Experiencing growth and excellence as we honor the past and shape the future
September 3, 2015
This is an exciting time in the history of Moorhead Area Public Schools. Our theme this year, “Honoring the Past and Shaping the Future,” depicts the excitement in our district.
Our enrollment reached a high of 7,000 students in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and we are on track to reach that target again soon. The future is bright for our community and schools. The last time the district saw a student enrollment of more than 6,000 students was in the mid 1990s. As with all school districts, our district has periods of growth and periods of decline. The late 1990s to the 2000s was a period of decline. At that time we experienced 11 years of enrollment decline before enrollment stabilized and began to grow. The growth in the schools began after closing smaller elementary schools and reorganizing to three elementary schools and one middle school to be more efficient. Closing small, inefficient schools saved the district money in operations, maintenance and utilities. The current schools opened 11 years ago in 2004. In the past 10 years the district has seen enrollment grow by more than 638 students, with more growth in the elementary grades.
As I write this, our elementary schools are all over capacity, and our middle school is at capacity. We are enrolling new students daily. We have not seen this type of enrollment growth in more than 20 years. We are excited to share our great schools and community with our new residents as well as those who have been with us for some time.
We have a strong tradition of excellence in our district. The stories of our student success are evident in our community, our region, our state, our nation and our world. Our graduates would not be successful if it were not for the support of the staff and teachers in our schools, our parents and our community.
It’s time to welcome our students back to school, and I hope you are as excited for this year as I am. As a district, we made great strides last year in preparing our students with 21st century skills. Our students are continuing to be challenged to meet their learning needs through the skills of collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity. We have hired a strong group of 67 new teachers and have continued to look for ways to support and celebrate the accomplishments of our students and staff.
While we honor many of our past traditions, we are looking to enhance our present traditions. Concerts, theater productions, athletic events, and many other activities in our school are exciting, and we invite community members to attend and see the excellence in our young people. We want you to be a part of our school community.
This year as a way of celebrating our schools, we are asking families to use social media on Tuesday, September 8 to spread the word about being proud members of the Moorhead Area Public Schools community. As part of this effort, take a picture of your student or students or groups of students returning to school. Tag #firstdaymoorheadschools or post to our school district Twitter (@MoorheadSchools) or Facebook site (/moorheadschools).
We must continue to work together to fulfill the mission of Moorhead Area Public Schools to develop the maximum potential of every student to thrive in a changing world. I hope you will visit our schools or find us online and see the great work our teachers and staff members have done to prepare for the 2015-16 school year. We are ready to honor the past and shape the future!
Dr. Lynne A. Kovash
Moorhead Area Public Schools