Archived Story

Enrollment increase prompts teacher hirings

Published 11:07am Tuesday, July 16, 2013

With kindergarten enrollment continuing to grow, the Fergus Falls School District has had to make up for the increase in numbers.

The Fergus Falls School Board approved the hiring of three additional kindergarten and first-grade teaching positions for the 2013-2014 school year Monday morning.

The board hired one full-time first-grade teacher for Adams School and another full time kindergarten teacher at McKinley School. It also hired an additional part time shared kindergarten teacher.

Eight sections have moved on from last year’s kindergarten class to first grade, which amounts to more than 180 students. That class was made up of 193 students in kindergarten last year, so, with the addition of students through the summer, it could match last year’s numbers by the start of the year.

There are 160 kindergarten students already enrolled for this year’s class. Superintendent Jerry Ness said he estimates there will be around 180 students to fill the class after summer registrations are through, but the district won’t know for sure until the year starts.

A higher census count in the city’s population contributed to the higher enrollment, Ness said. The pre-school and new free kindergarten option have helped cultivate numbers.

“We also just feel we have a great preschool program that is leading kids right into our schools,” Ness said.

Ness attributes higher enrollment in part to the savings of $195 a month for families with students in the free kindergarten option.

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