LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WXOW) – La Crescent-Hokah Elementary starts classes on September 6, and a lot of changes are expected to be there on day one.
The institution enters it’s first full year inside its new building. There is also a lot of turnover, but the district managed to add more than a half dozen teaching positions, including paraprofessionals, from last year.
The extra staffing has created an area-low average class size of 17 students according to principal Jeff Kopp.
Teacher John Steffes says that this will be unlike any situation he’s seen before.
“It’s a lot easier to meet students’ needs when you have small class sizes,” Steffes said. “This will be the smallest class size I’ve had in 25 years of teaching. We’re excited about that. We can get around and do what we can for the students. All their needs will be met.”
The high school also had a remodel to go along with the new building. It all comes during the pandemic, but Kopp says that the district is rolling out all the stops in hopes of normal school year.
“Last year and throughout the entire pandemic, we were building the schools and renovating both areas,” Kopp said. “It’s been a time of extreme change and challenge as we meet kids’ needs online and in person. This is the first time we’ll have a fresh start with a completed building that’s ready to go.”
Kopp adds that the new facility prioritizes inclusivity. A large walking ramp is found inside the school’s front door and the district hired multiple new special education teachers to help students in that area.
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