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Guest view: Exploring the options

The Pine Knot News asked the superintendents of the Wrenshall and Carlton school districts to update readers on the state of consolidation. Carlton superintendent John Engstrom weighs in here:

The Carlton school board is currently in the process of exploring various options. The primary options under consideration right now are a K-8 school with a high school tuition agreement, a new K-12 school, and reconstituting consolidation talks with Wrenshall along with gauging the interest of other area small districts in finding additional ways to work together, collaborate, and share services.

The board is in the process of developing a list of key considerations and questions. As we look at each option, we’ll be asking how it enhances the following:

• Curricular, co-curricular, and programming opportunities

• Staff development and stability

• Our long-term financial stability and sustainability

• Our ability to retain resident students and continue attracting open enrollment students

We’ll also do our best to determine the impact of each option on:

• Local taxes for all of the various taxpaying groups

• American Indian Education and our native students and families

This is not an all-inclusive list of our questions and considerations, but it provides a sense of how we are approaching the situation.

The board is interested in collecting feedback from the community, and has established the following email for comments: [email protected]

While all of that is in motion, we also remain committed to providing the best educational experiences we can for the students and families who have made Carlton their district of choice.

It’s homecoming week, and we’ll be welcoming all secondary students back on a four-day weekly schedule by March 15. The energy and school spirit is palpable and it is wonderful.

John Engstrom is superintendent of the Carlton school district.

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