Home-school group could use old elementary classrooms
August 20. 2013 2:15PM
A group of parents who home-school their children want to use the gymnasium and two classrooms in the old elementary school for group activities.
The Minnehaha Area Christian Homeschoolers (MACH), a cooperative of parents who choose not to send their children to traditional public or private schools, used the Lutheran Church Parish House in Baltic last year for its group activities. But growing membership – 28 students from various grade levels will supplement their schooling this year with MACH activities – has the group needing more space.
MACH’s Lisa Hofer told the Dell Rapids School Board last week the group would like to use two classrooms at the old elementary school – the art and music rooms located in the west wing of the facility.
The students get the bulk of their learning at home, but will gather as a group 14 times during the upcoming school year.
“At first we thought, maybe we would take the kindergarten room, but as we made our way around the facility, those two rooms are kind of right next to each other so if they’re swapping rooms, that’d be pretty slick,” Hofer said. “So those were the two rooms that we were hoping to use.”
The school board approved President Tom Morris’ motion to rent MACH the music and art rooms, along with occasional use of the gymnasium, for $75 per day for 14 days.
Originally, the group had asked for four classrooms, and was quoted about $90 per day, but scaled back it’s request after a few families backed out.
“You’re getting larger rooms now, plus the additional practice room (next to the music room),” Morris said of why the per-room rate offered last week was a bit higher. “We’re not looking to make a profit, we’re just trying to cover some of our expenses.”
Hofer couldn’t commit to the price of $75 per day - $1,050 for the entire year – without first consulting with the other MACH members.
“The expense you have to consider on top of that is the liability insurance, so that’s a little painful,” she said.
The board requires any outside group using its facilities to be insured in the event of an accident or other incidents.
“It’s understandable that you would ask of it, but it is something that we are taking on that we wouldn’t otherwise,” Hofer said.