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Athens considers parochial school fees

Athens considers parochial school fees Athens considers parochial school fees

Jeff Mastin, Athens schools superintendent, now recommends the school district charge the community’s two parochial schools for band, sports and computer support.

This is Mastin’s response to Athens School District losing state aid from the parochial schools participating in the state’s private school voucher program. Mastin told the Athens Board of Education at its meeting on Monday he met with the principals of St. Anthony’s and Trinity Lutheran schools on Dec. 16, 2019, to discuss with them how their schools could begin helping the public school district next school year pay for services they’ll continue to receive.

Athens School District currently provides the parochial schools with middle school band and athletic programs, and Information Technology support at no cost.

“With the parochial schools’ recent change in status to voucher schools receiving tax dollars, we believe it’s time to cost share these educational opportunities as well as look toward potentially expanding options for all students in the Athens community,” Mastin said. “We look forward to working out the details between the three parties in the months to come.”

St. Anthony Catholic School is participating in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) during this school year and Trinity Lutheran School has applied to join the WPCP starting next school year.

The Athens school board voted in October 2019 to increase school property taxes by 18 percent for the 201920 school year, mostly to make up the state aid money it’s losing from St. Anthony’s Catholic and Trinity Lutheran becoming voucher schools. Mastin said in October the school district lost $153,000 in state aid this school year from St. Anthony Catholic School participating in the WPCP, and he said the school district would lose an additional $153,000 in state aid next school year when Trinity Lutheran School joins the WPCP. In other news:

_ The school board accepted the retirement of middle and high school teacher Linda Ellenbecker at the end of this school year. She has taught in the Athens School District for the past 23 years.

_ Nathan Brost, school district technology support specialist, demonstrated to school board members on Monday night the new Marshfield Clinic Health System Care My Way and Tyto device now located in the health room in the middle/high school building.

School staff that carry the school district’s health insurance can now access the Care My Way and Tyto to check their vital signs and have Face time with a nurse practitioner from Marshfield Clinic Health System. Having these tools would help school staff diagnose common ailments so they wouldn’t need to leave during the school day and travel to a doctor’s appointment.