LUHS Incoming Freshmen Behind on Math, ReadingSubmitted: 04/08/2013
Story By Lex Gray

MINOCQUA - How far do the effects of a bad economy go? All the way to the classroom, says one Northwoods superintendent.

Lakeland Union High School will get 169 new students this fall.

About half of those students tested behind in math, and at least 26 are also at least one grade level behind in reading.

Superintendent Todd Kleinhans says those numbers are consistent with last year.

He doesn't point to one single reason for the low scores, but says the economy hasn't helped.

"We are seeing more and more students coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds," Kleinhans said. "One out of every two students entering Lakeland Union next year are living at or below the poverty line. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that good things don't always happen from an educational standpoint with those families and with kids who are living in poverty."

Lakeland is unique because its feeder schools are their own separate districts.

That's made it tougher to evaluate students.

But Kleinhans says the districts are doing a better job of working together.

"We recognize our shortcomings and we understand that because of the unique situation presented by five districts, that we are forced to collaborate more than ever before," he said. "So I think people can rest comfortably and sleep well at night knowing that we're making good progress."

This fall, students who are behind will double up on basic math and reading courses.

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