Wausau School Board takes no action on district restructuring plan

No date was set for a follow-up meeting
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 2:07 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:34 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wausau School Board met Monday evening to discuss and possibly take action on a district restructuring plan.

The proposal identifies one of the reasons for the plan as declining enrollment.

A significant change in the restructuring plan would realign the grades within each school. Elementary schools would house students in pre-k to fourth grade; the middle schools would be for students in grades fifth through seventh; a junior high school would be for those in eighth and ninth grade, and a senior high would house students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade.

Fifth-grade students would move to Horace Mann and John Muir. Wausau East would become the junior high and Wausau West would become the senior high. The proposal calls for the closure of five elementary schools: Hewitt-Texas, Grant, Franklin or Hawthorn Hills, Rib Mountain, and Lincoln.

Elementary School Merger Plan
Elementary School Merger Plan(Wausau School District proposal plan)

After four and a half hours of discussion between board members, district faculty and staff, and a few members of the public, no decision was made to restructure the school district. The only decision that was made was to push a decisive meeting to a later date until more information could be brought up to the school board.

During the public comment portion of the discussion, one concerned parent said of their child, “He’s devastated at the idea that he’s gonna he’s gonna be forced to go to West. And I think that should be a real consideration. He said half a dozen of my friends are gonna go to a different school.”

The school board did not set a date on when a follow-up meeting will be held, but it was hinted that it could take up to 60 days and possibly longer to clarify certain points of interest.

Some of those points included the cost and effectiveness of transportation for students, additional community input, delivering more information to the public for feedback, and staffing concerns. The staffing concerns would involve having the correct staff for the designated curriculum.