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Colfax school board has busy evening

by Marlys Kruger

COLFAX — Between approving the 2015-2016 tax levy to accepting the resignation of the head football coach, the Colfax School Board had plenty on their plate to stay busy during the monthly meeting held Oct. 26 in the high school library.

Elementary principal Trevor Hovde introduced the two new staff members to the district including Courtney Doucette as a first grade teacher and Kirk Secraw as a third grade teacher. Both are graduates of Colfax and both said so far the year is going very well and they are settling into the routine of the school.

The board approved a total tax levy of $2,580,033.00 which includes $2,389.570.00 for the 2015-2016 budget and $190,454 for non-referendum debt service. The mill rate will be $8.10 per $1,000 of property value compared to a mill rate of $8.48 a year ago.

Varsity football coach Mark Maloney submitted his resignation as of Nov. 1 stating he had already made the decision to resign back in January, therefore it was not based on the teams won-loss record this season. Maloney was the head coach for five seasons and compiled a record of 16-30 while leading the Vikings to the playoffs in 2013 and 2014.

“I want to thank Mark for the time he has put into our program,” District Administrator Bill Yingst said. “Not only did he teach football skills to all of our players, he was a strong role model and he taught them life skills that they will use when they leave this school,” he added. The board accepted his resignation along with assistant coach Carl Rudi who cited he no longer had the time needed to put into coaching.

The open enrollment list was presented showing 69 students have chosen to come into the Colfax district while 67 are enrolled elsewhere. The third Friday in September pupil count was 850 in Pre-school Special Education -grade 12 which is up by 24 students from a year ago.

A second reading of the Immunization and Philosophy of Education for the district was approved and the board also approved for six students to take college classes or classes at CVTC through the Youth Options Program for spring semester.

“We had six apply but not all of them follow through and decide to take the classes,” high school principal John Dachel said.

A first reading to consider three new courses for weighted status was presented but did not have to be approved yet. The courses are Microsoft office, Horticulture, and Medical Terminology and they will be taught at the high school by staff members who are certified and students can receive college credit for the courses. The weighted status means they will count more towards a students GPA when it comes to determining their class ranking.

The first reading of the alternative diploma options was looked at but also did not need approval yet. A GEDO II program for students who are at high risk of not graduating with their class and a Basic Skills Diploma for students who are one full semester behind their class after their sophomore year are the two alternatives the board will have to approve or not approve next month.

A few kitchen workers in the food service department  and more teachers aids are being interviewed as both areas are in need of help. Someone from Marshfield Clinic is helping the district with a job description for the kitchen jobs as there is a lot of physical labor involved with the job.

Near the end of the meeting, board members accepted and signed the Adoption Resolution as printed and codified by the comprehensive document entitled “Bylaws and Policies of the School District of Colfax Board of Education.”

Administrators reports

Dachel informed the board  FFA members have been busy with several attending the national conference in Kentucky Oct. 28-31, and the soil judging team placed first in the local contest. The end of first quarter was Oct. 30 with report cards coming out Nov. 6. Several Science Club students attended the Nobel Science Conference in Minnesota last month and members of FCCLA participated in a Leadership Conference Oct. 13 at UW-Stout. Dachel also stated Colfax will have 12 student/athletes represent the school at the annual Dunn-St. Croix Sportsmanship Conference Nov. 4. In addition, he congratulated all of the athletic teams, music groups and clubs who have been so busy this fall. Basketball practice for the girls begins Nov. 9 while the boys begin Nov. 16 along with wrestling.

Hovde provided updates of reading programs and assessments that have been completed already this fall and stated students had received valuable instruction from members of the local fire department on fire safety. Over 90 apple pies have been made by Colfax students to be given away to veterans at the annual Veterans Day program Nov. 11 at the school and there will be a special presentation of medals to a former Colfax resident who was killed in action during WW II.

Special Education/Student Assessment Director Polly Rudi indicated the district has 134 special education students which is an increase from the third Friday in September count. Rudi attended the State Superintendent Conference for Special Education Leadership a few weeks ago and she will be attending  a seminar along with Kelly Haskamp Nov. 12-13 related to the state’s new electronic accountability system.

All of the administrators thanked the PBIS committee for the fantastic job they did organizing the school wide Color Sail Walk on Oct. 22, saying they thought kids in all grade levels enjoyed the activity and it was great to see the interaction between the students and staff members.