Enrollment up at North Dickinson

FELCH TOWNSHIP — Enrollment rose slightly this fall in the North Dickinson County School District — welcome news when school officials had anticipated a drop.

The district counted 256 students attending classes this fall, up from 252 at the same time in 2018, Superintendent/Principal Angel Inglese told the school board Monday.

“We have a really good student body right now,” Inglese added. “It’s really comfortable. The atmosphere is right.”

In other action, the board:

— Decided to begin board meetings at 7 p.m. rather than 6 to accommodate board member Paul Schuiteman, who due to a job change no longer can make a 6 p.m. start. If Schuiteman, who was not at the meeting, can make it earlier the start time may be adjusted to 6:30 p.m.

— Authorized hiring Carol Sgarlotti as early literacy teacher for kindergarten through third grade students who are struggling with reading. Sgarlotti will work three hours a day three days a week, at a total cost of $18,311. While North Dickinson students overall test well on reading skills, some do fall behind, Inglese said. Yet studies indicate it’s not effective to have a child repeat a grade, so Sgarlotti’s services offer a better option.

“We don’t want to miss these kids and have them fall through the cracks,” Inglese said.

— Heard from Finance/Athletic Director Michael Roell that the Anderson, Tackman firm will be on site for the school audit Wednesday and Thursday.

— Approved the 2019-20 course catalog. Most courses remain the same, but the district is able to offer more electives through online courses. Inglese recommended paying North Dickinson teachers a $100 stipend per student to teach these online classes, rather than the $325 fee to secure online instructors.

— Will advertise to fill a vacancy on the school’s Forestry Commission, with a preference for district residents who have experience in the forestry industry. The seat became open when Jon Lamy retired, said Darrell Oman, director of support services.

Betsy Bloom can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 40, or bbloom@ironmountaindailynews.com.