Green Bay schools want public input on school crowding, transportation

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Green Bay school board wants your opinion.

Green Bay high school students walk pass school buses picking up students after school (WBAY photo)

It launched a new survey Monday, and the school board will use the community's input to come up with solutions for issues in the district, like overcrowding and transportation.

A referendum passed in 2017 fixed overcrowding issues within the Green Bay Area Public School District's elementary schools, but now the board is looking into the bigger picture and ways the district can make better use of its buildings due to overcrowding at the high school level.

"We're going to use this information to help us, kind of guide us in our thinking as we look to put together a comprehensive plan," School Board President Brenda Warren said.

District numbers for the last academic year showed Preble High School was over capacity by more than 250 students, and in the years to come that number will rise to 368 or maybe even higher.

But Warren says redrawing district boundaries doesn't seem to be a realistic option.

"If we were to draw boundaries, it would be very complicated to do that, and really, very disruptive to a lot of families in our district."

Other high schools, including Southwest and West, are under capacity by at least 350 students.

"We're really looking to say, are there places we can shift programmatically," Warren said, "to kind of ease some of the crowding at Preble without having to draw boundaries?"

On top of addressing overcrowding at Preble High School, the survey will provide the board with input on transportation issues in the district, like how to get students from one high school to another during the school day for programs or providing transportation for students living less than two miles from school.

"With our population, we're looking at the possibility of, you know, can we improve attendance and achievement by providing transportation a little bit more liberally?"

Warren says creating a better transportation plan may address some of the overcrowding.

"Also, if we have transportation and we have a program on the west side that kids from the east side want to be a part of, and we can get them there, then we relieve some of that crowding. So, I think that's part of it," Warren said.

The school board president said people should not feel intimidated about taking the survey, because background information is provided before each question.

The survey is available through April 19. CLICK HERE to take it online.

Paper copies of the survey are available at your nearest Green Bay school or at the district office at 200 S. Broadway.

After input is collected, the board hopes to have a plan ready by the end of summer or early fall.

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