by Marlys Kruger
COLFAX — Members of the Colfax school board and administrators took care of some final business during the board meeting Aug. 17 before the doors open Sept. 2 to begin the 2015-16 school year.
In-service for staff members will begin Aug. 24 with a joint meeting at Elk Mound High School with Boyceville and Elk Mound staff which includes guest speaker John Draper. Colfax staff will then have in-service days back in Colfax for the next three days.
The district received a payment of $310 from the State of Wisconsin for exempt computer state aid for the 2015 year, and District Administrator Bill Yingst stated they may have to hire a part time kitchen helper for the upcoming year.
During new business, the board approved the annual declaration and parent notice of the district’s student academic standards that will be in effect for the 2015-16 school year. Grades JK-6 will use both the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and the Common Core Standards while grades 7-12 will use the Common Core Standards. But according to administrators, with the way the DPI continues to make changes in the way students are assessed and what needs to be taught, that could change within the year.
Grades 7-12 principal John Dachel informed the board all varsity sports had begun practice with the first football game slated for Friday night at Eleva-Strum. The first volleyball match will be a home quad Aug. 25, the first cross country meet will be at Boyceville Aug. 27 and girl’s golf is also in full swing (pardon the pun). Senior meetings were conducted Aug. 18-20 and freshman orientation, which is new this year will be Aug. 26 at 5:00. The annual pep rally for fall sports will be Wednesday, Sept. 2 at either the high school football field or in the gym, depending on the weather. Most of the school events are on the school calender that has been mailed out to all district residents.
Elementary principal Trevor Hovde stated 65 students participated in the summer reading program and passed a total of 395 quizzes. Open House for the elementary/middle school will take place Wednesday, Aug. 26 from 4:30-6:30, allowing students to meet their teachers and bring their school supplies in before the Sept. 1 start date. Picture day for grades 6-12 is Sept. 9, grades JK-2 is Sept. 10 and grades 3-5 Sept. 11. A bus driver in-service program presented by Paul Gasser, was held for Colfax and Elk Mound bus drivers which taught them how to handle difficult situations with students and parents when issues surface on the bus. Bus routes would be reviewed and assignments made by the end of the week.
A complete time table for all state testing was presented by Assessment Coordinator/Special Education Director Polly Rudi. There is some form of testing taking place from Sept. 14 all the way through May 20. Starting with the 2017 graduating class, all students will have to take a civics test comprised of 100 questions that are identical to questions on a U.S. Citizenship test and correctly answer at least 60 of them in order to graduate from a Wisconsin public, private or charter school. Any student with an IEP must take the test but do not have to pass it in order to graduate.