By Amber Hayden
BOYCEVILLE – The Boyceville Area Board of Education met last Wednesday evening, October 24, to vote and approve the 2018/19 school budget.
As of the October 24 meeting the budget had not fluctuated, stated Superintendent Kevin Sipple and then he went on further to explain each amount that would be in the budget.
Boyceville’s general fund budget is $9.1 million, the Special Education budget is $1.6 million, Non-Referendum debt is $46,477, Referendum approved debt is $991,500, food service $397,000 and the Community Service budget $86,000.
Sipple also recommended to set the levy for each fund, totaling in the amount of $2.8 million dollars and it breaks down into each fund as follows: $1.7 million dollars for the general fund, $46,477 for the Non-Referendum debt, $980,500 for the referendum debt and $60,000 for community services.
The 2018/19 mill rate has been set at $9.02 per $1,000 of property value, which is a decrease of 15.5 percent seen in recent years.
Middle school counselor, Cindy Bourget, presented the results from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) from last year and explaining that one student stood for two percent of the YRBS and that Boyceville had created its own platform for the survey to ask specific questions. She also asked the Board of Education to approve a third year of the survey to take place in December.
Bourget explained that two areas where the middle school and high school should focus is in personal safety (bullying, safety and physical harm) and mental health (suicide, self-esteem, anxiety and depression).
“The students have a high perception of bullying, more specifically electronic bullying,” stated Bourget.
During the presentation she explained that 69 percent of the high school girls’ population has been asked to send explicit pictures with 25 percent saying they had already done so. In light of this, Bourget would like to work with parents outside of school and train them in technology so they are aware of what is going on and how to monitor their kids.
Students are also reporting bullying, but it was noted that it is not meeting the threshold of bullying standards and is considered a conflict. Bourget and other staff members will be reaching out to students to explain the difference between bullying and conflict and how to respond to each as part of the action plan for personal safety.
In the case of mental health, Bourget presented to the board that the number of students who have considered or attempted suicide has increased since the first year of the YRBS. She expressed concern that in the middle school, the boys have attempted suicide whereas the girls are considering it and making plans but do not follow through. Also there has been a ten percent decrease in self-esteem especially with the female student body.
It is her belief that the media plays a big roll in what is influencing the students, especially social media.
“With access to social media they never turn it off, and even if they shut it off they still worry what’s going on while it is off,” explained Bourget.
To help combat this, Bourget said the action plan is to continue to refer students and parents to the outside counseling care, but noted it is almost full as parents have taken the opportunity to help their kids by using the service.
She also plans to continue resiliency groups, mainly with the girls, to continue to help with self-esteem issues as they arise.
“We want to take them out of that fight or flight response, so they are better able to not only take the academic information we are using but also the coping skills to deal with what is going on,” Bourget told the board.
The Boyceville Board of Education will meet again on November 14 at 6 p.m. in the middle/high school library.
In other business, Boyceville Board of Education:
• Approved the removal of Chemistry in the Community and replaced the class with Aviation Science.
• Approved the 2019 spring semester Early College Credit and Start College Now applications.
• Approved Nichole Salewski as a Special Education para professional.
• Accepted a $1,000 grant to the Science Olympiad.
• Accepted a $1,000 donation from Murray and Madonna Hostetter to the Science Olympiad program with a matching $1,000 contribution from Northwestern Mutual.
• Accepted a $1,000 donation from Murray and Madonna Hostetter to the student meals program with a matching $1,000 contribution from Northwestern Mutual.
• Approved the wrestling team’s overnight trips to Wisconsin Dells and Merrill.