MAPS BoE hosts preliminary discussion on closure of Maple Grove
The monthly meeting of the MAPS Board of Education (BoE) drew a large audience on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Many in attendance were from the Town of Hamburg, and others with an interest in Maple Grove School.
As scheduled on the MAPS Board of Education agenda that evening, was a preliminary discussion of closure of Maple Grove School, located at 135594 County Road L, Athens, Wis.
Those opposed to closing the school, showed up in full force, to express their displeasure with the idea of closing down their beloved school. There were so many Maple Grove supporters, that the meeting would need to change location to the Merrill High School Auditorium, as the original meeting room in the MAPS Central Office was filled past its maximum capacity.
During public comment period of the meeting, parents of Maple Grove Elementary students took the opportunity to voice their opinions on the matter. The parents pointed to things such as the unique style of learning provided at the school, MAPS losing enrollment if they close the school and the contract that Maple Grove has with MAPS, as reasons they would like to see Maple Grove stay open.
Parents were not the only Maple Grove supporters in attendance, as MAPS BoE Clerk Nubs Ashbeck supported the school staying open, pointing to his personal experiences.
“Maple Grove is a great school and I would hate to see it get shut down,” said Ashbeck. “There is just this sense of community at Maple Grove that you don’t really see at other schools.”
There were also some board members that were more receptive to the idea of closing down the school.
BoE member Brett Woller encouraged other board members to an open mind, as it may just be the best decision for the school district.
“We really just need to take a step back and look at the whole picture,” said Woller. “If our finance director and superintendent think this is a good idea, we have to do our due diligence and see what the correct move is. They aren’t suggesting these things to hurt the district.”
MAPS Finance Director Brian Dasher shed some light on the topic, stating that there was no immediate decision at-hand to close Maple Grove, but it may be in the school district’s best interest to take action.
“Let’s all keep in mind that this is just a preliminary discussion,” Dasher added. “We aren’t going to be voting on anything tonight, we just had to get the ball rolling and see if this is something we may be interested in pursuing. That being said, we do have a serious space issue in our school district. There are so many empty classrooms and our class sizes continue to shrink, so this may be the best option for MAPS.”