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Colfax school board approves substitute pay raise

by Marlys Kruger

COLFAX — The Colfax Board of Education had only one item on the agenda that needed approval during the November 17 meeting held in the district boardroom. According to Colfax administrators, the district has seen a decrease in the substitute teacher pool the past few years, as are many other schools in the area. Several schools have increased their daily substitute pay hoping to draw more subs, prompting the Colfax District to take a look at their pay.

“We have been at $90 a day for a very long time so I believe we need to increase that amount in hopes of increasing our sub pool and help get quality subs to the district,” District Administrator Bill Yingst said. “Some days we don’t need any subs and some days we need several and when we are competing with so many other schools in the area, we make a lot of calls to fill the spots.” The board agreed to increase the pay to $110 a day and $55 for a half day to keep up with most of the schools in the area.

Open enrollment dates allowing parents to enroll their children in another district besides the one they reside in are technically scheduled for February 2-April 30, but according to Yingst, those dates are not set in stone.

“There are a lot of variables considered now so students can enroll just about any time if they have a good reason and have the correct paperwork done,” he said.

Anyone wishing to run for the school board in the upcoming year will need to have official documents completed and returned to the school by 5:00 p.m. January 6, while the deadline for incumbents to file Notice of Non-Candidacy is December 26 at 5:00 p.m. Two board members, Mike Lee and Ken Neuburg are up for re-election this spring.

Policy Update committee members have met several times and will need to meet a few more times before they bring a final draft to the board to approve.

Administrators’ Reports

Middle School/High School principal John Dachel stated girl’s and boy’s  high school and boy’s middle school basketball are all in full swing as well as high school wrestling. There are five boys from Colfax traveling to Bloomer for the co-op wrestling program and the first meet will be December 4 at Ladysmith.

Six Future Business Leaders of America students attended a leadership conference in Minneapolis November 21-22 and several juniors and seniors took field trips to the CVTC Career Cluster Tour and the Education Fair at UW-Eau Claire. 42 students in Mrs. Neuburg’s Foods classes toured the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School in the Twin Cities a few weeks ago and 21 athletes from the high school attended the Dunn-St. Croix Sportsmanship Conference held in Elk Mound last week.

Colfax senior Jeremiah Wait was selected as the Herb Kohl Scholarship candidate for Colfax and will compete against 99 other students from the state for several $1,000 scholarships.

Upcoming music programs include the high school Christmas concert Monday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. and on Thursday, December 11, the Junior Kindergarten concerts are at 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Kindergarten is at 10:30 a.m. grades 1-4 is at 1:30 p.m. and grades 5-8 is at 7:00 p.m.

Thanksgiving break is November 26-30 while Christmas break is December 24-January 4.

Elementary principal Trevor Hovde reported on the Accelerated Reading program and stated one student, Nathan Hydukovich has read over 2 million words this year while five have read over 1 million.

Third grade students have been studying colonial days in Social Studies and are having a special presentation of projects related to the unit on Tuesday, November 25 at 2:00 p.m. Board members and fellow administrators were invited to  attend the event along with guests of the students and enjoy pie afterwards.

Special Education/Curriculum Director Polly Rudi informed the board all English Language Learners met the District Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives for the 2013-2014 school year. The new testing window for these students opens December 1, 2014 and ends February 19, 2015.

There was nothing new to report form the executive session.