Crosslake Community School started the school year with 30 additional online students than anticipated, and that number continues to grow as more students are in the process of enrolling, said Executive Director Todd Lyscio.

At the Monday, Sept. 9, Crosslake Community School Board meeting, the board learned that the school has 143 students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade, 14 full- or part-time preschool students, and 130 students in its fifth- through 12th-grade program, an increase of 30 more online students than school officials anticipated they’d start the year with.

Additional students are still in the process of enrollment, and it’s expected that enrollment will continue to increase as it usually does throughout the school year in the online program.

“We’re actually coming out of the gates with a nice number and our trend is always to add as we go along,” Lyscio explained in a phone interview Tuesday. “So we’re sitting in a pretty nice spot right now. Our online program is somewhat unique. We’ll continue to take enrollments throughout the year.”

At the board’s August meeting, Lyscio announced his retirement from Crosslake School, effective at the end of the year. On Monday, the board approved the executive director job description and authorized that the open position be posted.

The board approved a bylaw change that now allows parents and staff to vote online, as well as in person with paper ballots, during the late October school board election. Previously, parents of enrolled students and staff would vote at the school during parent-teacher conferences.

Lyscio said the change not only improves the election process but broadens the opportunities for parents of online students who are eligible to vote.

Up for election are two-year board terms for one parent and three teachers. The school board election will be scheduled in late October and new board members will start Jan. 1.

The board heard a presentation by Miranda Graceffa, fifth- through eighth-grade science teacher, on the progress during the past year on the implementation of the school’s environmental education goals. The school sets these goals each year.

Teachers incorporate environmental education in a variety of ways for students, including reducing lunchtime waste and participating in composting, learning about the loon life cycle and the importance of loon nesting habitat, recycling and more.

Last year 90 percent of preschool through eighth-grade students participated in roadside cleanup along County Road 66 near the school and at the Crosslake Dam, collecting 200 pounds of trash. Students also are learning about aquaponics in the school solarium, where they are growing plants and raising trout this year.