June 19, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Prairie Hills school district to vote on closing Wetmore Academic Center

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The Prairie Hills USD 113 Board of Education will meet Saturday, February 4th, at 10:00 am in the Wetmore Gymnasium to consider closing the Wetmore Academic Center. A narrow 4-3 majority of board members approved the meeting and issued the following Public Notice:

Voting in favor of the motion to schedule the closure vote were board president Leslie Scoby, Kathy Lippert, Jim Scoby, and Stan Keim.  Annissa Bloom, Phillip Buessing, and Kent Saylor opposed the motion.

The meeting date was approved despite unanimous opposition to closing the Wetmore Academic Center from numerous community members who spoke at the December meeting.

The Sentinel sent the following questions to Board President Scoby, Vice-President Lippert, and Superintendent Todd Evans:

  1. Do you dispute the proficiency levels reported in our article?
  2. How do you explain the higher proficiency levels in Wetmore for 8th grade and 10th grade?
  3. How will you determine which Wetmore staff to retain?
  4. How many Wetmore staff will be retained as regular employees?
  5. What is the net annual expense savings of closing Wetmore?  Show all the underlying calculations.
  6. How will the district redeploy those savings?
  7. What are your enrollment assumptions related to closing Wetmore?  How many will stay in the district, and how many will transfer elsewhere?
  8. If enrollment declines, how will the district use state funding that is provided for students no longer in the district?
  9. If transfers to other districts create an enrollment increase, will the receiving district be funded for those extra students?

We received no response from either board member or the superintendent.

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