June 15, 2024

PLSAS reviews enrollment and e-learning updates | Prior Lake

Prior Lake-Savage Area School Board held a study session Monday, Oct. 25 and reviewed several policies. No action was taken on any of the items and there were no comments during the public forum during the meeting.

Enrollment and budget update

First on the agenda was an update on Fiscal Year 2021-22 enrollment and budget provided by Julie Cink, Executive Director of Business Services for PLSAS.

“You can see that last year that it went down,” said Cink regarding enrollment. “We had been growing up until that point and last year that went down. A lot of it had to do with COVID and the pandemic.”

Cink also pointed out that homeschooling rose significantly during the past five years, especially during 2019-2020.

“We had a slight uptick in open enrollment into our district and an increase in homeschools which was pretty significnt considering the numbers,” said Cink. “It went from 171 to 252 from 2019 to 2020. Like I said, a lot of that had to do with the pandemic.”

E-learning update

Dr. Dan Edwards, director of teaching and learning, who spearheaded Laker Online — an online learning option for students in grades K-12 — provided an update on e-learning, or distance learning.

“As you recall from a meeting two weeks ago we need to update our e-learning language that the state has given us the authority to put that into place a few school years ago. We did so but we didn’t have an update to that last year due to everything that was going on,” said Edwards. “We weren’t in-person for the bulk of the winter season but we are assuming we’re going to continue to be in-person again. The legislature gives us the opportunity to create e-learning days in case of inclement weather.”

Edwards said the district has take many components from the previous update and made a few adjustments to modify with new changes.

“We took what we had learned through implementing distance learning and used those lessons learned from we had done since we last had this put in place and took many of those components and reviewed it with representatives from the secondary and elementary level,” he said. “We are delineating what the procedures would look like. Also different is that now all students have a device with them and are able to have with them at home. That’s different than what we had last time which grades 8 to 12 only had devices.”

Edwards said with these changes the district can continue the learning process in case of inclement weather. He said the district will also be sending out more information to parents which will also be available on the school’s website.

For more information on e-learning guidelines visit https://www.priorlake-savage.k12.mn.us/