RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Regular Meeting
Middle School Library
5:45 p.m.

Board: Nelson, Pitts, Taylor, Peach, Caraway, Limmex, Anderson, Roske
Absent: Pronold
Admin: Benson, Hayek, Briehl, Kaukl, Hoffman, Palm-Leis
Others:  Ron Troxel, Sue Sadler, Robbin Polivka, Eric Ferguson, Ken Weitzel, Randy Hartung, R. Kline, Herman Kaldenberg, Jody Noble, Michael Langer, Vickie Bedard (WRCO) David Giffey (Home News), Paula Wedige (Secretary)

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.   Peach seconded.  Motion carried.

Board Training Opportunities
Nelson noted that there is a Collective Bargaining Seminar in Madison on February 17.  Also, a March 10 distance learning video broadcast regarding layoffs is being offered by WASB.

Legislative Update
Taylor noted that a bill to streamline special education paperwork was introduced with a hearing expected in February.  Also, Bush’s State of the Union speech outlined a new effort to give children a firm grounding in math and science but no specific funding was discussed.

Student Council Report
There is a Valentine’s Day dance planned for February 18.  The Student Council is also organizing a memorial of a bench with a plaque for the 4 students who died last January to be located near the front entrance of the high school.

Set Budget Committee Meeting – March 9
A Budget Committee meeting was set for 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, at the Central Office.

Also, a Policy Committee meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, at the Central Office with the March Regular Board Meeting to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Discussion of April 4, 2006, Referendum
The District will be sending a newsletter to all households with referendum information.  A separate citizens group is also educating voters about the facts surrounding the referendum.  Robbin Polivka asked why no district-sponsored forums were being held and when the newsletter would be mailed.  Benson responded that the newsletter will be mailed in late February and that community members will likely be holding forums with the district serving as an information resource.  Eric Ferguson added that the citizens group will have a website next week--RVReferendum.org.  The question was asked about the cost of district transportation.  Benson replied that the cost is approximately $800,000 annually and that we get only $60,000 from the state.

The discussion turned to a contingency plan in the event the referendum fails.  Anderson shared a draft proclamation that outlined the closing of one outlying elementary school or one classroom at each grade level at Spring Green Elementary and the discontinuation of extra-curricular activities in the event the referendum fails.  Other suggestions were offered by those in attendance such as the spend-down of fund balance until bankruptcy, total elementary consolidation, and virtual schooling.

In response to questions about future school closings, Anderson noted that without knowing the future funding of school districts, the Board can make no guarantees or promises to keep schools open in the unknown future.

To clarify which extra-curricular activities would be cut if the referendum fails, “Addendum A” of Collective Bargaining Agreement was added as a reference in the draft proclamation.  There was discussion about the effects of open enrollment if these activities were cut and the possibility of families who might also move out of the district.  It was noted that if these activities were not school-sponsored and were instead run by parent groups, they could not compete as WIAA teams.

Discussion of District Membership to Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools
Benson noted that the district has joined the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, which is a statewide coalition working for comprehensive school-funding reform.  The four core principles of the group are sufficient resources, resources linked to high standards, state tax reform, and local control.

Consent Agenda:  Checks, Invoices, Receipts – January 2006; Open Session Meeting Minutes – January 19, 2006
Hayek pointed out the new format of the financial reports due to new software being used to prepare the reports.  Roske moved to approve the consent agenda items as submitted, except for the January 19 minutes which are not yet available.  Taylor seconded.  Motion carried. 

Consideration & Action on District Contingency Plan in the Event a Referendum Fails
The draft proclamation prepared by Anderson and discussed as an information item was reviewed.  After minor language revisions, Limmex moved to adopt the proclamation stating that if the referendum fails, the Board will close an outlying elementary school or one class at each grade level at Spring Green Elementary and district funded activities identified on Addendum “A” of the teachers collective bargaining agreement will be terminated.  Roske seconded.  It was noted that if the referendum fails and these two cuts are made, there will still be a deficit which will need to be covered by other means.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.   

Consideration & Action on a Resolution Authorizing the School District Budget to Exceed Revenue Limit for Non-Recurring Purposes
Roske moved to adopt the Resolution Authorizing the School District Budget to Exceed Revenue Limit for Non-Recurring Purposes.  Taylor seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on a Resolution Providing for a Referendum Election on the Question of the Approval of a Resolution Authorizing the School District Budget to Exceed Revenue Limit for Non-Recurring Purposes
Pitts moved to adopt the Resolution Providing for a Referendum Election on the Question of the Approval of a Resolution Authorizing the School District Budget to Exceed Revenue Limit for Non-Recurring Purposes.  Caraway seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Teacher Hiring
Peach moved to hire Tom Wermuth as a Special Education Cognitive Disabilities Teacher at Spring Green Elementary.  Caraway seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Teacher Retirements
Taylor moved to approve the unconditional retirements of Ken Mertens, Bob Bellman, Nancy Slavik, Judy Hottman, and Cathy Martin.  Peach seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Resolution Authorizing Teacher Contract Renewals and Issuance of Letters of Intent
Roske moved to adopt the Resolution Authorizing Teacher Contract Renewals and Issuance of Letters of Intent.  Caraway seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.  It was noted that this action does not restrict the issuing of layoffs, if necessary.

Consideration & Action on Resolutions Accepting Gifts
Limmex moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of $50 from William Ishmael and Julie Tallard Johnson to the Plain Art Department.  Pitts seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Pitts moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of a computer valued at $200 from Michael and Katy Connors to the High School Art Department.  Roske seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Taylor moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of $10.00 from Sharon Frederickson Seely, $25.00 from Doug Jones, and $25.00 from Barbara Tessmer to the High School Forensics Department in memory of Eldon Pratt.  Caraway seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Roske moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of $1,000 from the River Valley Soccer Association to be used toward the cost of the wiring of the scoreboard on the varsity soccer field and the completion of the soccer concession stand.  Caraway seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action to Adjourn to Closed Session Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for 2005-07 RVEA Collective Bargaining Update, 2005-07 RVEST Collective Bargaining Update, and RVEA Level IV Grievance Hearings
Peach moved to adjourn to closed session at 7:45 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for 2005-07 RVEA Collective Bargaining Update, 2005-07 RVEST Collective Bargaining Update, and RVEA Level IV Grievance Hearings.  Caraway 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