Consolidation proves successAlmost one year after the Superior school board voted to consolidate the district’s Family Resource Center and Early Childhood Family Education programs it learned the measure was a success.
By: Anna Kurth, The Daily Telegram
Almost one year after the Superior school board voted to consolidate the district’s Family Resource Center and Early Childhood Family Education programs it learned the measure was a success.
Family resources coordinator Nicky Wilson returned to the board Monday night to give a presentation on the consolidation, which took place this summer.
During the consolidation process, staff from the Family Resource Center met with staff and parents from the Early Childhood Family Education program to determine which courses were needed.
The resource center offers four Early Childhood Family Education-style courses, which have proved popular. The Family Resource Center also expanded its original programming this year to offer playgroups in Poplar, Solon Springs and Superior’s Peter Rich Center.
The Superior school board voted in March to expand the Family Resource Center’s offerings to include Early Childhood Family Education style classes and eliminated the district’s Early Childhood Family Education program. The board budgeted $30,000 extra for the Family Resource Center budget to take on the class load.
What parents were looking for most was toddler classes. The toddler class offered at the Family Resource Center this fall proved so successful a second class was added in January, Wilson said.
The success of the consolidation was due in large part to the involvement of parents throughout the process. About half the parents who work on the resource center’s advisory board are parents who used Early Childhood Family Education programming. Through the advisory group they continue voicing their ideas and are involved with fundraising for the center, she said.
The center isn’t planning any additional classes next year but will concentrate on the programs it added this school year.
The resource center serves about 700 people in Douglas County and Minnesota. The vast majority of families using the center come from Douglas County. About 6 percent of the families served come from Minnesota, which the resource center serves since the Duluth centers have closed. Minnesota residents are only accepted to classes if spots in a class are available after Wisconsin residents have signed up, Wilson said.
Besides running playgroups and classes, family resource center staff members also provide home visits to residents of Douglas County.
The Family Resource Center is funded by the Superior school district and the Children’s Trust Fund, an organization that works to ensure Wisconsin children grow up without experiencing abuse or neglect.
Anna Kurth covers education. Call her at (715) 395-5019 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.