NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School board approved the district's participation in the River Lakes Hockey cooperative at its regular meeting Monday.
The hockey agreement, which includes NLS, ROCORI, Paynesville, Albany, St. John's Prep, Eden Valley-Watkins and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa schools, is for the next two school years.
Key changes to the agreement include that each school must pay a $1,000fee or the average cost per player, wh-ichever is greater, per school year, even if the school does not have students participating in hockey that year, according to NLS Superintendent Paul Carlson.
In addition, each school now has a vote and voice in the cooperative's decision-making process, which is also outlined in the agreement.
The district had 12 students -- both boys and girls -- participate in hockey last year, Carlson said. The average cost per player has been $1,300, Carlson said. NLS pays $200 per hockey player; Paynesville/New London-Spicer Hockey Association covers the remaining cost.
The board also heard a report on the district's early childhood programs from coordinator, Joanna Struck. Two of the three programs offered for children ages 3 and 4 are full with waiting lists for the coming year, she said. The school readiness class offered at the Prairie Meadows building in Spicer has 10 children signed up, with five spots still available.
A high number of the potential kindergarten students are participating in either the school programs or private preschool, according to John Vraa, the district's community education director. As many as 85 of the estimated 105 children are in a preschool program, he said.
Vraa also reported that 98 students turned out for football this year, compared with 84 last year. The numbers for the other fall sports are similar to last year, he said.