Janesville11.1°

New teacher at Wilson School to help reduce calls to police

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Beth Wheelock
February 25, 2009

There are too many fifth graders at Wilson Elementary School.


Normally, that might not become an urgent problem. But Wilson's socioeconomic situation is unique in Janesville. The school is located on Rockport Road in the Fourth Ward, and more than ninety-nine percent of its students come from low-income households.


At Tuesday's school board meeting, Commissioner Tim Cullen told his colleagues some of the elementary students are involved in gangs. Interim Superintendent Karen Schulte explained to the school board there have been nineteen times in the past two months police have been called to the school.


Wilson Principal Becky Bicha says most of those calls have been for disorderly conduct, or fighting. She says there have also been instances of graffiti and other situations.


The school board unanimously approved a third fifth grade teacher to finish out the school year. The position will cost about $6,000 and will be funded through both Title One and taxpayer dollars.


A school resource officer will also spend time at Wilson. Schulte says the police department has worked closely with the school district and lent support. She says the district administration felt it got to the point where the position was necessary.



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