WEST ALLIS - With Lincoln School to close as an intermediate school, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board learned Monday that all Lincoln students could fit into Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School.

"That's do-able, they do fit," Jeff Borland, manager of school services, told the board at Monday's workshop.

The schools are two miles apart.

That option, suggested by a resident at the last school board meeting, was added to the three options already on the table for where today's Lincoln students could go to school this fall. However, the Frank Lloyd Wright option would only be a transition to one of three plans the school board is considering as permanent intermediate school boundaries.

Even so, the bulk of Lincoln area students would attend Frank Lloyd Wright, under all three plans.

Boundary plans

One boundary plan has all three remaining intermediate schools, Lane, Frank Lloyd Wright and West Milwaukee, absorbing the Lincoln students. Plans two and three have just Frank Lloyd Wright and West Milwaukee intermediate schools absorbing the Lincoln students, with slightly different boundaries in each plan. However plan 3, not deemed to be a front-runner, involves moving about 47 students who now attend Wright to West Milwaukee.

The board plans to choose one of those three plans as the final new intermediate school boundaries.

A board vote is slated for Monday, Feb. 27, on closing Lincoln, 7815 W. Lapham St., and probably on setting new intermediate boundaries and finally on where current Lincoln students should go to intermediate school this fall as the district transitions to the new boundaries.

Lincoln Intermediate School will close because of declining enrollment and to make room for programs that will be displaced by the sale of two other properties, the district said. Those buildings not only house the district offices, but the district's alternative high school and its Bridges to Learning program. Those existing programs would go into Lincoln. A pilot high school using the Next Generation personalized learning approach to teaching also would be created at Lincoln.

Enrollment impacts

Currently, 259 students attend Lincoln Intermediate.

If the first option of having all three remaining intermediate schools absorb the Lincoln students were in place, there would be 194 students at Frank Lloyd Wright, 20 at Lane and 45 at West Milwaukee. Those additions would bring total enrollment at Wright to 895, at Lane to 569 and at West Milwaukee to 425.

Some families whose children would go to Lane under this option worry that so few Lincoln students would go to Lane that they won't know anyone, said school board member Heather Justham.

Borland said it looks like half a dozen Lincoln students would be in each grade at Lane.

If options two and three were in place, 214 Lincoln students would be at Wright and 45 at West Milwaukee, and none to Lane. Option three is the one where 47 students now at Wright would go to West Milwaukee this fall.

Option three was put forward only as a least expensive option, not necessarily a palatable one, Borland said.

Under option two, Wright would end up with 915 students with Lincoln area students and West Milwaukee with 425.

Under option three, Wright would have 868 and West Milwaukee, 472.

With one of those three plans or a slight variation eventually chosen as the new intermediate school boundaries, the board must then decide how to transition to that new plan.

Transition plans

There are four plans for getting to where the district is finally going.

If all of today's Lincoln sixth- and seventh-grade students went to Frank Lloyd Wright, enrollment this fall would be an estimated 950 students.

A second option under consideration is letting Lincoln students choose where they want to go to school this fall. Because of space limitations, the plan suggests a lottery offering 240 seats at Wright, 90 at West Milwaukee and 20 at Lane.

A third option is transitioning to the three intermediate schools, based on where children live. Projected enrollment would be 900 at Wright, 570 at Lane and 430 at West Milwaukee.

A fourth option is transitioning to just Wright and West Milwaukee intermediate. That would result in an estimated 950 students at Wright.

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