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Some Hillsiders to split from their classmates

Board creates redistricting plan

Nov. 22, 2011

Hillside resident students who will be displaced when Hillside Elementary closes will all attend Brookfield Elementary next school year - but some Brookfield El students and nonresident Hillside students will be split among three other schools.

The School Board voted, 6-1, to approve redistricting option 4A, as recommended by Superintendent Matt Gibson, on Tuesday.

Nonresident issues

Under the plan, current nonresident Hillside fourth graders will join the rest of Hillside nonresidents at Burleigh next year and be able to continue on to WI Hills and Central. Younger Hillside nonresidents at Burleigh will continue on to Pilgrim Park and East

Bob Ziegler voted "no" to the plan for just that reason.

Several parents of nonresident fourth-graders met with Gibson earlier Tuesday to discuss their concerns that after five straight years with the same classmates, splitting them apart would be disruptive.

While the board agreed to allow flexibility for fourth-graders, Ziegler said he could not approve the entire redistricting plan because it did not give the same flexibility to all nonresident Hillside students.

"I just can't agree with that, because I want all those nonresident students from Hillside to have the option of moving back (with their classmates),' " Ziegler said.

Michele Matel, a city of Pewaukee resident whose son is a Hillside fourth-grader, was cautiously optimistic after the decision, and said she hopes the superintendent will continue to support her son moving on with his classmates.

"I think the board heard us," she said. "I'm very hopeful because I believe, like the other residents said tonight, that our fourth-graders should keep going to school with their friends."

The moves

Under the scenario, some Brookfield Elementary students will move to Burleigh, Dixon and Swanson Elementary schools.

A detailed account of the transition, including maps, is available at www.ElmbrookSchools.org.

A few residents of population tract 146, situated near the center of the district, also weighed in on the redistricting, telling the board they were happy with the decision to assign their tract to Dixon Elementary. They said the plan positively supported maintaining a neighborhood school environment.

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