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Perham enrollment better than expected

Enrollment in the Perham School District is ahead of projections.

And, school officials are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the flu--including lessons on how to sneeze.

With one week into the 2009-10 school year, there were 1,409 students.

"We were predicting as low as 1,370, so that's very good," said Perham Superintendent Tamara Uselman. "If it stabilizes at about 1,409, that will be really good news."

Another good indicator is that enrollment is up from the end of last year. There were 1,406 students in May of 2009.

The message to sick kids and their families: Stay home.

"We're watching the flu situation very carefully," said Uselman. "We're sanitizing computer keyboards, using disinfectant, washing hands before lunch, and we're having students wash their hands as a group," said Uselman. "We're even modeling the proper way to sneeze into a tissue."

Sick kids must stay at home--or go home if they get sick at school.

"We used to be more flexible, sometimes letting sick kids stay until the end of the day," said Uselman. "But we have no choice now--we have to send them home."

One teacher was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus--but stayed home from work. According to Uselman, the teacher was at the Minnesota State Fair, where there was a flu outbreak, and became very sick prior to school starting.

Superintendent will speak to groups about school budget, levy

The Perham school levy referendum vote is November 4.

Superintendent Tamara Uselman is available to discuss the school budget and referendum vote with groups, businesses and organizations.

To schedule an informational meeting, call the school offices at 346-4501.

By law, the school superintendent can't "campaign" for a yes vote. But the superintendent can make factual presentations about school finance; and engage in question-answer sessions.

The levy increase has been reduced substantially, in an effort to garner enough votes to pass.

The school board is asking for $395 per student, for a term of three years. Initial proposals called for about $700 per student, but for a five year period.