Planning for the future of MAPS
It’s hard to believe we are in the fourth quarter of our school year. Despite the challenges the pandemic has brought, our students continue to work hard and remain motivated.
We have been extremely busy this year. Governor Evers’ order to pause face-to-face instruction began a little more than one year ago. Thanks to the incredible cooperation at every level of the MAPS community, we safely provided in-person instruction, in addition to sports, tech ed, and performing art experiences. I could not be more proud of our district’s tenacity and the student resilience in a time of such turmoil.
And nothing, not even a global pandemic, delayed our efforts of fiscal responsibility in light of declining student enrollment. We remain committed to increasing efficiencies and operating within our resources.
Considering the consolidation of the district outlined in the MAPS Strategic Plan and with the confirmed detachment of Maple Grove, all effective July 1, 2021, MAPS will be able to reallocate an estimated $1.17 million to the much-needed classroom efforts in literacy and math skills, in addition to keeping our remaining facilities in top condition. Below is a brief list of the staffing efficiencies the redesign has afforded, all while maintaining nationally accepted classroom size standards:
• 2 Central Office Administrators
• 10.5 Teachers
• 2.5 Aides
• 1 Secretary
• 2 Custodians
• 1.5 Principals
• 2 Bussing Routes
• 1 Long-Term Building Maintenance Schedules
The redesign of the district is indeed strategic and purposeful.
Over the past 10 years, our district enrollment declined by approximately 50 students each year. Today, this equates to approximately $500,000 less revenue annually and therefore over the years, millions of dollars of expenses that need to be rebalanced. It was time to take a bigger step in the direction of a balanced budget.
With so many options such as open enrollment, parochial vouchers, virtual academies, and homeschooling, to do nothing meant MAPS was unnecessarily spending money to keep everything the same while our students greatly need those resources to be spent on instruction and counseling.
While we work daily to respect the tax dollars entrusted to us, beginning in 2021, the budget reflects over $1 million to soon be purposefully redirected to support academic achievement.
I understand and relate to the emotions and sentiments attached to childhood elementary school buildings. Closing more elementary schools is not something any school leader looks forward to, but there is a silver lining. On the positive side, placing all students of the same grade level in the same building will provide new, untapped opportunity. MAPS students can look forward to improved teacher collaboration, easier access to extra help, a fully implemented elementary curriculum, exposure to more specialties for 5th graders, and efficient transitions between grade levels.
This consolidation represents the detailed work of several years and is purposefully designed for the next generation of Merrill learners.
Dr. John Sample