Colfax board members look at security updates

COLFAX — Changes and updates to the building security system was one of the topics discussed at the December 15 monthly Colfax school board meeting. According to District Administrator Bill Yingst, the Aiphone and Security Doorlock System are now in use at each of the main doors at the school. Visitors who come to the school during daytime hours are already getting used to having to be buzzed in by the office workers and there have been no complaints. Staff members will all receive identification badges that will have to be worn at all times while at school so they are easily identified by students and outsiders. Yingst also gave a short explanation on the Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate (ALICE) training he and several other administrators in the area received at CESA 11 and at Cameron Middle School earlier in the month. (More on this will come in a future Messenger story).

Brianne Link, a special education teacher in the district was approved as the adviser for the non-musical play for the upcoming year. Link was the only staff member who applied and she has been involved with the play in the past.

In old business, the mill rate for the 2013-2014 is 8.48 with a total levy of $30,318,872 This is the third lowest mill rate out of 39 area schools.

During Yingst’s report the board was informed on office hours during the holiday break. The high school office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 and Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. A list of 17 resolutions was presented that are topics of discussion at the Wisconsin Association of School Board convention in January. Some of the resolutions concern a shortage of technology education teachers, rehiring retired teachers and allowing school board members to serve as volunteer coaches or student advisers.

Administrators’ reports

Elementary principal Trevor Hovde did triple duty as he read three reports in the absence of high school principal John Dachel and Special Education Director Polly Rudi. Hovde updated several reading programs and informed the board the second PBIS celebration will take place the second week of January with a Festival of Nations in which all classes will learn about a specific country and share that information with others. The culminating activity will be the Norwegian Dancers from Stoughton High School Jan. 19 which is open to the public.The National Geography Bee will be conducted for students in grades 4-8 Jan. 7 and Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition will be Jan. 12-16.

Dachel’s report congratulated members of the Science Olympiad team including Bayli Vacho, Courtney Dressel and Marianne Scharlau who were medalists at the Boyceville Invitational Dec. 8, and the Dance Team which placed fifth in the Jazz division and eighth in Poms at the Menomonie Classic recently. A complete listing of all activities through the end of January was also presented.

Rudi’s report stated the district is establishing a Memorandum of Understanding between the School District of Colfax and Northwest Directions for the provision of mental health services in the school. This will provide outpatient services for students in need from the district.