MAPS BoE hosts Q&A regarding Maple Grove School consolidation
On the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 7 the MAPS Board of Education hosted a community information and listening session regarding the potential consolidation of Maple Grove School.
According to MAPS Superintendant, Dr. John Sample, the purpose of the meeting was to provide general information on the state of the school district and the direction the district is going, as well as to give members of the community an opportunity to share any questions they have on the direction of the district, and why they are considering closing Maple Grove.
Dr. Sample began the meeting with a power point outlining MAPS declining enrollment, bus travel times, the Fromm Scholarship Trust and many more items regarding the school district.
“Declining enrollment shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone at this point,” Sample explained “It’s something that we have been dealing with for the past years and our projections show that we will continue to have a declining
“A common question that has been brought up during other meetings is, why don’t we close down Jefferson school instead of Maple Grove? The answer is we simply don’t have enough room in our other schools to accommodate the 200 Jefferson students who would need to relocate schools, without moving fifth grade to the middle school,” Sample explained.
When discussing what would happen to the Fromm Scholarship if the school closed, Dr. Sample pointed to the trust agreement, which outlines qualifications to receive the scholarship. According to a slide show presented Tuesday evening: students must meet one of the following qualifications to be considered for the scholarship:
Class 1- Student who attended Maple Grove School beginning with grade one and a graduate of Maple Grove School.
Class 2- Attended all of the highest grades available at Maple Grove School and a graduate of Maple Grove School.
Class 3- Student accepted into a full-time two year degree with Northcentral Technical College, or another technical college within the state of Wisconsin Technical College System, if the program the student wishes to study is not available at Northcentral Technical College, and the student meets Class 1 or Class 2 requirements, with preference given to those who qualify for Class 1.
Class 4- Students accepted to a full-time four year program in any accredited university in Wisconsin who meet the following requirements:
• Attend grades 9-12 in the MAPS district and graduate from Merrill High School.
• Maintain a 2.5 or better GPA in a 4.0 grading scale who attended grades 9-12 at Merrill High School.
• Was a resident of the Merrill Area Common Public School District at all times while attending a school of MAPS.
Just before the BoE (Board of Education) opened up the mic for public comment, the Maple Grove Governance Board took the stage to address the audience and BoE.
“As a governance board we would like to work together with the MAPS school board to find a mutually beneficial solution to help MAPS reach the goals in their strategic plan, including smarter spending, while allowing Maple Grove to stay open indefinitely.” said Maple Grove Governance Board Vice President Stevie Klockziem.
“We are taking the preservation of Maple Grove very seriously and are prepared to fight, to prevent Maple Grove from closing. If the Merrill school board decides to move forward with breaking their contract with Maple Grove Charter School, our board is in favor of exploring different options, including the possibility of detaching from the MAPS district and joining a different school district.”
Due to the legal matter at hand, MAPS BoE members were unable to shed light on many questions that the public had for them. However, when asked why MAPS spent so much more money on administration last year compared to schools similar in size, Dr. Sample was able to provide an answer.
“Well administration costs cover a very wide range of things,” Sample said. “Also, if you dig a little deeper and see that the Jay Stadium renovation costs were included for our administration costs.”
The MAPS BoE will continue with their discussion on the possible consolidation of Maple Grove School, however as of the close of the meeting Tuesday evening, no decision had been made.