Janesville71.8°

Janesville will recommend charter school stay put

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Catherine W. Idzerda
March 24, 2012
— It would cost between $21,000 and $25,000 to disassemble furniture at the Rock River Charter School and reassemble it at Franklin Middle School.

In addition, it would cost between $11,500 and $13,000 to move the furniture two miles to Franklin Middle School.


The total cost of the move is estimated at between $110,000 and $231,000.


For those reasons—and a variety of others—Karen Schulte superintendent of the Janesville School District will recommend to the school board that the Rock River Charter School stay in its present location in downtown Janesville.


The board will take up the issue at its regular meeting Tuesday.


Information about the move comes from a memo from Steven Eichman, manager of transportation, purchasing and custodial services dated Thursday.


The proposed move was part of the district’s attempt to save money by using current buildings rather that renting space elsewhere.


The Rock River Charter School is home to 150 to 170 students, with 60 to 70 students in attendance in the building during the school day.


The monthly rent is $4,401.28. Rent totals $52,815.36 a year.


The current lease ends June 30.


One of the challenges of moving the charter school would be creating a space separate and inaccessible from the middle school, explained Greg Ardrey, board member and chairman of the district’s boundary line committee.


Some of the students at the charter school have been expelled, and for that reason are not allowed to mix with students at traditional facilities.


Even the charter school students seemed to be uncomfortable with the idea of sharing the same campus.


At a charter school focus group on Dec. 19, students expressed concerns “about how the community would perceive them, and that they might be poor role models for middle school students.”


At a meeting with Franklin School teachers and staff on Feb. 1, “building leaders strongly opposed mixing students who are 11 and 21 on the same campus.”


Finally, at a March 1 meeting, parents expressed concerns about the age range of students, citing “reckless driving and smoking” as major concerns.


Schulte recommended that the board of the TAGOS charter school address rental costs before its lease at Arrow Park facilities ends in August 2013.


ON THE AGENDA


The Janesville School District’s Board of Education will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 at the Educational Services Center, 527 Franklin St., Janesville.


Items on the agenda include:


- Discussion of preliminary staffing plan for the 2012-2013 school year.


- Discuss post-secondary technical college and UW-Rock County classes for 20 students. Under state law, school districts are required to pay for such courses for students who qualify for them.


- Discuss adding an additional three grade “challenge program” for gifted and talented students.



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