By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND — Last week, Elk Mound district administrator Eric Wright informed the Board of Education the Class of 2018 beat the state ACT average by 1.3 points.
The information was presented at the September 18 regular meeting, and indicated this year’s senior class averaged a score of 21.8 on the 2016 exam in the first year all students were required to take it. The state average was 20.5.
“I think the information is overall, pretty telling,” Wright said the next day. “We had an average of 21.8 in 2015, but that was only students taking the test voluntarily. The scores are a credit to everything we’re doing here.”
He said he was happy with how hard the staff, students and families in the district work to make Elk Mound schools a positive place to be.
One of the people working to make the district a great place is Title I instructor Jamie Labs, who was honored last Monday night for her contributions to the district.
“Jamie does anything she can for the kids,” Wright noted, saying the teacher can often be found riding student fan buses, organizing clubs and events, or taking tickets for extracurricular and sporting events at the schools.
The talk then turned to how things are going early in the school year. According to Wright’s report on the meeting, all three building principals have their students off to good starts. The superintendent also noted the districts has some more bodies in seats this year.
Elk Mound’s third-Friday student body count required annually by the Department of Public Instruction indicated there are 1,204 students occupying seats in the district this school year, an increase of eight students. Wright cautioned that does not mean the district will be aided for that many students, though, as not every student in the district meets the full-time equivalency (FTE) requirements.
For example, pre-school students are considered .6 FTE, which lowers the student totals according to the state, and impacts revenue limits for the budget.
The third-Friday count plays into the how much aid districts receive from the state each year. These two factors, coupled with the final property valuations for the district, are the factors used to determine the annual tax levy.
Wright reported there was a brief discussion during the meeting about the continued budget stalemate in the state legislature, and expressed his hope there will be a budget available soon for the governor to sign.
In other business, the board:
• Approved revising the policy on use of school vehicles to indicate no one is allowed to use social media while operating a school vehicle.
• Had a first reading of school policy regarding use of service animals on school grounds as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Federal and State law. The policy will be read a second time at the next meeting before a vote is held to adopt it.
• Approved the resignation of high school special education aide Heather Adams for personal reasons.
• Approved hiring Joanne Bentz as a kindergarten teacher, Jessica Kummer as an elementary full-time aide, and Vicki Mohr as the middle school “Battle of the Books” advisor.
• Confirmed the next two meetings will be held October 23 and November 20.
• Tentatively scheduled the CESA 10 district assessment team to present the assessment findings at the November 20 meeting.