Assignment: Education – Year-round middle school survey results

La Crosse School District parents weigh-in on year-round middle school

The School District of La Crosse continues to explore the idea of adding a year-round middle school.

The La Crosse District sent out 3,600 surveys  in February asking families if they wanted the district to provide a year-round calendar option at Lincoln Middle. About 25 percent, or  900 surveys, were returned.

Of those responses, 48 percent of the families said they were interested in a year-round calendar.

With almost half of the respondents interested in learning more about year-round school, the district will continue to explore how they might be able to create this option.

While the district researches the possibility, the principal of Lincoln, SOTA II and Coulee Montessori Middle School wants families to know that if Lincoln was moved to a year-round calendar it would not start before the fall of 2019.

“We decided that if, and it’s still a really big if because there’s a lot of work yet to be done in the investigation of year-round as really a feasible option, but if we went that direction, the students who would enter Lincoln this next school year as sixth graders would not have to transition out during their middle school years,” said Lincoln, SOTA II, Coulee Montessori Principal Melissa Murray.

Murray and her staff will explore what it would take to transition the school to a year-round calendar.

They will also research the possibility of a school-within-a-school section as an alternative year-round option at Lincoln.

To do that, they will need to consider how the schools would do things like share staff and balance student activities.

“That was one of the things that came out in our parent survey was concern about how will athletics and clubs, band, choir and orchestra, all of those extra things that kids and families really start to wrap themselves into really starting in middle school,” said Murray.

Murray said she hopes to be able to provide some forums at La Crosse elementary schools to answer parent questions about what a year-round middle school calendar may look like.