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NLS District in west central Minnesota expects to have 1,418 students next week

NEW LONDON -- As of Monday, a total of 1,418 students are expected to begin the 2012-13 school year Tuesday at New London-Spicer Schools.

The estimated student enrollment was presented to the NLS School Board at the regular meeting Monday by Superintendent Paul Carlson, who noted that the number was preliminary and did not include students who hadn't officially registered or been taken out of the enrollment count due to transfers to another district. Also not included are the students who will attend the district's Alternative Learning Center for their high school education.

The district had expected 1,412 students this year. The student numbers are officially recorded by the state on Oct. 1. On Oct. 1, 2011, the district had 1,427 students. At the end of the school year, on June 1 of this year, there were 1,405 students.

This school year, a total of 443 students are expected at the high school, 426 at the middle school and 549 students at Prairie Woods Elementary.

The board also heard a report from Carlson regarding the damage to the school buildings and grounds caused by the June 17 storm. In total, the district recorded $72,356.01 in storm damages, with $67,356.01 covered by insurance and expects the $5,000 deductible to be covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency funding. The federal funding is available because Kandiyohi County was declared a federal disaster area after the storm.

The damage included the school roof over the cafeteria and weight room, damage to the track pads, the lighting ceiling tiles, Sheetrock and books. Electronic items damaged by the power outage in the storm included the voice mail server and HVAC equipment, plus labor by the contractors and school staff.

District officials are still finding things that were damaged by the storm, Carlson noted.

"That's $72,356.01 and counting," Carlson said. "We are probably still counting on this. We will make a second claim for the storm."

The board members also took a tour of the school buildings and grounds that included both the improvements made with the $1.5 million technology level funding and repairs made after the storm. The tour included the high school computer lab, where 32 new computers, a new Smartboard and audio systems are ready for students, along with a trip to the high school roof to see the repairs made after the storm.

The tour also included the press box at the football field, where volunteers are enlarging the box and improving the communications and access. The work, but local contractors and volunteers, will be finished by the Sept. 7 home opener against Waconia, according to Activities Director John Vraa.

The board also visited the new middle school playground, which was completely renovated this summer with new playground equipment. Middle School Principal Trish Perry explained that there will be ribbon cutting for the new playground on Thursday evening at the open house event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Parent-Teacher Organization will serve food and there will be music outside during the event.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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