One of the things we’ve always found hard to understand is just how difficult it has been at times for Riverside School District 96’s Board of Education to work out an arrangement to help compensate Brookfield and Riverside for providing crossing guards at local schools.

There always seem to be this contest of who’s getting the better deal, which is so weird because the money coming from both places is being provided largely by the same taxpayers.

The answer to who’s getting the best deal is this: The residents of the school district in Riverside and Brookfield. 

Not all agreements need to be equal, by the way. There’s no set formula for how to set up these arrangements. District 96 agrees to share its facilities with the village and pays half the cost for crossing guards. 

The village’s recreation department has also stepped up to provide before- and after-school programming for families in District 96 who need that extra care, especially with no full-day kindergarten an option right now in District 96.

Brookfield initially had asked District 96 to pay a portion of the cost for crossing guards, but later agreed to a deal more in line with the village’s agreement with Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95, which is a straight facilities-sharing deal with no cost to the school district for crossing guards.

The village’s Parks and Rec Department also provides before- and after-school programming as a value added benefit. They do the same for Lyons-Brookfield School District 103, providing those programs onsite at the schools.

These are all beneficial to the communities at large, and the costs and burdens are being shared, as they ought to be. This kind of cooperation between units of local government should be the model, not the exception, and certainly not a turf war.

We’re glad that the village and District 96 appear to be heading toward approval of the Hollywood school facilities sharing/crossing guard deal in January. Did the village win? Did the school district win?

Families won.

Prime-time player

When Dana Rettke played basketball and volleyball for Riverside-Brookfield High School from 2013-17, it was clear she was a special talent. As a senior, she led RBHS to the state volleyball quarterfinals, rewriting the high school’s record book during her career as a Bulldog.

She chose the University of Wisconsin as her collegiate destination and the success continued. After being named the national Freshman of the Year, she helped the Badgers to three NCAA tournament Final Four appearances, capping it all last week with Wisconsin’s first national title and a collegiate Player of the Year Award to boot. 

Rettke carved her name into the Badger’s record book as well, ranking first in points, blocks, block assists and attack percentage and second in total kills.

It was a remarkable way to cap her college career. Now she’ll look to continue to play as a pro and perhaps earn a spot on the 2024 U.S. Olympic team.

Whatever happens, Rettke has been a dominant player and deserves the congratulations that come with her success.