Dec 3, 2012 8:22 PM by Matt Stafford
School District 11 begins a series of public meetings this week on their Utilization Plan for the years to come; some of the plans include closing or condensing schools, including Mann Middle School and Wasson High School.
On Monday D-11 Superintendent Nicholas Gledich held a press conference to talk about what the District is trying to achieve and how they're going about doing that. Gledich says the School Board asked him to take a look at which schools were being underutilized and which were being over-utilized. The goal, Gledich says, is to arrange students based on utilization of resources, achievement, and other various considerations.
"We'll hopefully see some type of budget cost savings in the process, but, more importantly, what we really want to do is improve that instructional economy of scale and improve the instructional delivery for our students," says Dr. Gledich.
Right now the District has 12 considerations, and says more may come from the community meetings in December (Dec. 5, 10, 13, 17, 18 & 19). Any of the considerations, or combination of them, selected could be passed along for the School Board to consider in January.
In terms of staffing, Dr. Gledich stresses that it's still early in the process, but the District would likely lose some administration level jobs with schools that are consolidated. The moves may also make it easier for some specialty teachers to reach larger numbers of students in a week. Any staffing changes would have to be considered after a more specific consideration is given to the School Board.
"Our students are our students and they need to be served where ever they are, so as our students move our teachers move with our students," says Dr. Gledich.
It's not all talk of reductions though; the hope is that the efficiencies will also let them work on other educational areas they would like to add emphasis to, like early childhood education and those first couple of years after high school. When the District talks about campus "centers" they would like to add early childhood education versions at some point. They're also interested in looking to add "13th" and "14th" grade programs that would help students get into college material and work toward an associate's degree. These are just ideas right now though, and they hope the proposed changes will put the District in a position to move ahead with some of these ideas.