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School board introduced to new staff members

BOYCEVILLE — Elementary Principal, Nick Kaiser and Middle/High School Principal Steve Glocke introduced new staff members to the school board during its meeting Monday evening.

Those introduced to the board were Jacinda Fischer who has a position in Elementary Guidance; Elizabeth Frisbie, Elementary Art; Kalani Krautbauer, Speech/Language; Kirsten Redding, High School Language Arts; Rebecca Paulson, Four Year Old Kindergarten; Trisha Jensen, Vision; Chelsey Hunt, Spanish; April Stoveren, School Nurse; Mary Byre, Technology Para; Erin Leslie, MCS Aide; Trepanier DellaPaolera, Sign Language Interpreter.

After the introduction of the new staff the high school Choir performed two selections to the enjoyment of those present at the school board meeting.

Finalize Budget

One of the annual chores of the school board is to approve a school budget for the coming year and that must be done before November to set the annual Property Tax rate. At the annual school meeting of October 13th the proposed 2014-15-school budget was accepted.

School Superintendent Kevin Sipple explained to the school board that at the annual meeting the final aid figure from the state has not been received and the administration was using an estimate of what the state aids would be. But, Sipple noted that the final amount was some $50,000 less than estimated. This reduction caused the mill rate to increase. The annual meeting had approved a mill rate of 12.17, but because of the lower state aids the rate that the board approved Monday night will be 12.66333. The total tax levy will be $3,234,314. Sipple noted that represented an increase of 8.2 percent over the previous year. But he also noted, the tax levy from last year was six percent less than the year before.

The total tax levy breaks down as follows: $1,867,182 to the general fund; $46,477 to non-referendum debt service and $1,269,655 to debt service and $60,000 for community service.

New Mandates

During his report to the board, Sipple spoke about the new mandates, something he discussed at other school board meetings. In his report he indicated, “as we transition into new mandates, I am becoming more concerned about how these mandates are changing the role of our principals, taking time away from teacher instruction and adding more fiscal stress on budgets.”

At a previous school board meeting, Sipple spoke to the board, saying that he estimated that with the new mandates, students would lose about two and a half weeks of instruction because of the new mandated testing.

His report stated, “there needs to be balance and how that balance plays out over the next two to three years will impact the education of our children.” Sipple handed out a five-page document called, “Wisconsin Combined Assessment Calendar for 2014-15”. It contains a time line for what needs to be done to meet the testing and mandates currently in place. The time line starts with the school year and runs through the entire school year. It contains 108 items that need to be addressed.

Middle/High /School Principal Steve Glocke noted during his report to the board that they had difficulty with that time line in testing because of “technical issues in this first go around with a computer based test from ACT.” He also noted that WKCE testing for grades eight and ten are taking place. “We hope to complete the testing on October 28 and 29,” his report indicated.

Glocke’s report also informed the board that Ms. Berry hosted a Junior/Senior Night for students and parents to gather information about post-secondary options. “This event covered how to begin the process of applying to or investigating options for life after high school graduation.”

Elementary Principal Nick Kaiser informed the board that two people from the DPI were at the school on October 24 to review the Spotlight Grant classroom tour agenda. He said that they were very pleased with what we have done.

In other school board action they approved the hiring of Axel Dunn as 8th grade Boys Basketball coach replacing Colby Dotseth. They also accepted a $4,000 Science Technology Equipment grant from the Community Foundation of Dunn County. They also accepted a $1,000 donation from Madonna Hostetter with a matching $1,000 grant from Northwest Mutual Foundation for the Science Olympiad program.