Newman students adapt to consolidation - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Newman students adapt to consolidation

by Colby Robertson

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- With declining enrollment come big changes for students in the Newman Catholic School system as they head into a new school year.

Plans to consolidate middle-schoolers into the high school became reality Monday with the first day of school. So far, students and teachers are adapting to the changes.

The start of the 2010 school year marks a new beginning for the Newman Catholic School system. 6th, 7th and 8th graders all under the same roof as the high school students.

Newman High School Principal Larry Theiss says, "I'm very proud of our students. They too have been very trustful, very willing to support this move. You think of all the things you could dwell on losing but they haven't at all."

They're taking the situation and looking at all the positives of having middle and high school students together including fewer transitional points and opportunities for mentoring.

Middle School Principal Tina Meyer says, "The middle schoolers are excited to be here. They look up to our high schoolers here, so it's a good opportunity here for mentoring and just to have that good role model and they can continue to see those students, not just at special occasions, but all the time."

Theiss says, "If we have a sixth grader developing relationships with a sophomore English teacher, that student will transition in more effectively and then be more successful."

Declining enrollment, a bad economy and a general decline in birth rates all contribute to the need for consolidation. Adjusting to the changes may take some time for teacher and students, but long term School leaders hope the restructuring will mean Newman Catholic Schools presence in the Wausau community stays strong.

Theiss says, "There is a niche, a place for Catholic Schools in a community, so I would hope to see ten years from now for people to see how strong we are and that even though we might be in the same unified building, that makes us stronger."

An estimated $350,000 savings is wrapped up in this consolidation.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

Powered by Frankly