Parents call school district board to keep Ridgeway Elementary School open

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DODGEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) -- Parents opposing the closure of a local elementary school plan on voicing their concerns at a Dodgeville School Board meeting Monday.

(Source: WMTV)

The parents said they do not want the Dodgeville School District to close Ridgeway Elementary School, arguing that it still provides quality educations for their children.

"This school's really important to our community," said Kimberly Alan, whose daughter currently attends Ridgeway. "Because the staff is amazing and the kids have such a good experience there."

However, district administrator Jeffrey Jacobson said the school may have to close because there isn't enough money to support it. He cites declining enrollment across the Dodgeville School District, though the Ridgeway community as a whole is still growing.

"The kindergarten and ELP (early learning program) classes are the smallest we've seen in a long time," Jacobson said.

According to projections provided by the Dodgeville School District, enrollment at Ridgeway Elementary School is expected to stay stable over the next four years. But overall enrollment in the district, which includes four schools, is expected to drop almost 8 percent, from 1310 students to 1208.

The Dodgeville School District also provided numbers showing that the cost of keeping Ridgeway Elementary School open is almost $4,000 more expensive per student than at Dodgeville Elementary School.

If Ridgeway Elementary School stays open, maintenance is badly needed, officials said, and it would cost over $200,000 to make those repairs.

The Ridgeway parent, Alan, says the community is ready to help out.

"We're already taking donations and we have taken donations to revamp that playground from the 80s," Alan says. "After not being allowed to have our voices be heard or to be any part of this process... I would not send my kid to that district."

The board meeting kicked off at 7 p.m. Monday.

The Dodgeville School District will vote on whether or not to close Ridgeway Elementary in April of 2020.