July 22, 2008

Plan Would Treat Two Schools As One

By Autumn Grooms, La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

Jul. 22--The La Crosse School Board will look at combining Franklin and Roosevelt elementary schools into one boundary and treating them as one school during the 2009-10 school year.

Superintendent Jerry Kember said Monday the plan, which is to come back to the board at its Aug. 11 meeting, would allow the district to save on staffing costs and bring grade levels together the two North Side schools. It also would provide Coulee Montessori the opportunity to expand, he said.

"Maybe this is something we need to do to see if it floats," board member Connie Troyanek said. "If it doesn't, then we go with plan B and close a school, and if the referendum fails, then we close a school."

Troyanek said the failed April referendum provides the board and district with the opportunity to try something new.

Board member Tom Thompson said his mind was working toward closing a school, but Kember's suggestion is worth exploring further.

"I really do like the alternative," he said.

Kember will prepare more details on what the idea would save the district for the Aug. 11 meeting.

"I am excited about trying to put this together for you," Kember said.

The board also asked for more information about taking money out of district's fund balance.

Autumn Grooms can be reached at (608) 791-8424.


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