Nicolet receives positive replies on district merger

Community survey opposes larger class sizes

Dec. 22, 2010

Glendale — Preliminary results from a survey administered to residences throughout the Nicolet High School community indicate there is interest in studying consolidation with the three K-8 feeder districts. But respondents are not favoring increasing class sizes or decreasing class periods in order to address future fiscal constraints.

Nicolet decided to administer the survey in an effort to get the community's pulse on long-term fiscal planning. The survey came on the heels of a five-year stretch of ongoing budgetary challenges for the district, exacerbated by such factors as declining student enrollment.

The district has been working with two consulting firms - School Perceptions and a communications specialist with Eppstein Uhen Architects - to get the word out about the district's needs and gather input from the community.

Bill Foster, president of public opinion and research firm School Perceptions, provided an update on the results tallied to date at a School Board meeting Monday.

Final results are pending and will eventually be published on Nicolet's website, District Administrator Rick Monroe said.

"We have a very educated community and we want to know what people think," Monroe said. "From the results so far, it appears there's a desire to maintain a quality high school."

In his presentation this week, Foster said 80 percent of respondents to date favor a study of consolidating with feeders Glendale-River Hills, Fox Point-Bayside and Maple Dale-Indian Hill. On the flip side, a majority of the respondents opposed increasing class sizes or decreasing the number of class periods offered throughout the day as a measure to cut staffing.

- Dave Fidlin

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