Posted on

Mastin welcomes Maple Grove

Mastin welcomes  Maple  Grove Mastin welcomes  Maple  Grove

Athens School District superintendent Jeff Mastin said Tuesday he welcomes an opportunity to absorb Maple Grove Charter School in Hamburg and its 82 students into the school district.

Mastin unfurled the welcome mat just as Friends of Maple Grove Governance Council and its members planned to bring their motion of detaching Maple Grove Elementary School from the Merrill School District into the Athens School District at Tuesday night’s Merrill Board of Education listening session.

Mastin said he and his school board are excited about the possibility of adding school district tax base and additional students by absorbing Maple Grove Elementary School. He estimates the Athens School District would receive an additional $500,000 in student aid by adding Maple Grove Elementary School’s students.

“I think this is a win-win for the Athens and Merrill school districts and Friends of Maple Grove Governance Council,” Mastin said.

The Merrill Board of Education has wanted to close Maple Grove Elementary School because, Mastin said, the K-5 charter school doesn’t fit into its district strategic plan.

Friends of Maple Grove Governance Council have been fighting hard to keep Maple Grove Elementary School open.

Mastin said Maple Grove Elementary School has a charter school contract lasting through June of 2020.

He said Athens School District would be willing to pay the salaries and benefi ts for the current Maple Grove Elementary School staff consisting of a principal and six teachers, if Friends of Maple Grove Governance Council would agree to maintain the elementary school.

Athens School District would likely need to pay for the building’s heat, water and sewer utilities, the superintendent said. “The details would need to be negotiated if the attachment to the Athens School District becomes a reality, but I believe there is a foundation in place to cover the costs of maintaining the Maple Grove school building and adjoining properties now and well into the future,” Mastin said.

He said he doesn’t expect an additional transportation expense by absorbing Maple Grove Elementary School into the Athens School District, because one of the Athens school bus routes already picks up students in Hamburg.