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“Where Have All the Children Gone?” Asks Crookston School District

Enrollment continues to be a concern for the Crookston School District said Superintendent Wayne Gilman, “We are down quite a bit for a lot of different reasons. Some of the comments are that families were looking for work and reasons like that, but it comes down to that there are fewer kids in the area, but we are going to consider some things like advertising that Crookston is a great place to live with a wonderful school system, so we will see what we can do.” Gilman said they were down about 70 students last week. Using the Minnesota State per pupil formula, this is going to be a loss of over $300,000 to the school district.

Also at the Crookston School Board meeting on Monday, the board approved two lease agreements for the coming year. “We have an agreement with the Community Family Center (Old Carmen School) for $18,000 for the year and we may not have that lease next year with the reconfiguration of bringing the 7th grade to the high school," said Gilman. The second lease is with the Resource Management LLP for the New Paths Area Learning Center classroom by the former junior high school at $6,000 a year, "Last year we had it for free," said Gilman, "so it is a one year at a time lease and works good for us at the present time."

The board approved a land transaction between Richard (Tuffy) and Terry Hanson to the Solheim Farms in Fairfax township. There was a country school located on the farm land and the school property was given to the Crookston School District and the transfer needed to be done to clean up the deed for the farmers. No money changed hands on the half acre plot.

Jim Kent, the interim Curriculum Director for the school district presented the annual report on Curriculum, Instruction and student achievement to the board. Superintendent Gilman said they are working on the annual year progress (AYP) plan, “Kent talked about where we are at and he identified the areas we need improvement, Special Education, Hispanic, English as a Second Language and Free and Reduced lunch categories. Reading and math need to be improved, so we have a plan in place to make the necessary improvements.” The report was approved by the board and must be sent to the state by October 15.

Seven employment agreements were approved by the Crookston School Board, including one for Steve Krueger as the High School Auditorium manager for $1,471 per year. Crookston High School Principal Todd Brist said, “This means we have someone to oversee all the happenings in the auditorium, as it is a hopping spot with a lot of activities, so he will oversee it all nd make sure the lights, sound and the stage are well taken care of."

Jessica DeBoer was hired as an after school care aide at Washington School. Emily Parrill, Spanish teacher will be the new Student Council Advisor. Jill Schisano will be a part time art teacher. Joe Sobolik was approved as the 8th grade girls basketball coach and Amy Huie is the7th grade girls basketball coach, while Jaclyn Martin was approved as an assistant girls hockey coach.

Scott Solheim Gets Second Kidney Transplant

Scott Solheim of Crookston has needed a second kidney transplant for several years after getting his first kidney transplant from his wife Tracy back in December, 1998 failed after seven years.

September 29, 2008 was the day the phone call came from the Fargo transplant clinic that a Kidney was available. Tracy Solheim said, “The phone call came at 4:30 AM Monday Morning that a kidney was available and we needed to get to Fargo by 9 a.m. After testing was completed at 3 p.m. they told us he was getting a new kidney and surgery took place at 6 p.m. Scott was out of surgery by 9 p.m. so it all happened within 12 hours. Scott came home on Friday and we are still traveling to Fargo 2-3 times a week because of follow up appointments. He is doing well, he is tired and has low hemoglobin, but otherwise he feels like a new man."

Their young children are excited and pleased because they think they will get to go to Disneyland now that their Dad is off dialysis, since there were so many things they could not do before, according to Tracy. “Keeping him well is the biggest thing and away from the flu, so we all have gotten the flu shots as the next two months are the most critical, because he is on high doses of medicine and is most likely to get the sickest and after that they decrease the amount."
Support from the community, church, family and friends has been great, and there is the caring bridges website where people can go for information, according to Tracy. Scott’s brother Jeff and his wife Tracy are accepting calls to help provide suppers for the family for the month of October. Anyone wishing to help can call 218-857-3512. Marilyn Solheim is the mother of Scott Solheim and they are long time Crookston residents.

Crookston City Council Meets on Tuesday

The Crookston City Council will have their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 14, 2008. On the agenda include setting a date for a public hearing for the Crookston Housing Incentive Program. Approving the sale of one of the Evergreen Estates lot in the Northeast end of Crookston. Also approving some assessment’s for Locken Boulevard for street reconstruction and give City officials approval to acquire more properties in the flood zone. For the complete Crookston City Council meeting agenda click here.

After the City Council meeting, the Crookston Ways and Means committee will meet and on their agenda is a recommendation from the Crookston Ice Arena Advisory Committee to follow through on the $14.3 million design of a new ice arena complex that will be built in the Northeast end of Crookston.

After the Ways and Means Committee meeting, the City of Crookston Finance Committee will meet and their agenda includes a request from the Crookston Community Swimming Pool, rehabbing the Spendley Lift Station and reviewing the City's third quarter budget.

The City was also interviewing for a new Payroll Clerk on Monday from over 30 applicants. They also interviewed seven applicants last week out of 12 resumes for a position with the Crookston Parks and Recreation Department.


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