RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Regular Meeting
Middle School Library
7:30 p.m.

                                                                                                                

Board: Nelson, Ferguson, Caraway, Pronold, Taylor, Cates, Peach, Crowley, Cummings
Absent:  N/A
Admin: Benson, Hayek, Hoffman, Hegland, Radtke, Palm-Leis, Kaukl
Others:  Heather Terrill Stotts, Carla Carmody, Todd Miller, David Giffey (Home News), Vicky Bedard (WRCO), Paula Wedige (Administrative Assistant)

Caraway, as Acting President, 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.    Pronold moved to proceed with the legal meeting.  Taylor seconded.  Motion carried.

Legislative Update
Taylor outlined Governor Doyle’s rural schools agenda.  She also noted items to be removed from the Governor’s budget to be introduced as separate legislation, including a repeal of the QEO law.

Board Training Opportunities
Nelson noted that there is a WASB Leadership Conference in Appleton on June 15 and 16.

Cummings attended the Spring Academy for new School Board members.  He noted that the main theme was to set a vision for your school district.

Student Council Report
Kaukl noted that there will be an election of new officers for 2007-08.

District Partnership with the Center for Creativity
Benson introduced our new Creative Learning Facilitator, Heather Terrill Stotts, whose position is funded by the local Center for Creativity.  Heather’s role will be to enhance River Valley’s reputation for creativity and innovation by utilizing community resources.  She is currently conducting staff and community surveys related to creativity in our schools.

Update Related to Virtual Charter Schools
Benson stated that our district has received information from DPI regarding charter school grants, and we will be looking into the application process.

DPI Project Lead the Way Grant
Kaukl thanked high school tech. ed. teacher, Carla Carmody, and Tom Martin from CESA #3 for their role in the district receiving a $3,500 Project Lead the Way grant from DPI.

Bradley Foundation/Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Foundation Grant
Kaukl again thanked Carla Carmody and Tom Martin for their role in the district receiving a $10,000 Project Lead the Way grant from the Bradley Foundation.

Kaukl noted that the district also received for the second year a $15,000 grant from the Kern Foundation and a $9,000 Advanced Placement grant.

River Valley Students to Attend VICA Nationals
Carla Carmody thanked Benson, Hayek, and Kaukl for their support of the VICA program and congratulated high school students Eric Portz and Shane Kramer for qualifying for VICA national competition in Kansas City on June 25-29.  Kaukl thanked individuals and organizations for making donations to offset the cost of travel.  Benson thanked Carmody and the tech. ed. students for district equipment repairs.

Wisconsin Covenant
Benson and Hoffman reported that Governor Doyle has introduced the Wisconsin Covenant, which is a program where 8th grade students pledge to meet certain requirements in high school and then they will receive financial assistance to attend a post-secondary institution in Wisconsin if they meet those requirements. 

Board of Education Attendance at Graduation – June 1, 2007
Kaukl reiterated the invitation for School Board members to hand out diplomas at graduation.

Focus on Student Achievement Issues
Benson stated that the district will be purchasing and implementing new software in 2007-08 that will be used for early literacy intervention and to assess student reading levels from kindergarten to grade 12.

Review of District Financial Projections for Next Four Years
As a way to address district deficits, Crowley is advocating for a plan that would close one classroom at Spring Green Elementary each year for an estimated savings of $375,000.  Hayek provided a document that showed not only projected savings, but also costs, associated with this type of plan.  Costs include increased transportation, loss of SAGE revenue, and non-centralization of special ed. services.  An earlier document from December 2005 showed some of these costs.  The end result does not show savings for the district.  Also discussed were concerns about open enrollment impact, family concerns with new attendance boundaries, increased class sizes, and quality of service to kids. 

Todd Miller called Crowley’s plan “campaign rhetoric.”  Taylor feels that we should not close classrooms after voters supported the referendum.  Ferguson agrees.  Crowley noted that the request was made in good faith but now sees there would be no savings and does not want to jeopardize funding.  He thanked Hayek for his efforts in gathering data.

Pronold encouraged continued pressure on lawmakers and Taylor reminded the Board to use legislator e-mail addresses in their efforts to change school funding.

Public Comments/Open Forum
Todd Miller stated that he is glad to hear Crowley withdraw his proposal to close one classroom at Spring Green Elementary each year.  He noted he does not feel misled by the district and hopes Crowley feels the same.

Cates thanked Radtke and Hegland for his visits to their elementary schools.  Radtke and Hegland reciprocated their thanks to Cates.

Hoffman noted that the middle school received a grant from the River Valley Community Learning Foundation for artist Leah Griffith Boyce to work with the art classes.  Also, a group from the 8th grade civics class will be making a presentation at the state capital after winning a local competition.

Kaukl reported that the high school alternative ed. class held an “academic celebration” consisting of a cookout and door prizes for alternative ed. students who meet a 2.0 grade point average and minimal discipline referrals.

Consent Agenda - Checks, Invoices, Receipts - April 2007; Open Session Meeting Minutes - March 5, March 22, and April 12, 2007
Taylor moved to approve the consent agenda items as submitted.  Ferguson seconded.  Motion carried.

Board Organizational Meeting
President – Taylor nominated Caraway.  Crowley nominated Pronold.  Pronold declined the nomination.  Peach moved to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Caraway.  Pronold seconded.  Motion carried.

Vice President – Pronold nominated Taylor.  Ferguson moved to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Taylor.  Cates seconded.  Motion carried.

Clerk – Taylor nominated Nelson.  Cates moved to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Nelson.  Cummings seconded.  Motion carried.

Treasurer – Cates nominated Pronold.  Taylor moved to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Pronold.  Ferguson seconded.  Motion carried.

Meeting Date, Time, and Place – Pronold moved to hold regular Board meetings on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Middle School Library.  Crowley seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Teacher Hirings
Cates moved to hire Tara Johnson as the Plain Kindergarten Teacher.  Cummings seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action to Adjourn to Closed Session Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for 2007-09 RVEA Collective Bargaining Update, 2007-09 RVEST Collective Bargaining Update, and Discussion of Administrator Evaluations and Contracts; and 19.85(1)(f) for Discussion of Employee Complaint
Taylor moved to adjourn to closed session at 9:04 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for 2007-09 RVEA Collective Bargaining Update, 2007-09 RVEST Collective Bargaining Update, and Discussion of Administrator Evaluations and Contracts; and 19.85(1)(f) for Discussion of Employee Complaint.  Crowley seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Submitted by Paula Wedige For Deborah Nelson, School District Clerk

06/18/07 pw