By Cara L. Dempski
BOYCEVILLE — A representative from Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP told the Boyceville Board of Education Monday night the district’s finances look good.
Kim Shult, location leader for Baker Tilly’s Eau Claire office, and partner in the firm, explained the results of the 2016-2017 district audit during the board’s January 15 regular meeting. She indicated the audit went smoothly, before getting into the basic numbers for the district.
According to a handout provided to the board by Shult, Boyceville had an assigned fund balance of approximately $149,000 and an unassigned balance of roughly $2.8 million at the end of the budget year in June 2017. She explained the assigned funds were set aside for certain projects, while the unassigned funds were what the district generally uses for operational expenses.
In addition, Shult said the district picked up around $8.7 million in revenue, which was a little over $75,000 in excess of the projected budget for last year. She also said the district has about $2.6 million in cash.
With the district’s debt service fund declining to just about $419,000 over the course of the school year, Shult said she felt confident in the district’s budget and resources.
“It really seems everything is going in the right direction,” she finished.
In addition to hearing the audit report, the board also heard from administrators regarding successes, upcoming events, and items to be aware of.
Elementary principal Nick Kaiser informed the board January 22 through 26 is National Crossing Guard Week, and Tiffany Creek will be celebrating and showing their gratitude to crossing guards January 26 by providing muffins, coffee and juice to those who help get students to school safely.
Steve Glocke, the middle and high school principal, apprised board members of a change for students enrolled in public school who desire to take college-level courses. Glocke said as of June 30, 2018, the state’s Youth Options program will be discontinued in favor of the Early College Credit Program.
The ECCP will allow students in grades 9-12 to take college courses at a UW-system institution, tribal college, or a private, non-profit institution of higher learning located in the state. The program allows students to take up to 18 credits, but does not apply to students seeking credits through a technical college.
Glocke explained there will be a separate program, called Course Options, available for students wishing to take courses at technical schools.
Special Education Director Bonnie Barker informed the board of a proposed law called the Respond, Innovate, Succeed and Empower – or RISE – Act of 2017.
The act would assist students in the transition between high school and college by providing resources on accommodations, streamline the processes to qualify for disability services, require colleges to accept a variety of forms of documentation of a disability, fund a resource center for information about services and supports available to students, and provide funding for college faculty and staff training and support in addressing the needs of students with disabilities.
Superintendent Kevin Sipple said the district is accepting applications for the middle/high school principal vacancy until February 9, and will be holding initial interviews the week of February 12. The person hired for the position will start July 1, 2018.
Sipple also explained the board has signed an agreement with the Department of Natural Resources for the Tiffany Creek Stream Bank Restoration Project. He said the agreement is for the DNR to assist the district in cleaning up the creek banks to remove invasive plants and then laying down “shot” rock (river rock) on the banks to control erosion.
The plan will have the DNR coordinating with a forester to help clean up the banks and potentially remove some of the trees in the park area for safety reasons. In turn, the district will supply approximately 4,000 tons of rock for the project.
Board members Jeremy Mittlestadt and Eric Evenson agreed to be part of a committee involving community members, and led by the board, to direct the project.
In other business during the open meeting, the board:
• Approved increases in pay for long-term substitute teachers to $100 for a full day, and $55 for a half day for a period of one to 10 days, and $183.24 for a full day and $91.62 for a half day for terms exceeding 10 days in length.
• Approved second-semester out-of-state and overnight trips for the district.
• Agreed to the second reading of board policy updates under consideration.
• Approved the 2018-2019 open enrollment space availability.
• Accepted a $1,000 donation from Steven and Diane Josephson. The funds will be used to assist students who may not always be able to afford events or items for school.
The board then moved to closed session to conduct administrator evaluations. Sipple later reported the board did reopen the session and moved to provide a three-percent raise to both Barker and Kaiser. The motion was approved.