School Population Explosion - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

School Population Explosion

School Population Explosion

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Thousands of students in Minot were enjoying one final day of summer vacation today -- school for public students in town starts tomorrow morning.

And while kids were no doubt playing...administrators were working to figure out where to put them come Wednesday.

At one school, as Perry Olson shows us -- that meant some last minute work not usually left for the day before the first bell rings.

(Perry Olson - KX News) "Welcome to Sunnyside Elementary in Minot. It includes a couple of portable classrooms right now and less than 24 hours before the start of the school year plans were being made to bring yet another portable to these grounds." (Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "We keep a couple of these portable in storage so if we need to get them some place quickly we can do that. We will be working on that now for Sunnyside."

Why so late? The incoming kindergarten class has grown quickly...many parents signing kids up at the last minute. Up to about 80 kids here now meaning a 4th section of kindergarten.

(Cindy Cook - Sunnyside Principal) "It is frustrating because we have to change PE schedules, lunch schedules, music schedules...we have to change classrooms. Parents have already found out who their teachers are and now we have to make phone calls and say you have a new teacher because we have to hire another one."

And that task can be daunting as well. Kindergarten teachers need extra certification...so not all are qualified...but Cook hopes to have plans ironed out soon after Labor Day...

(Cindy Cook - Sunnyside Principal) "We are hoping by the third full week of school we will have someone in place. It will take a while to get this done.

The task today was where to add the classroom. The parking lot was already full...and Cook didn't like the idea of losing even more playground space. So the solution seemed to be a sacrificed tree...and a spot in the front yard...

(Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "We will be working with the city. We have to find a way to get this in...we want our portables as close to the building as we can keeping safety in mind always."

Working right to the start of school to handle a growing enrollment. In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News.

Cook says an issue could be traffic around Sunnyside this year.

The parking lots have been taken over by classrooms so staff will be parking on the streets.

She hopes the city makes a move to change 5th Avenue to one-way perhaps improving the flow of traffic around the busy school.

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