Sarah Minette, high school assistant principal Steve Collins and two parent chaperones, chosen at random from those who apply.

The trip needed board approval since students will miss more than one instruction day. Gallagher said she was asking the exemption in order to hold down the cost of the trip.

We have too many for one bus

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