The proverbial little red schoolhouse survives in the form of a brown brick building on the corner of W. Seven Mile Road and Highway 45 in Racine County.
Here at Drought School – the only school in the Norway School District – items from the eighth-grade bake sale sell for 25 to 75 cents each, the school administrator has been on the job for 20 years and the softball team can include students as young as third-graders.
There are advantages to the small school district in a 4-square-mile farmland oasis sandwiched between the urban Racine Unified School District and suburban Muskego-Norway School District.
But there also are downsides to this slice of rural life, preserved in small kindergarten-through-eighth-grade and high school districts in southeastern Wisconsin.
Last year, Norway’s resident enrollment hit 76, the end of a five-year slide in which it lost more than 40% of its population, according to state records.