MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Teachers and kids in Minot are getting adjusted to their first full week back at class and the school district has more kids enrolled this fall.
Bryn Iverson says Minot Public Schools has 7,637 students enrolled at the start of the school year. This number is up from the year before, and they always welcome students here.
In this district, there are 13 elementary schools and 650 teachers working as well.
When looking at class sizes, they like to keep them at their cap numbers for each grade.
“Kindergarten and first grade we try to keep our classes below 23 students, in second grade 24 students, then in third through fifth grade 27 students, then at the middle school and up they try to cap it at 28,” said Bryn Iverson, the assistant elementary superintendent at Minot Public Schools.
Accomplishing this is the goal, but this sometimes has to change, because of the location of the school and enrollment numbers.
So far this year, they did not have to increase their cap numbers. But the extra students are not the only thing they’re working on.
They are also dealing with smoky conditions.
High schools have been advising players to drink water and to take a lot of breaks, whether they have breathing problems or not.
Safety is the goal for the school district and so far, they have not had to cancel any games, however, they had to last spring.
“We have two standards that we use. One is a recommendation that came to us, Bryn Iverson is our assistant elementary superintendent, around that 150/160 point we stop allowing kids out for recess. For our high school activities, we go by the High School Activities Association recommendation and that is 200,” said Mark Vollmer, the superintendent of Minot Public Schools, Minot AFB 160.
Vollmer says it isn’t the air quality itself, but the particles in the air the kids have to be worried about.
Also, with the high school athletes, what they notice is later in the day, the air quality improves.
Wildfire smoke is not new to North Dakota, but the quality of how unbearable it is is what’s new.
Right now, workers are building the new Sentinel High School in Minot. It’s expected to be finished next year and will have room for up to 1,200 students.