The Bayfield School District might ask voters to approve a new bond issue in 2016 for a second elementary school.
The school would house third through fifth grade students on 40 acres the district owns north of U.S. Highway 160. The current Bayfield Elementary building would be converted to kindergarten through second grade, and the current primary school on South Street might become an administration building and district offices.
The district also is discussing the sale of 23 acres it owns near the Pine River to the Town of Bayfield.
The district will solicit requests for proposals to bond companies and architectural firms to get a scope on costs, Superintendent Troy Zabel told three school board members at a board meeting May 25. The recommendations for the buildings and property came from the district's bond committee, which met last week. The district also might apply for state BEST grants for construction, which require a project cost and preliminary plans.
Bayfield Elementary adminstrators are trying hard to bump up the school's designation as an "improvement" school by the state.
The school requested the state board reconsider the rating this spring, and that request was denied, Bill Hesford, the assistant principal at BES, told the board members. The school will request another rating change this fall, he added.
He hopes this request could be approved because teachers provided in-depth "interventions" for students this year who were reading below their grade level. The 141 students at this level received reading intervention twice a day. Principal Diane Sallinger said the intense teaching was combined with the Read Well program, as well as a full-time reading intervention teacher.
As a result, the number of at-risk readers was reduced by 56 percent over the school year, Hesford said.
Sallinger said the school plans to "stay the course" with the programs for next year because her staff thinks it's working, particularly for the underperforming readers.
The school's math test scores also improved over the 2014-2015 school year, with one slight dip in fourth-grade students, Hesford reported.
The district is finishing the final phase of its most recent bond issue, used for high school additions, lighting and technology upgrades.
The board is considering spending the final funds, about $85,000, on new playground equipment at BES, including a dome with ropes and platforms for climbing, a ropes course, a new slide, and a music feature. The board will vote on the project at its June 9 meeting, and the project might be finished in time for school to start Aug. 18. A lot of the current playground equipment is falling apart or broken, Hesford said.