Rezoning is next for new NOSD charter school

Town commission will begin approval process for Riveredge facility Feb. 12
Ozaukee Press Staff

Enrollment for the Northern Ozaukee School District’s new charter school at the Riveredge Nature Center will begin early next month, but first the school site has to be rezoned.

Riveredge officials are expected to attend the Town of Saukville Plan Commission meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12, to begin the process of rezoning the center’s offices and visitor center from parks and recreation to institutional, Riveredge Executive Director Jessica Jens said.

“The nature center’s 379 acres are actually broken into different parts as land has been acquired over the last 50 years,” she said. “We are only talking about (rezoning) the land the building and visitor center are on, which is completely surrounded by nature center property.”

“We’re really excited to work with the town and they seem to be very receptive,” she added.

Riveredge and the Northern Ozaukee School District last August agreed to launch the charter school this fall.

The school would utilize the nature center property as a year-round outdoor classroom for as many as 99 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It will be the first such school in southeast Wisconsin and one of just a few in the state, officials say.

The school’s initial enrollment will be closer to 60, officials have said.

The school last year was awarded a $700,000 start-up grant through the state Department of Public Instruction that will be paid out over the next five years.

NOSD will serve as the school’s fiscal agent and will receive 5%, or $35,000, of that money over those five years, plus $500 per student and an additional one-third of state aid that accompanies any child who attends the school from outside the district.

The school will be a public school and be tuition free. It will be an independent organization led by a governance council and will be financially self-sustaining without need for fundraising. It will receive state aid.

Riveredge already has a popular 4K program that it operates in partnership with the Kettle Moraine YMCA and the West Bend School District. In addition, it holds summer camps and other outdoor activities that model how the new school might operate.

Interest in the new school has been high. An online survey showed families from 20 different school districts were interested in sending their children to the school.

The state public school open enrollment period, which allows parents to apply for their children to attend public school in a district other than the one in which they live, begins Feb. 4 and runs through April 30.

The first parent information session on the school will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the nature center, 4458 County Highway Y.

Additional sessions will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 23, and from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12.

For more information, go online to www.

A Riveredge School website will soon be launched at




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Ozaukee Press

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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