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District 833 briefs: Enrollment up, more ...

School district enrollment up

Overall enrollment is up slightly in South Washington County Schools.

The latest enrollment numbers show District 833 enrollment grew by 1.2 percent this fall. The additional 211 students brings district enrollment to 17,639, district administrators said.

There was no change overall in the elementary school enrollment, though in general elementary schools serving older housing developments saw decline while schools where there is new housing development saw an increase.

There were 65 more students in middle schools when compared to 2011-12 and 146 more high school students.

East Ridge High School enrollment is 1,800 students this year. Park High School is at 1,855 kids, Woodbury 1,848 students.

Mike Vogel, assistant to the superintendent for operations, said three-year enrollment projections show that the district's secondary school buildings will approach 90 to 95 percent capacity within three years. That could prompt discussion of building additions or new construction.

"We do have to start thinking about how we're going to house those kids in coming years," Vogel told the School Board on Oct. 25.

The district's projections also show it will nearly reach 18,000 students by 2015-16.

Maintenance workers' contract approved

The District 833 School Board approved a new two-year agreement with its maintenance employees.

The board voted 6-0 Oct. 25 to agree on a contract with the Local 70 Maintenance Employees union running through June 30, 2014. The deal, which covers 140 South Washington County Schools employees, calls for annual wage increases of 1.35 percent for union members in Labor Grades 2-7. Employees at Labor Grade 1 will see no wage increase. There is step movement for all labor grades.

District Human Resources Director Denise Griffith said the new contract does not include any increases in district contributions toward health insurance or retirement contributions.

Bus mechanics earn perfect inspection score

@9on11:District 833 school buses are safe, and the district has the perfect inspection scores to prove it.

Superintendent Keith Jacobus said the district's bus and van mechanics recently received a perfect score on an inspection by the Minnesota State Patrol.

"There wasn't one notation on safety issues on any of our 130 buses they inspected or eight vans they inspected," Jacobus said, adding that transportation Director Gary Dechaine believes that a feat that no Minnesota organization with a vehicle fleet the size of School District 833 has accomplished.

"They're a really dedicated team," Jacobus said of the district's bus mechanics. "We're very proud of this inspection."

--Compiled by Scott Wente