Parents voice concerns about Superior school consolidation

At the Monday, March 6 school board meeting, parents questioned why local legislators had not been informed as well as what closing a school would do to property values and student bus ride times.


SUPERIOR —The Superior School Board during its Monday, March 6 regular meeting heard concerns from parents over the possibility of consolidating the district's six elementary schools.

In other business, the board also set up a new school activity account for future replacement of the turf fields at NBC Spartan Sports Complex and approved a spring 2024 trip to Disney World for Superior High School musicians.

Consolidation concerns

Four Corners Elementary School parents raised concerns over the possibility the district may consolidate its six elementary schools into five in the 2024-2025 school year. The move would involve closing one of the district’s two rural schools, Four Corners or Lake Superior Elementary. Discussion of consolidation was prompted by declining enrollment, an expected $4 million budget shortfall and the under-utilization of some elementary schools.

The footprint of the Grand Foot Path in Douglas County

Parents questioned why local legislators had not been informed of the plan as well as what closing a school would do to property values and student bus ride times.

Parent Amy Fiegle wondered why the district would close a school in a growing area. She said 29 new dwellings were built in the area served by the schools — the towns of Superior, Summit, Oakland and Parkland. The Douglas County Zoning Department verified that it issued 29 permits for year-round dwellings in 2022 for the four towns mentioned. However, office staff said that just because permits have been issued, does not mean the buildings have been constructed; it only means they have the permits required to build.


A Consolidation Advisory Committee composed of parents, teachers and administrators from the six elementary schools has met twice, grappling with whether the needs of all students are best met in six or five buildings. District Administrator Amy Starzecki said it has been an emotional process for the committee members. She asked if the board would approve shifting the purpose of the committee to providing input instead of giving a recommendation. Board members agreed, and Starzecki said she would survey the committee members about the idea.

“If they want to make a decision to bring forward to us, that’s fine,” President Len Albrecht said.

Their time is appreciated, board member Laura Gapske said, but ultimately the decision rests with the board.

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Future fields

The new activity account will hold money collected for scoreboard sponsorships at the complex in 2023 and be used for repairs to the facility in the next five years. That will include future replacement of the turf fields. The district currently has about eight to nine years of life remaining on its turf fields, the board members were told. Donations from community businesses and donors will also be collected in the account.

Florida bound

Roughly 110 SHS band, choir and orchestra students got the green light to travel to Festival Disney on the Imagination Campus in Florida to perform and hear other high school groups from all over the country in March 2024. Students will pay their own way by fundraising, the board was told. The trip will be available to concert band and orchestra students, the Spartan Singers and juniors and seniors in the music program.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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