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Heart of the Lakes makes changes as enrollment increases

Exterior front entrance to Perham High School.
Perham High School
Perham Focus file photo
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PERHAM — Heart of the Lakes Elementary School will look a little different in the 2022-23 school year. During the monthly school board meeting on the evening of Wednesday, July 13, elementary principal Mike Kunza announced the new plans.

Kindergarten enrollment for 2022-23 was originally expected to include about 90 students, but the number of enrolled kindergartners has since increased to about 110. Because of this, Heart of the Lakes Elementary will be adding a seventh section of kindergarten in order to make sure they keep class numbers low.

With this seventh section, classes will include about 15-16 students. If enrollment continues to increase, they could increase the kindergarten class sizes from the current 18 and up, to 19 and up.

Classroom sizes won't be the only difference, however. The brand new elementary school sensory room is set to be assembled and complete by the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. It will also be in a larger space than originally planned.

On top of these changes, the kitchen remodel at Heart of the Lakes is also slated for completion prior to the new school year. If everything continues as planned, all kitchen equipment will be back in place and ready for the first week of school.

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Essays and completed applications are due to Arvig by email before 11:59 p.m. on March 3.

Also discussed at the school board meeting were the following:

  • Ryan Hendrickson was recently hired as the Perham High School dean of students.
  • The student resource officer, who started in January, has been well received by the public, Superintendent Mitch Anderson said. Because of this, the board may consider adding a full-time officer.
  • The board may consider offering free breakfast at the high school as well as the elementary, so that it would be available to all students in the district.
  • Summer school wrapped up. They had a successful month, with 142 classes and approximately 6,500 credits recovered. The ALC is continuing to offer a few days every week for students to work on recovering classes if they choose.
  • Activities Director Erin Anderson suggested expanding the activities assistant position to include leadership and management responsibilities. He also hopes for the department to critically evaluate the activities students are involved in to determine said activities' impacts. Expanding the assistant position would help complete these evaluations.
  • The next school board meeting will be Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. in the Perham High School media center.
Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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