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Enrollment up for Morris Area Schools

MORRIS, Minn. -- The Morris Area School Board met briefly on Tuesday for their traditional first day of school meeting.

This was the first time since the district consolidated with Cyrus that the full 13 member school board has assembled to meet.

Superintendent Scott Monson provided the board with good news about enrollment for the year. On the first day of school, there were 1,047 students enrolled across the district -- 548 at Morris Area Elementary School and 549 at Morris Area High School.

Monson also provided the board with some historical trends for enrollment.

Enrollment reached a recent low in the 2006 -- 2007 school year, 893 students. Since then, enrollment has been "rebounding nicely" said Superintendent Scott Monson.

"A lot of the movement into the district this summer has been a little bit surprising, I think, which is certainly a positive and not anything we're concerned about," said Monson.

Over the same time period, the number of open enrolled students into the district has been consistently increasing. In 2012 -- 2013, 185 students open enrolled.

"In my mind, this is an indication of the work that our staff does and the programs that we offer," said Monson. "Parents choose to send their children to our school district.

However, there is also a lot of mobility within the school year. On average, the district loses about one percent of students throughout the year, Monson said.

Other business

• The board approved an overload schedule for Peg Rinkenberger to teach an additional section of civics. High School Principal Craig Peterson said that there were 115 students who needed to take the class, so the extra section was needed to keep class sizes down.

• At the recommendation of Technology Director Stephen Lien, the board hired April Taylor for part-time technology support. Taylor will work up to 20 hours per week.

• The board reviewed the summary from a close session performance review of Superintendent Scott Monson. According to the summary, the board said Monson "met or exceeded expectations" in all areas. "Overall, the school board is pleased with the performance of Mr. Monson," the memo concluded.

• The board will meet for their regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.