Maple Grove board files suit
It calls on Merrill school district to uphold charter school contract
The Maple Grove School Governance Board voted unanimously at its special meeting on Thursday to file a lawsuit against the Merril Area School District (MAPS) to prove Maple Grove School isn’t defaulting on its charter contract.
On Jan. 15, the Merrill School Board met in closed session and decided there were instances where Maple Grove School wasn’t complying with the charter contract it has with MAPS through June of 2022. The Merrill School Board gave Maple Grove School until April 1 to remedy the issues or end the charter contract. MAPS listed three areas as issues: test scores, enrollment and educational programming.
A small group of Maple Grove School parents, who are members of the Maple Grove Governance Board, hope the lawsuit it has filed proves Maple Grove School isn’t defaulting on its charter school contract and would allow the school to stay in MAPS until the contract expires in June of 2022.
Angi Servi, president of the Maple Grove Governance Board, has two children enrolled at Maple Grove School and she said the school is not currently defaulting on its charter school contract with MAPS.
“We’ve been implementing the education program exactly as stated in the contract,” she said. “There’s never been an enrollment that there’s been talk like ‘hit this enrollment or you are done.’ So we feel those arguments are not valid. We are asking MAPS to either detach Hamburg from its school district and allow Maple Grove School to continue elsewhere, or withdraw those alleged allegations and allow Maple Grove School to continue as part of MAPS through June of 2022.”
Other parents on the Maple Grove Governance Board include Stevie Klockziem, vice president; Kate Henrichs, treasurer; Trina Lutzke, secretary and Annette Neski, member. Lutzke was not present at Thursday’s special meeting.
Henrichs and Klockziem currently have fourth generation of children in their families attending Maple Grove School. They are dedicated to ensuring the school remains open in the future.
MAPS has been trying to shut the school’s doors on and off for the past decade. In the fall of 2019, MAPS announced it was considering closing Maple Grove School because of declining student enrollment in the school district. John Sample, MAPS superintendent, has said he wants to close Maple Grove School and disperse its 80 plus students to City of Merrill elementary schools.
Under state law, the Maple Grove Governance Board need to get more than 50 percent of landowners in the town of Hamburg to sign a petition to detach Maple Grove School from MAPS.
Klockziem and Neski said it only took two days for 90 property owners in the township to sign the petition, which was only conducted to get a feel for the amount of people in support of the school remaining open in the future.