More on the Exodus

I just got back from being out of town for the past six days. When I linked to the story about Central Students fleeing Central I didn’t realize that there was a companion story. That Exodus is not from Central High as I thought but from the entire Duluth School District. I’d link to the whole story but the Trib didn’t put it online. Here it is in toto.

Superintendents of Cloquet and Wrenshall schools attributed some – though not a large amount of their 2008 enrollment increases to people dissatisfied with Duluth public schools and, in particular changes coming with the district’s red plan.
Cloquet Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said he was surprised to see his district’s enrollment jump by 184 students. Staff members were expecting enrollment to increase, but not by quite so much.
“That’s a large number,” Scarbrough said. “The year before, we picked up 100 students.”
The district hired four elementary teachers and special education and elective teachers last spring to handle the increase. Enrollment numbers also typically fluctuate throughout the year, Scarbrough said. He said the district might have attracted some Duluth students because of the red plan, “though not a significant number.”
This spring, the Wrenshall School Board put out a general call for Duluth students in a sticky-note advertisement attached to an issue of the Duluth News Tribune.
“Red PLAN not your plan? Why not change your PLAN and open enroll at Wrenshall day!” the advertisement read.
The Wrenshall district attracted about 27 new students at the beginning of 2007, said Superintendent Rick Herman, and more than 30 new students this year. Of the many reasons students move from district to district, he said, the red plan is just one.
“Some students go back and forth, but most end up staying [in Wrenshall],” Herman said. “It’s a smaller school, and class sizes are pretty small.”
About half of Hermantown’s enrollment gain came from families new to the area, while others transferred from various local districts, Superintendent Brad Johnson said. There was a large increase in the number of new ninth-grade students, he said.

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