Wisconsin International School closes doors

The Wisconsin International School in De Pere as seen on Friday, June 27, 2014. (WLUK/Ben Krumholz)

DE PERE – The Wisconsin International School in De Pere has closed its doors.

The leaders of Wisconsin International School sent a letter to families and faculty saying with a heavy heart, the school is closing its doors.

The school is for 18-month-old children through eighth grade.

It opened in 2008, on Grant Street, as the first accredited International Baccalaureate School in Northeast Wisconsin.

School leaders said Friday the school was dealing with declining enrollment and rising financial pressure.

As teachers gathered their belongings, they said they had no idea their school would be closing.

“It was just total shock, out of the blue,” said teacher John Dunlap.

Teachers received the same letter as families notifying them of the closure.

“We respectfully request your patience as we work through this matter,” wrote Todd Thiel, the school board’s president and Mary Vanden Busch the head of the school. “We will provide a more detailed update as soon as possible.”

“I want to know why things happened, why weren't we let in the loop if this was a possibility,” said Dunlap. “Why didn't they let us know?”

Many questions about the closure are about money. Parents have hundreds of dollars invested in tuition and teachers say they have as many as five paychecks due to them.

In the letter, school officials say with their legal and accounting team, they're working as quickly as possible to establish a fair and prudent process to wind down operations.

According to its website, tuition for the school was just under $10,000 a year for first through eighth grades.

“I feel sorry for the kids and the families that were here that were left out in the lurch right now,” said Dunlap.

Many teachers declined to talk with FOX 11 about the school closing.

According to the letter, more than 800 students went to Wisconsin International during its six years.