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By Amber Hayden
BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Board of Education met on Wednesday, September 11, and were given updates on how things have gone through the first week of school for both Tiffany Creek Elementary and the Middle/High school.
Angela Hellmann and Bryor Hellmann sat in on the meeting as well and gave a quick presentation as they were representing the teacher’s union.
Angela Hellmann explained that during Pickle Fest teachers passed out close to 200 books to children as well as freezies to keep them cool during the weekend. The books were from Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC).
Hellmann also stated that the school would be looking at adopting a highway for clean-up between 170 and the ethanol plant.
Bryor Hellmann also let the board know about the 45 books that had been given to his fourth-grade classroom as part of a grant.
“WEAC called me and asked if I needed anything,” Bryor said. “I said I could use some picture books, those are the types of grants I like writing.”
Hellmann’s fourth-grade students had the president of WEAC, Ron Martin, visit them on Wednesday afternoon, September 11, and were enthralled with a story from his Native American background.
New staff member Hannah Downer-Carlson and long-term substitute Clarice Essex also joined the meeting and introduced themselves to the board.
Downer-Carlson is familiar with the Boyceville area as she did her student teaching with the district, “When I saw the position open here I was excited to apply, when I did my student teaching here I fell in love with the school.” She also substitute taught at Tiffany Creek as well.
Clarice Essex will be joining the staff as a long-term substitute as an elementary counselor, she is filling in for Jacinda Fischer who is out on maternity leave.
Essex is familiar with the Boyceville area as well as she was a K-6 counselor intern for TCE in 1994-95, Essex recently retired from Galena, AK where she was a K-12 school counselor and a site based testing coordinator and administrator SAT coordinator.
Classes are well underway in the elementary and middle/high school, according to principals Andy Hoeppner and Tyler Moy.
Tiffany Creek has begun their STAR testing, a program through Renaissance Learning, that will be a step in letting teachers know how to best serve their students.
The STAR assessments are often used to screen students for their reading and math achievement levels, and can be used to monitor student growth throughout the year.
This allows teachers to estimate the students’ understanding of state standards and predict how their performance ranks on the state test.
Tiffany Creek students are assessed through STAR four times a year and after the second or third assessment teachers have a better understanding of each student’s trend lines, according to Reading Specialist Holly Sweeney.
Hoeppner reiterated his thoughts on the staff at TCE, “The willingness of the staff to jump in and help when someone has a problem is phenomenal.”
The half circle in front of the doors for the middle school has had several close calls as parents and bus drivers have come close to colliding many times, which has led to a new locking system on Door 3 of the middle school.
“It is a new electronic lock,” said principal Moy. “This will allow us to have middle school students dropped off curbside and they can enter near their lockers through door 3.”
High school students can still be dropped off in front of doors 18 and 20.
Homecoming week has arrived for the Boyceville Bulldogs with the parade being held on Friday, September 20, at 1:30 p.m., after which the football game between the Bulldogs and the Vikings of Colfax will take place at 7 p.m., and the dance will be after the game from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The Special Education Department, with Bonnie Barker at the helm, has begun their self-assessment year and have already broken up into six teams to make the assessment run smoothly which will then be reported to Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI).
Barker knows there will be a few areas that will have to be cleaned up on each students Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), but she feels it will be minor fixes.
“Our main goals are to make sure we are being accountable,” Barker stated. “Basically, is each student that has an IEP where they can have a test read to them receiving that accommodation.”
Barker also relayed data in relation to Suicide Awareness Month (September) and told the board that in a survey done in 2014 the suicide rate was at 724 per year with the Northern and Western areas having the highest rates.
“In a year, the suicides break down to four out of five being males, and one of five being vets,” Barker shared.
Anyone who knows someone that is showing signs of hopelessness, no reason to live, showing rage, withdrawing, and other signs is urged to contact the Suicide Lifeline number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact Northwest Connections Crisis at 1-888-552-6642.
The Boyceville School District has received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Dunn County and will be recognized at the “Evening of Gratitude” on Thursday, September 26, at the Cottage Vineyard and Winery in Menomonie.
“It would be good for us to have a couple people represent us at the event,” said superintendent Nick Kaiser.
Kaiser also noted that Johnson Motors held a supply raising event in which Boyceville was the recipient of quite a few backpacks to kids that were in need.
Also during the meeting the Board of Education accepted the resignation of Kevin Bygd who has been the softball assistant coach, but due to his new work position and other commitments Bygd feels he can’t give the team his full attention as an assistant coach. However, he does hope to volunteer during the softball season when he has free time to do so.
Kacey Lane will take over for Bygd, Lane is a former head and assistant coach from Pepin-Alma and was a volunteer during the 2019 season as well as coached the 14 and under team during the summer.
During the meeting the Board of Education:
• Approved Kacey Lane as C-Team Volleyball Coach.
• Approved Jennifer Link as a part-time elementary paraprofessional.
• Approved Overnight/Out-of-State field trips.