August 24, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.

High numbers in high school

High numbers in high school
High numbers in high school

By Ben Sonnek- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

SCHS has over 750 enrolled for the 2022-23 year

Students are coming back to Sauk Centre High School – in fact, many more students than expected.

During the Sauk Centre Public Schools board’s Aug. 22 regular meeting, SCHS principal Sheila Flatau updated the board on the SCHS registration for the start of the 2022-23 school year. SCHS was anticipating about 700 students, but they so far have 751 students enrolled, an increase of about 50 from last year.

“That is obviously good, but it also stresses our system,” Flatau said. “We have eighth-grade classes with 33 and 34 kids in them. We have 117 eighth graders; we didn’t expect to have that many, so it’s just hard.”

On the other hand, the SCHS senior class has 75 students, one of the smallest senior class numbers the school has had so far.

According to Flatau, a good number of the general high schooler increase is made up of students who are returning from homeschooling; others are transferring in from other systems or from online schooling. While the official numbers may need updating, the SCHS secretary’s figures indicate 32 students have transferred in and only six have transferred out, and three of those six were foreign exchange students.

Flatau also highlighted four new teachers at SCHS: math teacher Brian Friedrichs, industrial education teacher Douglas Lee, special education teacher Derrick Roush and returning family and consumer sciences teacher Kari Warring.

“I feel so, so lucky to have these four people – these licensed, experienced teachers – just hearing the horror stories of teacher shortages around the nation.” Flatau said.

SCHS is still four paraprofessionals short but is still conducting interviews for the open positions.

Sauk Centre Elementary School has not seen as dramatic an increase in enrollment, up about 12 students from the approximate 346 at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

In other school board news:

– According to transportation director Jon Fevig, the SCPS bus fleet is in good shape for the start of the school year, and all of the drivers from last year have returned as well. Fevig recommended starting discussion on replacing two or three buses with new propane buses; while there is still the problem of a long waiting list for these vehicles, there is currently an available $20,000 rebate on buses.

– Buildings and grounds director John Messer reported that his crew is still working on refurbishing the school’s playground, but some pieces of equipment ordered three months ago have yet to arrive.

– Approved the resignations of the following employees: elementary paraprofessionals Katelyn Groetsch and Cindy Olmschenk; secondary paraprofessionals Katy Obert and Talayia Skillings; and English Language Learner paraprofessional and interpreter Yasmeen Soto.

– Approved the hiring of the following employees: ELL paraprofessionals and interpreters Doris Mejia de Beckler and Ana Pacheco Lopez; Wrap Around Kid Connection assistant Cindy Olmschenk; and paraprofessionals Kim Frie, Melissa Peterson, Susan Wielenberg, Carol Tabatt, Jessica Marthaler, Morgan Heidgerken, Ann Holmquist, Jessyca Hill, Jackie Garcia, Anna Huggett, Nancy Silver, Laura Watson-Martin, Ben Ridenour and Kila Nelson.

– Approved the back-to-school COVID-19 plan; changes include the removal of the cohort system in SCES.

– Approved the 2022-23 student and parent handbook. Changes mostly pertained to the book’s language and alterations to the dress code.

– Approved the updated Emergency Disaster Preparedness Plan.

– Approved an overload contract with physical education teacher Matt Middendorf; the alternative option to the overload was to combine two elementary grades into one for physical education, a move the board generally opposed.

– Approved the Wrap Around Kid Connection assistant contract and pay scale.

– Approved the 2022-23 E-Learning Plan, giving SCPS the ability to hold five e-learning days in the upcoming school year.

– Approved a resolution calling the school district general election. There are five candidates for the SCPS board’s four open positions: incumbent Ann Hess and newcomers Joe Borgerding, Jeremy Hartigan, Scott Pearson and Joshua Rieland.

The next school board meeting will be Monday, Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the SCPS Media Center.



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