City summer school trims swim classes
Parents get in line early each year to make sure they get their kids into the swim classes they want. But for the next two summers, swimming will be cut by 25 percent, said Steve Huth, summer school director.
Huth presented his 2008 summer school program to the school board Tuesday night. The board approved it unanimously but had questions about ways to make sign-ups more equitable.
No one questioned the reason for fewer slots in swimming classes: Construction at the high schools will make those campuses off limits for the next two summers. So the district is limited to the pools at the three middle schools.
The district normally uses four of its five pools for summer-school swim classes, leaving one available for repairs.
Huth said after the meeting he did not immediately know how many students take swim each summer. The numbers are complicated by the fact that some kids take more than one swim course.
Board members asked about alternative sites or hours.
Huth said his staff had looked into leasing other pools, but those facilities already are in use, offering similar classes at similar times.
Evening swim classes were considered, but staff was not available at those times, Huth said.
Huth said he expects a drop in state aid, which is calculated on a per-pupil basis, because of the fewer swim slots.
DuWayne Severson was one of several school board members concerned about the fact that parents who show up in person on the first day of registration are able to register their children before anyone else, including those who mail in their registrations.
What about parents who have to work and can’t come? Severson asked.
Severson asked about online registration as an alternative.
Huth said he had looked into online registration and found it was cost-prohibitive.
Todd Bailey suggested parents who weren’t able to stand in line should be able to drop off their registrations in the morning.
Bailey also expressed concerns about long lines at registration. Huth said changes in recent years have reduced wait times from two hours to an average of about 13 minutes, “which is shorter than a grocery line on a Saturday morning.”
SUMMER SCHOOL ’08
-- Friday, March 28—Catalogs distributed at school.
-- Monday, March 31—Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Educational Services Center, 527 S. Franklin St.
-- Monday, June 9—First day of classes for elementary students.
-- Monday, June 16— First day of classes for middle and high school students.
-- “Neighborhood programs,” formerly at Wilson and Jackson schools, will expand to include Kennedy and Roosevelt schools.
-- Four other elementary schools also will offer classes—Adams, Harrison, Lincoln and Washington.
-- High school classes will be at Marshall Middle School for the next two years.
-- Middle school classes will be at Franklin Middle School for the next two years.
On Tuesday night, the Janesville School Board:
-- Approved creating a trust fund to pre-fund early-retirement benefits, on a 5-3 vote.
Voting no were Todd Bailey, Tim Cullen and Kevin Murray. Voting yes were Debra Kolste, Amy Rashkin, DuWayne Severson, Dennis Vechinsky and Bill Sodemann. Lori Stottler was absent.
Money is expected to be taken from the operating budget’s reserve fund annually for this purpose.
-- Heard from advocates for not cutting talented-and-gifted teachers, elementary librarians and music teachers.
-- Had an audience that included more than 30 teachers who were continuing protests of the board’s contract-negotiation stance. The teachers—many, if not all, from Parker High School—marched outside the Educational Services Center with placards before the meeting. The board later held a closed meeting to discuss negotiations.
-- Heard from board members Todd Bailey and Kevin Murray, who wanted to know what’s being planned to address handicapped accessibility to the grandstand at Monterey Stadium.
Administrators promised an update at the board’s next buildings and grounds/finance committee meeting, set for Tuesday, March 11.