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School board approves ALC enrollment cap

WORTHINGTON — The District 518 school board approved an enrollment cap on the Area Learning Center at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Superintendent John Landgaard said the enrollment would cap at 125 students. This would not affect any students currently enrolled at the ALC.

“Based on our staffing ... we are at our limits,” Landgaard said. “The ultimate goal is to transition (the students) back to the high school, and there are a few students who are just about at that point.”

The ALC currently has 130 students enrolled.

Board members Scott Rosenberg, Linden Olsen and Brad Shaffer each expressed concern that if the board approved an enrollment cap, students in the area would not be served adequately.

ALC Principal Nate Hanson addressed the board members’ concerns by saying that although there would be a cap, he would still be flexible with exceptions. It would just give the ALC the platform to not allow too many students into the program, he explained.

“I’m willing to work with our regional area students,” Hanson said. “We are going to meet the needs of our students. What the cap does is gives us a little safety net.”

Also approved at the meeting was the proposed 2016 levy, which amounts to a 12.22 percent increase from last year. Dave Skog, the district’s director of business management, stressed to the board that the final levy will not be approved until the December meeting.

“This would be the maximum levy,” Steve Schneider, the school board chairman, said. “It can always be reduced.”

In other business, the board approved a quote of $58,488 for the purchase of two special education replacement vans.

One of the current vans is having mechanical issues and will be traded in, while the other is aging out. Skog said the vans are only allowed to be used for up to 12 years. The second van will be converted into a maintenance van.

Kristin Kirtz
Kristin Kirtz is the Worthington City and School Board  reporter for the Daily Globe. Originally from Olivia, Minn. Kirtz enjoys the small town living of Worthington. She attended college at Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated with a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Multimedia Journalism. Kirtz landed her first newspaper job at the Hillsboro Banner in Hillsboro, N.D. where she worked as an ad manager and reporter for the weekly newspaper. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with her husband, visiting friends and family, watching way too much TV and when able, taking the time off to do some traveling. 
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