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December 16, 2003

District plan will address east-side growth issue

From: Green Bay Press Gazette, WI - Dec 16, 2003

By Kelley Bruss

The Green Bay School District doesn't plan to make any school boundary changes for the 2004-05 school year, but it hopes by spring to have a long-term plan for handling continued growth on the district's east side.

Green Bay School Board member Bill McIntyre urged administrators Monday night to bring forward that plan as soon as possible for board consideration. He said time will be needed if the plan includes major work to address school crowding.

"What happens if we end up having to build a new school?" he said.

Superintendent Daniel Nerad said he understands the need to find a solution soon.

Still, "it's critically important that we have a good sense that we've looked at a whole variety of options," he said.

Nerad said a committee is studying enrollment data, birth rates, construction rates and state projections for growth.

It's clear there are east-side increases, but Nerad said the committee has to determine whether the growth "would call for something beyond what we currently have," in terms of facilities.

McIntyre agreed this is not a matter for hasty decisions. But the situation, particularly at Preble High School, continues to worsen.

"The sooner we get that report, I guess I'm trying to say, the better," he said.

Enrollment at Preble is 2,144 this year. The district's guideline for the school is 2,000.

Nerad said by next week or January at the latest, he will bring board members a plan for 2004-05 and 2005-06 at Preble. That plan will include short-term ways to handle the large student body until a long-term plan is developed and implemented.

• Also Monday, board members heard a proposal to expand the district's American Sign Language offerings to include a third year of instruction.

American Sign Language 1 and 2 have been offered at Southwest High School for several years. This year there are five sections of the first-year course and three sections of the second-year course.

Administrators are proposing adding one section of third-year sign language for 2004-05.

"As students become more proficient, we would like to continue providing more advanced coursework in this area," Assistant Superintendent David Zadnik said.

Nerad said many colleges and universities now accept American Sign Language credits for their foreign language requirements.

Board members will vote on the proposal Monday at their regular December meeting.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in the third floor conference room of the district's administration building, 200 S. Broadway.

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