New Berlin schools open to new realities
District adjusts to Glen Park closing and new schedule
New Berlin - When New Berlin children go back to school Tuesday, they will see a lot of changes, including plenty of new faces at Orchard Lane and Elmwood elementary schools.
In addition, half the district's schools will have new principals, and the school day itself will be a little longer, with some added help for those who need it.
Moving Glen Park students
Orchard Lane and Elmwood will absorb most of the approximately 300 students who previously attended Glen Park Elementary School, which the district closed in June to save money. A smattering of Glen Park students also will go to the district's other two elementary schools, Ronald Reagan and Poplar Creek.
About 115 of the Glen Park students will go to Elmwood this year, although the total has been changing almost daily, said the new school Principal Royce Lindner. The position of dean of students was created at Elmwood partly to help the Glen Park students settle in.
The district office and Orchard Lane did not respond to newspaper requests for the number of Glen Park children who will attend Orchard Lane this fall.
The addition of Glen Park students will bring Elmwood's enrollment to an anticipated 578 students and Orchard Lane to an anticipated 460 students.
According to data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Elmwood had 521 students and Orchard Lane 349. While Elmwood apparently will only have 57 more students or 11 percent more students than last year, Orchard Lane will have 111 more students or 32 percent more.
Principals in place
Of the district's six schools, three will have new principals - New Berlin West Middle/High School, Elmwood and Poplar Creek elementary schools.
John Budish, previously associate principal at Franklin High School since 2006, is the new principal at West. Budish started earlier this summer, succeeding Blake Peuse, who was named superintendent of the Northern Ozaukee School District.
Lindner succeeded the now-retired Jo Boardman as principal of Elmwood. Before going to Glen Park for a brief stint as principal, Lindner had been an associate principal at Reagan.
Brady Reinke is the new principal at Poplar Creek, where he served as an associate principal. He succeeds Jane Gennerman, who became a principal in another district.
Longer days, more learning
The school day will be lengthened by a half hour for all students and the start and dismissal times will be aligned.
Last year, only two elementary schools had the same start and dismissal times. Now, all the elementary schools will run from 8:35 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.
The two middle/high schools will go from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., but, strictly speaking, school will start before the main student body arrives.
The new start times will enable the secondary schools to launch their Educational Learning Opportunities program. Students who are struggling or just want extra help can get it from teachers, who will all be available the first half hour before school.
Teachers have been specially trained to administer a curriculum designed to help struggling students. Students have been chosen for this extra boost on the basis of testing, grades and teacher recommendations.
Students who don't want to see teachers will have a supervised study period and possibly be offered enrichment opportunities.
The uniform start times for the secondary schools also will mean that classes with low enrollments can now be offered. That's because students from both Eisenhower and West who want to take them can be pooled.
Also new at the secondary schools this year is online gym. Students check in occasionally with their gym teachers to measure their progress.
- Jane Ford-Stewart
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