Increased enrollment at Heart of the Lakes Elementary school required the Perham-Dent School Board to approve the hiring of a new third grade teacher at the regular school board meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

Heart of the Lakes Principal Liz Johnson said third grade class sizes are approaching 25 students across four sections. An influx of kindergartners is also putting stress on class sizes, with six sections of kindergarten hovering at 20 students. The district’s goal is to have under 20 students in each kindergarten class.

Superintendent Mitch Anderson said this discussion happens every year, with families enrolling at the last second.

The board discussed a few different hiring scenarios, before settling on approving the hiring of a third-grade teacher. The board also authorized the hiring of another kindergarten teacher if classes exceed 20 students.

District business manager Kristi Werner said more enrollment offers more funding, but the budget is tighter this year than it has been in the past.

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In other district news

  • The board approved the 2019-20 student handbooks.

  • The board approved the addition of a student success coordinator position.

  • The board approved an agreement with M State for the eCampus in the High School program.

  • The board approved the addition of a special education paraprofessional at Heart of the Lakes Elementary.

  • The board approved hiring a part time academic interventionist at Prairie Wind Middle School.