10/28/2019- It’s a chance for the community to weigh in on a proposed rightsizing effort at the Marinette School District. Earlier this year, the Board of Education approved moving forward with studying the feasibility and impact of consolidating the district’s current six buildings down to just three. Superintendent Dr. Wendy Dzurick says they’ve seen continual declining resident enrollment while operational expenses are only increasing and closing the Garfield, Merryman, and Sunrise locations could offer up to $600000 in savings. Dzurick says while it comes down to fiscal and educational responsibility, there are a lot of emotions tied into the decision and that’s why they’re opening the conversation up to the residents at three upcoming listening sessions this week.
“We want to be respectful of what our community feels is important and if we did have to go to referendum, because the three-building configuration would require some building, we respect the fact that the community would have to assist us in accomplishing that goal. But it’s also very important that part of our continuing the conversation is sharing what we’ve learned because we want the community to understand that we will  need to do something.”
Dzurick says gathering community input is an important part of the process and the informational sessions will also offer the District a chance to dispel some rumors and concerns associated with the potential consolidation.
“People are worried about things like “How will I transport my child across town?” and “Will the special ed program be available for my children?” And then we have people say that it’s drastic, that we should gradually close the buildings over time. All the information that we’re hearing, the committee brought up a lot of it, as well, so we have been considering what people’s concerns are, but we don’t know everybody’s concerns.” 
The community listening sessions will be held tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in the District Office and 6:30 p.m. at the High School. Another session will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the High School.