Thursday, June 8, 2006
Regular Meeting
Middle School Library
7:30 p.m.

Board: Nelson, Pitts, Taylor, Caraway, Roske, Pronold, Ferguson, Cates
Absent: Peach
Admin: Benson, Hayek, Briehl, Kaukl, Hoffman
Others:  David Giffey (Home News), Julie Kuhse (Secretary)

Caraway 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.  Roske moved to proceed with the legal meeting.  Pitts seconded.  Motion carried.

Legislative Update
Taylor distributed a memo outlining a few legislative issues.

Benson noted that River Valley will not be receiving funding for the ATODA position held by Brenda Jennings.  Separate grants of $50,000 and $10,000 previously funded the position, including $48,000 for staff and the remainder for supplies, speakers, training, etc.  Benson sited a competitive grant process and prior receipt of monies as reasons for not receiving the grant this year.  Benson informed the Board that they will hear more about this position at the July Board meeting, but there will not be a proposal for new staff.  Instead, due to the increase of special education students moving into the district and the increased demands of these students, there may be a request for an addition of support staff time.

Pronold asked for an explanation of the WKCE test results.  Benson stated that there will be additional information given at a future Board meeting regarding test results.  The No Child Left Behind Act now requires testing in grades 3-8 in reading and math, and once in high school.  Testing used to be required only in grades 4, 8, and 10. 

Board Training Opportunities
Nelson stated that there is a WASB finance seminar June 16-17, 2006, in Wisconsin Rapids covering the Florence story, use of grants, funding, and post employment benefits.  Nelson expressed an interest in attending.

Student Council Report
Kaukl reported that the memorial bench with a plaque for the 4 students who died last January was dedicated last week.

Follow Up From Public Forum Regarding School Funding – May 31
Cates, Taylor, and Roske attended the forum.  Senator Dale Schultz and Representative Steve Freese indicated they are not hearing reports of the funding difficulties.  Roske stated that several different proposals were presented last year to increase funding, none of which were pursued.  Taylor stated that of the approximately 18-20 people in attendance, all questions concerned school funding.

Caraway provided a handout showing salary and benefit budget projections until 2021.  With an increase of QEO of 4.1% and revenue cap of 2.6%, salary and benefits will be 100% of budget by 2021.

2006-07 Event Dates – Senior Awards Night (Wednesday, May 23, 2007) and High School Graduation (Friday, June 1, 2007)
Kaukl asked to stay with the Wednesday night date for the awards ceremony to avoid conflicts.  Sports events are not held on Wednesdays, and he has checked with local churches which indicated that religious education classes are finished by that time.  There were no objections to either event date.

Review Proposed Timeline for the Hiring Process of Elementary Director for 2006-2007
Benson presented a timeline for the Elementary Director position noting 32 applicants for the position.  A review of the applications is scheduled for June 14.  Board members Nelson, Taylor, Pitts, and Ferguson indicated an interest to be part of the screening committee.  A special Board meeting would then be held on June 20 for the screening committee to select 4-6 applicants to interview.  Hiring could be acted on at the July 13 Board meeting. 

Consent Agenda:  Checks, Invoices, Receipts – May 2006; Open Session Meeting Minutes – May 15, 2006
Pronold asked about the expenditure for a Spanish interpreter.  Benson explained there is an increase in the number of Limited English Proficient students.  Sharon Peterson is a retired high school Spanish teacher from Reedsburg who has acted as a liaison from home to school and primarily works directly with the students in the classroom and is paid on an hourly basis with no benefits.  Pitts asked if we might find community volunteers to fill this need.  Benson explained that while we would welcome volunteers, the consistency of days and hours is crucial.  Hoffman noted that Peterson is not only bilingual but also has experience working as a teacher. 

Pitts moved to approve the consent agenda items as submitted.   Roske seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Board Committee Assignments
Roske moved to approve the Board Committee assignments as presented with the addition of Roske and Ferguson to the Human Growth and Development Committee.  Pronold seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Teacher Hirings
Pronold moved to hire Jacob Gehrke as the 8th Grade Math Teacher.  Cates seconded.  Motion carried.

Taylor moved to hire Ryan Evans as the High School Vocal Music Teacher.  Ferguson seconded.  Motion carried. 

Consideration & Action on Resolution Accepting Teacher Resignation
Roske moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Resignation of Cheryl Crook as a High School English Teacher.  Taylor 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 RVEST Collective Bargaining Update and Discussion of Administrator Contracts and Administrative Vacancy and Related Realignment of Job Duties
Ferguson moved to adjourn to closed session at 8:25 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for 2005-07 RVEST Collective Bargaining Update and Discussion of Administrator Contracts and Administrative Vacancy and Related Realignment of Job Duties.  Roske seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Cates left at 9:15 p.m.

The Board reconvened in open session at 9:50 p.m.

Consideration & Action on Administrator Contracts and Administrative Vacancy and Related Realignment of Job Duties
Caraway stated that the application process would continue and that the Board might consider hiring a new elementary director in addition to using part-time help to meet elementary administrative needs.  Ferguson stated while the Board is reluctant to spend any additional money, the Board generally feels that the position requires more than one full-time person.  Nelson compared the amount of staff and students at the elementaries vs. the middle school and high school.  No action taken.

Consideration & Action on Special Meeting Dates – June 27 and June 29, 2006
Roske moved to set a special meeting for June 20, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. and special meetings on June 27, 2006, at 5:30 p.m. and June 29, 2006, at 5:30 p.m. for the purpose of conducting interviews for the Elementary Director position.  Pitts seconded.  Motion carried.

Pronold moved to adjourn at 9:58 p.m.  Roske seconded.  Motion carried.


Submitted by Paula Wedige For Deborah Nelson, School District Clerk


08/11/06 pw