West Allis-West Milwaukee plans to merge schools

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board is considering proposals to consolidate several of its schools at the middle and elementary levels, after a failed referendum to consolidate two high schools in April.

At a special meeting on June 6, the board is due to consider:

  • the consolidation of Lane Middle School into Frank Lloyd Wright Middle School beginning in the 2023-24 school year,
  • consolidate Longfellow Elementary School into Jefferson Elementary School and Pershing Elementary School beginning in the 2023-24 school year, and approve an option for Longfellow 4K students to begin the 2022-23 school year at their current neighborhood school or new;
  • consolidating Madison Elementary School into Walker Elementary School to begin the 2023-24 school year, and approving an option for Madison 4K students to begin the 2022-23 school year at their current neighborhood school or news.

The board is also considering a plan to consolidate an elementary school and two additional high schools into one by the end of the 2023-24 school year, according to a June 1 letter to staff and parents from the district superintendent. West Allis-West Milwaukee School, Marty. Lexmond.

This additional elementary school has not yet been identified, according to Amanda Stewart, director of communications and community relations for the district.

Lexmond’s June 1 letter says the facility master plan “has been approved by our school board and includes recommendations to consolidate our two comprehensive high schools into one, consolidate three middle schools into two, and consolidate eleven schools. elementary in eight or nine”.

Over the past month, the district has held several in-person and virtual listening sessions to discuss the consolidations.

Lexmond said one of the goals of the district’s strategic plan is “to develop and begin implementation of a facility master plan that includes strategies to create innovative learning spaces and maintain efficient operations.” buildings”.

“Over the past two years, our community members, staff, school board and administration have carefully considered our current and future accommodation needs. Hundreds of hours of analysis and meetings have led developing our facility master plan,” he said. .

The goal of the facilities planning process is to “get it right,” meaning the district seeks to operate only the number of school buildings it actually needs to save money, and modernize schools throughout the district. district by upgrading buildings “so they last another 50 years and create engaging and inspiring learning spaces,” according to information on the district’s website.

The district currently operates 17 schools serving approximately 7,400 students. Over the past six years, enrollment has declined by nearly 2,500 students. Listings are expected to continue to decline “at a slow and steady pace and eventually level off,” the site said. Additionally, the district noted that the average age of its buildings was over 78 years old, with some schools dating back to 1921.

Referendum failed

The board attempted to resolve the issue of consolidating its high schools, Nathan Hale and West Allis Central, into a single high school through a $149.8 million referendum in the April 5 ballot. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the referendum.

“However, the commitment made in our Facilities Master Plan continues, and we are now ready to make recommendations regarding middle and elementary school consolidations to begin the 2023-2024 school year,” Lexmond said in the letter. .

consolidation meeting

The June 6 special school board meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the boardroom, room 609, district offices, 1205 S. 70th St., West Allis. Public comments will be allowed. The meeting will also be broadcast on Zoom and posted later on the district’s YouTube channel. The Zoom link can be accessed at /bit.ly/3tdwsDz.

Contact Alec Johnson at 262-875-9469 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @AlecJohnson12.

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