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Wequiock and Tank elementary schools on the chopping block?

A Wequiock parent shared to NBC 26 her concerns over her school's looming closure; the school board postponed a plan to close Tank
Posted at 9:06 AM, Jun 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-27 10:06:09-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Green Bay's Wequiock and Tank elementary schools could be on the chopping block soon.

"We need to get our voice out there, and know that the (Green Bay Area Public School) District is not making the right decision on closing this school," Wequiock parent Kate Janiak said.

Janiak said her daughter will be a second grader at Wequiock this school year no matter what.

Beyond that, Janiak isn't sure.

"Potentially, by Nov. 1, we could be looking at other options if they do close," Janiak said.

GBAPS is working on a facilities master plan.

The District says the plan is to address aging buildings, declining enrollment, and a looming budget deficit.

At a meeting earlier this month, the school board moved forward to further examine closing or modifying schools.

One of the proposals is to shift Wequiock students to Red Smith — a 4K-8 school — four miles down the road on the far northeast side.

"It's hard to tell my child that we don't know where she's going to be starting third grade," Janiak said.

Janiak said she's upset that Wequiock wasn't included in the list of schools administration wants to further study regarding its boundaries.

She spoke out to the board with her concerns during Monday's meeting.

"There's just too many unknown answers of this transition and the merger," Janiak said. "I just don't think they've fully thought this through."

The District tells NBC 26 there isn't a need to study boundaries with Wequiock, since the proposal is to move all Wequiock students to one school.

"I think they're just saying that to make us happy to try and get the board to vote in their favor," Janiak said. "We moved to this area so our children could come here. It's frustrating."

The school board has yet to decide to actually close Wequiock, with its deadline on Nov. 1.

A resolution to further look at closing Tank Elementary that was delayed to Monday night's meeting, was postponed indefinitely.

That proposal is to move Tank students to nearby Fort Howard on the west side.

"The question was can we move Tank in its entirely over to Fort Howard without having to make any modifications?," Interim Superintendent Vicki Bayer said. "And my answer to that would be 'no."

Bayer said Fort Howard's special education programming has increased, so the school would need to be expanded to fit all the children.

All board members voted in favor to indefinitely postpone the idea of closing Tank.