RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Monday, April 7, 2008
Regular Meeting
Middle School Library
7:00 p.m.

           

Board: Nelson, Ferguson, Crowley, Taylor, Pronold, Peach, Cates, Cummings, Travis Kraemer (Student Council Rep)
Absent:  Caraway
Admin: Benson, Kaukl, Radtke, Palm-Leis, Briehl, Hayek, Hegland
Others:  Steve Rammer, Mike Goff, Sue Sadler, Michelle Weiss, Barb Pratt, Jean Alt, Paul Mennen, Allen Lamers, Herman Kaldenberg, David Giffey (Home News), Eileen Brownlee (General Counsel), Paula Wedige (Administrative Assistant)

Vice President Taylor opened the meeting in President Caraway’s absence.  She noted that there was an amended agenda, the meeting had been properly noticed, and notice had been provided to the appropriate media and each School Board Member.  Crowley moved to proceed with the legal meeting.  Ferguson seconded.  Motion carried.

Legislative Update
Taylor noted that efforts are underway by some legislators to restore Title V funding under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and that the U.S. Department of Education announced a NCLB pilot program intended to focus resources on schools struggling to meet performance goals.  Also, the U.S. Department of Education is looking at requiring all states to use one federal formula to calculate graduation and dropout rates.  Taylor reported that on April 1, 26 school districts approved more than $165 million in additional revenue limit or bonding authority, which represents 30 of 61 referenda on the ballot.

Board Training Opportunities
There is a WASB Spring Academy—Leadership in Public School Governance—to be held on May 3.

Student Council Report
Travis Kramer noted that student council is working on Earth Day initiatives.  The district’s Creative Learning Facilitator, Heather Terrill Stotts, will be talking with student council about a student “Think Green” grant.

Spring Green Area Arts Coalition Grants Awarded to District
Benson noted that the Spring Green Area Arts Coalition awarded two grants to the district:  $3,000 for The Lighted Schoolhouse after school program and $2,000 to upgrade the high school Mac lab.

2008-09 Kindergarten Enrollment Projections
Benson stated that high kindergarten enrollment projections for Arena for 2008-09 have prompted discussions of how our district can balance class sizes and move toward a 15:1 ratio at the elementary level.

Multiage Classroom Model at Elementary Schools
Benson noted that the high kindergarten enrollment projections at Arena along with our desire to create smaller class sizes in early elementary grades has caused innovative options/ideas to be discussed.  The district also has SAGE requirements and prudent financial considerations to include in the planning effort.  One idea is to use K-1 multiage classrooms, which combines kindergarten and 1st grade students in one classroom with the same teacher.  Current district kindergarten teachers, Pratt, Weiss, and Sadler, were present and are supportive of this idea and feel many of the other teachers involved are also supportive.  Benson noted that the design may vary by building and could include 2nd and 3rd grade students in separate multiage classrooms as well.

Board Members to Hand Out Diplomas at Graduation – Friday, June 6, 2008
Nelson, Peach, Pronold, Cummings, and Taylor noted that they plan to be present at graduation.

Public Comments/Open Forum
Herman Kaldenberg voiced his support for the school forest agenda item that will be discussed later at this Board meeting and includes the sale of trees.

Consent Agenda:  Checks, Invoices, Receipts – March 2008; Open Session Meeting Minutes – March 13, 2008
Pronold moved to adopt the consent agenda items as submitted.  Crowley seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on First Reading of New and Revised Policies
Crowley moved to adopt the first reading of Policy #743 - Acceptable Use of Networked Computers, Internet, and Electronic Mail to comply with nondiscrimination and CIPA laws, to add to the list of prohibited use of district computers, to clarify who oversees district computer use, and to remove the added section regarding appeals.  Cates seconded.  Motion carried with Ferguson opposed. 

Consideration & Action on Budget Committee Recommendations
The Budget Committee made the following recommendations to the full Board:  to sign a 10-year beverage vending agreement with Pepsi; to transfer funds to align budget with expenditures in Fund 10, which includes transferring $86,000 from Fund 10 to Fund 27; and to award a 5-year transportation contract to Lamers Bus Lines, Inc.

Pronold moved to sign a 10-year beverage vending agreement with Pepsi.  Cummings seconded.  Motion carried.

Ferguson moved to approve the transfer of funds to align budget with expenditures in Fund 10, which includes transferring $86,000 from Fund 10 to Fund 27.  Crowley seconded.  Motion carried.

Crowley moved to award a 5-year transportation contract to Lamers Bus Lines, Inc.  Pronold seconded.  Motion carried with Nelson abstaining.

Consideration & Action on Resolution for Final Notice of Special Education Teacher Layoff
Crowley moved to adopt the Resolution for Final Notice of Special Education Teacher Layoff for Jackie Gerner.  Cates seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action to Grant Authority to Administration to Consult with the Department of Natural Resources in Developing an Arena School Forest Sustainability Plan that Will Include the Sale of Trees
Benson requested authority to work with the DNR in developing a school forest sustainability plan to include harvesting and selling of trees for revenue.  It was noted that Jim Birkemeier has an interest in utilizing his Timbergreen wood business to help connect our forestry harvesting with other local timber contractors to improve sales profit and educational opportunities.  Cates moved to grant authority to administration to consult with the Department of Natural Resources in developing an Arena School Forest sustainability plan that will include the sale of trees.  Ferguson seconded.  Cates moved to amend the motion to strike the word “Arena.”  Ferguson seconded the amended motion.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action to Adjourn to Closed Session Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for Discussion of
Administrator Evaluations and Contracts and Discussion of Open Enrollment Applications for 2008-09 School Year
Pronold moved to adjourn to closed session at 8:24 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for Discussion of Administrator Evaluations and Contracts and Discussion of Open Enrollment Applications for 2008-09 School Year. Ferguson seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

The Board reconvened in open session at 9:30 p.m. with Peach absent.

Consideration & Action on 2008-09 Open Enrollment Applications
Pronold moved to approve 10 new open enrollment applications into the district for 2008-09 and 24 new applications out of the district.  Cates seconded.  Motion carried.

Ferguson moved to adjourn at 9:31 p.m.  Cummings seconded.  Motion carried.
 

Submitted by Paula Wedige For Deborah Nelson, School District Clerk

05/15/08 pw