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Elementary and Middle School Building Evaluation

Updated on August 18, 2011

At the board meeting on January 11, the School Board reviewed a plan to convene an Elementary and Middle School Evaluation Committee. This committee will be charged with compiling capacity reports, reviewing school boundaries and analyzing long-range student projections with the potential to recommend a change in school boundaries, shifting grade levels at schools or closing a school in the Sheboygan Area School District.

The committee will be co-chaired by Gretchen Thomes, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operational Services and Diane Wilcenski, Assistant Superintendent of Student and Instructional Services. Mark Holzman will serve as co-chair upon Diane Wilcenski’s retirement. The committee will be made up of a cross-section of representatives from the Board of Education, elementary schools, middle school, charter schools, parents and other district administrators.

The Elementary and Middle School Building Evaluation Committee will ultimately be working to align building usage with the projected declining enrollment numbers. The criteria for the evaluation include:

  • Providing a comparable learning environment  and opportunities for all students based on facilities
  • Alignment of feeder schools (i.e. elementary to middle and middle to high school)
  • Special education and ELL programming as well as charter schools at the elementary and middle school levels
  • Demographic makeup of the elementary and middle schools
  • Potential cost and efficiency of transportation when recommending boundary changes
  • Reduction of expenses
  • Minimizing the movement of students from schools in close proximity to their neighborhoods
  • Student safety concerns in regards to busy and hazardous intersections

The committee will tentatively hold its first meeting in March and is projected to present preliminary options to the Board of Education in April 2011. Information sessions are planned for each school starting in May through October 2011. Final recommendations are expected to be approved no later than April 2012 for the 2012-2013 school year.

February 23, 2011 Update: The committee's first meeting was scheduled for March 1. The meeting will be postponed until we know the impact of Governor Walker’s budget. With so many unknowns, we do not want to take people’s time until we have more information. We will be rescheduling the first meeting approximately a week after the state budget is released.

August 9, 2011 Final Update:

The Elementary/Secondary Building Evaluation Committee met four times this Spring/Summer. The purpose of these meetings was to review and discuss possibilities to improve the usage of
the district school buildings. The committee found that closing an elementary or middle school
building would not be feasible at this time.

Several topics were discussed; however, the committee regularly came back to the following
topics:
  • The feasibility of changing boundaries for Jefferson Elementary School in an effort to
    allow Jefferson students to attend Urban Middle School.
  • The feasibility of changing Pigeon River’s “island” boundary to other near by schools.

The committee recommended not making any changes to Jefferson or Pigeon River boundaries
at this time. The recommendation is based on the multiple effects that changing the boundaries for two elementary schools would have on the entire district. It is this committees
recommendation that if the Board of Education would like more information regarding potential
school boundary changes, the Board of Education should consider forming a new committee
whose purpose is to review the entire district’s boundaries.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Mark Holzman, Asst. Superintendent of Student and Instructional Services
459-3781 | mholzman@sheboygan.k12.wi.us

Gretchen Thomes, Asst. Superintendent of Business and Operational Services
459-3523 | gthomes@sheboygan.k12.wi.us