Resolution by Iron River Board of Supervisors 3-7-2023



RESOLUTION by Board of Supervisors

March 7, 2023

Whereas, The Iron River Elementary School (IRES) is the heart of our Community; and

Whereas, Families have chosen to live here and built their life around our elementary school; and
Whereas, If as proposed and approved by the Maple School District Board, the second-grade of Iron River Elementary is closed in the coming school year (2023-24) and those children directed to attend Northwestern Elementary School (NES), it is very likely that the class will not be returning to IRES for third, fourth, or fifth grade; and
Whereas, The proposed move of second grade is the second time in two years there have been attempts to move entire grades from Iron River Elementary School to Northwestern Elementary School; and
Whereas, If Iron River Elementary School is not maintained as a stable learning environment parents are not going to choose the school for their families. The fewer students attending IRES the harder it will be to maintain it as a viable elementary school; and
Whereas, twelve students currently open enroll in Iron River Elementary. Those students collectively bring in approximately $120,000 in revenue to the district annually; and
Whereas, If Iron River Elementary is not maintained as a stable learning environment students will not seek it out in the future. This would come at a massive financial cost to the school district and surrounding community; and
Whereas, the township of Iron River has the one of the lowest per capita income in the district and some of the poorest students that will further erode these children’s opportunities for educational success by this decision to move 2nd grade out of IRES, and
Whereas, the process that led to this decision has been less than transparent. All School Board discussion of this move has been in closed session and without notice to parents until the decision had been approved; and
Whereas, Parents of students at IRES and the Iron River community have not been included in this decision-making process; and
Whereas, Previous deep cuts were made to Iron River Elementary by shifting to a model using part-time teachers. Enrollment then dropped precipitously from 97 to 70 students in one year. The district was forced to rescind those cuts and today IRES enrollment has rebounded to 102, and
Whereas, The Township of Iron River pays a disproportionate amount ofthe district taxes per student enrolled. Based upon 2021-22 Iron River taxpayers pay 26% of the district tax levy

while sending approximately 12% of the students in the district, moving 2nd grade is not in the best interest of Iron River taxpayers, and

Whereas, it is estimated based on bus routing that some of the 7-8 year old students (2nd grade) will have bus rides of an hour and a half to two hours morning and afternoon based on current bus routes. This would result in children having to begin the day on the bus by 6:30am daily and not returning to their drop off until 5:00pm for some; and,

Whereas, Siblings of 2nd graders moving to NES would be split between the two schools creating a very difficult situation for parents both in transportation requirements and attending extracurricular activities; and

Now, Therefore, be it resolved, that the Iron River Town Board assembled on this 7th day of March, 2023 opposes moving next years second grade class from Iron River Elementary School to Northwestern Elementary School and urges the Maple School Board to reconsider and rescind their decision.

Further, the Iron River Board of Supervisors on behalf of IRES parents and residents/taxpayers of Iron River propose that Maple School Board engage with IRES parents, PTO and residents to develop a long-range plan for IRES that will ensure long term sustainability of the school.

Approved unanimously in Iron River Special Town Board meeting of March 7th, 2023:
David T. Ciembronowicz, Town Chairman

John Sleeman – Supervisor

Rich Nemitz – Supervisor

Roric Gilmer – Supervisor

Helen G. Hyde – Iron River Town Clerk