By Amber Hayden
GLENWOOD CITY – Electors in the Glenwood City school district approved a tax levy of $2,317,683 for the 2018-19 school year at the annual meeting August 20.
Superintendent Tim Johnson presented the proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year of $8,983,603.
The tax levy that the members would approve was for $2,317,683 for the 2018-19 school year and would support the following items: General operations, debt service and community education. The projected tax levy is expected to decrease by $148,810.
The mill rate is projected to be 9.72 and represents a decrease of 10 cents over last year’s mill rate, which would translate into a decrease in property taxes of $10 per $100,000 property value.
The equalized value increased in 2017 to $251,172,944 which was an increase from the 2016 year which was $238,326,252.
The approval vote was unanimously in favor of the projected budget.
Principal Betsy Haltinner reported on accomplishments from the past school year and goals for the new school year.
Haltinner was pleased with the PLAN TEACH REFLECT process she and her staff started at the beginning of the 2017-18 year.
“I increased my frequency into the classrooms to observe the teachers,” she commented.
PLAN TEACH REFLECT has allowed the principal to keep an open dialogue with staff through face-to-face interaction.
The elementary school also conducted a Social Studies audit to identify the needs for new resources, as well as securing STEM/Applied learning resources.
During the upcoming school year, Haltinner has goals to visit three classrooms per day to continue the PLAN TEACH REFLECT process, allowing her and the staff to focus on advancing student learning.
Middle school/High school goals
Middle School/High School principal, Patrick Gretzlock informed the board that, last school year the high school started AP Language and Composition, with 15 students enrolled.
“I’m happy to say that out of the kids we had, about 50 percent passed the exam at the end of the semester,” he commented.
The school is also pleased with the youth apprenticeship program, Gretzlock assured the board members it was intended to help students wherever they may be working and not just for Votech students.
Other successful implementations for the school have been their middle school recognition for things such as perfect attendance and the professional development/ book study with the staff.
Expanding the curriculum by adding in two new classes for seniors and juniors has been positive for the high school.
The new courses are Introduction to Psychology and Criminal Minds. Introduction to Psychology class will have approximately 43 students and Criminal Minds will have about 14 students, Gretzlock noted.
Expansion of the dual credit offerings will now include Tech Ed and Agricultural Ed through the Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire.
One aspect they will look at is to implement a fifth quarter after the various games that take place at the school. The fifth quarter is for students to get together to play games, have snacks or watch movies after the games.
“It’s so the kids can do things at the school after the games, it will help increase the school spirit in the students,” explained Gretzlock.
The 2017-18 school year saw accomplishments for the special education teaching staff as well according to Nicole Brite.
Co-Teaching was successful for the middle school and high school duos. The teachers worked together instead of seeing each other as separate identities in the classrooms.
Brite explained to the board she and the Special Education staff had taken to holding their own monthly meetings outside of the regular ones they attended throughout the year to “stay on the same page” .
For the upcoming school year, the nine special ed staff members will be collaborating on how to improve the IEPs through a procedural self-assessment and using EduClimber to compare data for a statewide assessment.
Brite’s other goal is to bring awareness for mental health through book studies and using outside agencies to help students learn how to cope with traumatic life issues.
The Board of Education meets next on September 10 for their first meeting of the 2018-19 school year.