Janesville School District aims to entice nearby students
If you go
The Janesville School District’s Educational Options Fair, held in conjunction with the annual Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Craig High School, 401 S. Randall Ave., Janesville.
JANESVILLE The Janesville School District is taking advantage of extended open-enrollment deadlines to persuade more parents in surrounding districts to send their children to school here.
Open enrollment allows a parent to enroll a child in any school district free of charge except for transportation costs, in most cases.
Open enrollment applications for the next school year had been limited to three weeks in February. State lawmakers recently extended the period to three months, ending April 30.
For years, online schools sponsored by various Wisconsin districts have used local parent meetings and other marketing tactics to enroll students from other districts, but this is new for Janesville.
The district plans an Educational Options Fair on Saturday, April 21, "to educate families in Janesville and surrounding communities about the exciting and innovative educational options offered in the School District of Janesville," according to a district document describing the event.
A Facebook advertisement for the fair, posted Wednesday, reminds readers that "open enrollment ends April 30."
The school board has told Superintendent Karen Schulte to increase enrollment in the district, which is one way to boost revenue at a time when enrollments are down and state aid has been cut.
The district's revenue increases with each student who enrolls from another district. This school year, the amount will be $6,948 per student, according to a state Department of Public Instruction estimate.
The home district generally loses most but not all of its revenue connected to that student.
The school board set a goal for Schulte to enroll 100 new students in the 2012-2013 school year. Schulte's performance evaluation is based on meeting the board's goals.
"To reach this goal, we aim to raise community awareness of parental/student options by creating a showcase for the numerous and diverse schools in our district," according to the district document. "All elementary, middle, and high schools, along with the charter schools, will be invited to participate in the event. All schools within the district will have the opportunity to showcase what is extraordinarily unique (innovative) and specific to each school."
"Due to the open enrollment date being extended this year, we would like to showcase what Janesville has to offer to families in other communities who are relatively close to Janesville," district spokesman Brett Berg said.
Officials also hope to attract home-schoolers.
"We would like to provide parents with the best information available to help decide their child's educational needs," the document continues. "The Educational Options Fair will also serve to inform parents that have been home schooling their children and increase awareness of the innovative personalized alternatives available within the SDJ."
Berg said the fair will be during the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast at Craig High School.
The Kiwanians allowed a blurb about the fair in their Gazette advertisements, Berg said, and the district's TAGOS Leadership Academy is paying for other ads in Milton and Beloit newspapers.
TAGOS had planned a similar event and invited other district schools to join in, Berg said.
Some administrators will be on hand at the fair, but some schools might be represented only by a table with literature, Berg said.
Berg said the fair is the district's only scheduled marketing event, but the topic could come up in the future.