RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Monday, February 11, 2008
Regular Meeting
Middle School Library
7:00 p.m.

                   
Board: Nelson, Ferguson, Cates, Crowley, Taylor, Peach, Pronold
Absent:  Caraway, Cummings
Admin: Benson, Hoffman, Radtke, Palm-Leis, Kaukl, Hayek, Hegland
Others:  Sue Sadler, Brenda Valek, Herman Kaldenberg, Jan Anderson, Michelle Weiss, Tara Johnson, Jean Alt, Roberta Wenzler, David Giffey (Home News), Paula Wedige (Administrative Assistant)

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

“Safe Route to Schools” Task Force Report
Brenda Valek provided information to the Board regarding a grant being sought by Spring Green community members to address safety concerns with students walking to school in Spring Green and to promote exercise through walking and bicycling to school.  Valek asked Board members to answer a three question survey and return responses to her.  There will be a kick-off meeting open to the public on Tuesday, February 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Spring Green Community Library.

Legislative Update
Taylor noted that the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a ruling that states and local districts are not required to comply with those requirements of No Child Left Behind that are not paid for by the federal government—only those for which there is federal funding.

In his State of the State address to the Wisconsin Legislature, Governor Doyle urged the Legislature to require health insurance companies to cover autism treatments.

A public hearing is scheduled for February 14 to discuss repealing the September 1 school state date requirement. 

Compromise legislation was approved that will keep virtual charter schools operating in Wisconsin, but impose requirements including teacher licensing, minimum teacher-student contact time, and student participation.

Board Training Opportunities
Nelson noted an upcoming WASB Effective Bargaining seminar to be held in Madison on February 29 and Wausau on March 7.

Student Council Report
No report.

Charter School Possibilities and Related Timeline
Benson noted that charter school grants are due June 1.  A project-based school concept seems to be of most interest to the Board compared to a specific charter school based on one area, such as art or technology.  Benson encouraged the Board and general public to contact him to share any specific ideas related to the charter school grant application.

Report and Discussion of WASB Annual Convention
Taylor, Cates, Benson, and Hayek each shared a brief summary of sectionals they attended at the January WASB Convention in Milwaukee.  Hayek was a presenter at the convention during a sectional regarding health insurance for school districts.  Other districts are looking at River Valley as a role model regarding our recent collective bargaining and how we decreased health insurance costs by switching carriers.  Taylor encouraged Board members to attend future conventions.

Set Policy Committee Meeting Date
A Policy Committee meeting was set for Thursday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m. in Central Office.  A Budget Committee meeting was set for Thursday, March 13, at 5:00 p.m. in Central Office.

Kindergarten Enrollment Projections for 2008-09
It was noted that Arena kindergarten enrollments could be 35-40 students.  Concerns over large class size was discussed.  One option might be to ask parents to volunteer to have their child attend a different school site to balance out class sizes.  Other options might include adding staff or revamping school attendance borders.  The district will wait and watch kindergarten enrollment numbers until closer to the start of the 08-09 school year.  The district will also attempt to address SAGE requirements in the balancing of class sizes.

Public Hearing for Request to Submit a SAGE Waiver to Department of Public Instruction
A public hearing was held regarding DPI’s notification that our district is not in compliance with the 15:1 teacher/student ratio required to receive SAGE funding to reduce class sizes.  Benson noted we are in compliance with the ratio during reading/language arts and math instruction.  The district needs to seek a waiver from DPI to allow us time to develop a plan to be in SAGE compliance.

Public Comments/Open Forum
Cates referenced an article regarding serving locally grown products in school food service programs.  Mount Horeb was the focus of the article.

Consent Agenda:  Checks, Invoices, Receipts – January 2008; Open Session Meeting Minutes - January 10, 2008
Peach moved to approve the consent agenda items as submitted.  Crowley seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Resolution Authorizing Teacher Contract Renewals
Ferguson moved to adopt the Resolution Authorizing Teacher Contract Renewals and to authorize Vice President Taylor to sign the contracts as Acting President in Caraway’s absence.  Cates seconded.  Polled vote was 7-0 in the affirmative with 2 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Resolution Accepting Gifts
Pronold moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of $1,216 from Robert and Lucinda Yanke to purchase a flute in memory of their daughter, Alicia.  Cates seconded.  Polled vote was 7-0 in the affirmative with 2 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Request to Submit a SAGE Waiver to Department of Public Instruction
Crowley moved to submit a request for SAGE waiver to the Department of Public Instruction as proposed by Benson.  Cates seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action to Adjourn to Closed Session Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for Discussion of Employee Evaluation; 19.85(1)(a) and (f) for Update on Past Student Expulsions; and 19.85(1)(c) and (f) for Discussion of Employee Unpaid Leave of Absence
Peach moved to adjourn to closed session at 8:40 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for Discussion of Employee Evaluation; 19.85(1)(a) and (f) for Update on Past Student Expulsions; and 19.85(1)(c) and (f) for Discussion of Employee Unpaid Leave of Absence.  Pronold seconded.  Polled vote was 7-0 in the affirmative with 2 absent.  Motion carried.

The Board reconvened to open session at 9:25 p.m.

Consideration & Action on Employee Unpaid Leave of Absence
Crowley moved to approve an unpaid leave of absence for Sherrie Nurkala, high school special education teacher, from approximately March 31, 2008, to May 16, 2008, in accordance with Article 16 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Cates seconded.  Motion carried.

Peach moved to adjourn at 9:26 p.m.  Crowley seconded.  Motion carried.

Submitted by Paula Wedige For Deborah Nelson, School District Clerk

03/14/08 pw