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By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — It’s one of those “just in case” situations.
The Elk Mound Board of Education approved adjustments to the 2019-2020 school year calendar at the March 18 meeting to provide cushion in the event that next year has as many inclement weather days as there have been this year.
So far, Elk Mound has had eight days of school cancelled because of the weather.
Normally the school district has a four-day break in October, said Eric Wright, district administrator.
The break in October was changed to three days, and the fourth day was moved to the Monday after Easter, he said.
Next year, if there is no need for make-up days, the day after Easter will remain as a vacation day. But if make-up days are needed, school will be held on the day after Easter next year, Wright said.
February 3, 2020, is listed as an inservice day for staff, but if it is needed, the day can also be used as a make-up day, he said.
As for this year’s inclement weather days, 15 minutes have been added to the school day, and a day that was scheduled as an early-release day ended up being a full day of school, Wright said.
“We’re still okay on minutes,” he said, and as long as there are no more school days cancelled because of the weather, the last day of school will be June 4.
If, however, the district cancels one more day of school, the last day of school will be June 5. If two more days are cancelled, the last day will be June 6, Wright said.
The state changed the requirements for school from hours to minutes a while back, which makes it easier for school districts to adjust schedules if necessary.
In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Recognized Barb Zabel for her notable educational contribution. Zabel is a “super sub” for the district and has been a substitute teacher for 13 years in all areas. “She does a great job with students,” Wright said, adding Zabel even gets into the spirit of things by coming to school in costume on Halloween.
• Approved a list of summer school courses with two additions: STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) through UW-Eau Claire dealing with robots, coding and drones; and FFA leadership.
• Approved a resolution authorizing the defeasance of a portion of the Elk Mound Area School District’s $2.565 million general obligation refunding bonds. The school district will use $150,000 to pay off a portion of a callable loan next April. Once the school district spends the additional funds, the amount will be aided by the state at 50 percent so that the school district will receive an additional $75,000 in state aid. The interest rate on the bonds is so low that while the district will save some money on the interest, the interest saved will not amount to very much, Wright noted.
• Approved the review of a safety drill completed within all three schools as per Wisconsin Act 143. The school board must approve the safety drills within 30 days of their completion.
• Scheduled the next school board meeting for April 22. The next meeting would have normally been on April 15. April 22 is the last day a board member can be sworn in.
• Approved early graduation for two more students who met all of the graduation requirements by the end of the third quarter.
• Approved a three-year maintenance contract for the Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation system (HVAC) with the J.F. Ahern Company. The contract goes into effect July 1.
• Approved service contracts with CESA 10 and CESA 11. The school district dropped the energy management contract with CESA 10 and dropped one service for training of non-violent intervention. A staff member is certified in non-violent intervention and can train other staff members.
• Learned that Wright has met twice with CESA 10 representatives who are working on the evaluation of the costs for maintenance projects in the school district. Wright said he would bring the information to the Board of Education at the next meeting. At some point, the information also will be presented to residents in the school district.