FOLEY (WJON News) - Foley Public Schools is welcoming its new superintendent.

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Trish Perry started her new job at Foley on July 1st. Formerly a professor at St. Cloud State University, Perry felt that Foley was a good match for her.

I've only worked in small rural districts. I'm from Ely, originally, so a small-town feel was really important to me. So looking at Foley, it was the right fit for me and my values. What I think is important about Foley is that each student has their niche here. Because at the heart of the work that we do (are the) kids. And so being able to lead an organization where kids are the focus was really important to me.

Perry has had to hit the ground running, since students will arrive for the first day of school on September 5th. The Minnesota Legislature has made a number of changes that will affect school districts statewide, including free school hot lunches. Perry said even though the meals are free, parents are still urged to fill out the federal application for educational benefits. Federal funding will help curtail some of those costs.

There have also been some changes in school discipline. Perry said the focus of those changes is to keep students in the classroom.

So what has been revoked? We won't be suspending students K through three. If we do suspend students, there needs to be a readmission plan showing the steps that we've done to help intervene with behaviors that students may be exhibiting. I think it's important that sometimes we need to take a step back and talk to a student outside of the hallway just to calm them down, but the point of just sending a student out of the classroom because they didn't have a pencil, they didn't have a pen, it's not good practice. We want kids in class.

Moving into her office, Perry has been impressed by the condition of the building and grounds and says that’s a reflection of the pride the community, and the staff, have in the school grounds. She’s also had opportunities to meet with community leaders and businesses that are eager to help the school.

Perry says the school is fortunate to be fully staffed and ready to accept students in September.



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