AFE Board Discussions

Will WFB School Board Approve Increased Class Sizes?

Tonight the Whitefish Bay School Board will be asked to approve pending staffing changes for the 2017-2018 school year. While there is a net-zero loss of district staff, there is a significant cut at Richards, which plans to eliminate three teacher positions. This means consolidation of sections, presumably resulting in larger class sizes and the loss of teaching staff.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, community members are invited to speak.  We encourage you to participate and offer the following issues for consideration:
  • The importance of manageable classroom sizes;
  • The value of retaining high quality teachers in our district;
  • The potential impact on teacher morale when teachers are left to manage large classrooms;
  • The loss of opportunities for teachers to give one-on-one attention and work with small groups;
  • The possible shift in public perception of the quality of WFB education.

Specifically, we encourage you to ask the board to clarify- 

  • What their class size projections are, and what grades will be impacted? 
  • Will the teachers impacted be offered other employment in the district?  
  • Is there a plan for additional support staff to compensate for larger class sizes?

AFE has reached out to district staff for clarification on the plans for next year and received the following response from District Administrator, John Thomsen: “Right now our Richards student enrollment is trending down.  There remains many unknowns to our enrollment. State statute non-renewal timelines require us to make these non-renewals (staffing adjustments) at this time and not later.  If student enrollment trends go back up, we can always add staff back in as we have done in the past.”

We appreciate Dr. Thomsen’s prompt response and would suggest to parents that even in light of this additional information, they may want to attend tonight’s meeting to share their concerns and learn more.  Much like the state budget process currently taking place, it is important to make sure our representatives know that our priority is to provide the best education possible to all of our children.