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Blue Earth Area numbers steady

BLUE EARTH — “Our enrollment numbers are up slightly compared to one year ago,” Blue Earth Area Superintendent Mandy Fletcher told school board members this week. “Our total enrollment on Oct. 1 this year was 1,037. That compares to 1,031 on the same date one year ago.”

Fletcher also reported on the Online Academy at Blue Earth Area.

“This is new to the district this year,” she said. “It is for those students who choose full-time distance learning. We have a total of 79 students who are full-time distance learners. The high school has 35 full-time distance learners; the middle school has seven; and the elementary school has 37. These numbers do not include those students who may have to quarantine for a time period because of COVID-19.”

In other business, the board discussed coronavirus relief funds the district received from the federal government.

“We spent some of the $278,000 on cleaning supplies and other items to help facilitate better sanitation in the school,” Fletcher said. “We also purchased some picnic tables so some classes could be held outside. The finance committee had concerns about the transportation of our students should we have to go to a full hybrid learning scenario. With that in mind, the decision was made to purchase two new 2021 buses from Hoglund. They are sitting on a lot in Iowa and are ready to go.”

It was noted during discussion that the district will still need to purchase a new bus annually for the next few years because of the age of the fleet.

“We currently have three buses out of commission so we need to continue to update our fleet,” Fletcher said.

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