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Toys for Tykes to host silent auction: School board briefed on enrollment projections

WORTHINGTON — Worthington District 518 school board members gathered for their regular meeting Tuesday evening to discuss Toys for Tykes and enrollment projections. 

Board members discussed the proposed changes that will be made to the Toys for Tykes charity fundraiser.

Last year, the school purchased toys for more than 500 area children and spent more than $8,000 on toys and batteries — a significantly larger sum than previous years.

New food guidelines, however, caused the student body to struggle to raise $4,000 for the cause. The district was able to make up the deficit last year from a “slush fund” from previous dances, but that won’t be available for this year’s fundraiser.

It was proposed to the school board that a silent auction be hosted at this year’s homecoming game. The auction would include donations from area businesses.

The goal would be to raise at least $750 to add to the Toys for Tykes fund. The fundraiser would still continue raising money as it has in the past including:

  • Food sale (pending state approval)
  • Dances
  • Open Gym/Activity Days
  • Concessions
  • Corn Maze

The board voted unanimously to approve the silent auction.

Hazel Reinhardt, a consultant for District 518, spoke to the school board about enrollment projections.

Reinhardt said that in the past 10 years, enrollment has increased 33.6 percent in Worthington public schools. Enrollment is expected to increase again to between 30 percent and 35.7 percent in the next 10 years, which means 3,737 students to 3,898 compared to 2,873 in 2014-15.

“For growth at this rate to occur, the district must have an increase in housing units and the job market must remain strong,” Reinhardt said.

In District 518 the increase in housing stock has not kept pace with population growth, resulting in more persons per household. A study by Viewpoint Consulting Group in 2012-2013 estimated demand for approximately 500 new housing units in Worthington between 2013 and 2020.

Reinhardt also said ethnicity projections show an increase in the number of white students and the number of number of minority students. Minority students are projected to comprise 71.4 percent of the K-12 student body in five years. Currently, minority students represent 66.7 percent of the student body.

In other business:

  • The board approved a reduction to athletic and activity fees.
  • The $4,300 fine for stormwater violations from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was paid for by the contractor that was working on the bus garage project.
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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