Wednesday, March 6, 2013



District 833 is holding their LAST Budget Meeting at 6:30pm on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at East Ridge High School where they will be discussing the proposed Options for the next budget .  Please plan to attend and discover the cuts and tax increases the Board is proposing (including terminating 27 Fulltime Teacher positions) in order to shore up the budget as it runs in the red.  For the District information and survey about the three proposed budget options, please go to:
(More info and the Survey about the Options can be found at

Most disturbing are the plans for the acquisition of Crosswinds School and relocation and disruption of Woodbury Elementary Students, two items that are not being included in currently proposed budget options.

Highlighted concerns:

South Washington County School District 833 is in the process of attempting to acquire Crosswinds School. The District’s plan for the school is to relocate the Woodbury Elementary Students from their home school into the Crosswinds building beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. The Woodbury Elementary School building would then become the home of Nuevas Fronteras an exclusive Spanish Immersion Program, funded by taxpayer dollars.When the District has been deficit spending for the past six years and is currently working on a budget that will cut services and/or require a levy referendum just to maintain its current serviceshe District’s own Service Level Document states that there is enough elementary space through 2015-2016, but that more middle school space will be needed.  Why do they want to turn a middle school into an elementary school when we need more middle school space and have enough elementary space?  

The District estimates that the Crosswinds building will cost an ADDITIONAL $1,000,000 a year to run.  The District has been deficit spending for 6 years and cuts in programming or tax increases will be needed to pay for this school.  Furthermore, they have not worked out the cost for building renovations to Crosswinds, or the addition of an enclosed, connecting,walkway between Woodbury Elementary and Woodbury Middle Schools, as well as building additions and facilities modifications if the acquisition of Crosswinds takes place.  This will take place if District 833 acquires Crosswinds School.

Woodbury Elementary is a neighborhood school with more than 170 walking students. If moved to Crosswinds, these 170 students would then all need to be bussed.  Nuevas Fronteras draws from all over the District and would only have a handful of walkers from the neighborhood around Woodbury Elementary. 

Changing Woodbury Elementary from a neighborhood school to the Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion Choice Program school, nearly guarantees that the homes values near Woodbury Elementary will drop by 8-10%.(According to local Realtors.)

Woodbury Elementary is a Pre-K to Grade 5 elementary school and houses High Needs Special Education (one of the two schools in the District equipped for High Needs Special Education students) as well as Early Childhood Special Education.  Why would we disrupt the most sensitive and vullnerable in our community - the Special Needs Children? 

The Woodbury Elementary community prides itself on being the most diverse elementary school in the District with more than 40% minority students; in contrast, Nuevas Fronteras is one of the least diverse with fewer than 20% minority students.

Crosswinds School is a valuable asset as amagnet Middle school to our community.  If 833 acquires the building and moves Woodbury Elementary students into it, not only will they be disrupting Woodbury Elementary families, but also, where will the current Crosswinds students go? For more information about Crosswinds School go to:

Crosswinds is designed for 6th-10th grade students; not elementary age kids:  Crosswinds is a 2 story middle school, with an open floor plan, 3 foot high railings on a large second floor balcony and is located adjacent to a wetland.

Budgetary Questions That Need To Be Asked:

Renovations will be needed, and the District has not shown the community a space plan that will meet the needs of Woodbury Elementary’s regular and special education students.  Without a detailed space plan the true costs of renovations can not be known. Renovation costs are not in the District’s 2013-2014 budget.  With a potential $17 million shortfall looming in the future, how does the District justify all the additional expenses as well as the community disruptions; and should 833 be held liable for a decrease in property values, to benefit a publicly funded program that services only a small, privileged, select number of District 833 children (less than 400 students out of the 17,000 in the entire District).

Contact the Superintendent and School Board to let them know that you oppose this plan!

Dr. Keith Jacobus, Superintedent                                                            Ron Kath (Board Chair)
612-458-6201                                                                                      651-769-0291                                                    

Marsha Adou *                                     Tracy Brunette *                                    Laurie Johnson*
651-738-6438                                        651-458-6391                                       651-738-0687              

David Kemper*                                 Katy McElwee-Stevens*                                Jim Gelbmann
651-702-4564                                    651-459-5411                                             651-739-5575               
  * Up for re-election in November        

There are two bills (HF592SF530) in the State Legislature that if passed, will give Crosswinds to Perpich Center for the Arts, which will maintain Crosswinds’ current programming and will eliminate the need for financial and community disruptions. Patricia Torres Ray is Chair of the Senate Education Committee and is believed be reluctant to give SF530 a hearing,  Please contact her at (651) 296-4274 to let her know you want SF530 to be heard in Committee and sent to the Senate Floor.
Andrea Kieffer (651) 296-1147                                                                      
Senator Katie Sieben  651-297-8060         
Represenative Joanne Ward   (651) 296-7807     
Senator Susan Kent 651-296-4166        

The scheduled School Board meeting is at the District Service Center at 6pm on Thursday, March 7( If you can't make the meeting on Wednesday, plan to attend the Thursday meeting and talk to the school board members.

There is also a Town Hall meeting on Saturday, March 9 (Woodbury City Hall,10am-12pm) with Local Represenatative Andrea Kieffer and Local Senator Susan Kent and Congresswoman Betty McCollum to discuss the possible Crosswinds School Acquisition and financial cost and disruptions ramifications.  

Help us save Woodbury Elementary.                                               

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