Today was the first day all Brainerd High School students had their own lockers to store schoolbooks and supplies.
In the first week of school, 23 students were not issued a locker. Earlier this week that number climbed to about 60 students without lockers.
"This has caused a lot of anxiety on the kids," Brainerd High School Principal Steve Razidlo said in an interview Wednesday. "We are almost done taking care of the problem and the students will have a space."
Razidlo said the school did not have as many lockers free up as anticipated and there was a mad rush of new students who enrolled. Before school began, Razidlo said usually about 1,600 to 1,650 students declare they will attend the high school. Enrollment as of Wednesday was 1,670.
Razidlo said he did not know the exact number of students the high school can hold, but said he had heard it was around 1,450-1,500 students.
He said, "The high school is not bursting at the seams by any means, but it is full."
Part of the building plans for the high school include adding more classroom space and this will help accommodate the students, said Razidlo.
During the first two weeks of school, several students decide to go elsewhere. Students decide to take post-secondary enrollment classes at Central Lakes College, or attend the Area Learning Center or a different school district, said Razidlo.
Razidlo said because of the large number of students this week without lockers, it was decided to open the lockers in the physical education department. The lockers will serve between 20-40 students.
Razidlo said because of the shortage of lockers, officials also decided to speed up the process of adding 50-100 lockers at the high school.
Razidlo said the district should receive quotes on the installation of the lockers by the end of this week. The high school also will replace 500 existing lockers.
DeeDee Ethier, Baxter, said her daughter was one of the students who did not have a locker, but now she has one. Ethier said her daughter had to haul around a 45-pound backpack all day.
"My daughter is in four AP (advanced placement) classes and those books are heavy," she said. "She complained a little bit that it hurt her shoulders and I was going to take her to the chiropractor. I was not a happy mama."
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