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Superintendent's Report

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The end of the first quarter of the 2013-2014 school year is here! I would like to share information about student enrollment, American Education Week, and fall sports.

Enrollment Information

There is a variety of things that most people may not know about student enrollment in our school district or the enrollment history the past few years. On Oct. 31 of this year, there were 1,042 students enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. This is 43 more students than we ended last school year with and comes on the heels of a 20 student increase from the 2011-2012 to the 2012-2013 school year.

Did you know that we have seen a steady increase in enrollment since 2007-2008 when there were less than 900 students? We have also seen a significant increase in the number of students who enroll in our district from neighboring districts – this is called open enrolling.

There are 51 students from Morris who attend school elsewhere, or open enroll out of the district. Of the 1,042 students attending school in Morris this year, 180 of them – or over 17 percent – live in other school districts. The parents of these 180 students choose to have them attend school in ISD 2769.

We anticipate steady enrollment for the next few years, but we have also seen unanticipated enrollment fluctuations, so we will continue to project relatively conservatively but also realistically.

Before I finish this topic, it is important that I recognize the work all our office staff does keeping track of students before, during, and after each school year. I would be remiss if I did not compliment and thank all of them, especially Liz Lundebrek and Rita Rose, for the terrific work they do.

American Education Week

A very important week is coming up that I wanted to share information about. During the week of Nov. 18 to 22, schools across Minnesota and the United States will celebrate American Education Week. This event – sponsored by the National Education Association – is designed to raise awareness about the essential need to provide every child/student with a quality public education. It provides an opportunity to celebrate public education and recognize and honor individuals who are making a difference in students’ lives.

Our district will join others during this week to spread the word and recognize the important role of great public schools in the lives of students. Each of our staff members is a part of the success of our school district. Each of them does positive things for students, parents, community members, and each other every day. Each of them contributes to the overall mission and vision of our district. Without these efforts by staff, our school district would not be able to provide quality learning opportunities for students PreK-12.

On behalf of the Morris Area School Board and administration, I would like to extend appreciation to every advisor, bus driver, coach, cook, custodian, media manager, office manager, paraeducator, principal, substitute, supervisor/director, and teacher for their efforts positively affecting students.

Fall Sports Season

I would like to congratulate all of our fall sports teams for their accomplishments and efforts this past season. We have outstanding young men and women led by a talented and dedicated coaching staff. Some of our teams might experience more successes relative to wins, losses, championships, section playoffs, and the like, and people who might not be very familiar with our programs could measure success only by a team’s record or visible accomplishments. Records are important (and I like to win as much as anyone, if not more), and our teams have done well record-wise, but every one of our teams had a successful season because of the effort they put in and the skills, both athletic and life, they were able to improve on.

If you have questions about something or wish for additional information, feel free to contact me. I can be reached at (320) 589-4840 or smonson@morris.k12.mn.us.

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