Wisconsin International School looking at bankruptcy

DE PERE – It might be a while before parents and teachers see any money from a recently shut down private school in De Pere.

The board for Wisconsin International School sent out a letter saying it is looking at filing for bankruptcy.

Parents of children who attended Wisconsin International School say they didn’t know money was an issue for the school.

“They just had a big golf outing fundraiser and were looking to buy playground equipment for the park across the street so that really surprises me,” said Kate Furst, a parent.

Furst says she is relieved she didn’t prepay tuition for her three-year-old’s preschool. Some parents did. For children grades one through eight, the cost for a year of school was nearly $10,000.

“They had a really good foreign language program and specials,” said Furst. “The teachers were awesome. It was really great. I think it was worth it, so I’m sad to see it go.”

In a letter to parents and teachers, the school’s board says enrollment was down 51 students next year, or 30%. There was also a 30% budget shortfall for donations.

In the letter, the school’s board also says if bankruptcy is filed, a court appointed trustee and the court would determine the priority and amount that creditors will be paid back. That would be based on the school’s remaining assets and the priority of each creditor’s claim. Possible creditors would be board members, teachers, and parents who prepaid tuition.

“We’re not out any money, but I know a lot of people are and I’m glad that we’re not,” said Furst.

One thing all parents are out of is a school. Furst says has already made plans for her daughter to attend a new one.

“It’s good she has a place to go, but sad it’s not the same place,” said Furst.

If the school files for bankruptcy, the board says parents and teachers will be given the trustee’s contact information as soon as possible.

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