Racine Unified School District

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Racine Unified School District
Racine Unified School District Logo.png
Location
Racine County, Wisconsin
United States
District information
Grades K through 12
Superintendent Dr. Lolli Haws[1]
Students and staff
Students 19,455 (approx.)[2]
Teachers 1,757 (approx.)[2]
Other information
Website www.racine.k12.wi.us

Racine Unified School District (RUSD) is a school district serving the eastern portion of Racine County, Wisconsin. It encompasses a 100 sq mi (260 km2) area, and serves the city of Racine and six other towns and villages, which had a combined population of 139,193 at the 2010 census.[original research?] RUSD is the fifth-largest school district in Wisconsin. It has 31 schools, with a student enrollment of 19,455. The district employs 1,757 teachers and 171 administrators.[2]

History[edit]

On June 26, 1961, the City of Racine school system merged with 24 schools in the surrounding area to form the Unified School District No. 1 of Racine. The issue had been put to a referendum earlier that year, on April 4, and all seven municipalities of eastern Racine County – Caledonia, Elmwood Park, Mount Pleasant, North Bay, Racine, Sturtevant, and Wind Point – voted in favor of the unification.[3] The district moved to desegregate its schools in 1975, in an effort which was regarded as widely successful and held up as a model to other cities.[4] A pair of referendums in 2015 asked residents of Caledonia and Sturtevant whether they wanted to secede from RUSD and create separate school districts. Both narrowly failed, garnering a plurality but not a majority of the vote.[5][6]

Schools[edit]

Racine Unified operates 31 schools across eastern Racine County. One, the Racine Early Education Center, is a preschool serving children under the age of five. 22 are elementary schools, educating children between kindergarten and fifth grade. There are seven middle schools, for sixth through eighth grades, and five high schools, for ninth through twelfth grades.[7] Five of the district's schools cover more than one of these categories – Gifford, Jerstad-Agerholm, and Mitchell are combined elementary and middle schools, while the REAL School and Walden III are combined middle and high schools.

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Olympia Brown Elementary School – Built in 2016, the newly constructed school serves eastern Caledonia. The former Olympia Brown building was purchased by RUSD in 1974 from the Racine Dominican Sisters. The school is named for Olympia Brown, a suffragist and women's rights activist who lived and worked in Racine.
  • Bull Fine Arts Elementary School – Opened in 1975, the school has a focus on arts education and is one of the district's alternative education programs. It is a magnet school, and has no neighborhood area. The building was constructed in 1914, and is named for Stephen Bull, a partner in the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Works.[8][9]
  • Dr. Jones Elementary School – Opened in 1968, the school serves students from southeastern Mount Pleasant and Racine, and the village of Elmwood Park. Its namesake is Dr. Beatrice O. Jones, a pediatrician who became the first woman to chair the Racine County Medical Society and to head Racine's St. Luke's Hospital.[10]
  • Fratt Elementary School – Opened in 1916, the school's neighborhood area in west Racine straddles the Root River. The land for the school was donated posthumously by Nicholas D. Fratt, president of the First National Bank and Trust Company of Racine.[11][12]
  • Giese Elementary School – Giese's building was constructed in west Racine in 1965. Its unique structure consists of 22 classrooms built around three hexagonal common rooms, referred to as "educational clusters." The school's namesake is William C. Giese, principal of Racine High School in the 1920s, and superintendent of Racine city schools from 1933 to 1951.[13][14]
  • Gifford School – Gifford is located in Franksville, an unincorporated community northwest of Racine. Its elementary boundary area of 46 sq mi (120 km2) is the largest of any RUSD elementary school, encompassing most of Caledonia and nearly half of the district's land area. Originally constructed in 1966 as a junior high school, it was converted into an elementary school in 1984. A major expansion in 2016 turned it into a K-8 school, and it now serves about 1,300 students. Its athletics programs are known as the Gifford Gators. It was named after W. Allen Gifford, founder of Racine's Progressive Dairy.[15][14]
  • Goodland Elementary School – The first new school built by the Unified School District, Goodland opened in 1962, serving the west Racine neighborhoods of Manree Park and Crab Tree Village. Additionally, children from a poorer area immediately west of downtown are bussed to Goodland. It was named after Walter Goodland, governor of Wisconsin who had previously been mayor of Racine.[16][14] In 2016, Goodland opened RUSD's first Montessori program, serving preschoolers between the ages of three and five.[17][18]
  • Janes Elementary School – Originally opened in 1857 as the Fourth Ward grammar school, it was named for Lorenzo Janes, a real estate businessman who donated land to the city, in 1897. Unique among RUSD schools, Janes had a year-round schedule from 1994 until 2016. During that time, it was thought to be the only year-round elementary school in Wisconsin. Janes serves an area immediately north of downtown.[19][20][21][14]
  • Jefferson Lighthouse Elementary School – Jefferson Lighthouse is a magnet school, and has no neighborhood area. Since the late 1970s, the school has featured a gifted and talented program and is one of the district's alternative education programs. The school has been accredited by International Baccalaureate since 2012. It has been named after U.S. president Thomas Jefferson since its founding in 1899, while the word "Lighthouse", after the Wind Point Lighthouse, was added when it became a magnet school.[22][14]
  • Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary School – Built in 1952, the school, which serves northern Racine, shares its building with a middle school of the same name. It was named in honor of John L. "Jack" Jerstad and Harold C. Agerholm, two Racine natives who were killed in World War II and each received the Medal of Honor posthumously. [23][14]
  • S. C. Johnson Elementary School – The school, serving southwestern Racine, opened in 1955 and is named for Samuel C. Johnson, founder of S. C. Johnson & Son. Major additions were made to the building in 1960 and 1991. Additionally, children from downtown and the area immediately south are bussed to S. C. Johnson.[24][14]
  • Julian Thomas Elementary School – The school's neighborhood is immediately northwest of downtown. Originally opened in 1857 as the Fifth Ward grammar school, it was named Garfield School, after assassinated U.S. president James A. Garfield, from 1892 to 2003. After major renovations took place that year, it was renamed after local civil rights leader Julian Thomas.[25][26][14]
  • Knapp Elementary School – Serving the Slausondale neighborhood, the school opened in 2016. The new building replaced the original Knapp Elementary, which had been open since 1912 and was demolished after the opening of its replacement. The school's namesake is Gilbert Knapp, who founded Racine in 1835.[27][14]
  • Mitchell Elementary School – Conjoined with Mitchell Middle School and serving the southernmost part of the city of Racine, the building for both was constructed in 1937. On February 27, 2014, the building was heavily damaged by fire, forcing elementary students to relocate to the recently closed Wind Point Elementary while the damage was repaired. The schools were named for Henry Mitchell, founder of Mitchell-Lewis Motors and maker of Mitchell automobiles. [28][29][14]
  • North Park Elementary School – Built in the early 1950s after parents in Caledonia were told they needed to build their own school, North Park today serves southeastern Caledonia and the northernmost part of Racine.[30]
  • Racine Civil Leaders Academy (RCLA) – Constructed as the Third Ward grammar school in 1856, it displaced the first city cemetery. The original building was rebuilt in 1899, named Winslow School after Horatio Gates Winslow, superintendent of Racine city schools. The school closed in 2005 due to cost, before reopening as the home of the Keith R. Mack Alternative Center, an alternative education program for "at-risk middle and high school youth". After that program ended in 2013, the RCLA opened in the building. The Academy is a charter school and is unique among RUSD's schools, being the only one to require uniforms and use project-based learning. [31][32][33][34][14]
  • Racine Early Education Center (REEC) – Opened in 2007, the REEC occupies the former home of the Keith R. Mack Alternative Center. The Center serves children between the ages of three and five.[33][35]
  • Red Apple Elementary School – Opened in 1974, the school has a focus on sciences and STEM education and is one of the district's alternative education programs. It is a magnet school, and has no neighborhood area. The oldest part of the building was constructed in 1875 as the Seventh Ward grammar school, which was expanded into Washington Elementary and Junior High in 1890. The elementary school closed in 1962, and the junior high school closed in 1966, leaving the building as one of RUSD's first ventures in alternative education, the Middle School Academy. Red Apple was founded in 1974 "as the Optional Elementary School... Principal Cheri Esch said a name change was necessary after the first year because the implication was that attendance was optional."[14] Originally sharing its space with Walden III Middle/High School, Red Apple moved to its current location in 1986.[14][36]
  • Roosevelt Elementary School – The school, named for U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, has been operating since 1925. Serving northern Racine, Roosevelt has a focus on PBIS-system learning. The school's mascot is the Roosevelt Riders.[37][14]
  • Schulte Elementary School – Built in 1967, the school serves Sturtevant and southwestern Mount Pleasant. It is named for Frederick F. Schulte, longtime music teacher at Park High School and founder of the Racine Symphony Orchestra.[38][39][14]
  • Wadewitz Elementary School – Originally intended as a school for students with special needs, the school opened in 1958 sharing a block with Horlick High School. Today Wadewitz is a neighborhood school, serving northwestern Racine, although a quarter of its students have special needs.[40] The school's namesake is Edward Henry Wadewitz, founder of Western Publishing.[41][14]
  • West Ridge Elementary School – Constructed in 1961 as a merger of Mygatts and Trautwein schools, it was taken over by the newly unified district in its first year and used as a junior high school. Since 1962, it has been an elementary school, serving northern Mount Pleasant. In July 2016, it became the fourth RUSD school and second RUSD elementary school to be accredited by International Baccalaureate.[42][14]

Middle schools[edit]

  • Gifford School – Gifford is located in Franksville. Originally constructed in 1966 as a junior high school, it was converted into an elementary school in 1984. A major expansion in 2016 turned it into a K-8 school, making it the newest middle school in RUSD, and it now serves about 1,300 students. Its athletics programs are known as the Gifford Gators. It was named after W. Allen Gifford, founder of Racine's Progressive Dairy.[43][14]
  • Gilmore Middle School – Built in 1974, Gilmore is the neighborhood middle school for northwestern Racine. Additionally, students from northeastern Caledonia are bussed to Gilmore. Its athletics programs are known as the Gilmore Griffins.[44][14]
  • Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School – Built in 1952, the school, which serves northern Racine, shares its building with an elementary school of the same name. Additionally, students from the area immediately north of downtown are bussed to Jerstad. It was named in honor of John L. "Jack" Jerstad and Harold C. Agerholm, two Racine natives who were killed in World War II and each received the Medal of Honor posthumously. Its athletics programs are known as the Jerstad Jaguars.[45][14]
  • McKinley Middle School – Named for assassinated U.S. president William McKinley, the school was built in West Racine in 1921. It has been a junior high or middle school for its entire existence, although from its inception until 1981 it occasionally also had an elementary school. Its athletics programs are known as the McKinley Vikings.[46][14]
  • Mitchell Middle School – Conjoined with Mitchell Elementary School and serving southern Racine and eastern Mount Pleasant, the building for both was constructed in 1937. On February 27, 2014, the building was damaged by fire, although the damage to the middle school was relatively light and class resumed the following week. The schools were named for Henry Mitchell, founder of Mitchell-Lewis Motors and maker of Mitchell automobiles. Its athletics programs are known as the Mitchell Knights.[47][29][14]
  • Racine Engineering, Arts and Leadership (REAL) School – The school serves students in sixth through twelfth grades and is one of the district's alternative education programs. A magnet school, it was founded in 2000 and has no neighborhood area. The REAL School is located in the former Olympia Brown Elementary building, which was purchased by RUSD in 1974 from the Racine Dominican Sisters.[48]
  • Starbuck Middle School – Founded in 1961, the school serves the westernmost parts of Racine and most of Mount Pleasant. Additionally, students from the downtown area and areas immediately south and west are bussed to Starbuck. The school was named for Frank Raymond Starbuck, publisher of the Racine Journal-News and the Racine Journal Times from 1929 to 1952.[49][50][14]
  • Walden III Middle School – Opened in 1972, the school is one of the district's alternative education programs. It is a magnet school and has no neighborhood area. Walden's current building, where it has been located since 1977, was constructed in 1870 for the Sixth Ward grammar school. From the 1890s to 1977, it was Franklin Elementary and Junior High School.[51]

High schools[edit]

  • Jerome I. Case High School – Built in 1966, Case is the newest of Racine's three major high schools, serving primarily Caledonia and Mount Pleasant. Additionally, students from the downtown area and areas immediately south and west are bussed to Starbuck. The school has 2,100 students and is accredited by International Baccalaureate.[52][14]
  • William Horlick High School – Considered the "north side" school, Horlick has served students from northern Racine and northeastern Caledonia since it opened in 1928. Its namesake, food manufacturer and malted milk magnate William Horlick, donated the land for the school to be built. The school currently has 2,100 students.[53][14]
  • Washington Park High School – Considered the "south side" school, Park has served students from southern Racine and southwestern Mount Pleasant since it opened in 1929. Named for its location in Racine's Washington Park, Park is the smallest of Racine's three major high schools, with 1,900 students.[54][14]
  • Racine Engineering, Arts and Leadership (REAL) School – The school serves students in sixth through twelfth grades and is one of the district's alternative education programs. A magnet school, it was founded in 2000 and has no neighborhood area. The REAL School is located in the former Olympia Brown Elementary building, which was purchased by RUSD in 1974 from the Racine Dominican Sisters.[55] As of 2017, the REAL School is planned to relocate into the former Sturtevant Sportsplex building.[56]
  • Walden III High School – Opened in 1972, the school is one of the district's alternative education programs. It is a magnet school, and has no neighborhood area. Walden's current building, where it has been located since 1977, was constructed in 1870 for the Sixth Ward grammar school. From the 1890s to 1977, it was Franklin Elementary and Junior High School.[57]

Other facilities and programs[edit]

  • The Administrative Service Center – the headquarters and central office for the district. The ASC campus consists of three buildings in northwest Racine's Huck Industrial Park.[58]
  • Racine Alternative Learning (RAL) – a facility offering alternative education programs. The facility is located across the street from Gilmore Middle School.[59][60] The programs offered at RAL include:
  • Partners Educating Parenting Students – "a program for female high school students who are pregnant or who are parents."[61]
  • Racine Alternative Education – a credit recovery program for high school juniors and seniors.[62]
  • Special Education Options – a program for students with a "medical diagnosis of mental illness".[63]
  • The Transitional Education Program – helps students who have been incarcerated, treated for mental issues, or otherwise placed outside the school system return to school.[64][60]
  • The Sportsplex – an indoor soccer and sports complex in Sturtevant; it was purchased by the district in 2016.[65]
  • Turning Point Academy – an alternative education program for "at-risk middle and high school youth". It shares its building with John XXIII Educational Center, a private Catholic school not affiliated with the district.[66][67][68] As of 2017, the Academy is in the process of relocating to the Racine Alternative Learning building.[56]
  • Wind Point Elementary School – a former elementary school in the village of Wind Point. The building is now used for storage.[69][70][29][14]

Administration[edit]

School board[edit]

The district's school board consists of nine members, each serving three-year terms, with three positions coming up for election every year. Officers are elected by a board vote every year. The board usually meets on the first and third Mondays of each month.

Superintendent[edit]

The superintendent of the district, whose role is to conduct the affairs and programs of the district, is employed by the school board.[71] The superintendent of Racine Unified School District is Ladarla "Lolli" Haws,[71][72][73] who was hired in 2013.[74] She had previously been an instructional superintendent at District of Columbia Public Schools, overseeing 13 of the district's schools. Haws has worked in education since 1976.[75]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Racine Unified School District - Superintendent". Racine Unified School District. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  2. ^ a b c "Welcome to Racine Unified". Racine Unified School District. 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  3. ^ "Voters OK ‘Unification’, Proposal Wins Majority in All 7 Municipalities". Racine Journal Times, April 5, 1961.
  4. ^ Tempas, Chris and Stephen Kercher. "The Pursuit of True Freedom: School Desegregation in Racine, Wisconsin". Oshkosh Scholar, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, 2011.
  5. ^ Knapp, Aaron. "Caledonia, Sturtevant looking to ask voters’ opinion on leaving Unified". Racine Journal Times, January 24, 2015.
  6. ^ Racine County Clerk. "2nd Unofficial Election Results 04-07-15".
  7. ^ "Racine Unified School District – Our Schools". Racine Unified School District. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  8. ^ Bull Fine Arts – About Us, rusd.org
  9. ^ The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Wisconsin Volume. Chicago: American Biographical Publishing Company, 1877, p. 192.
  10. ^ Dr. Jones – About Us, rusd.org
  11. ^ Fratt – About Us, rusd.org
  12. ^ "What's in a name: N.D. Fratt School". Racine Journal Times, December 16, 1997.
  13. ^ Giese – About Us, rusd.org
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "LIST-school names". Racine Journal Times, February 19, 1995.
  15. ^ Gifford – About Us, rusd.org
  16. ^ Goodland – About Us, rusd.org
  17. ^ Montessori Program, rusd.org
  18. ^ Torres, Ricardo. "New Montessori classroom opens at Goodland Elementary". Racine Journal Times, September 13, 2016.
  19. ^ Janes – About Us, rusd.org
  20. ^ Burke, Michael. Year-round school at Janes Elementary remains hugely popular. Racine Journal Times, April 3, 2012.
  21. ^ Burke, Michael. "Board approves end of year-round school at Janes school". Racine Journal Times, April 19, 2016.
  22. ^ Jefferson Lighthouse – About Us, rusd.org
  23. ^ Jerstad-Agerholm – About Us, rusd.org
  24. ^ S.C. Johnson – About Us, rusd.org
  25. ^ Julian Thomas – About Us, rusd.org
  26. ^ Wilford, Jeff. "'This hurts': Julian Thomas' death leaves hole in community". Racine Journal Times, April 7, 2003.
  27. ^ Knapp – About Us, rusd.org
  28. ^ Mitchell Elementary – About Us, rusd.org
  29. ^ a b c Asiyanbi, Heather. "Mitchell School Fire: One Year Later". Racine County Eye, February 27, 2015.
  30. ^ "What's in a name: North Park Elementary School". Racine Journal Times, December 8, 1998.
  31. ^ Racine Civil Leaders Academy – About Us, rusd.org
  32. ^ Cemeteries in Racine
  33. ^ a b Sloth, Paul. "Winslow site to reopen in fall as new home of Mack Center". Racine Journal Times, June 12, 2007.
  34. ^ Bullock, Lindsay. "New charter school contract finally gets Unified approval". Racine Journal Times, March 26, 2014.
  35. ^ Racine Early Education Center – About Us, rusd.org
  36. ^ Red Apple – About Us, rusd.org
  37. ^ Roosevelt – About Us, rusd.org
  38. ^ Schulte – About Us, rusd.org
  39. ^ "What's in a name?: Schulte Elementary School". Racine Journal Times, November 4, 1997.
  40. ^ "Wadewitz Elementary School Raising Funds For New Playground". Racine Uncovered, May 17, 2016.
  41. ^ Wadewitz – About Us, rusd.org
  42. ^ West Ridge – About Us, rusd.org
  43. ^ Gifford – About Us, rusd.org
  44. ^ Gilmore – About Us, rusd.org
  45. ^ Jerstad-Agerholm – About Us, rusd.org
  46. ^ McKinley – About Us, rusd.org
  47. ^ Mitchell Elementary – About Us, rusd.org
  48. ^ REAL School – About Us, rusd.org
  49. ^ Starbuck – About Us, rusd.org
  50. ^ Bennett, Chris. "Glad You Asked: Half-staff flags and The Journal Times name". Racine Journal Times, August 19, 2006.
  51. ^ Walden – About Us, rusd.org
  52. ^ Case – About Us, rusd.org
  53. ^ Horlick – About Us, rusd.org
  54. ^ Park – About Us, rusd.org
  55. ^ REAL School – About Us, rusd.org
  56. ^ a b Torres, Ricardo. "REAL School construction approved by School Board". Racine Journal Times, March 22, 2017.
  57. ^ Walden – About Us, rusd.org
  58. ^ ArcGIS Map, City of Racine.
  59. ^ Racine Alternative Learning, rusd.org
  60. ^ a b Killackey, Brian. "Alternative thinking; Racine Unified's dangerous students met with non-traditional approach". Racine Journal Times, February 19, 2006.
  61. ^ Partners Educating Parenting Students, rusd.org
  62. ^ Racine Alternative Education, rusd.org
  63. ^ Special Education Options, rusd.org
  64. ^ Transitional Education Program, rusd.org
  65. ^ Knapp, Aaron. "Sportsplex purchase approved". Racine Journal Times, April 19, 2016.
  66. ^ John XXIII Educational Center.
  67. ^ Bullock, Lindsay. "Unified’s new Turning Point Academy moves forward". Racine Journal Times, December 17, 2013.
  68. ^ Bullock, Lindsay. "The end of the Mack Center -- Unified to create new program as part of a larger district revamp". Racine Journal Times, December 14, 2013.
  69. ^ Fiori, Lindsay. "Wind Point Elementary School closing". Racine Journal Times, December 17, 2012.
  70. ^ Fiori, Lindsay. "At Wind Point, truly the last day of school". Racine Journal Times, June 11, 2013.
  71. ^ a b Official Statement, Quarles & Brady LLP.
  72. ^ Innovative Professional Development Community of Practice, American Association of School Administrators.
  73. ^ Bullock, Lindsay. "No. 8: Lolli Haws hired to lead Unified". Racine Journal Times, December 24, 2013.
  74. ^ Torres, Ricardo. "Board votes 6-3 to extend Superintendent Haws' contract". Racine Journal Times, December 19, 2016.
  75. ^ Haws, Lolli. Resume, 2013.

External links[edit]