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New USC brochure developed

By Staff | Apr 25, 2011

Christie Wetzel

As part of the district’s 2010 strategic plan, United South Central officials are doing everything they can to retain and recruit students.

So when flooding destroyed a new brochure stored on a computer that was 95 percent complete, board member Christie Wetzel just decided to start over.

“We’re very proud of the programs and successes we have at USC. We feel the public should be aware of them,” she says.

This year USC has 241 students open enrolling out of the district and 23 enrolling in, for a net loss of 218. In addition, 20 students are being taught at home.

Using the basic aid formula, that calculates to a loss in state aid of more than $1.2 million.

Last year, about 140 letters were mailed to families in the district with children who either open enrolled in another school or are being home-schooled.

“We wanted to get an idea from people what the reason was for leaving the district,” says superintendent Jerry Jensen.

Because response to the survey was low, the findings were not conclusive.

However, two reasons seemed to emerge:

• students were attending schools closer to where they live;

• parents wanted their children to attend a school in the same city where they worked.

“It seemed parents wanted to be close by if there were any issues at the school involving their children,” Jensen says. “Easy accessibility was important.”

As a result, district officials decided it was time to update its current brochure.

To get information for the new six-page handout, Wetzel relied on the district’s principals and educators.A total of 1,500 brochures were printed and are being distributed to local real estate businesses and the Wells Area Chamber of Commerce.

Wetzel says the brochures also were handed out to parents at the recent kindergarten roundup.

She says school districts, like any other business, must promote themselves nowadays.

“To survive in the 21st century you have to do your own public relations and get the word out on what you have to offer,” she adds.

The brochure entitled — The Learning Starts Here! — lists the benefits, offerings and achievements at the elementary and high school levels.

“I don’t think the idea was making it a competition between districts. I feel distributing the brochures in communities of other districts would be borderline unethical,” says Wetzel.