Continuing a meeting cut short Monday night due to a scheduled executive session, the Mukwonago School Board will reconvene in a special board meeting on Dec. 5 to address the Eagleville Elementary School charter renewal, which was tabled at the Nov. 26 meeting.
Eagleville staff and parents filled the district office at Monday's meeting, pleading for a five-year renewal instead of the yearly renewal the school has been granted in the past, stating the rolling one year renewal doesn't allow stability for staff or families.
However, school board members are looking at class sizes and enrollment, which peaked several years ago and has since dropped to 89 students in the choice school this year. While district enrollment has also declined, and won't be going up any time soon, according to Director of Business Services Darren Clark, parents and staff members point to the lack of an extended charter agreement as one of the reasons families don't stay or enroll at the school.
Eagleville faces additional hurdles with bussing, no kindergarten, before and after school child care and marketing, which the parent group has begun to address, according to PTO President Bret Zortman who spoke at the October and November school board meetings. Additionally, a group of parents have compiled a five-year business plan for the school, which is about 90-percent complete Zortman told the board on Monday night.
School board member Art Schneider pushed to extend the contract for five years, stating that by only offering one-year extensions, the board is “creating a climate that is not healthy for our students, for our staff, for the whole community.”
“This is a product. We need to keep it whole and make it better,” said Schneider. “We can’t afford to have some bad things said about this district.”
School board member Kurt Kaesermann questioned why this decision wasn’t made before the district stuck thousands of dollars into the building. The district invested $250,000 in maintenance projects to improve Eagleville during the summer of 2007, according to figures provided by Clark.
However, board members Joanne Newberry and Paul Wysocki reminded the board that they need to keep in mind the overall operations of the district and how Eagleville’s charter fits into that big picture.
Board member Rodell Singert pointed to the $3 million drop-off the district will face at the end of the operational referendum after this school year.
“We still have to look at if we can operate,” Singert said.
With Eagleville’s uncompleted business plan dangling in the air, Newberry said she felt the board did not have all the information it needed to make a decision on the issue since Clark’s long-range budget projection for the district was not presented due to the shortened agenda.
As time ran out, the board tabled the issue until more information on the district’s budget projection and Eagleville’s business plan could be reviewed.
The board will address the issue in a special meeting on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at the district office, which will also include the district's long-range budget projection.
Eagleville Elementary Charter School is a choice school offering environmental stewardship, foreign language, integrated curriculum and whole-school thematic enrichments to the existing district curriculum.