Pequot Lakes School Board closes open enrollment

A sharp increase in newly enrolled students has led the Pequot Lakes School Board to close open enrollment for the coming year.

Pequot Lakes High School. Brainerd Dispatch file photo

An increase of roughly 50 students in just a few weeks led to the Pequot Lakes School Board calling a special meeting Monday, Aug. 30, to close open enrollment in the district and establish grade level capacities.

The decision comes after a mask mandate implemented by the Brainerd School District left several parents threatening to send their children to different schools.

“I think when we talked in mid-August, I said we were about 15 to 20 students down (from enrollment projections) and as of today, we are about 32 students over,” interim Superintendent Kurt Stumpf told the school board Monday. “That had started before some of their school districts made some decisions that have impacted us … but it is a huge stressor when we are talking about scheduling and class sizes.”

Stumpf, speaking on behalf of himself and the administration, said this resolution was necessary for the district to provide “the best academic opportunities” possible for Pequot Lakes students.

Open enrollment was also closed in some Pequot Lakes grades during the 2015-16 school year, and Stumpf said a number of grades are nearing capacity, with fourth grade being just one student shy of the limit.


Stumpf reminded the board that even though district enrollment has closed to non-resident students who have not been previously enrolled, some classes may end up exceeding capacity limits as the district is required to serve resident students who currently do not attend Pequot Lakes but would like to - for example, students who live in the district and are currently homeschooled or attending Crosslake Community School.

The district will operate under the assumption that open enrollment will open again in the 2022-23 school year.

The board agreed to change the wording of its open enrollment policy. Previously, the policy stated the district will allow siblings of open-enrolled students currently attending school within the district. It now states it will allow siblings of students who attended in the prior school year.

Board chair Kim Bolz-Andolshek was not in attendance. Vice chair Curt Johnson led the meeting.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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