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Colfax school board prepares for end of school year and summer sessions

by Marlys Kruger

COLFAX — With the end of school for students coming up on June 3, members of the Colfax School Board approved staff for summer school classes, swimming lessons and the Summer Saunters program during their monthly meeting May 18.

Approximately 22 instructors were hired for the summer school programs for grades K-8 which includes everything from general academic classes to weight  training, golf instruction and recreational activities. The majority of the instructors are current staff members while others have been working in the district in some capacity.

Swimming instructors were approved and include head instructor Vicki Seston along with Doug Hanson, Dan Hanson, Allison Hinrichs, Trevor Seston, Ally Heidorn and Melissa Nehm. An aide is yet to be hired for the lessons. Teachers for the Summer Saunters program which takes students in grades 3-12 to the Ice Age Trail every day for five days in July include Suzy Blomberg, Joe Doucette, Nancy Hovde, Sarah Yingst, Courtney Doucette and Trevor Hovde.

The board accepted the resignation of special education instructor Stacy Powell who has accepted a job in the Elk Mound district. Powell has worked in the district for five years but lives in the Elk Mound district with her family so the job change will be very convenient for her.

The board agreed to use Student Assurance Services, Inc. for their student sports insurance provider and to give District Administrator Bill Yingst the authority to adopt the budget adjustments for the 2014-2015 school year.

The staff recognition banquet will be held May 27 at Whitetail Golf Course. Staff retirees this year are Debra Berndt and Vicki Maves but Andrew Meade and Jeffrey Langkau, who retired last summer will also be recognized along with several staff members for various years of service.

The annual audit will take place the week of July 6-10, and the district renewed its affiliation with the WIAA, which has dropped all membership dues and fees until 2017-2018.

Administrators’ reports

Grades 7-12 principal John Dachel stated all had gone well with the graduation ceremony held the previous Friday and he congratulated the high school athletic teams and wished them good luck in the upcoming tournaments and meets. He also recognized agriculture students Jared Taylor, Abby Suvada, Brielle Bjork and Ross Taylor for placing sixth in the National Hoards Dairyman Dairy Judging Contest. Dachel also read part of a report from business teacher Kara Zutter who was asked to teach an Accounting Methods course to UW-Stout students who are preparing to be high school business teachers. She also noted the Transcripted Course offering for the Computer Applications course at the high school has been approved and Colfax students will receive two (or possibly three, according to Dachel) college credits for the class taken here.

Elementary principal Trevor Hovde stated as of now there are 50 students enrolled for the Junior Kindergarten program for next year. He also updated the board on various reading programs and the PALS testing for grades K-2. Fifth grade students are now participating in the DARE (Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education) program and will hold a graduation ceremony May 22. Hovde thanked Mike and Jodi Kiekhafer on behalf of the class of 1980 for planting two maple trees in front of the elementary school.

Special Education Director Polly Rudi informed the board the high school and middle school students have completed state testing and the elementary students will be done May 28. She will be meeting with the DPI next month to review file compliance for all students with an IEP in the district.

During closed session, two staff retirement proposals were looked at but neither were withing the criteria set by the board previously, therefore the board did not accept the proposals.