NEVIS, Minn. - School Board members here, encouraged by staff, agreed the time is now to recruit students.
The school district saw a significant drop in student numbers this year -- 505, compared with 540 a year ago.
"We need to take action to draw students," said Shelly Mahowald, a Title I Reading Recovery teacher in the primary grades.
Activities director Bryan Wormley agreed, noting this is the time of year when parents may be weighing their options. He suggested an open enrollment round-up for students in grades beyond kindergarten.
"Students are leaving this district. The time is now," Mahowald said. "We have no tangible evidence that you're trying to market the school."
The board was reviewing the preliminary 2010-11 budget, with superintendent Steve Rassier reminding them that revenue for the district is based on student enrollment.
"Any drop in enrollment will have a significant effect on the ending balance," Rassier said.
"We need to be proactive," board member Marv Vredenburg agreed. He attributed the decline in students to people leaving the area to find jobs.
"Not always," Mahowald said, indicating they may be enrolling children in a neighboring district.
Sherm Anderson, representing the public relations committee, suggested a budget be drafted.
After the meeting, Rassier said the website will be upgraded, brochures will be updated and made available and newspaper advertising is being considered.
Jean Ruzicka is a reporter at The Park Rapids Enterprise, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.