Duluth Public Schools Fighting For Students

By KBJR News 1

March 9, 2011 Updated Mar 9, 2011 at 10:57 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - If you have a school aged child in Duluth, you currently have more than 25 options when it comes to their education.

Public schools are facing increasing competition charter, online, and private schools.

When schools lose students, they also lose out on important government funding.

ISD 709 in Duluth is taking a pro-active approach to keep their student population.

School officials are working on market research, figuring out why students leave Duluth public schools and what they can do to keep the students they do have.

Part of that loss is due to the fact that the number of school age kids has gone down, however, the district has still lost almost seven percent of their students to outside schools.

Duluth students are even choosing other near-by districts such as Wrenshall, which has a bus that picks up about 75 students throughout the city.

ISD 709 has already begun addressing some issues officials believe may be causing the decline, such as bullying.

A local production company made an anti-bullying video for students and teachers.

The district will also ask current and former students' parents about the district's strengths and weaknesses.

"Well the over all goal is of course to improve our performance and to help give the community want they're looking for in educating their children," said assistant superintendent Bill Gronseth.

The district hopes to better serve the students and play on their strengths, such as advanced placement and college classes, to attract students and work on their weaknesses to keep students from leaving.

School stability is one reason students are leaving, but it's far from the only reason. Parents have listed everything from other schools being closer to their work, to bullying, to smaller class sizes as reasons for choosing other options.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike