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BOYCEVILLE — Brevity was the order of business when the Boyceville Board of Education met for its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, June 17 in the Tiffany Creek Elementary IMC.
With proper social distancing guidelines being observed, the board breezed through its open-session agenda in just 30 minutes, but in that time, heard several administrative reports and approved over a half dozen items including the district’s 2020-21 preliminary budget.
District superintendent Nick Kaiser presented an abbreviated Fund 10 estimated budget to the board for the upcoming school year. The one-page balance sheet listed total revenues of $9,230,068 with estimated unencumbered revenues of $298,995 being balanced out by expenditures of $9,529,063 for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Kaiser qualified the figures by informing board members that this budget was “very preliminary”.
“It will change,” Kaiser stated. “(It’s) All speculation at this time.”
District financial accountant, Sharon Formoe, then explained that the approval of the preliminary budget was necessary so that the ordering of materials for the new school year could begin.
With the exception of board president, Tim Sempf, who was absent from the meeting due to an illness, the preliminary fund 10 budget was approved by the other four board members (vice president Jeremy Mittlestadt, who conducted the meeting in Sempf’s absence, Peter Score, Erik Evenson and Steve Olson).
Kaiser also informed members that the district would be receiving funds from the CARES Act that was approved this past spring to help districts with COVID-19 issues. Kaiser said the district is slated to receive $97,723 (although this too could change) through the act and that the administration is currently assembling a list of need based on information for starting school in this fall.
In a COVID-19 related item, Kaiser said that the district has started a committee that will be working to get ready for the coming school year. Once guidance is provided by the Department of Public Instruction, that committee will begin the process of creating a plan for students, staff and parents.
In his final report to the board, outgoing Tiffany Creek Elementary principal Andy Hoeppner, who has accepted the New Richmond Elementary principalship, gave an update on the Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) end of the semester summary and other end-of-the-year items.
Hoeppner reported that the final numbers for this year’s AGR, which scores students’ performance objectives in readings and math from kindergarten through third grade, were very close to those given in February due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He informed the board that textbooks, Chrome Books and materials that were used during distance learning had been collected June 8 with just 18 Chrome Books still outstanding. Hoeppner said that during this collection summer packets with materials to help prepare students for the next school year were also handed out to those that opted to receive the packets.
Hoeppner also told members that students with perfect attendance received a certificate and that gift cards were distributed to those students that had reached the 100-mile mark in the Wellness Walk and had achieved the Principal’s Award for straight A’s in all their core classes during the second trimester.
Bonnie Barker, the district’s Director of Special Education and school psychologist, presented a report that summarized the final count of students that received special education services in the 2019-20 school year.
Barker stated that 134 students or 18.8 percent of the district’s total student population of 710 had received some form of special educational services throughout the recently completed school year. The previous year, 135 students had accessed those services.
Breaking down this year’s numbers by school, Barker stated 15.4 percent of TCE students; 20.5 percent of the middle school students and 24.5 percent of high school students received special education services.
Board member Jeremey Mittlestadt asked Barker how Boyceville compares to other districts.
“We are high,” stated Barker. “We have always been high.”
She noted that the state average for special education services per district is between 12 to 15 percent.
Tyler Moy, high school/middle school principal, told the board that the private graduation ceremonies that the district hosted on June 5 and 6 for the Class of 2020 graduates went very well and that he had heard some good things from parents regarding the experience.
Moy said that a large-group graduation ceremony on the high school football field for some time in July or August is also being studied. He said that a survey to the parents and graduates was going to be emailed later in the week to gage interest for such an event.
As for end-of-the-year assessments and grading, Moy said the final day for the middle school was June 5th and that late work would not be accepted but that students that did not complete the work were being encouraged to make progress on the assignments. He said, however, that high school students will have until the end of June to improve their grade to receive a passing score for the second semester.
Moy also said that the middle school and high school are planning for an optional summer school in August.
Finally, Moy informed the board that the administration and staff are beginning to address the, “What is next year going to look like” question. He said that a building-level team has been established to help with all of the considerations and decisions that will need to be made so the forthcoming school year can start on the “right foot”.
In other action, the Boyceville Board of Education approved:
•The recommendation to hire Mollie Perrenoud as the new full-time high school/middle school Spanish teacher. Perrenoud, who previously taught in the South Saint Paul, MN School District for the past seven years, will replace Katelyn Johnson, who recently resigned.
•Budget revisions from January to June 10 of this year. The revisions cover negative balances in the property/liability insurance lines under Fund 10 due to increases in premiums for property and workman’s compensation; a negative balance in Fund 80 due to purchases; and to cover purchases due to student needs and an increase in revenue in the amount of carryover that was not initially budgeted under Fund 27.
•The 2020-21 Open Enrollment applications. Boyceville has seven students enrolling into the district which includes five from Menomonie and two from Colfax while 21 are enrolling out of the district to other area schools including nine to Menomonie, six to Glenwood City and three to Colfax.
“We have more going out, than coming in,” said Kaiser, who told board members that was consistent with the trend over recent years.
•A hike in the 2020-21 food service meal plans. Kaiser noted that the district had not had an increase since the 2017-18 school year.
“With the continued increase in food costs and to continue to be in compliance with the USDA average meal price requirement, we need to take the step to increase our lunch prices,” Kaiser stated in a report to the board. All lunch prices will increase 10¢ per meal. New meal pricing will be as follows: $2.55 for 4K through fourth grade, $2.65 for fifth and sixth grade and $2.85 for seventh through 12th grade.
•The 2020-21 senior high membership renewal in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.