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By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — The School District of Elk Mound is planning to hold focus group meetings in early September to find out what district residents would — or would not — support regarding facilities projects.
Eric Wright, school district administrator, told the Elk Mound Board of Education at the July 15 meeting that he would be sending out a special mailing about the focus groups in the middle of August.
The focus group meetings will be held two or three evenings and will be open to anyone who would like to attend, he said.
The purpose of the focus group meetings is to gather ideas from district residents, to give district residents an opportunity to tour the school facilities, and to receive feedback from district residents, he said.
The school district also is planning to send out a survey in October, and then the results of the survey and the information from the focus groups will be presented to the Board of Education, Wright said.
The purpose of the focus groups and the surveys is to determine what district residents “would like us to do” and to provide a direction for the school district, he said.
Whether the process leads to a referendum is not important. What is most important is for school district residents to figure out what they want or do not want, Wright said.
Paul Kling, Elk Mound High School principal, reported to the Board of Education on the district’s Early College Credit Program, Start College Now, distance learning, advanced placement and online courses.
Early College Credit and Start College now replace the Youth Options program.
For ECCP, in which students actually go to a four-year university for classes, four Elk Mound students took three courses.
For Start College Now at Chippewa Valley Technical College, 60 students took 21 courses, although one of those students completed the class at Elk Mound High School.
In the distance learning program at Elk Mound High School School, there were 41 students and four classes.
For the Advanced Placement classes at Elk Mound High School, there were 14 students and two classes.
The online courses at Elk Mound High School had 175 students and 131 classes.
All together, there were 294 students and 161 courses.
The school district is in the process of looking at more options for students, Wright said.
The benefit of Early College Credit and Start College Now is that students can enter a university or a technical college with credits they have already earned, which saves them time and money, he said.
In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Confirmed that the school district’s annual meeting will be held on August 26 at 8 p.m. in the district board room. The regular school board meeting that night will start at 6:45 p.m. and will adjourn at 8 p.m. for the annual meeting. The regular school board meeting will reconvene after the annual meeting if necessary.
• Approved fees and charges for the 2019-2020 school year. Season passes and athletic fees will remain the same as will lunch program charges for meals and milk.
• Approved paying $50 for the driver education fee. Currently students pay $340, but with the approval of the $50, students will pay $290 for the driver education class, and the school district will pay $50.
• Approved the annual declaration and parent notice of the district’s student academic standards for the 2019-2020 school year, pursuant to second 120.12(13) and section 113.30(1g)(a)1 of the state statutes.
• Approved the 2019-2020 extracurricular, building level procedural booklets and teacher and student handbooks.
• Approved the Elk Mound Crisis Intervention Plan. The plans only have to be reviewed and approved every three years, but Elk Mound reviews and approves the plan every year, Wright noted.
• Approved adding a guidance counselor position for the 2019-2020 school year. Adding another guidance counselor will help the school district be pro-active for students rather than reactive, Wright said. The position was posted as of the Tuesday after the school board meeting.
• Revised Policy 830 Public Use of School Facilities to add the word “temporary.” Without specifying temporary, the policy implies a lease, Wright said.
• Approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Prevea Health for occupational therapy and physical therapy services for the 2019-2020 school year. The cost is the same as last year.
• Accepted the resignation of Eric Young, Elk Mound High School science teacher.
During a closed session, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Approved hiring Todd Steinhorst as a bus driver for a regular route.
• Approved the Teacher Compensation Guide for the 2019-2020 school year.
• Approved hiring Darcy Hover as a para-professional.
• Took no action on hiring an additional para-professional.