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Boyceville school tax levy less than estimated

BOYCEVILLE — The school board gave its final approval for the 2015-2016-school budget at their regular meeting Monday evening. Jeremy Mittlestadt was sitting in the president’s chair at the meeting in place of Tim Sempf, who was sick.

District Administrator Kevin Sipple explained the final budget and tax levy worksheet. He noted that the final figures are somewhat lower than what was proposed at the annual meeting. “At that time we did not have final aid figures from the state,” Sipple said.

With more state aid than estimated and an increase in equalized valuation within the school district to $270,290,653, has allowed the mill rate to decrease. Sipple explained that the mill rate is about 14.5 percent lower than last year, noting that it has not been this low since about 2008.

The board approved a total budget of $11,823,151 and set the tax levy at 10.82662 mills, which will require a levy of $2,926,388 on the property in the school district. Included in the budget is $1,042,877 for payment on the school’s debt.

Other expenses in the budget include $8.675 million for the general fund; $1,623 million for Special Education; $387,300 for Food Service and $92,500 for Community Service.

New Procedure For Gun Violence

Superintendent Kevin Sipple and High School Principal Steve Glocke and Elementary Principal Nick Kaiser discussed the new procedure for the school in the case of a gun toting person got into one of the school buildings.

In a letter sent to parents, the following description of the new program was described: “Boyce-ville School has adopted additional procedures in the event of an active shooter in any of the District’s buildings. The procedures we are adopting are included in a research based program entitled ALiCE. ALiCE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. Lockdown procedures previously involved staff members locking their doors, moving students to a part of the room where they could not be seen, and quietly remaining there until an “all clear” announcement was given. The ALiCE plan, however, offers a different philosophy based on the data collected over the past 20 plus years of school/public shootings. The philosophy of ALiCE is to utilize information in a way that allows staff and students to make informed decisions in a crisis; to evacuate as many people as safely possible from the danger zone or barricading and preparing to counter if evacuation is not possible.”

The board learned that several staff members received ALiCE training this past summer and that training has been shared with the rest of the employees.

Administrators’ reports were presented to the school board including a report from Bonnie Barker, Director of Special Education/School Psychologist who told about her recent conference she attended at Wisconsin Dells. “It was an excellent conference and there were many, many people attending, that’s because of all the changes taking place,” she told the board.

Barker also discussed a program she is working on. One is called “Connect the Dots and Thrive” and she also informed the board about a comfort doll program that she is using. She had a sample of a doll that would offer comfort to students in a time of crisis. “I have these dolls in my office,” she said.

Principal Steve Glocke talked about the ACT testing and the current problems they are having with the registration with the program. “It’s not going real smooth,” he said. Other items his report touched on, was the National Honor Society, who would induct new members on November 6th. He also noted that ten students would attend the Dunn/St. Croix Sportsmanship Summit in Elk Mound on November 5th.

Glocke also reminded the board about the annual Veterans Ceremony scheduled for 10:40 a.m. on November 11th.

Elementary Principal Nick Kaiser informed the board that two representatives from the DPI came to the Elementary school last week to review our Spotlight grant classroom tour agenda. He said that the staff did a great job in getting ready. He also talked about the fifth grade students having a great time at their recent overnight field trip to Beaver Creek Reserve. The Veterans Day program at TCE will be a 1:30 on November 11th.

In other action the board accepted a $25,000 Spotlight Grant for Tiffany Creek, a $107.48 donation from the Knights of Columbus, a $1,500 donation from the 2015 Alfalfa Fest and two $1,000 donations from the Murray & Madonna Hostetter. One donation is for the Science Olympiad organization, and the other to the Needy Student Meal Program. Both of these donations have matching gifts from Northwestern Mutual.

The board approved the hiring of Jenna Willi as the Assistant Science Olympiad Advisor.

In one item in Sipple’s report that he discussed with the board is a new program called “Boyceville Weekend Meal.” This program will provide some food items to be taken home for our most needy students on the weekends. Sipple noted that the items, “will be mostly canned or boxed items.” He explained that the program is a joint effort with the school district, local churches and West Cap. He noted that some 139 people would be involved in the program.

Sipple also congratulated two school board members who were recognized at the WABS Region 4 meeting last week. Erik Evenson has reached level one and Tim Sempf has been recognized for attaining level 3. This is based on participation in WASB continuing education and board development activities. Sipple also took a few minutes to explain to the board a list of computer/network items that are going on at the school to improve their system.