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Boyceville Board of Education updated on achievement gap reduction

By Cara L. Dempski

BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Community School District received news on how kindergarten through third-grade students are faring in terms of closing achievement gaps.

Tiffany Creek Elementary principal Nick Kaiser explained teachers and curriculum specialist Marilyn Heifner and reading specialist Holly Sweeney have used some combined strategies to assist students in all four grades in meeting reading and math objectives.

Students in kindergarten, first grade and third grade use an 18:1 teaching strategy indicating one teacher works with 18 students to increase proficiency in each area. Second-grade students are using both the 18:1 ratio and coaching due to class sizes in excess of 18 students.

The third strategy involves one-on-one instruction, which is used as necessary.

There is an average of 67.5 percent of students in all four grades on target to meet reading objectives by the end of the year, and 73 percent on track to meet math objectives. That breaks down to 70 percent and 73 respectively for kindergarten, 60 percent in both for first grade, 72 percent and 71 percent for second grade, and 68 percent and 88 percent in third grade.

Kaiser said he is overall impressed by the scores.

Other business

The Tiffany Creek principal also informed the board next week is “Reading Week” at his school, and there will be several events for students to participate in surrounding reading.

Middle and high school principal Steve Glocke was not present at the meeting, but his written report indicated the top 10 percent of the Class of 2018 has been identified, and the Academic Excellence Scholarship will go to senior Hayley Bird.

Bird and classmate Kylie Krueger both have 4.0 grade-point averages, which means Glocke had to use the tie-break criteria of who had the higher ACT composite. The top 10 percent of this year’s graduating class includes Bird, Krueger, Alexis Meixner, Haley Wold, Nicole Drinkman and Jason Swanepoel.

Glocke’s written report also indicated this year’s Technical Excellence Higher Education Scholarship would likely go to Nicholas Martin, who has taken 4.5 credits in agriculture, 1.0 in family consumer science, 2.0 in technology education, and is an active participant and leader in FFA.

The board approved both students as recipients of the scholarships.

Discussion of the Tiffany Creek Stream Bank Restoration Committee yielded approval of a committee consisting of board members Eric Evenson and Jeremy Mittlestadt, district staff Brent Klefstad and Jenna Willi, and village president Gib Krueger, and DNR representatives Nate Anderson, Kasey Seibert, Dave Frank, and Rob Strand or Kyle Koopman.

Superintendent Kevin Sipple reported the Pepin/Alma school district(s) have applied to be moved from the Dunn-St. Croix conference to the Dairyland conference, a change that will be in effect starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

He also indicated there has been discussion lately regarding larger districts like Elk Mound being moved to other conferences out of concern for size differential between such a district and the smaller schools in the conference.

In other business, the board:

• Approved revisions to the 2017-2018 budget, including a drop of $1,129 in Title I line item for Fund 10, a $1,679 decrease in regular curriculum under Fund 10, and a $14,436 decrease in Special Education funding.

• Accepted the resignation and retirement of Connie Becker as a business education teacher and Mary Kegen as a special education paraprofessional.

• Approved the hiring of Lisa Tireman as a special education paraprofessional.

• Accepted a $849 grant from Ann Marie for the purchase of a Yamaha electric piano and cart, and a $1,323 grant from the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants for an accounting career awareness field trip.