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Opening day enrollment numbers show local school districts with slight adjustments in their figures from last year. Perham's district-wide enrollment was at 1,369 at the end of the day Tuesday, down 21 from last year. The New York Mills School District was at 700 pupils, 13 more than last year. Heart of the Lakes Elementary School's enrollment numbers were nearly the same as last year, down just one student, to 447 pupils.
Minnesota is the only state in the nation where more than half of all ACT test takers are deemed 'college ready.' According to recently released ACT data for 2012, in Minnesota an estimated 74 percent of students took the ACT tests, and 54 percent of those reached three of four college readiness benchmarks. All other states came in below 50 percent. The ACT measures student proficiency with core material taught during basic high school classes - English, reading, math and science.
Seven Perham High School students got a first-hand experience of Spanish culture this summer. The students, along with Spanish teacher Amy Haire and a chaperone, spent 10 days abroad in Spain. They sampled traditional Spanish cuisine, browsed vendors along narrow streets and navigated through the metro train system.
Construction began last week on a new Casey's General Store in New York Mills. The gas station/convenience store will be located at the former L&L Service site next to Dean's Country Market. Though a completion date is dependent on the weather, an estimated opening is set for the end of the calendar year, said Bill Walljasper, Chief Financial Officer for Casey's. The 3,500-square-foot store will follow a modern architectural design with an angled hip roof. In addition to all the usual convenience store supplies, Casey's will offer pizza, doughnuts and a sub sandwich bar.
According to recently compiled financial reports, the New York Mills School District is pretty typical of other schools in the state, fiscally speaking. The reports, written by two different companies, emphasize the fact that declining enrollment, changes in state aid and a low fund balance remain challenges for most districts, including NY Mills. Jodie Zesbaugh from Ehlers and Brian Stavanger from Eide Bailly updated the school board on the financial status of the district at a meeting Monday. Zesbaugh presented the completed Aid Anticipation Certificate report.
Finn Creek Museum's Summer Folk Festival is the last big event of the summer in this part of the county. It blends music, historical demonstrations, food and other activities to create a family-friendly weekend of fun.
Compare a 2012 Perham High School graduate to a 2016 graduate, and their views on high school education may be entirely different - even though they both graduated from the same school, just four years apart. The 2012 grad didn't deal with flip classrooms, cloud computing and Moodle. They didn't have to worry about keeping their iPads charged, downloading eBooks and learning about educational apps. The class of 2016, however, will be the first students in Perham to walk through their entire high school careers with iPads in hand.
With a plan to use excess revenues from the Community Education fund, the Perham-Dent school board approved the hire of a part-time employee to maintain the district's website. School board member Mike Hamann was the only one to oppose the idea. He said any funds within the Community Education budget should pay for more classes, not a webmaster. The Community Education fund cannot be transferred into the general fund, and instead must be used to pay for community education personnel or programming.
Teen Girls In Faith is hosting its first Teens Ignited concert on Friday, Aug. 24 from 7-11 p.m. at the Pioneer Grounds in Perham. All teenagers ages 13-18 are welcome to join the outdoor event for clean, wholesome fun and entertainment. Summertime Dropouts, These Guys, and local band Ballast will be performing throughout the night. TGIF committee member Heidi Studer said the concert is, "a great way to start out the new school year with a bang." Advanced tickets are available until noon on Friday at the Wild Goose for $10. At the door tickets are $12.
The New York Mills Public Works department has won a grant to purchase about $5,500 worth of safety equipment. The grant is offered through the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Grant funds must be matched by the city, with each side contributing roughly $2,800. Public Works plans on purchasing four gas testers and calibration, a lift crane, lift magnet, traffic cones, earmuffs and safety vests.