Janesville73.7°

Can Parkview keep outbound students?

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GINA R. HEINE
May 16, 2008
— When school opens next fall, the Parkview district could see a loss of 81 students.

That’s because 118 students have applied to attend different districts, while only 37 students from outside want to come into the district, Interim District Administrator Patrick Kennedy said.


Having a high number of students open enrolling out of the district has been a problem the past few years, but a committee that studied the issue might have some solutions.


“If you can get the parents involved in your school and get the students motivated and the teachers motivated, you’ll have a heck of a school district,” committee Chairman Ron Pimm said. “It’s just getting that done.”


The out-of-district migration committee started its work in September with responses from surveys the school board sent out last summer to about 60 parents of students who left through open enrollment. The committee also surveyed Parkview alumni, district parents, students, staff and teachers.


The feedback they received resulted in 11 recommendations to the school board.


“I think it’s a wonderful blueprint to move forward,” Kennedy said. “It’s an opportunity to take a look at what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and what we want to do.”


The administration is working on a plan to address the recommendations, and the board will discuss plans in early summer, he said.


Pimm said the committee’s work was good experience, and he acknowledges that other schools and municipalities do similar surveying, but then nothing is accomplished after that.


“Well this one ain’t dying,” he said. “We’ll keep going until everything gets done.”


The recommendations are:


n Set up a referendum committee. While past referendums have failed, the biggest concern the surveys showed was the state of the district’s facilities. Negative comments about the facilities totaled 164, Pimm said.


“That’s the highest of anything,” he said.


A committee should be formed with people from all sides to start discussions, he said, but the local economy also must be considered.


-- Make the promotional/advertising committee permanent. The district and the village already are partnering to put an electronic sign at highways 11 and 213.


-- Continue the student improvement team committee.


-- Create the Parkview Foundation to provide more scholarships for students and grants to teachers for programs that can’t be funded any other way. The foundation would reach out to businesses in Rock and Green counties, as well as host fund-raisers.


-- Have parent volunteers help all parents new to the district.


It seems that parents new to the district don’t know how everything works or all that the district offers, Pimm said. Assistance from other parents would help new people assimilate, he said.


-- Start an at-risk instruction program for the junior/senior high school.


One option is hiring a person who would be similar to a guidance counselor/social worker to help students who are falling through the cracks, Pimm said.


-- Add a foreign language. Spanish is the only language offered, but alumni said more options should be available.


-- Add more technical classes. Alumni also suggested more tech classes to better prepare students for the real world.


-- Charge for parking spaces, putting proceeds toward landscaping. Students suggested the idea, Pimm said.


“They wanted to charge themselves,” he said.


-- Teachers must post graded assignments on Skyward in a timely fashion for parents.


“Stuff is just not posted fast enough,” Pimm said.


-- Teachers must take an active role in helping students be successful in class.


Many parents complained that they find out too late about problems students are having in completing assignments, Pimm said, so more needs to be done, such as creating an after-school study hall.



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