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Wausau School Board Receives Administration's Proposal for District-Wide Restructuring

Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 -- 10:01 AM

(Mike Leischner, WSAU) The Wausau School Board officially received the administration's proposal for district-wide restructuring.

According to Mike Leischner with WSAU, Superintendent Keith Hilts says the proposal took into account all of the public comment they've gotten since this discussion began last year. "If an idea had some merit, we certainly looked at it. If it was counter to where we were going, we certainly took that into consideratin to make sure it helps us distill and vet our own ideas."

He says outside of the plan to create one city-wide public high school system, the proposal remains subject to change. "Because we want to continue to work with our childcare partners, our 4K educators, and our charter schools to make sure that, when we select schools to be reallocated, that they are the right schools"

He says the proposed elementary structure remains flexible, as they try to find the right fit for their needs. "So, in the current proposal, we would have three on the east side to meet the needs of that enrollment and then five on the west because that's where the majority of our enrollment is. And then the schools we select have to have adequate capacity as well."

Not everyone in the community felt the plan represented the best way forward for the district, as several of the nine people who provided public comment made it clear they thought the plan should either be scrapped or delayed.

"It's only going to be the stars that are going to be on these teams and these activities. And I know you're answer is you're going to have more activities. And I know your answer is going to be, 'we're going to have more activities.' It's not the same as being on the volleyball team or in band and so forth."

"I don't see why it can't be phased in, if it has to happen, to be phased in so it doesn't effect kids that are currently in high school that just went through COVID."

"This upheavel during the last two years of high school will add so much stress to an already stressful time."

After more than four hours of dialog the board took no action, only requesting more information on the potential impact for two areas- staffing, and transportation. Hilts promised that work on those areas would be done behind the scenes, and that he would provide updates to the board as appropriate.

The proposal includes the closure of five elementary schools and one high school, two campus setups, one for junior high students and one for senior high.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.