De Pere School Board
Just over 100 days into his new role with the De Pere Unified School District, Superintendent of Schools Chris Thompson provided an update on the school board. What parents are probably most interested in is that academics are in good shape — the district ranks even higher on average ACT scores than expected.
With a score of 22, it is closer to the highest school’s score of 25.1 than lower-level schools that scored in the teens.
Thompson was joined by administrators and teachers to give updates.
Program director Shelly Thomas said teaching is changing.
“The focus has shifted from how teachers teach to how students learn,” she said.
This could involve using flexible spaces or facilitating a wider range of electives or professional courses.
This does not imply overcrowded schools, however.
“Our current designs are not keeping up with learning trends,” said Nick Joseph, Principal of De Pere Secondary School. He added that the dining halls are too small, the auditoriums are not large enough to accommodate entire schools, there are not enough flexible spaces. This could limit the number of children who can take electives or the types of electives the school is able to offer.
“We no longer have classrooms in several schools,” Joseph said.
Dawn Foeller, the district’s chief financial officer, said three schools in particular were reaching their limits.
Foxview Intermediate has eight students out of its enrollment capacity of 650, with a student population of 658.
De Pere Middle School has 675 students, which is the recommended capacity limit.
De Pere Secondary School has 1,458 pupils, 42 less than the recommended capacity of 1,500 pupils.
Their report says students in grades 5 through 8 have an enrollment balloon that will start to make itself more evident in high school by next year.
All of this leads to what Thompson called “the R-word,” or referendum. We could be on the ballot as early as next year.
To determine the district’s future needs for instruction, programming, and facilities, the board unanimously approved the hiring of two consultants for approximately $50,000. The money is already included in next year’s budget, Thompson said.
The consultants, Howick Associates of Waunakee, and School Perceptions, of Slinger, will provide “the development of a long-term district strategic plan (and eventual feasibility study) that will lead to a long-term facilities plan” , according to the team’s report.
Companies will assess how students learn and how teachers teach, both today and in the future, and compare them to the limitations of current facilities. The consultants will also help determine how the district should respond to growth, in terms of facilities, strategies and other areas.
“When the information from the Strategic Plan and the Facilities Plans are combined, they will provide a cohesive approach for the De Pere Unified School District community to move toward the desired future state of the district,” Thompson said in his report. .
In other business, the board voted to approve the purchase of a new van for the school’s nutrition department. Dorsch Ford’s $46,500 van in Green Bay will be used to transport food daily from the high school’s main kitchen to other schools in the district, as well as to feeding sites for the summer food service program .
It should arrive in six to nine months.
A member of council asked if the administration had considered buying a used van. District finance manager Dawn Foeller said they had been looking for used vehicles but were unable to find one that had low enough mileage to be worth the asking price.
Municipal Council of Pere
Recognized fire department
Mayor James Boyd made a proclamation marking the 150th anniversary of De Pere Fire Rescue this week at the last De Pere Town Council meeting.
In 1872 the De Pere Fire Company officially organized as a municipal service. His current unit consists of 52 personnel and two fire stations, protecting a population of over 25,000 and spanning 12 square miles.
It also covers parts of the town of Ledgeview, the town of Lawrence and an area of Ashwaubenon for emergency medical relief. Combined, that’s more than 25 square miles with an additional population of over 10,000 people, according to Boyd’s proclamation.
“For the past 15 decades, De Pere Fire Rescue has provided a superior level of emergency service in De Pere that has continually improved the quality of life, health and safety of our community,” Boyd said. “De Pere Fire Rescue also continues to take pride in building strong relationships as an active and positive partner in our community, regularly visiting schools and assisted living facilities, building ties with area businesses and utilizing media opportunities to inform, educate and serve De Pere.”
He asked residents to thank De Pere’s firefighters, staff and EMT workers for their service.
Workshops, storage space to come
City Council has approved an amended Specific Implementation Plan (PIP) for a two to three phase storage condo development at 701 Millennium Court. The development will consist of up to 13 buildings (storage condos) with landscaping. The location is the northeast quadrant of the intersection of Rockland Road and the Fox River State Recreational Trail.
The developers are listed as Town & Country Development – Storage USA.
The third phase is expected to be completed in 2027.
A temporary gravel access road crossing city-owned property will allow construction vehicles carrying materials that are too heavy to be driven on new paved interior streets, such as concrete and trusses. The proponent will issue a revocable license of occupation to specify how the temporary road will be maintained and possibly removed. The drive will be retired once all storage condos are built and sold, according to Town & Country.
The developer lists the use of storage condos as industrial and hobbyist workshops.
Each of the 13 new buildings will be 2,500 square feet in size and will consist of two units, each with its own warehouse, office and at least two parking spaces.
Bungalows to develop
The City Council also voted unanimously to authorize a development agreement between the City of De Pere and Bungalow Holdings, LLC, for the single-family housing development The Bungalows of De Pere.
The development will be on a 35-acre parcel of land in Supplemental Tax Funding District No. 15 on the West Side (Parcels WD-D0031, WD-D0034 and WD-D0035) and will involve the construction of 82 single family residential properties, with club -house and other amenities. The 3,039 square foot pavilion will include a community room, kitchen, exercise room, game room and more.
The development will require connections to the public water main and sanitary sewer along Lawrence Drive and Employers Boulevard and will be treated by two regional retention ponds.
In other matters, the Municipal Council voted for:
Accept a $250 donation from Pink Flamingos Classic, Inc., Softball Tournament, to the De Pere Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Recreation Scholarship Fund.
Accept a $300 donation from Pink Flamingos Classic, Inc., for a chalk mat for the Legion Park ball diamond.
Accept an $800 donation from WI United FC – De Pere Soccer Club (formerly Select Soccer) for grass seed and services to monitor the soccer fields at Southwest Park. The purpose of overseeding is to remedy worn areas of the fields and help thicken thinned grass.
Accept the donation of first two goals worth $15,000 from WI United FC Soccer Club for Field 1 at Southwest Park. The goals are the same ones the team used in July when they played at Lambeau Field. The football organization has made a number of contributions for projects in Southwest Park, which is located between Lawrence Drive and I-41.
Communal Committee of Allouez
TDS Solves Lateral Stormwater Problems
The council for the village of Allouez had a memorandum of understanding with TDS to address concerns about the storm drains that were impacted during the installation of the fiber optic network throughout the village.
Director of Public Works Sean Gehin said it is often difficult to locate stormwater laterals in the village due to the lack of documentation surrounding the location of these pipes and the materials they are made of which are often difficult to detect.
In late July/early August, Gehin said he had suspended TDS permits – halting installation work – after receiving a high volume of calls about two stormwater laterals that had been impacted. by TDS during the installation process.
TDS and the Village of Allouez worked together to compile a list of best practices and management strategies to prevent more lines from being affected and to provide warranty and timely repairs to all affected lines in future, including increasing the depth of their conduit from 36 inches to 18 inches and aligning wellbores with known lateral connection points.
A TDS representative was present at the meeting and assured Board members that hitting storm drains is a risk TDS faces in all of its projects across the state and noted that the measures outlined in the memorandum align with the steps the company already takes when storm drains are impacted with respect to line repairs.
The village council has ordered Gehin to reinstate the permits for TDS so that construction can continue as long as time allows and the deal will come back to the council after being reviewed by village and TDS lawyers.
Also on the agenda for the Allouez Village Board meeting was a contract agreement with HydroCorps to perform cross-connect inspections on behalf of the Village.
The services HydroCorps will provide include planning and conducting inspections, DNR reports, and re-inspection/compliance inspections if required.
The proposed deal employs HydroCorps to carry out 300 inspections on the one-year contract, starting in January 2024.
No decision on the contract was made at Tuesday’s meeting as the item was tabled until certain terms of the deal could be clarified.