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District 518 adds new coaches, instructor

WORTHINGTON -- The District 518 School Board voted Tuesday to add three new positions.

The hiring of an additional boys' basketball coach, an assistant dance coach and a half-time English as a Second Language teacher was approved.

"Enrollment is up and that's a good thing," said Superintendent John Langaard. "It's causing the need for extra teachers and extracurricular staff."

He said the basketball program has higher numbers this year and is looking to revive the junior varsity coach position cut three years ago. The dance team is also seeing higher numbers.

"We've never had this problem before," Landgaard said. "Usually we have 15 or 16 (participants), and now we have 24. (An assistant coach) would help primarily with the varying skill levels that exist."

"I think this is a good problem to have, that so many kids want to participate," added board member Lori Dudley.

Both the basketball and dance coach would be subject to an annual review.

The ESL teacher will split his or her time between the high school and the middle school.

"We're seeing higher numbers at the middle school and seeing higher case loads," Landgaard said.

In other business, the board Tuesday:

l Changed the start time for the Dec.16 board meeting to 6 p.m. at Worthington High School. The public is invited to a retirement party for board member Lowell Nystrom, which will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dec 16 at the school.

l Declared the residential group home properties located at 2001 Nobles St., 1250 Knollwood Drive and 910 Lucy Drive as surplus properties.

l Approved the dissolution of cooperative sponsorship of boys' hockey with Round Lake-Brewster and Western Christian (Iowa) and approved the cooperative sponsorship of boys' hockey with Round Lake-Brewster and Fulda.

l Approved the second reading of Policy 709 Student Transportation Safety Policy and the first reading of 14 revised policies.

l Received the most recent enrollment numbers. Prairie Elementary has 1,048 students, eight students less than at the start of the school year. Enrollment typically drops more than that by November, board members said. High school enrollment has remained stable, while the middle school numbers are still up from the end of last year.

l Announced that all purchases made by booster clubs now have to go through the district's bookkeeping office rather than a club member