Gathering last week to hear a report about school climate and other weighty matters, St. Paul school board members also found buried deep in their meeting agenda a small item with a big aim.
They were asked to sign off on a school community's choice of a Roadrunner as the mascot for Crossroads Elementary Science + Montessori Schools.
That may seem trivial to some. But the state's second-largest district has enrollment worries, and in making its case to board members, district administrators noted that the new name "will allow the school to increase its identity and effectively market the program to the broader community."
Every little bit helps.
While enrollment in St. Paul schools held fairly steady from 2012-13 to 2014-15, it saw a more noticeable decline in 2015-16, from 37,844 to 37,605 students. That's less than a 1 percent drop, but still a big issue, given the district had to resolve a projected $15 million budget gap for 2016-17.
More students bring in more revenues.
With its bird, the Crossroads community has taken one small step to build its numbers. It hopes people notice, too, that the Roadrunner in the school's logo is not just quick, but wears a headband, too. Effort pays off.