School forums important

The first of three scheduled community meetings held to discuss the future of the Minot Public School District attracted roughly 200 attendees Monday night. That’s a good start, but we hope the next two meetings have even larger turnouts.

The population growth in Minot brings with it an uncertain future for Minot schools. Supt. Mark Vollmer said even with no additional future growth, the district will have more students in six years than it can accommodate. There are 2,004 students in grades K-2, but there will be room for only 1,570 students with current schools. Obviously, those numbers simply don’t add up, and the district’s residents face some difficult choices.

Portable classrooms have been in regular use around Minot for years, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Additions at Lewis and Clark and Longfellow elementaries are under construction, which will help house the growing number of students in north Minot. But the district also knows it needs another elementary school in south Minot, and there’s discussion of adding a second high school in Minot at some point in the future, and district officials will likely ask voters to approve a bond issue in the near future.

These are serious and important decisions, and school officials need as much input as possible from the public. The community forums are one way for residents to let their feelings be known about the district’s future direction. We encourage everyon to attend one of the final two community forums.