Thursday, November 3, 2011
Hillside parents object to splitting up their kids, while Brookfield Elementary parents don't want their children to move to a "swing school" without enough peers.
There's been a certain symmetry in Elmbrook School District for years, with three elementary, one middle and one high school each on the east and west sides of the district. Some have marveled at how close the enrollments have shaken out between Brookfield Central High and East High, and between Wisconsin Hills Middle and Pilgrim Park Middle. But with the School Board voting to close Hillside Elementary School and move from a six-elementary school feeder system to five elementaries, the symmetry disappears and perceived inequities arise. Throw into the mix the board and superintendent's interest in redistricting in a way that leaves room to close a second school if needed in the future — without moving the same families yet again, and it …
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Elmbrook School District will discuss various redistricting options at two meetings Nov. 2.
Elmbrook School District families are encouraged to attend a Nov. 2 meeting to offer input into the best way to redistrict Hillside Elementary School students following the school's closure. Two meetings will be held: at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at Wisconsin Hills Middle School, 18700 W. Wisconsin Ave. Parents can attend one or both sessions. The school district has offered three redistricting alternatives, as well as the original proposal to move all Hillside students together to Brookfield Elementary. The School Board Tuesday voted 6-1 to close Hillside at the end of this school year, to address excess elementary school space and budget deficits caused by declining enrollment. Brookfield Patch's live-blog of Tuesday night's debate …
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Despite strong pleas from residents and a city alderman representing the Hillside community to keep the school open, School Board members said it was time to be a five-elementary school district.
After emotional debate from residents who begged the Elmbrook School Board to not close any elementary school, board members voted 6-1 to shut down Hillside Elementary after this school year to close budget gaps amid declining enrollment. Only board member Bob Ziegler urged against closure, winning applause and standing ovations from the packed Brookfield Central High cafeteria when he also objected to a closure vote before an acceptable redistricting plan was created. But Board President Tom Gehl echoed other board members when he said the district could not keep operating six elementary schools with about 30 percent unused space while facing budget deficits and no sign of substantial enrollment increases on the horizon. Parents said the…
Brookfield Patch blogged live throughout Tuesday's Elmbrook School Board meeting as members decided to close Hillside Elementary School. Check out a replay from our real-time blog.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
After nearly two years of discussion and debate, the Elmbrook School Board voted Tuesday to close Hillside Elementary School to address the district's financial crunch and declining enrollment. Here is a replay of Patch's live blog from the meeting.
Brookfield Elementary School parent urges against closing Hillside and says the redistricting proposal lacks a true feeder system swing school. The School Board plans to vote on school closure tonight.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Letter to the Editor: As a homeowner and taxpayer in Brookfield, as well as a parent of children in the Elmbrook School District, I am deeply disgusted with Dr. Matt Gibson's recommendation to close Hillside Elementary School. Yes, we are in a budget crunch and some of our schools are at a lower than desired capacity level, but closing Hillside is NOT the answer. During many of the community sessions, both this year and last, MANY viable suggestions were made to the board on how to save money and how to increase funds coming in. We do not believe the board has taken into consideration any of these suggestions. Their only solution to this problem is to close a school. Which, in the grand scheme of things, only saves a small portion of the …
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Brookfield resident urges the Elmbrook School Board to keep Hillside Elementary School open. The board plans to vote on school closure next week.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Letter to the Editor: I'm writing to express my reservations about the apparent "done deal" to close Hillside Elementary in the Elmbrook School District. This supposed money saving move will disrupt an otherwise smooth working operation amongst many students, families and neighborhoods. Numerous studies have been done and the district's studies don’t seem to jibe with other studies, numbers and projections as to true financial benefits of doing this. My sons will be deeply affected by this decision. My second grader would be moving to a different school, then back to the middle school, where he does indeed belong, with the small number of kids who were displaced because of the closing. He would not be attending school with the majority of …
Friday, October 14, 2011
State Democrats say governor's budget cuts is the reason Elmbrook is shutting down school, but superintendent says that's just one factor.
The school-closing debate in Brookfield took a political turn this week when the state Democratic Party cited the likely closure of Hillside Elementary School as an example of how Gov. Scott Walker's state budget is hurting education across Wisconsin. What has pretty much been a local issue caught the eye of state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate, who used the potential school closing to continue the argument that Walker’s actions have been harmful to students. "Scott Walker claims he gave local governments and school districts the 'tools' to deal with his budget cuts, but it looks the only tool they got was the ax," the PoliticScoop blog quoted Tate as saying Wednesday. The focus of the dispute are provisions in the state's new …
Monday, September 26, 2011
But a parent's motion to increase the proposed school tax levy by $1.5 million to keep Hillside open was ruled out of order.
In an attempt to keep Hillside Elementary School open, two district residents Monday tried to add $1.5 million to the proposed school property tax levy but were ruled out of order. Resident Julie Doyle said the extra $1.5 million would "cover operating expenses of Hillside Elementary, thereby preventing its closure." Chuck Bloom seconded her motion. But another resident pointed out — and Superintendent Matt Gibson agreed — that the tax levy for the 2011-12 district budget discussed Monday night includes full funding for Hillside's operation this year. Elm Grove Village Manager Dave DeAngelis, who served as the annual meeting's parliamentarian, said the motion was not germaine and could not be voted upon. Gibson added the proposed tax levy …
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Also this week: Town Fire Department Open House, Elmbrook School District's annual meeting and Brookfield Academy's Mothers Night Out.
Brookfield Patch offers a glimpse of what's happening in local news and events this week: Elmbrook property tax levy: District residents will cast an advisory vote on the school property tax levy for the 2011-12 school year. The Elmbrook School Board will present its annual budget at 6 p.m. Monday, followed by the annual meeting at 7 p.m. It will be held at the district administrative offices, 13780 Hope St. Special education parent meeting: Parents are invited to discuss the implementation of high school block scheduling with special education instruction at a 7:30 a.m. meeting Wednesday at the district offices, 13780 Hope St. City 2012 budget review: The Common Council's Finance Committee will start reviewing the proposed 2012 city …
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Tonawanda in Elm Grove would remain open under a recommendation the Board will take to two community meetings to get feedback before final vote in October.
With difficulty getting board majority support, the Elmbrook School Board recommended Tuesday that the district close one elementary school at the end of the year — Hillside. Board members will ask community members at two upcoming meetings to offer feedback on closing Hillside before members vote on any school closure in late October. Those meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 29 at Brookfield East High School and 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Brookfield Central High School. The recommendation would save Tonawanda Elementary School in Elm Grove from closure. But two board members supported closing it and one warned if enrollment continued to decline and budget pressures persist, it could be closed in the future. Tuesday's meeting was packed with an…