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St. Agnes offers tuition-free kindergarten

For the first time ever, St. Agnes School is offering tuition-free kindergarten.

"It is our hope to bring more awareness about St. Agnes School to the community," said Pat Pospisil, principal. "As a result, we are hoping to increase enrollment. We don't have a good school — we have a great school."

Another change his year — the school will be giving personalized tours rather than hosting a round-up. To set up a tour, call 320-859-2130.

Space is limited to 15 students. At this time, six to eight students have registered for the tuition-free kindergarten.

The kindergarten class follows all of the Minnesota state standards, according to Pospisil.

"Throughout the students' day, kids have fun learning about reading through the Superkids program, hands-on math, science, social, music, phy ed, art, technology, Spanish and religion," she said.

Even though St. Agnes is a Catholic School, students from many other faiths walk through its doors. "St. Agnes is open to all faiths," Pospisil said.

She added that the school has a Christ-centered environment that empowers students to "learn beyond academics." This is achieved in several ways: The "nurtured heart approach" focuses on the recognizing the students "qualities of greatness" and new this year is the "Top 20" curriculum, Pospisil said.

"This program gives students tools to be successful in life," she said. "The concepts and strategies that are practiced bring out the best in the students and teachers. Students learn how to deal with negativity, learn how to build trust, stay focused, learn how to deal with conflict"

Last year, the teachers spent their time reading and learning how to become "Top 20" teachers. Now it is the students' turn to become "Top 20" students, Pospisil added.

The curriculum is broken into nine different topics. Each month, the students learn, practice and build upon those ideas throughout the year. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade are learning about "creating a culture of learning," the principal said.

St. Agnes also offers other learning opportunities — a multi-age kindergarten program all-day, every-day for children age 4 by September 1. Preschool is offered Tuesday and Thursday half day or all day.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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