Construction doesn’t stop summer learning

Referendum upgrade projects stay on schedule while students, parents make their way through work zones

SUMMER SCHOOL STUDENTS AND construction workers have shared the hallway at Ozaukee High School for weeks with families passing through work zones to reach classrooms. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

Summer school is in full swing in the Northern Ozaukee School District, with 465 students, up 10% over last year.

And that’s not counting all the construction workers on site this summer.

Construction work on the high school and middle school has ramped up over the summer, making much of the campus a work zone that summer-school students trek through every morning to get to classes.

It makes for a busy atmosphere.

“Everything has really ramped up,” Buildings and Grounds Director Jason Caswell told the School Board recently.

“We’re moving furniture and everything just ahead” of the construction workers, he added.

The work is related to the $14.95 million school referendum approved in April 2018. Officials are hoping much of the work will be completed when students return in the fall.

During the construction, students enter through the south entrance of the high school and make their way through plastic-draped hallways and past hard-hatted workers to get to where classes are held in the elementary school at the north end.

Work being done includes converting the longtime cafeteria into a theater and completing a 16,000-square-foot addition on the east side to house a new cafeteria and kitchen.

This year’s increase in summer-school enrollment follows a 26% increase in 2018 over 2017.

In addition, this year’s count includes 141 students who signed up through Wisconsin Virtual Learning, NOSD’s online virtual academy. That’s 43 more than the 98 WVL students who attended summer school last year, a nearly 44% increase.

District Supt. Dave Karrels attributed both the general increase in attendance and WVL’s increase to additional course offerings for students on campus and online.

Those include a variety of enrichment courses for middle and high-schoolers, such as French, Spanish, strategy and board games, sports, arts and crafts, drama, cooking and podcasting, but also more serious academic courses to help students advance more quickly or catch up on required coursework.

There also are an array of career-minded course offerings such as computer coding, public speaking and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) classes.

A newer array of online classes includes physical-education courses in which students are required to log a certain number of minutes in both study and physical activity.

Other online courses include introduction to military careers, principles of public service, hospitality and tourism, cybersecurity, computer coding and journalism.

Increased summer enrollment benefits the district financially as it is factored in the coming school year’s state funding formula.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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