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Hudson School board to consider more school options

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Hudson Board of Education has voted to add an additional two options to the three already under consideration to increase secondary school space in the district.

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The two new options include:

  • Construction of a new three-year high school for grades 10-12 and the conversion of the current high school and middle school to two schools for grades 6-9.
  • Construction of a new school for grades 6-9, conversion of the current high school to grades 10-12, and the conversion of the current middle school to grades 6-9.

    The other options under consideration include:

  • Construction of a four-year high school with the conversion of the current high school to grades 7-8 and the middle school to grades 5-6.
  • Construction of a three-year high school for grades 10-12, conversion of the current high school to grades 8-9 and the conversion of the current middle school to grades 6-7.
  • Construction of a grade 6-12 STEM school for 700 students with the current high school remaining 9-12 and the middle school staying at grades 6-8.

    Communications Specialist Tracy Habisch-Ahlin told the board that research indicates that increased building transitions student can have an adverse effect on achievement. The new options would only require one transition at the secondary level.

    Habisch-Ahlin went onto say the two new options would work with the current middle school "house" program as well as with the new high school "academies" for ninth grade.

    Board member Sandy Gehrke said she objected to adding any additional options without more public input. She also objected to the fact that the option of building on to the high school and middle school were not under consideration.

    Board member Brian Bell responded by saying that the board had explored additions to the existing buildings but they had been ruled out for a number of reasons including the lack of space for larger common areas (hallways, cafeteria, parking. "It is not feasible solution. Those common areas already stressed. You can't just add on classrooms and not deal with those common stresses."

    Bell thought converting the high school to three grades as opposed to two would be a better use of the space.

    Regarding more public input, board president Tom Holland also disagreed with Gehrke saying the public is welcome at any time to make suggestions either directly to the district, through board members or via the district's website. "Just because we haven't gotten input from community doesn't mean the opportunity hasn't been there."

    Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten stressed to the board that the district administration "has no preference of options under consideration."

    See the Feb. 21 print edition of the Star-Observer for more on this story.

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