Elk Mound school board approves enrollment space openings for 2017 – 2018 academic year

By Cara L. Dempski

ELK MOUND — The Elk Mound school board heard projected numbers for open enrollment spaces at each district building during its January 2017 regular meeting.

The board approved the enrollment space openings for the 2017-2018 school year during its January 16 meeting. District superintendent Eric Wright said the third-, fourth- and sixth-grade classes will be able to accept up to 10 students through open enrollment, but the board was worried that any more would exhaust the available space in the middle school building. 

There are 117 students currently in the fifth grade and 382 students total in the middle school. The district board and administrators capped the enrollment numbers in the selected grades to keep the building enrollment in line with space available in the current facilities.

Wright also explained there are six openings in the middle school’s special education programs, but there is no space available in the elementary or high school. There are also zero spaces for occupational or physical therapy, deaf and hard-of-hearing, audiology, interpreters, or vision for the next school year. There are no speech openings at Mound View, but three openings are available at the middle and high school levels.

Elk Mound’s school board also approved changes to high school course fees for the next academic year. 

“Most of the fees are for things like woodworking classes, where the materials are consumable goods used on an end product,” Wright explained. “But we did add a new entrepreneurial class where four teachers will collaborate with students to put together a business plan for consumable goods and run a small business.”

There are also fees for some science courses and art classes to procure items for laboratory work or materials for sculptures, jewelry or painting. The highest fees are associated with the advanced-placement courses in Calculus and English.

Each building principal reported on the progress toward student achievement. The MAP common core state standards exams will be given starting next week and serve as the start of a testing period lasting from late January until late May or early June.

Finally, the school board scheduled an initial meeting for the strategic planning model discussed during the December regular meeting. The first informational meeting will be held January 26 at 5 p.m. District residents are encouraged to come to learn about the process and start making tentative plans for scheduling meetings. Wright explained the initial meeting will be one or two hours in length.

In other business, the board: 

• Discussed the resolutions being presented at the WASB conference in Milwaukee January 18 – 20.

• Scheduled upcoming meetings and workshops.

• Learned current state superintendent Tony Evers will be challenged by John Humphries, the former superintendent of Dodgeville schools, and former Beloit superintendent Lowell Holtz in the spring election.

The school board then adjourned to closed session.

In closed session, the board approved the resignation of high school Spanish teacher Sarah Hoover. The instructor cited personal reasons for leaving her position, and said she would have liked to keep working for the Elk Mound school district if she was able. 

The district superintendent said high school principal Paul Weber had already secured a long-term substitute teacher for the remainder of the school year. The instructor will start as soon as she is finished student teaching.

Wright’s first administrator evaluation was also completed during the closed session. He said later that he learned a great deal from the board members.

“It was a great process,” Wright stated. “As a first year superintendent, I have a lot to learn and it is good to hear feedback.”