Janesville81.4°

Janesville School District looking at school merger

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
February 7, 2012
— One of the Janesville School District's charter schools could be moving into a middle school.

Parents and students are invited to a meeting Thursday to discuss the possibility of moving Rock River Charter School into a wing of Franklin Middle School. No timeline was given, and officials were not immediately available to discuss the proposal.


The move would "save costs and better utilize space and resources," according to a district news release.


The district pays about $53,000 a year to lease the charter school's space in a downtown storefront building at 31 W. Milwaukee St.


Franklin is on the west side, at 450 N. Crosby Ave.


Thursday's event will start with a short tour of the area that the charter school would use. Then, attendees will be divided into "small focus groups" to gather feedback and answer questions.


An idea considered last fall would place a gate or a wall with a door in a Franklin hallway to isolate the charter school in a ground-floor wing.


Charter students would have their own entrance near the bus stop on Mineral Point Avenue.


Franklin has the fewest students of the district's three middle schools, about 574 this year.


Rock River Charter School has about 155 students, but the school never has to house that many because programs are spread throughout the day and evening.


Rock River Charter School's mission is to help high school students who are at risk of not graduating for a variety of reasons. Many are short on credits and had attendance problems when they attended Craig or Parker high school.


The charter school also houses the school-aged parents program.


Franklin uses all its rooms, but not all of them are used every period of the day, according to Lisa Peterson, who is principal of Rock River Charter School and assistant principal at Franklin.


If Rock River Charter School moved in, some teachers might not have their own rooms, Peterson said when interviewed last fall.



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