MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) – A Menasha Joint School District elementary school is closing down for good.
An announcement was made at a school board meeting on Monday to close the nearly 100-year-old Nicolet Elementary School.
There are several factors that go into the decision to close down including the decline in enrollment, budget concerns, class sizes, building layout, and position savings.
Over the past several years, Menasha Joint School District has lost nearly 500 students from the transitive population in Menasha, the loss of students to open enrollment, and the loss of students to vouchers.
Budget concerns continue to plague Menasha. As enrollment declines, state funding also declines. Board officials say not operating Nicolet School will save the district about $100,000 per year.
The district board also cites Nicolet can only have one section of a grade level at the school. This means they’re unable to appropriately meet the needs of students. Those who need extra help get placed in a large classroom and won’t get the necessary one-on-one time they need.
With the building being roughly 100-years-old, the Nicolet School’s layout is not ideal for a modern school. Due to the outdated structure, technology access throughout the building is limited alongside minimal bathrooms on each floor. Parking is another serious concern for Nicolet as there is very limited space.
While Nicolet might be closing, no one will lose their jobs with the district. The staff at Nicolet Elementary School will be relocated as some staff from other schools are retiring or resigning at the end of the year.
Nicolet Elementary School will remain open for the remainder of the school year but will not host classes for the upcoming fall. Nicolet’s sister school, Jefferson Elementary, which hosts kindergarten through second-grade students who then go onto third through fifth-grade at Nicolet, will remain open despite Nicolet’s closure.