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District 2155, Perham co-op dropping boys' tennis program

The Perham tennis program, part of a cooperative with Wadena-Deer Creek will not have a season this spring due to the Wadena-Deer Creek school board voting to dissolve the co-op and boys tennis program due to lack of numbers. File Photo.

WADENA — The Wadena-Deer Creek school board voted to dissolve a co-operative with Perham and drop boys' tennis this spring at Tuesday night's monthly meeting.

"We have three boys out and they are eighth-graders," WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum told the board. Perham's numbers are also low.

The board did not rule out the idea of bringing boys' tennis back if the numbers increase in the future.

WDC Activities Director Norm Gallant said both WDC and Perham were caught in a situation that many school districts in the section are experiencing now, including Staples-Motley, a recent state champion.

"We were just in a situation where there just isn't significant enough interest to run a program. It's very unfortunate. It's not a program that is hard to manage or real expensive, but we just do not have enough kids to have a team. Between Perham and WDC we had one junior returning and less than a handful in junior high."

The loss of boys' tennis leaves Perham and Wadena-Deer Creek with seven spring sports - baseball, fastpitch softball, boys' golf, girls' golf, boys' and girls' track and field and clay target shooting.

The board also approved the resignations of three long-time elementary teachers who will be retiring at the end of the school year. Kindergarten teacher Deb Andrews has 34 years of service, Title 1 teacher Diane Maunumaki has 30 years of service and special education teacher Theresa Sievers has taught for 29 years.

The board approved a motion to make up a snow day June 2. Both Friday, May 30 and Monday, June 2 will be full days. The teacher work day, which was scheduled for June 2, will be moved to Tuesday, June 3. The action also delays the start of the Wadena Summer Recreation Program to June 3.

Westrum proposed a way of avoiding the extra day to faculty members which involved adding 14 minutes to each school day for 29 days but the proposal was voted down.

"I was hopeful we wouldn't have to go into June," Westrum said.

Westrum reported after meeting with the board's budget committee of Pete Hayes, John Moenkedick and Kent Schmidt that a deficit of $165,000 presently exists in the general fund for the 2014-2015 school year.

The board approved a proposal to use Edutrak software in offering parents the option of making purchases at the school with credit cards. School lunches are summer recreation program fees are expected to draw most of the credit card use by parents.

"Given where we're headed today we should just jump on board," Westrum told the board.

Until now, WDC food services and community education director Sandie Rentz said, the school has only been able to accept checks or cash for these payments.