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Frazee board to see open enrollment numbers

FRAZEE -- Something new has been added to the monthly agenda of the Frazee-Vergas School Board, hoping to keep the board more informed about continuous enrollment questions.

Superintendent Deron Stender has added the district enrollment option program applications to the agenda for approval mainly to "help you understand what's going on in our district," he told board members Monday evening.

But, he added, these numbers and requests change frequently and already had by the time the regular meeting was held that evening. He said he had just gotten an application to open-enroll a student out of the district who hasn't been going to the district for the last 13 years.

"The purpose," he said, "I don't know. It's paperwork. It's hard to talk about open enrollment because it changes so often."

Open enrollment to surrounding districts isn't the only reason students are leaving. Some of the requests can be for online high school, moving out of the district and the convenience of where parents work. Those reasons for leaving are stated on the forms parents submit for open enrollment, so board members will know exactly why students are leaving the district.

Stender also said enrollment numbers are down a couple of students, but not necessarily 24 according to numbers. He explained that at the end of May, there were 924 students in the district. At the start of September, there were 900. He said some of that is due to open enrollment, but it's also because class sizes change and there are less people in the district.

"You will see a completely different number in October," Stender said.

Nearly every day parents are bringing students into or out of the district, which will continue the first couple months of school and again at the semester change around Christmas.

"Anything can cause a ripple," he said of the number change in students.

As for the first week of school, everyone reported it going great.

"The first five days have been exceptional -- very, very good," Dean of Students Troy Haugen said.

He added that he thanks the staff for that, and that staff and kids have been great.