Janesville34.5°

School Board debates site for charter school

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Jason Smathers
August 11, 2010
— School Board members raised concerns during an internationally focused charter school's report to the board Tuesday night about whether the school is being fully utilized.

Board member Kevin Murray questioned whether the Janesville Academy for International Studies could be housed elsewhere to save the district money. The academy provides students from Craig and Parker High Schools with additional credits in English, social studies and world languages. The curriculum enhances 21st century learning skills by focusing on international culture, critical thinking skills and global media literacy.


"I think we pay about less than $4,000 a month to house this school that 22 students attend for two hours a day," Murray said. "I'm still questioning that for the sake of using some of our money more wisely."


Superintendent Karen Schulte said the academy spends approximately $3,600 in rent on its portion of the building at 31 W. Milwaukee St. It shares with Rock River Charter School, which spends approximately $6,000 a month in rent. The district moved CRES Academy to St. John's Lutheran last year to save on rent and indicated the same could be done with JAIS and Rock River charter school.


Instructor Jane Thompson defended the location, saying it was positioned between Craig and Parker to accommodate class schedules of both high schools. While Thompson said she would like to see higher enrollment in the program, she wasn't sure how many more students the school could take without additional instructors.


Board member Greg Ardrey said the school should look at more opportunities to integrate the academy's teachings into the day-to-day curricula of both Craig and Parker, regardless of budget concerns.


In other business, the board approved the appointment of Kristen Moisson as principal of Jackson Elementary School. Her previous position as coordinator of early learning and preschool programs is in limbo. District spokeswoman Sheryl Miller said the district will decide what direction to take with the preschool program and her former job within the next week.



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