Update from Superintendent Carman Regarding Meeting with Wrenshall

Update from Superintendent Carman Regarding Meeting with Wrenshall

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

 

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.  

It is very important that Carlton School District community, parents, caregivers, staff and students know the facts about the most recent communications with the Wrenshall School Board regarding the possibility of our school districts consolidating.  

 

The Carlton School Board has consistently supported and continues to support a consolidation plan with Wrenshall that improves opportunities for students and financial stability for taxpayers.   However, it would be short sighted and irresponsible to consolidate just for the sake of consolidating. A consolidation plan would need to establish a school district that addresses our current challenges by creating a viable path to meet the goals of success for every student and becoming a sustainable and financially healthy school district for the long term.  If a consolidation plan is not academically and fiscally sound, it will only perpetuate frustration, mistrust, educational inadequacies and leave tax payers in the lurch. 

 

The Carlton School Board has listened and is listening to the many community members who want to see the Carlton and Wrenshall school districts consolidate.  The Carlton Board voted in support of consolidation in April 2016, prior to the August 2017 South Terrace building bond referendum.  The Carlton Board listened to and supported the Community Advisors’ August 2018 recommendations on this topic.  In September 2018, the Carlton School Board wrote the Wrenshall School Board a sincere letter asking the Wrenshall Board to work together on a plan that would focus on “our common goals and share our respective concerns so that we can ultimately find our way to a consolidation plan that will mutually benefit all of our students and communities.”  This letter suggested the use of a neutral facilitator to moderate the discussions between the Boards to help increase the likelihood that the discussions would result in an agreement that would be supported by both School Boards.  

 

In November 2018, the Wrenshall Board responded to this letter and questioned the Carlton Board’s seriousness, and insisted upon a “significant ongoing school presence in Wrenshall” and that they did not support the need for a facilitator.    The Carlton Board informed the Wrenshall Board that they would respond after discussing with their two newly elected Board members in February (this ultimately happened January 28th). 

 

On January 30th, Carlton Board Chair Lehto wrote a letter to the Wrenshall Board reaffirming the Carlton Board’s desire to enter into consolidation discussions “under the direction and leadership of a neutral facilitator” to “give the greatest chance of a successful outcome.”  The letter also reaffirmed the Carlton’s Board’s desire to enter these discussions “without commitments to a specific facilities plan.”  At the January 26th Carlton Board meeting, it was stated that it was best to explore all facility options, including but not limited to a two site model with a MS/HS in Wrenshall.  

 

It is important to understand the Carlton-Wrenshall facilities conversation would be very different IF the Wrenshall facility was ‘move in ready.’  Unfortunately, it is not.  The Wrenshall facility is in need of at least $15 million in repairs/rennovations to address asbestos, roof, HVAC and other major concerns to serve its current PK-12 student enrollment.   Similarly, Carlton MS/HS is also in need of significant upgrades.

 

Therefore, a long term facility plan as part of a Carlton - Wrenshall consolidation agreement would inevitably include asking Carlton and Wrenshall district taxpayers to support a significant building bond referendum.  Thus, it would be incumbent upon the Boards to assess how the referendum dollars (tax dollars) should most effectively be allocated.  In addition to actual construction costs, other critical questions to consider are: 

 

  • Which facility option would be most likely to retain and increase PK-12 enrollment?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be fiscally and operationally efficient annually?
  • Which facility option would be most likely to be supported by Carlton and Wrenshall voters?

 

The School Boards have had no discussions about what exactly would be included in any facility construction project(s).  There are numerous decisions that would directly impact square footage, equipment and furnishing needs and therefore, the costs.  What number and type of early childhood program offerings and classroom spaces would be needed?  What career/technical facility and equipment would be needed?  How many K-12 classrooms and specialty spaces would be needed?  How many spaces would be needed to adequately support the special education and mental health services of students? What would be needed for technology infrastructure and equipment to assure that the facility (ies) is fully capable of providing efficient, secure and reliable internet services to students and staff?  What school security design, equipment and infrastructure would be needed to best assure the safety of students and staff?   How much space would be needed for adequate staff and visitor parking and safe bus loading and unloading?  Would the facility plans include an auditorium and if so, how many seats and what other equipment would be needed?  While a consultant may attempt to anticipate the answers to these questions, any resulting cost estimates of such magnitude are premature and speculative.

 

Facility construction costs are only part of what must be considered in developing a facility plan for a consolidated school district.  The annual financial inefficiencies of any two site model for a small school district with fewer than 1000 students should not be ignored.  Indeed, even with Carlton’s existing two site model we spend $100,000+ annually (duplication of spaces/staff, mileage and time of staff travel between the buildings, inefficient use of staff that could be shared, bus travel between buildings for drop off and pick up each day, etc.).   These are dollars that each year could otherwise be spent on curriculum materials or staff salaries.

The Carlton Board received a response from the Wrenshall Board Chair on February 20th, rejecting the Carlton Boards proposal for professionally facilitated consolidation talks.  While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s response provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart our course to the future.  The Wrenshall Board did express their interest in establishing additional cooperative agreements between our two districts. We support cooperative academic and extra-curricular partnerships that will benefit our students and district. 

Like many other smaller school districts, the Carlton School District is facing the challenges of declining enrollment and inadequate funding from the State and Federal governments. The Carlton School Board understands critical decisions lie ahead.   The teachers and staff of the Carlton School District proudly provide a high quality education to our students every day. This will not change. We will continue to provide the individualized learning we value in Carlton. While we were hopeful that we could engage in meaningful consolidation discussions, Wrenshall’s rejection provides clarity and the opportunity for Carlton to chart a course to the future.  The Carlton School Board will actively pursue in the upcoming weeks other options to best accomplish the goals of the success of students and a fiscally responsible plan for taxpayers.