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Park Rapids schools ready for students

By Anna Erickson

Park Rapids Area School District is ready to start the 2014-15 school year, with buildings polished and teachers equipped with the latest technology.

Teachers are readying classrooms and preparing for students to arrive next week.

Century School’s open house is from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

“Century looks amazing,” said Century assistant principal Shawn Andress. “It’s the little touches.”

Century principal Joleen De La Hunt wanted to recognize Colleen Hoscheid, who has stepped into the role of PTA president.

The PTA fundraiser starts Monday, Sept. 8. The organization raises money to help with student field trips, classroom supplies and more.

The middle school will be incorporating Lego robotics into the eighth grade curriculum, along with fifth and sixth grade this year.

High school principal Jeff Johnson touted the ALC programming, which has been expanded.

The district has been focusing on making sure kids are kindergarten ready and read well by third grade.

To do this, additional classes and sections have been added for preschool. To ensure that students who want to come to school are able, the district will have space and a means to transport.

To close the achievement gap, the district will continue the trend of lowering class sizes. Kindergarten will have about 19 kids per class and an additional fourth grade section has also been added.

The middle level Alternative Learning Center program will be further developed and targeted services will be promoted for students in K-4 and middle school.

Technology has continued to be a focus in Park Rapids. Right now, the district has 1,100 devices.

K-4 has 220 iPads; grades 5-8 have 360 mobile devices, three sets of iPads, eight sets of Chromebooks plus specials; grades 9-12 have 425 iPads. The high school has implemented a one to one iPad program.

Curriculum has focused on embedding technology in the curriculum and staff has continued to have learning opportunities.

This summer, teachers were able to sign up for a tech camp to learn how to utilize and incorporate technology into their teaching.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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