‘Make sure we are meeting the needs of our students’: School district in Hawley looking to expand

Valley News Live at 10:00PM KVLY - VOD
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
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HAWLEY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Hawley Public Schools officials met with community members on May 25 to discuss the growth of the school district. Currently, the elementary school is at full capacity, the high school is nearly there and the pre-school is in a former church.

“Make sure we are meeting the needs of our students, not only short term, but long term as well,” said Kelly Anderson, the principal at Hawley High School. “Just trust in the process, we’re going to make sure that all community has input, whether you have kids in the district or not an we’ll be fiscally responsible to our taxpayers as well.”

According to the school district, there are 1,015 students that are enrolled, which is a record high for them. There are also 97 kindergartners enrolled for next school year, which is also a record.

“A new building would be great. We’ve got really good facilities now, our problem is that we’re just out growing them.” said Phil Jensen, the superintendent of Hawley Public Schools.

With all of that growth, the school district turned to InGensa for consultation to tackle these challenges. InGensa, which is based out of Plymouth, MN, said that Hawley goes against the trends of other rural communities. They have seen a higher number of enrollments over the years.

“You know, I’ve seen a lot of communities in the area around build these new schools and their phenomenal and to have my kids go to a school like that would just be a great feeling.” said Brett Petsinger, whose children attend Hawley Elementary.

The school district plans to explore options in the coming months, potentially looking at a November 2022 bond referendum.

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