GC School District considers expanding daycare options

By Scott Wild

GLENWOOD CITY – Full day childcare for up to a possible 25 children is being explored by the Glenwood City School District it was learned during the April 23 meeting of the school board.

Nicole Brite, the district’s Director of Athletics, Pupil Services and Special Education and Beth Davis, Hilltopper Hangtime coordinator, met in early April with the state to talk about expanding the Hilltopper Hangtime Childcare to offering full day care for birth to school age children.

Hilltopper Hangtime currently offers before and after school daycare for school-age children.

[emember_protected] Being considered is a birth to 2-year old child care room, and 2-year old to school-age room. Licensing options are also being explored.  Chuck Draxler, Board Member, said “Next we ask the community if this is something they would like us to offer.” 

Citizens can take a survey or contact a school board member with their opinion. 

The board approved many staffing decisions at the meeting.

During the consent agenda, the board approved the following hires: Christal Wakeling – Elementary Teacher, Sarah Ruschmeier – Elementary Teacher, Nicole Lagman – Reading Specialist/Title 1 Teacher, Emily Minor -Middle School Teacher, Colette Murphy – Speech/Language Pathologist and Jeff Banks – Information & Technology Specialist. The board also approved Rebecca Peterson, Rodney Cassellius and Rachel Mintz as student summer custodians, and Diana Sanders as summer painter. 

The board accepted the resignation of teacher and coach Pete Gaustad, and custodian Parker Gaustad, as well as the sports staffing approvals of Matt Schutz as interim head softball coach, and Jake Score as next year’s athletic director.

Tryn Gross has resigned from the School Board, and there will be a public posting of notice that should fill the role by the end of June. Gross, who was first elected in the Spring of 2016, had just finished the second year of her three-year term.

Superintendent Tim Johnson reminded the board, “This is an elected position. It’s an appointed position.” That means the board will vote on interested parties to join until the next election cycle.

The board also held its election of officers and voted in Dr. Lisa Kaiser as President for another term, Jon Mrdutt as Vice President, John Logghe as Treasurer, and Lori Klinger as Clerk. 

Good news for fans! Spring sports are finally on.

“The weather is finally nice enough to play,” said Nicole Brite. “Menomonie allowed us to use their indoor track, and tonight we held the running events outside,” she continued.  

Baseball and softball will officially open conference play on Friday, April 27th. “Let’s hope it only rains on Wednesdays and Saturdays!” Brite joked. 

Middle School and High School Principal Patrick Gretzlock presented the pros and cons about Glenwood City being an official charter school with a Transitional Skills Center (TSC).  

“There are only 7 students in the program. Brenda Johnson, our Art Teacher, has earned her Alt Ed Instruction licensing, and leads this school.” “Technically, the state looks at us as having 4 schools,” commented Superintendent Johnson. 

The program is capped at 10 students. The biggest debate is whether or not to disband the charter school.  The purpose of the Transitional Skills Center is prevent dropping out or coming back for a fifth year of high school.  

But is it actually working? Chronic truancy is the biggest issue (defined as missing one out of every ten school days).  There is a stigma about the GED, which could be a good alternative. Remedial instruction, especially in English and Math, are the most common parts of the program.  

It is difficult to know which programs help the most students.  Gretzlock concluded that even if Glenwood City Schools did drop their Charter status, “It would not change staffing.”

In other board news:

• There was a $900 Grant for a Mobile Hydroponic Garden.

• There was a $250 Grant for Music Theory Textbooks, and news that for a 2nd year Glenwood City has been rated best for Music Education.

• 70 students have signed up for summer school, with the final estimate being near 100.

• Newly elected board members Lisa Logghe and Chuck Draxler attended the WASB New School Board Orientation. The pair also took their oaths of office during the meeting. [/emember_protected]