Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Elmbrook: We agree, nix the office cubes

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools, TAXES

Although I am not in favor of the present $62.2+ million dollar referendum, I was pleased to see this practical solution for creating larger classrooms while on the Central High School Tour this week. They are proposing removing the approx. 8' x 9' office cubes from some of the classrooms.

(These would be those classrooms you visit at the top of the stairs at the beginning of the tour--same ones that last year were mentioned as only having 3 working outlets: The Tale of Three Outlets)

I have no idea what they were thinking when this school addition was built--like so many "new" ideas, it seemed like a good idea at the time? But the office within the classroom really plays havoc with the arrangement of student desks.

You can see in the first photo the front of the classroom with the green board. The 15 student desks are arranged perpendicular to the front wall.

The second photo shows the teacher's office cube in the back. The
remaining 15 desks are arranged perpendicular to the back wall.

Each set of 15 desks face each other.

Now, I am not claiming credit for this idea. I think the referendum committee just saw what I saw, a relatively easy and inexpensive way to expand and improve the layout of some classrooms.

I had suggested removing those small teacher's office cubes last year in a posting : Post WW2 era buildings = modern construction: 

One “need” on the referendum wish list is larger classrooms. Classrooms at Central are not large enough. Solution: knock out the teacher’s office cube inside the classroom and suddenly the room meets No Child Left Behind standards. Presently we are told the rooms are 750 sq. ft. If the office were removed the room would exceed 825 sq. ft. The layout of the room would improve too. The concept of a teacher having their own classroom is necessary at elementary schools but not at the high school level. This work can all be done “in house” with maintenance staff during the summer as other districts do.

By removing the office cube, the layout of desks improves and the number of potential students per room could increase--if needed. The teacher would be moved to a department office room that would have a private area for student/teacher meetings. Moving the teacher's office out of the classroom also helps when the classroom is used by another teacher. Where this departmental teacher's office area will be is not know at this time Principal LaBonte told us.

I don't believe we need a $102 million referendum ($62.2 million dollar + interest) to make this type of improvement.  Like School Board Member Patrick Murphy, I favor increasing our Capital Improvement budget--I suggested  by $1million a year, last year Murphy suggested by $2 million.


Elmbrook School District Referendum Links:

Wording of the April 1, 2008 $62.190.000 referendum 

Architect's Conceptual High School Floorplans--East and Central

Facility "Needs" comparison of failed 2007 and present 2008 referendums

Key Academic Benefits: It's direct address is:

(I am sorry, I still cannot access it from the 2008 referendum Table of Contents page.)

Tour Schedule  

Tax Calculator  

Frequently Asked Questions

Elmbrook asks for smaller expansion--JSOnline (Also includes links to past articles)
counter hit xanga


The countdown begins: Just 25 days until MILLIONS OF DOLLARS Tuesday!

Email me your thoughts on the $62.2 million dollar referendum.


Links: Betterbrookfield Vicki Mckenna 


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