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GLENWOOD CITY — The Glenwood City School District will soon have a new nurse.
The Board of Education approved the hiring of Elizabeth Schwartz as the district’s school nurse during its Monday, December 14 meeting. Schwartz replaces Jodi Main who recently resigned.
Nicole Brite, Director of Pupil Services and Special Education, who appeared via Zoom, told board members that Schwartz currently works at Western Wisconsin Health in Baldwin as an emergency room nurse. Brite also informed members that Schwartz has recently purchased land between Glenwood City and Wilson and will be building a house and moving into the school district this coming summer.
Superintendent Tim Johnson informed the board that the contract to hire Schwartz is hourly based and provides for up to 250 hours per year at a rate of $34 per hour. Johnson said it is the exact same contract that was offered to Main.
The board voted unanimously (6-0) to approve Schwartz’ hiring at the above stated rate. Board president Dr. Lisa Kaiser was absent from Monday’s meeting.
Also under the actions items portion of the evening’s agenda, the board gave its approval of an administrative proposal to revise the 2020-21 school calendar to include additional early release dates.
Prior to the approval, Brite told the board it was being proposed to make the second and fourth Fridays in January, February, March, April and May early release days to give teachers extra planning time during those months in the event the district needs to go virtual once again or continue to have a blended learning model with students both in school and at home.
“There were a few dates that were already either no school or early releases, so it didn’t have a huge impact on the calendar,” stated Brite.
Johnson told the board that the district tried to plan a calendar for this school year that was in advance enough that it didn’t put families in a dilemma. He said that it would be communicated out during the holiday break.
Brite also updated the board on a couple other agenda items.
First, she informed members that the district would be holding an intruder or active shooter drill the following day, December 15.
Brite said that the staff would be reviewing the district’s emergency ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) procedures during this time and would be going over a brief scenario with their classes. The drill is required by the Department of Public Instruction.
Brite also explained the grant monies that Hilltopper Hangtime has received from the Department of Children and Families. The program has received four different awards since this past summer totaling $19,940.
Elementary principal Betsy Haltinner gave a technology update. The district has secured 30 hot spots from Verizon and they are now in the building. 15 are programmed and ready with the remaining in the process of being programed according to Haltinner. Once completed Haltinner said they could be distributed to families that need to improve internet use in family homes. She said there is a plan in place to test them as the hot spots do depend on cellular service.
There will be a contract that families will need to agree to and sign before a hot spot can be checked out. The hot spots will be free of charge to families, but the district does have a list of those with the highest need. Once ready, parents will be able to contact the school district, who will then assess the needs of each request and distribute them to those that qualify.
Johnson did say that the district has paid for the service through this June and will re-evaluate the program at that time.
Superintendent Johnson updated the board on the preliminary state budget proposal. He said that the revenue that the State collected during the first quarter of this year was better than expected but tempered that good news with projections that the state budget will fall $1.5 billion short over the next two years.
“I think that is different depending on how you have updated any costs on education, Medicaid, or any COVID-related relief package,” said Johnson. “And so I am not expecting there to be a significant increase in state funding”
Johnson went on to say officials are projecting the second highest tax increase in the past ten years, second only to 2019. It is being projected that the increase may be around 3.5 percent to support schools.
“This is not meant to be doom and gloom,” added Johnson. “We will take it on as we need to, but I think it will be a year (2021) that we will be happy that we maybe have a capital improvement fund that we can utilize to some degree to help support things.”
The next board meeting will be January 11, 2021.
Candidate deadlines for filing for the upcoming spring election is January 5, 2021. Two seats currently held by Chuck Draxler and Nate Simmons are up for election. The deadline for incumbents to file notice of non-candidacy, is December 28, 2020.
During the consent agenda, the board approved:
• Hilltopper Hangtime student workers Noah Brite, Will Standaert, and Kinzie Strong.
• The resignations of Chuckie DeSmith as junior varsity and assistant football coach; Angela Williams as middle school track coach; and Beth Davis as middle school volleyball coach. The board also approved the postings for each opening.
• The acceptance of a grant from the St. Croix Economic Development Corporation. An anonymous donor had given $1,000 grants each to the Glenwood City and Baldwin-Woodville School Districts.