Shorewood — The Shorewood School District has extended its contract with Milestones Programs for Children until the end of January, giving the two organizations another month to negotiate terms that are agreeable to both parties.

Milestones, which was founded by Shorewood parents in 1979, provides wraparound programming for the district's Bright Beginnings Preschool and 4-year-old kindergarten program, as well as before-and after-school programs for children as old as sixth grade. Milestones also offers summer programs for children as old as seventh grade.

Shorewood School District Superintendent Bryan Davis on Dec. 13 introduced the possibility of ending the district's contract with Milestones and instead creating before- and after-school programming through the Shorewood Recreation Department. By switching to in-house child care, the school district expects to save $145,000. That estimate could range anywhere from $50,000 under a worst-case scenario to $200,000 under a best-case scenario, said Patrick Miller, the district's business manager.

During a public hearing on Dec. 20, 12 out of 13 residents spoke in support of the district retaining Milestone's services.

The school board chose to give Davis full decision-making authority over its contract with Milestones. With the contract set to automatically renew at the end of the year, Davis signed an agreement last week that would extend the rollover date of the contract to Jan. 31.

"This will allow us time to negotiate terms in the upcoming weeks and hopefully continue our partnership with Milestones for child care in the district," Davis said.

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