More than 60 community education and Kids’ Company staff were called back to work on Monday as Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools prepare for summer programming.

The School Board voted 6-0 to bring the staff back to work.

Almost all of the 64 recalled staff members are Kids’ Company employees who will staff the district’s summer child care. They were among more than 150 community education staff members who were laid off in May because revenue was lost when schools closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier this month district spokeswoman Kristi Mussman said Kids’ Company summer childcare will be offered June 10 through Aug. 21 for children ages 4 through grade 5.

Mussman said that the summer child care aligns with guidelines and direction from the state departments of health and education and the federal Centers for Disease Control regarding COVID-19.

The district also plans to offer summer credit recovery, independent study and Summer Academy to a limited number of qualifying students, though in-person community education programs remain canceled through June 30.

Business Services Executive Director Julie Cink told the board that “we anticipate that we’re going to ramp up our community education programming starting July 1 as well, so we’re looking at kind of returning to an original budget — maybe a little bit modified for community education.”

Cink told the board that looking towards the next school year, the district is in a good place for enrollment.

District officials had planned to have an additional 125 students in 2020-21 over the current school year’s enrollment. As of early June, that figure was 175 students.

Enrollment data from the district as of early June shows that enrollment in the middle and high schools has exceeded district expectations by about 119 students. Elementary enrollment is under the district’s expected enrollment by about 70 students.

Enrollment overall has been steadily climbing, but this year’s student body was still smaller than expected, leading to several budget cuts and adjustments.

Cink said the district typically loses about 75 students between enrollment and Oct. 1 — when attendance establishes how much money will come from the state for the school year. In a typical year the district receives an influx of enrollment in late July and August, Cink added.

“I like to see where we’re at right now, it’s very positive,” Cink said. “I was pleasantly surprised to see we have an increase in our enrollment especially considering the times we’re in right now.”


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