Enrollment is up at Decorah Schools.

At Monday's meeting of the Decorah School Board, Superintendent Mike Haluska explained the District is serving 1,689 students this year, an increase of 32 students over last year.

Haluska explained the 32 students include 24 "certified enrollment" students, for which the District receives state funding, and eight additional students, for which the District will bill other districts for open-enrollment into the Decorah school system.

Haluska explained under the state funding formula this year, the District would have received $6,015 for each of the "resident" or "certified" students (24) and $5,883 for the eight students open-enrolled into the District. There is no way to predict what the per-pupil amount will be for next year until the Legislature sets allowable growth. (All Iowa school districts are funded on a per-pupil basis. Each student equates to and generates a certain dollar amount for districts to operate. The amount of "growth" in that per-pupil amount is referred to as "allowable growth.")

Construction update

In other matters, the Board heard from Building and Grounds Director Greg Schaller, regarding the high school construction.

Schaller said the new kitchen equipment has arrived, and the girls' physical education locker room is almost ready for occupancy.

The state fire marshal will visit the school Dec. 19 to approve occupancy into the new areas, and Schaller is hoping to move the rooms of high school teachers Tim Hayes and Elaine Lore Dec. 20.

Over Christmas break, the new wall for the orchestra room will be installed, and asbestos abatement procedures in the old nurse's office, study hall and three classrooms will take place.

Bids for abatement went out last week. The District plans to hire two separate companies, as no single company has the resources to complete the job in the time allowed.


The Board also approved the appointment of Kris Bigler, a Decorah parent and teacher at North Winneshiek Schools, to its Shareholder Committee.

The Shareholders are the District's citizen advisory committee. Persons appointed to the committee serve a term of three years, and the group meets three to eight times a year, depending on the tasks. The main focus of this school year will be technology and facilities.