DPS ponders open enrollmentThe Dickinson Public School Board may stop open enrollment for the rest of the school year for elementary grades.
By: Katherine Grandstrand, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Public School Board may stop open enrollment for the rest of the school year for elementary grades.
At its regular meeting at the Central Administration Building on Monday Superintendent Doug Sullivan suggested the board stop open enrollment for the remainder of the year.
“Open enrollment is becoming an interesting dynamic for the Dickinson Public Schools, given the current economic environment of the community,” he said. “We continue to enroll students almost on a daily basis.”
Sullivan brought this up when the board was voting to allow seven children to be admitted under open enrollment. The board unanimously allowed the seven to enroll.
“We’re seeing some numbers in our elementary classrooms that are at or above the recommended class sized level by the school board,” he said. “My concern is if we continue to have students enroll throughout the course this spring and they are residents of our school district and we continue to approve open enrollment applications we risk potentially creating some extremely large classes.”
At or about 20 students in an elementary class is the recommendation.
“I’m not concerned about grades seven through 12, but we are concern about grades K through six,” Sullivan said. “At some point prior to the beginning of next school year the board should take a look at its recommended class sizes.”
Board President Kris Fehr asked who was open enrolling, if it was people new to the area who were unable to find housing in Dickinson or if it were established families.
“One of the things that has become a new phenomenon is that there have been some individuals who are stretching the truth, shall we say, about what their residence truly is,” Sullivan said.
If the board were to close open enrollment, it would still allow some out-of-town students to register with the district under certain criteria.
“If there’s a sibling already in the school district, say a first grader, and the younger brother comes along next year and is going to be in kindergarten, to work with the family and try to keep the family in one educational location,” Sullivan said.
The board took no action on the suggestion to close open enrollment.
“That’s an issue, probably, that we hadn’t ever anticipate,” Fehr said.
In other business:
The School Board is searching for an appointee to fill the seat former member Scott Staudinger left vacant due to resignation because of a move.
In a process that officially began at Monday’s regular meeting, interested members of the public have four weeks, until the next meeting Feb. 11.
Staudinger’s term expires in 2014.
The board will be advertising the vacancy in school literature in the coming weeks. Interested parties can contact the Central Administration Building at 701-456-0002 for more information.