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District 518 reports enrollment of 2,802

WORTHINGTON — With the 15-day drop mark now passed, District 518 schools have an official 2013-14 enrollment of 2,802 students, Superintendent John Landgaard reported at Tuesday evening’s board of directors meeting.

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“We had about 2,700 enrolled at this time last year,” he noted.

The Alternative Learning Center has 82 pupils; Worthington High School (WHS) has 783; Worthington Middle School (WMS) counts 778l and Prairie Elementary’s tally is a tight 1,159.

Other business was routine, with all seven board members present and voting unanimously throughout the meeting on everything from the consent and main agenda to committee meeting minutes, financial reports and the proposed 2013 levy.

“We want to approve the maximum levy amount, but once we’re into budgeting, we can adjust and may not need to ask for all of it,” clarified board chairman Linden Olson.

“It’s a 9.04 percent decrease over the previous year,” Director of Management Services Dave Skog said. “That’s due to legislative changes and adjustments at the state level.”

The 2013 maximum local levy was about $5.22 million, while the 2014 maximum will be no more than $4.75 million.

“And we don’t have to levy that much if it’s not needed,” confirmed director Brad Shaffer.

“Regardless, the total amount will be less,” agreed director Mark Shepherd.

Board members also approved a $13,876.30 quote for investigation and repair of a 30-foot area of building foundation at Prairie Elementary likely damaged by ice.

In addition, a half-time language arts teaching position was approved for WHS, in order to prevent other teachers from being overloaded and to keep class sizes in check.

Wireless access at WHS will be updated to stop occasional service interruptions that have disrupted some classes.

Landgaard also mentioned that school activities directors in the area met Tuesday to develop a plan for implementing a Greater Southern Plain Conference that would replace the Southwest/South Central Athletic Conference.

More complete answers to a few questions raised by District 518 taxpayers at Monday night’s public meeting about the Nov. 5 school referendum will soon be posted on the district’s website, Landgaard added.

“There are two more public meetings scheduled about the building bonds and excess operating referendum,” Landgaard said. “They are Oct. 10 at the high school and Oct. 24 at Prairie Elementary, both at 7 p.m.”

Director Joel Lorenz inquired about progress on the new bus shed.

“They started the dirt work last week, and will be getting to the foundation soon,” Skog said. “Permits are in place, and everything is ready to roll.”

Skog also reported that, two months into the fiscal year, District 518’s revenues and expenditures are “right on target” as school is getting into full swing. An audit of District 518’s finances will take place sometime in October, Skog said.

There were no visitors or guests present at the meeting.

Next week, WHS will celebrate Homecoming, with designated “theme days,” coronation of Homecoming royalty on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the WHS gymnasium, and a Friday night dance following a home football game.

WMS hosts parent/teacher conferences today while WHS has them scheduled for Tuesday.

The next regular meeting of the District 518 board is set for 5:15 p.m. Oct. 15 in the WHS media center. For more information about recent proceedings of the District 518 board of directors, visit