RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Regular Meeting
High School Study Hall
7:30 p.m.

Board:  Anderson, Nelson, Pitts, Pronold, Taylor, Caraway, Roske, Limmex, Peach (left at 9:55 p.m.)
Absent: N/A
Admin:  Benson, Hoffman, Hayek, Briehl, Richardson, Kaukl (arrived at 7:50 p.m.)
Others:  Kathy Rossing, Jim Hegland, Bev Smigielski, Sally Leong, Jason Hollenberger,
Jamie Licht, Carla Carmody, Don Kin, Jeanene King, Jill Haas, Dan Kettner, Linda Kettner, Barb Ferguson, Cyndie Mark, Nikki Henkel, Wolfgang Iausly, Jamie Haas, Mary Lou McDonald, Jackie Passant, Jan Swenson, Dean Swenson, Barbara Pratt, Joannie Harrington, Warren Hoyer, Amy Peterson, Fred Marli, Julie Marli, Michelle Weiss, Phil Manske, Cindi Manske, Pam Brander, Bridget Roberts, Sue Sadler, Lisa Scofield, Andrea Jennings, Joe Jennings, Shari Graffunder, Laura Waldsmith, Paul Swenson, Judy Swenson, Todd Miller, Dee Swenson, Jim Griffith, Mike Miller, Ron Troxel, Sheila Pulvermacher, Kim Ewers, Monica Reeve, Jean Alt, Dawn Goers, Lori Baryenbruch, Michael Langer, Ralph Ruhland, David Giffey (Home News), Paula Wedige (Administrative Assistant)

Anderson opened the meeting.  He noted that the meeting had been properly noticed and notice had been provided to the appropriate media and each School Board Member.  Pitts moved to proceed with the legal meeting.  Roske seconded.  Motion carried.

There was a moment of silence for the four high school students who were killed in a recent car accident-- Danny Tate, senior; Justin Wolf, senior; Jason Whittman, junior; and Josh Ashworth, former graduate.

Anderson noted that there would be a time limit of 2 minutes per person for public comments on any of the agenda items and requested that comments be relevant to the current agenda item being discussed.

Board Training Opportunities
Nelson noted that a workshop pertaining to support staff bargaining will be held in Pewaukee on February 11.  Another workshop regarding effective bargaining principles is scheduled for February 18 in Madison and March 4 in Wausau.  WASB gatherings for new board members are scheduled for April.

Legislative Update
Taylor noted that the Joint Finance Committee recommended a property tax freeze, which the Governor said he would veto.  Taylor stated that on March 16, key officials will speak at the capitol about how the next state budget may affect school districts.  Benson stated that Schultz and Freese have been invited to the last two Board meetings at River Valley but have been unable to attend.  They have extended an invitation to the Board to meet at the capitol, however, on March 1.

Student Council Report
No student council representatives were present.  Recognition was given to Ashley Keiler who is a National Merit Finalist and to Megan Emery and Justin Haas for their involvement in the American Legion Government Test.

Athletic Conference Update
It was reported that there will be a new conference realignment starting with the 2005-06 school year which eliminates the relationship between the SWAL I and SWAL II schools and puts River Valley in a six-team conference with Lancaster, Platteville, Prairie du Chien, Dodgeville, and Richland Center.  The remaining eight smaller districts will form a conference of their own.  The schools in River Valley’s conference plan to rely on each other as resources for other educational and co-curricular areas, such as classroom instruction, forensics, band, art, academic competition, etc.

District Budget Deficit
Anderson opened the floor for public comments and questions pertaining to the administration’s recommended budget cuts for 2005-06 totaling $243,000 and using fund balance to cover the remaining deficit.  Benson suggested that the Board move through the recommended list of cuts in the order they are listed.  There was brief discussion about each item listed below.  A few items were revised/added from the initial recommendation given at the January 13, 2005, Board meeting.

#1- Eliminate one elementary principal position

#2- Reduce instructional assistants to 7 hours or less per day (equivalent to reduction of 1.0 FTE support staff position)

#3- Eliminate 1.4 FTE (11.5 hours per day) night cleaner/custodian position

#4- Eliminate .5 FTE high school social studies teacher position (revised by administration to increase to 1 FTE position)

#5- Eliminate French teacher position (2-year phase out of French)

#6- Eliminate .5 FTE high school English teacher position

#7- Reduce .2 FTE high school agriculture teacher position

#8- Reduce .2 FTE high school industrial technology teacher position

#9- Eliminate one 4th grade class at Spring Green Elementary (revised by administration to drop this item from the list)

#10- Use of Fund 80

#11- Eliminate St. Luke’s extra p.m. bus route (revised by administration to drop this item from the list)

#12- Building level budget reductions (materials, supplies, and equipment)

#13- Eliminate cook or cook helper at high school

#14- Reduce 2 middle school cooks from 8 hours to 7 hours per day

#15 – Reduce .2 FTE high school science teacher position (added by administration)

There was discussion about the possibility of closing an elementary school for 2006-07 because of ongoing budget deficits.  General consensus was that all four schools should be considered before deciding if any one is closed.  Jim Griffith, Dodgeville, stated that this would save money but would hurt the district.

Set Policy Committee Meeting Date
A Policy Committee meeting was set for March 10 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the possibility of a new policy for drug testing of students involved in athletics and other extra-curricular activities.

There was a 5-minute break from 9:55 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Peach left the meeting at this time.

Consent Agenda -  Checks, Invoices, Receipts – January 2005; Open Session Meeting Minutes – January 13, 2005
Roske moved to approve the consent agenda items as submitted.  Pitts seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Budget Committee Recommendations
The Budget Committee met prior to the Board meeting and heard a presentation on the potential to refinance one of our bonds.  No action taken.

Consideration & Action on 2005-06 Budget Cuts
The Board asked for a summary of the impact of using fund balance to cover district deficits and the cost to borrow.  No action taken.

Consideration & Action on Ratification of 2005-06 School Calendar
Pronold moved to ratify the 2005-06 school calendar.  Taylor seconded.  The first day of school will be Thursday, September 1, and the last day will be Wednesday, June 7.  New this year will be no days off in October for the annual teacher’s convention and an early release day on Thursday, December 22, to start Christmas break.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Resolutions Accepting Gifts
Pitts moved to adopt a resolution accepting gifts of an anonymous donation of $1,500 for elementary teacher health curriculum resource materials made in honor of Jeanne Patenaude for her work in the school and community prior to her retirement.  Caraway seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Roske moved to adopt a resolution accepting gifts of 14 PC towers valued at $400 total from Fristam Pumps to the District Technology Department.  Caraway seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Pronold moved to adopt a resolution accepting gifts of a tuba valued at $3,500 donated by the River Valley Alumni Band and Music Boosters to the High School Music Department.  Taylor seconded.  Polled vote was

8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Pitts moved to adopt a resolution accepting gifts of 600 pairs of scissors valued at $200 total from Fiskars Brands to be used by the district’s elementary schools.  Roske seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Limmex moved to adopt a resolution accepting gifts of $50 from Bill Ishmael and Julie Tallard Johnson to be used for the elementary music program.  Taylor seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Teacher Retirements
Limmex moved to accept the Resignation Agreement and Waiver/Release of Claims for the retirement of Mark Strozinsky, High School Science Teacher.  Taylor seconded.  Motion carried.

Pitts moved to accept the Resignation Agreement and Waiver/Release of Claims for the retirement of Mick Showen, High School Social Studies Teacher.  Pronold seconded.  Motion carried.

Roske moved to accept the Resignation Agreement and Waiver/Release of Claims for the retirement of Kathy Kinney, Middle School Phy. Ed. Teacher.  Taylor seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Resolution Authorizing Teacher Contract Renewals and Issuance of Letters of Intent
Limmex moved to adopt the Resolution Authorizing Teacher Contract Renewals and Issuance of Letters of Intent for the 2005-06 school year. Roske seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Special Meeting Date – February 24, 2005
No action taken.

Consideration & Action to Adjourn to Closed Session Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for
2005-07 RVEA Collective Bargaining Update

Taylor moved to adjourn to closed session at 10:30 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for 2005-07 RVEA Collective Bargaining Update.  Roske seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Submitted by Paula Wedige For Deborah Nelson, School District Clerk

03/10/08 pw