IT CAN OFTEN BE hard for the little guy to compete with bigger
competitors. That’s true in many areas, including education.
With school choice, it can be a challenge for smaller school districts to offer enough
varied opportunities for their students to keep them from opting to attend larger nearby
schools with larger facilities and wider educational opportunities. The Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District is one of those little guys that has to try to keep up with larger nearby school
districts and their offerings. That can be a real challenge, especially with state-imposed
revenue caps, budget restraints and tight funding that all districts face.
Over the years, though, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah has managed to keep pace with the educational needs of its students and provide them with the variety and quality of offerings that they need. Each month, it seems, the School Board hears from district
officials about new programs or offerings the district is able to provide across a variety of disciplines and areas that make remaining in the district an attractive option for local students.
Many of these initiatives, such as the Academic Career Planning program that was described for the board at their last meeting, reach throughout the entire district and offer help
and service to students in all grades and at all stages of their education. The board expressed its support for the program, as it has given its support over the years to many different innovative and forward-looking programs and facilities for district students. That kind of support, combined with dedicated teachers and staff and visionary and innovative administrators, more than makes up for any negatives the district’s small size may entail.
That’s not to say that there aren’t advantages to smaller school districts. Rather than being lost in a huge crowd of students, students in Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah enjoy smaller class sizes that allow their teachers to commit more time and energy to their individual needs and abilities. The district also reaches out to outside sources to provide for their students’ needs, such as entering co-operative arrangements with neighboring districts to allow EL-G students to compete in sports that the district cannot offer itself.
The district also benefits from the enthusiastic support of district residents and taxpayers – many of them proud Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah alumni themselves — who recognize
and appreciate the value of a strong school system to their community and its future.
That huge level of support, great measure of innovation and caring, adds up to allow the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District to offer more robust, wide-ranging educational
opportunities than their sheer number of students might otherwise allow.