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BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Community School Board approved the hiring of an engineering consulting firm during its November 15 regular meeting held in the high school/middle school Instructional Materials Center.
The board unanimously approved the recommendation of superintendent Nick Kaiser to hire Auth Consulting of Menomonie for a cost of $7,000. The district also interviewed Salas O’Brien, which has several offices nationwide including Bloomington, MN and Madison, WI, and presented an estimate of $7,500.
Kaiser told board members that he and Derrick Retz, Director of Building and Grounds, had met with a CESA 10 representative and both firms and conducted walk-throughs of the buildings which were followed by a question and answer session with each consulting firms.
Kaiser noted that both firms did have some previous experience with the district but stated that Auth “has done recent projects that were very similar to what we (Boyceville School District) are looking at for our facilities upgrades”.
Boyceville completed a facilities study this past spring and are starting to work to prioritize the needs for a referendum in April of 2024. Kaiser said that next step in that process was to hire an engineering firm to help with the scope of the work and identify costs. The focus will be on HVAC updates, boiler replacement, roof fixes, equipment replacement, efficiency and security upgrades.
This month’s administrative reports included an update by high school/middle school principal Patrick Gretzlock on COMPASS, the schools’ intervention program that is held at the end of each school day and offers students an opportunity to remediate their grades and catch up on missing assignments and projects.
The program has also been tracking the number of failed classes and failing students since the school year began. Gretzlock said that the final first quarter grades revealed that 29 students in the high school were failing 58 courses for an average of two failed courses per student while 44 middle school students were failing 107 course for a 2.43 average per failing student.
Those rates have held fairly steady throughout the first grading period which is a concern for Gretzlock.
“Internally, I look at that and think we really haven’t had the impact that intervention period is intended to have,” said Gretzlock. “The point of the intervention is to get a downhill trend.”
“The whole purpose of our COMPASS period is to minimize the volume of failing students and in turn the volume of failing grades, period,” continued Gretzlock.
“The disheartening piece is that value is not playing out with the students that it really needs to impact,” he added.
“We are going to continue to look at what is it that we are doing. This isn’t what I have been used to, this isn’t the trajectory that I have seen so I have to figure out what is it that tells us here’s where we need to be better,” concluded Gretzlock.
In other business, the board approved a pair of out-of-state trips. The first was for the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams to travel to the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN on Saturday, December 29 to play both Webster teams. The other was for the Spanish Club’s trip to Costa Rica which is currently slated for June 11-19, 2025.
The board also accepted a trio of grants at the meeting including another pair of $500 matching mini-grants from the Jackie Hunt Insurance Agency. One of the $500 mini-grants was awarded to teacher Russ Rienbrandt for the purchase of human skeleton and the other went to instrumental music teacher Joshua Hopper for the purchase of Orff instruments (barred percussion instruments that include xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiel, and contrabass bars). A $312 donation from the Menomonie Lions Club for the district’s Food Service Angel Fund was also approved.
Following the end of the regular meeting, the board convened into closed session but no action was reported.