Perham-Dent schools ready for another new school year

Everyone who is a child, has a child, or was a child can recall the excitement of those last days of summer prior to the start of the new school year.

Everyone who is a child, has a child, or was a child can recall the excitement of those last days of summer prior to the start of the new school year.

Over 1,400 pre-K-12 students will return to Perham - Dent Public Schools on September 7 and to say we are excited is an understatement. Staff have been preparing for weeks. Teachers have been involved in technology trainings, support staff have been cleaning and painting and printing and scheduling. Administrative staff have built schedules, hired teachers, met families and wrapped up summer school in time to begin anew.

Campus wide open house was on Tuesday, August 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. All students, parents, and interested community members were invited. For students experiencing a transition from home to preschool or to kindergarten, from elementary to middle school, and from middle school to high school, the new school year may bring stress.

Open house offers an opportunity to see the building and lessen the fears of that first day. Open house is a great time to meet the teachers, visit the homerooms, and see how hard our school cleaners have worked to make the schools welcoming.

School calendars will go on sale during Open House for $10. One lucky winner will receive $549 through the calendar raffle and each month a lucky $20 winner will be drawn. The proceeds from the calendar sales will go directly to cafeteria upgrades. To see what your 2009-10 calendar purchase helped achieve, be sure to stop by our high school commons. The transition is remarkable. We thank area contractors for their hard work and discounted fees, which made an outstanding dining center at PHS.


Food service

Meal prices will not increase this year. Families must keep a positive balance in their children's food service accounts. Families experiencing hardship in affording meals need only work out a plan with the school business manager by telephoning 218-346-1614.

Payments may be made at or with a check or cash dropped off at the elementary school office. Forms for free and reduced meals may be filled out anytime and must be filled out anew, each year. Forms may be picked up from any of the school offices or at the Food Service office located in the high school.

This year, ISD-549 food service will be managed by Chartwells School Dining Services who bring fresh ideas and innovative concepts to school dining.

Chartwells' number one priority is to prepare safe and healthy meals for children. Based on strong nutritional guidelines and principles, focused on culinary methods that result in healthy foods that are appealing to children, and emphasizing the use of locally and seasonally grown fruits and vegetables are hallmarks of Chartwells.

Chartwells will make no change from the past in purchasing from local businesses.

Elementary children will be offered a healthy fruit or vegetable snack each day. There is no charge for this snack thanks to a grant intended to teach healthy living. Elementary parents are asked to encourage their children to explore eating fruits and vegetables, some of which the children may not have tried before. Teaching children to like whole grains and non-processed food will help in controlling future health care costs.



Data suggests children learn to achieve when they consistently hear from parents and teachers that excellence is the result of hard work and nothing else. Find every opportunity to see your child's work ethic in action and validate them for gutting out everything from homework to the mile run. Instilling that work ethic develops life-long self-confidence and an ability to contribute to society.

School attendance is critical as well. Each day a child misses school; he or she falls behind two days. Showing up is the first step in achievement.

Do you know about the Perham ALC?

Education is offered at Perham Area Learning Center (ALC). The ALC is an independent learning site that provides an alternative to area high schools.

The ALC provides small classes, on-line opportunities, and practical applications in the vocational and construction fields. We are fortunate to have several wonderful high schools in our region and those high schools work well for most students; encourage your child to enjoy learning at these fine schools.

If your student is struggling to stay on course to graduate, however, then the Perham ALC may provide help. If you don't choose Perham ALC, please insist that your children earn a high school diploma somewhere.


Research clearly demonstrates that students involved in afterschool activity programs are more likely to succeed in life, earn better grades, avoid skipping school, and are less likely to have discipline problems, drug or alcohol issues, or become pregnant. Without question, students benefit from being involved in at least one extracurricular program. Encourage teenagers to participate in the arts, athletics, FFA, or academic activities.


As always, contact me at any time with questions. My office telephone number is 218-346-4501. Here's to a great school year. Go Yellow Jackets.

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