Following are a list of Frequently Asked Questions relating to the proposed recommendation to close Washington School, change boundaries for Pigeon River Elementary School and relocate Elementary School for the Arts and Academics (ESAA).
Q: Will class size increase?
A: No, our elementary schools will be staffed at a building average of a 23:1student-teacher ratio. As SAGE Schools, Grant and Jefferson will be staffed at an 18:1 student-teacher ratio in grades K-3.
Q: Can Grant Elementary become a SAGE school?
A: Yes, we can transfer the SAGE funding from Washington to Grant.
Q: Will the same English Language Learner (ELL) and Special Education services be available for students?
A: Yes, the same level of services will be provided for students.
Q: Will the Comprehensive Literacy Model continue?
A: No, the program would not continue as a self-contained literacy model. Teachers will be able to utilize components of the literacy model to aid in the instruction of reading and language arts.
Q: Will Summer School be held at Washington this summer?
A: Yes, Summer School will be held at Washington this summer.
Q: Will Washington students have access to a free before and/or after school program?
A: Yes, Jefferson currently offers free before and after school programs. Grant will begin offering a free before and after school program, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
Q: Will Washington students still have access to a breakfast program?
A: Yes, both Grant and Jefferson offer a breakfast program.
Q: Will bussing be provided?
A: Most students live within walking distance to school, as defined by our District Policy. To ease the transition, bussing will be provided for two years to students who are affected by the Washington and Pigeon River boundary changes. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, bussing will be provided as defined by our District Policy. Families who request to attend a different school through the School Choice process will provide their own transportation.
If the recommendation is approved by the Board of Education, transportation would be provided to students living in the Washington attendance area to their new neighborhood school of Grant or Jefferson. Transportation would also be provided to the families living in the southern non-connected portion of the Pigeon River attendance area to their new neighborhood schools of Cooper or James Madison.
Families who request a different school through the School Choice process would provide their own transportation.
Q: How will students safely cross Calumet Drive?
A: Students currently cross Calumet Drive at either an intersection with a crossing guard or at a controlled intersection with a traffic light.
Q: Will School Choice be offered?
A: A special extended window will be offered to families affected by the boundary changes. Forms were mailed out to families who would be affected by the boundary change if the recommendation is approved. Students attending Washington Elementary School, students living in the Pigeon River ‘island’ portion of the Pigeon River attendance area and students attending the Elementary School for the Arts and Academics (ESAA) will have the opportunity to apply for School Choice during the special extended window.
Q: Why are you closing Washington this year?
A: The SASD expects a significant number of retirements. Displaced staff members would be able to fill open positions.
Q: How much money will the SASD save by closing Washington?
A: We are estimating staffing and overhead cost savings of approximately $1,000,000 annually.
Q: What will happen to the Washington School building if it is closed?
The structural issues are still present and would be an issue for anyone looking to lease or rent. There are no plans yet, of what would be done with the building.
Q: What will happen at the Tuesday April 9 meeting?
The Board of Education will take action on the SASD Executive Management Team's recommendation, meaning the Board members will vote 'yes' to accept the recommendation or 'no' to not accept the recommendation. Voting for a referendum is not option at this time.
Q: Does EMT’s proposal mean that there will be no referendum?
A: Yes, Sheboygan Area School District schools have the capacity available to serve all of our current students, without replacing Washington School. EMT also looked at a five-year enrollment projection, which shows that SASD student enrollment will remain nearly flat over the next five years. Therefore, the EMT is not recommending a referendum to re-build Washington School.
Q: What is the anticipated expense of providing bussing for the 2 years for the affected families?
A: The estimate is $124,000 per year.
Q: What is the cost of providing a free after-school program at an elementary school site?
A: Approximately $50,000.
Q: What will happen if or when an elementary school needs additional classroom space?
A: The SASD has allocated $500,000 for future elementary facilities.
Regular updates will be posted on this page. Please check back for information soon.