Kindergarten students are taking over the schools in Dickinson


Kindergarten class rooms are the most populated and fastest growing in the Dickinson Public School District.

There are more than 350 students.

“It can be difficult at times just because they are all running around. They all need everything, but we do what we have to do to get it done,” said Ashley Brawley, Prairie Rose Elementary, kindergarten teacher,

The school’s kindergarten enrollment was about 60 kids five years ago, now it is more than 100.

“The other students at the other elementary schools are starting to crowd, so we have been taking in the overflow of students,” said Sherry Libis, Prairie Rose Elementary principal.

Brawley said classroom congestion is tough for both teachers and students.

“With smaller groups we are able to do more instruction, get more time in, but the more kids you add to the class that time gets shorter and shorter,” said Brawley.

To alleviate congestion Dickinson Public Schools will reopen Berg Elementary for the Fall of 2018,
and officials are also exploring changing the boundary lines for elementary schools.

“I think just the familiarity of the school, and the teachers we have gone through. We know them all, so for my youngest one to go to a new school is a little nerve racking,” said Leah Weidner, Dickinson parent.

Change will be tough for some parents, but for teachers it could create more opportunities for learning.

“Definitely more one on one time with a smaller, small group,” said Brawley.

Due to the oil boom, student enrollment for the district as a whole has increased by 1,000 students since 2011, and Dickinson Public Schools hopes to find a solution that teachers, students, and parents can embrace.

The school district will host another public input meeting to address overcrowding at the elementary level.

The meeting is Thursday at Dickinson High School at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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