School improvements and increased enrollment are the trend as area schools begin the new year.  Several area schools have been in session for over a week and officials say things are going well. 

Enrollment at Woodward, Mooreland, Fort Supply, Freedom, Leedey and Laverne is slightly up, while Shattuck increased by about 25 students. 

Freedom’s virtual high school is up 30 students from last year, said Freedom superintendent Richard Gleave.  This is Gleave’s first year at Freedom, and he said the previous superintendent Craig Mc√ay, “left things in excellent shape.” 

Several new teachers have also come to the area.

Arnett and Leedey welcomed three new teachers each. Freedom has one new teacher for fourth grade. Shattuck also has one new teacher. Sharon-Mutual has a total of eight new teachers, three elementary and five high school.  

State funding has been cut for all schools in the area, although that hasn’t stopped them from making improvements.

Seiling superintendent Bob Bush said “the school year is off to a great start.”  A fresh coat of paint, and a new parking lot are a couple of improvements that have been made.  “ It looks like a different place,” Bush said. 

The superintendent said stimulus money given to the school has been used to put interactive  SMARTboards in about 12 to 15 of the classrooms and will be in all classrooms by the end of the semester.  “SMARTboards are a tremendous teaching tool for visual learners,” said Bush.

Woodward High School replaced the stage floor in the auditorium.  Other improvements include new library media centers for Cedar Heights, Highland Park and Horace Mann elementary schools.

Dr. Vicki Williams said budget cuts were anticipated and thru consolidation they were able to eliminate five positions.

“We were fortunate to find lay coaches to help with sports,” said Williams.

Fort Supply has relocated the early childhood center, added new portable classrooms, a new fence, and a new playground said Pat Howell, superintendent.  He went on to say the school is building a new gym and the old gym has been remodeled.

“Students will be playing basketball in the new gym by fall 2010,” said Howell.

Fort Supply and Fargo have also merged their girls softball teams into one squad as part of a co-op program.

Some schools had to replace damaged areas due to rain and snow in the spring.

Laverne replaced the roof over the auditorium while Sharon-Mutual replaced the floor in its gym due to water damage.  Freedom replaced its gym floor and roof due to snow damage.

Woodward is hosting an open house today at the high school and middle schools. Hours at the high school are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and at the middle schools 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All students and parents are encouraged to attend.

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