Boyceville school board hears mid-year updates, prepares for state convention

By Cara L. Dempski

BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville school board heard a series of reports on the progress at each school and upcoming events for the district at its January meeting.

The board met for its first regular meeting of the calendar year on January 16. Building administrators Nick Kaiser and Steve Glocke provided reports on Tiffany Creek Elementary and the Middle/High School programs and activities.

Kaiser started the administrative reports with an explanation of the district’s Achievement Gap Reduction (“AGR”) program and end-of-semester summary. The program replaces the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (“SAGE”) program for measuring closure of achievement gaps.

The AGR program is designed to help kindergarten through third grade classes reach a target percentage for achievement in reading and mathematics. Curriculum specialist Marilyn Heifner and reading specialist Holly Sweeney work with staff and peer one-on-one coaches to assist students lagging behind their peers. 

So far this year, students are at 60 percent in reading achievement in kindergarten and first grade, 66 percent in second grade, and 75 percent in third grade. Kindergarten students are at 60 percent in math achievement, first and third grades are at 75 percent, and second grade students scored at 80 percent.

Kaiser also reported this week is National Crossing Guard Week. Tiffany Creek provided rolls and coffee to the Boyceville crossing guards in appreciation for the service they provide to district parents and students. He reminded the board the school’s next in-service date is January 20, and the January 23 Family Fun Night will focus on Health and Wellness.

Glocke opened his report by informing the board that this week is finals week in the middle and high school building. He stated the students were handling things well, but was concerned about the possibility of closing schools due to weather. The board discussed the possibility of extending the semester one day to make sure all testing was completed, but no decision was made during the meeting.

The middle and high school principal offered his congratulations to senior Max Engel for being the school’s nominee for the Herb Kohl Scholarship. Glocke said Engle’s nomination is the first to proceed for state consideration since Glocke started as an administrator in Boyceville.

The middle and high schools have several events approaching, including two Science Olympiad competitions, wrestling tournaments, and Dunn-St. Croix all-conference honors band and choir performances.

Bonnie Barker, the district director of special education, provided an update on the number of students currently served. She also informed the board she will be working on the Civil Rights Data Collection process to submit between February 8 and April 26. Barker will keep the board apprised of when the information has been submitted and when it will be available for viewing.

District superintendent Kevin Sipple reported the DARE program will be extended to seventh-grade as of February 1. He reminded everyone of the WASB state convention January 18-20, and encouraged those present to continue to advocate for good public education for the students of Wisconsin.

Sipple then led the board through the WASB resolutions, many of which were of particular interest to him due to Boyceville being a small, rural district. Resolutions regarding transportation aid, revenue limit adjustments, narrowing the disparities in allowable revenue under the revenue limits, Medicaid direct certification to qualify children for free or reduced-price meals, and mental health supports could have an impact on upcoming district budgets. Tim Sempf will serve as the district’s representative at the WASB convention and will vote on each resolution on the board’s behalf.

Finally, the board voted to approve the 2017 – 2018 open enrollment open space report. There will be no open seats in special education or grades one, two and four based on current enrollment projections. All other grades in the district have open seats ranging from eight seats in 12th grade to 27 seats in fifth grade.

In other open-session business, the board:

• Approved all board policy updates.

• Accepted the resignation of co-coach of the varsity dance team, Wendy Schultz Bird.

• Accepted the resignation of school maintenance worker John Travis.

The board then adjourned to closed session under Wisconsin Statute 19.85, which states a closed session can be held “for the purpose of discussion employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility, specifically to conduct evaluations of Administrators.”

No information regarding the session was available prior to the printing of this publication.