School Board hears more on middle/preschool planning, Highland office decals

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

Crookston School Board recently received an update from Superintendent Jeremy Olson on the middle school and preschool planning project, and Olson was instructed to bring the final plans forward so bids can potentially go out in January 2022. Olson mentioned there were three different timelines to meet and, if all goes well, they could have shovels in the ground by June 2022 and completion in early 2023 with first use by students during the 2023-24 school year.

The projects include a separate wing at Highland Elementary for preschool which would allow for the transition of Pre-K through 5th grade at Highland and moving 6th grade to Crookston High School with a "true middle school model" approach there. Ideas for what would happen with Washington Elementary School's building are being discussed further which could include divesting of the property or leasing portions out like they're currently doing for the upcoming private child care space.

Board members talked about how the district would have to look at gym space and cafeteria space with the combined grades in two buildings versus three, and Olson added he's considering a different layout for drop-off/pick-up at Highland saying he'd like to see no parking on Central Avenue during school hours to help eliminate safety and visibility issues.

"We are looking at trying to eliminate some of the backup onto Central Avenue," Olson explained. "Drop-off at Highland is...tricky. A larger drop-off space for kids would allow for a little overflow and creating an area for parents."

NEW DECALS FOR HIGHLAND OFFICE

Highland Elementary's office will have a whole new look once it receives its new approved decals. The idea for the decals, which will show a large Crookston Pirate logo and art on the outside and is transparent from the inside, is to add Pirate branding to the school and provide privacy for students that are waiting in the office.

"You should know you're in Pirate country when you're at our schools and you don't see that much at Highland," Superintendent Olson explained.

"The other piece (once it's installed) is that kids can't see who is in the office with the decals there," added Principal Chris Trostad. "It will spice it up. When I first got there (as principal) the walls were all bare like a jail."

Trostad mentioned he'd like to also promote district activities that are happening at the high school with posts at Highland so students know what events are available.

Board member Mike Theis said, for him, the privacy aspect of the decals alone got his vote.

Highland Elementary office decals