Marketing Proposals for Monticello School District


Abigail Becker


Green County
Community Size
University of Wisconsin - Madison
UniverCity Year
Case Type
Project Stories
Focus Areas
Journalism, Mass Communications
EPA Region 5, USA
University Department Code
Journalism and Mass Communication
Sustainable Development Goals
04 Quality Education
Population Type
Government Employees

In the past few years, the Monticello School District has been benefitting from the State of Wisconsin’s open enrollment policy, meaning that more students living in the district are attending Monticello than are going to schools in other districts. This is important to maintaining the school’s resource base. One goal of the messages produced for this campaign is to make sure that Monticello remains net positive by communicating the key advantages of Monticello schools. Central to Monticello’s success is the emphasis on community, which is evident in scholarship funding provided by community members, the students’ commitment to community service and the strong relationships we observed between students and among faculty members. Highlighting this collaboration among Monticello community members will be a central part of our campaign messaging. In addition to Monticello’s sense of community, the school also leverages telepresence technology to provide students with opportunities to take AP courses, C.A.P.P and P.I.E courses for college credit, as well as additional subjects. This is a significant benefit for Monticello, as these courses are only able to be taught in cooperation with the neighboring districts of Juda, Albany, Brodhead and Blackhawk. For Monticello’s college-bound students, telepresence is an investment in their futures, as many students are able to graduate with credits to apply to their future degree. We spoke with UW-Madison Education Professor Julie Mead, an expert in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, to gain a better understanding of school choice and the role that school resources play in school retention. She touched on a concept called The Death Spiral, a situation in which a school district with limited course options motivates parents to look to other school enrollment options. Professor Mead explained the consequence of this: “people start leaving the school district; that reduces the amount of money coming into the school district, which makes it more difficult for the school district to offer options. More people start to look, so there’s the spiral.” We believe that leveraging Monticello’s unique use
of telepresence in marketing will help to combat the Death Spiral that many rural Wisconsin
schools face.
While Monticello is a very close-knit community, our research also indicates that it lacks
diversity, as the majority of students and staff at the schools are white (94.4 percent) and
from similar backgrounds. Like many other rural schools in Wisconsin, Monticello is also
struggling to attract and retain teachers, as the number of applicants for a given position has
decreased dramatically in the past years. Contributing to this is the lack of housing available
in Monticello and the lower salaries available for teachers in Monticello compared to other
more metropolitan school districts.

Read the final student report delivered to the local gov/community partner.

UniverCity Year Contact Info
Gavin Luter
Managing Director

University Faculty Contact
Doug McLeod
Journalism and Mass Communication

Local Government / Community Contact
Cara Carper
Montiello School District
Head of Economic Development

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