RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Middle School Library
Board Members present: Anderson, Nelson, Pitts, Limmex, Caraway, Pronold, Smith, Roske,
Heidi Keiler (Student Council Representative)
Board Members absent: Peach
Administrators present: Benson, Hoffman, Mahoney, Kaukl, Palm-Leis, Richardson, Briehl
Others: Sue Quale, Dan Kettner, Linda Kettner, Michael Langer, Bob Holding, Kay Taylor, Nick Leigel, Eric Johnson, Jay Taylor, Todd Miller, Katy Connors, Cynthia Green, Carolyn Zignago, Jeanne Patenaude, Lisa Scofield, Brenda Strozinsky, Bob Bellman, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Emerson, Hugh Steele, Rick Feiner, David Giffey (Home News), Paula Wedige (Administrative Assistant)
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. Smith moved to proceed with the legal meeting. Pitts seconded. Motion carried.
Recognition of Donation of Money for Defibrillators
Eric Johnson, River Valley Boosters Representative; Jay Taylor, Spring Green Lions Club Representative; Rick Feiner, Spring Green EMT Representative; and Nick Leigel, Knights of Columbus Representative, presented checks totaling $3,400 to the school district for the purchase of two defibrillators. Palm-Leis also thanked the student council for its donation toward this purchase.
Building Assets Presentation by Guidance Department
Several members of the districts guidance department were present to outline programs that are currently in place, which are geared toward increasing developmental assets in students. Several characteristics have been identified for students to possess; the more of these a student has, the less likely the student is to become involved in high-risk behaviors. Many students are currently involved in educating other students about these assets and have identified areas for improvement and positive values. Posters were developed by students in Jan Von Steins art class. These posters, which focused on character traits such as honesty, respect, trustworthiness, pride, and responsibility, were shared with the Board.
Board Training Opportunities
Nelson outlined several upcoming Board training opportunities including "School Board Basics and Beyond" on May 9 and 10 and a session for new Board members in April. There is a "Bargaining Health Insurance" seminar in Wausau at the end of April and on May 16 in Madison.
District Deficit/Referendum Update
Benson noted the possibility for a referendum in the spring of 2004 and that a review of the district budget is a continuous and ongoing process. Mahoney will be providing specific information on cuts/revisions later during this Board meeting when he provides a detailed report of our district budget outlook. However, even with reductions, there will still be a budget deficit next year--fund balance will be used next year. A variety of areas are being looked at including co-curricular programs, administrative positions, staff positions, class sizes/staffing levels, police liaison program, department chairperson roles, building budgets, user fees, etc. Benson stated that later during this Board meeting the Board will be taking action on several support staff layoffs/reductions.
2003-04 Budget Overview
Benson responded to a question of whether a consultant would be used in the event there is a referendum vote in the spring of 2004. Benson noted that at this point there has been limited discussion regarding a consultant and we are not hiring a consultant. The district wants to share facts and details--we dont want to sell a "bag of goods" or hire someone else to do that either.
Mahoney provided an overview of district budget expenditures for the 2003-04 year (binders were provided for those in attendance) and stressed that much of the information presented is estimated and there will likely be many changes. A final budget review by the Budget Committee and the full Board will occur on May 8. Deficit reductions since 1999-2000 have totaled over $900,000 worth of cuts and shifting of dollars. Expenditures in the district have doubled the pace of the revenue cap, and 90% of our revenue is from the revenue cap. Mahoney noted that there is not a single district in the state that is not facing this crisis, unless their enrollment is increasing.
It was noted that we have 643 computers in the district and the Governors budget has eliminated $52,000 of a grant weve been receiving, which has been used exclusively for the replacement of computers. Without this grant money, we are left with $30,000 to replace 643 computers, which means a rotation every 20 years. Other grant monies are also being depleted. The custodial staff in the district has been reduced and we are looking at cutting the police liaison program and proposing to cut one bus route. By cutting one route, almost every bus would be on the road for about an hour. Another option being discussed is reducing the late bus routes from 8 routes (door to door drop off service) to 3 or 4 drop off sites (most likely at the outlying elementary buildings).
Salary and benefits account for 80% of budget expenditures. Later at this Board meeting, the Board will be cutting or reducing several education assistant positions, which include study hall supervisors, library assistants, and classroom instructional assistants. Special education instructional assistant positions are being reviewed. We are looking to replace a retiring elementary guidance counselor with a half time position of guidance counselor/social worker as another means of reducing our deficit.
Several meeting attendees spoke about the need to reduce the benefit for health insurance. The district has been looking at options for insurance, but this is a negotiated item that must be discussed with support staff and teacher unions. Family health insurance under our current carrier is projected at $18,000 for the coming year (using a 20% increase).
Mahoney projected a mill rate of 8.70 for next year and stated that the major reason for our district deficit is declining enrollment. The per pupil revenue is currently $7,500. Levy limits are based on the number of students. On the other hand, we have educational mandates that are not funded.
Consent Agenda: Checks, Invoices, Receipts from February 2003; Open Session Meeting
Minutes: February 13, 2003
Smith moved to approve the consent agenda items as submitted. Roske seconded. Motion carried.
Consideration & Action on Resolution for Notice of Personnel Layoffs
Limmex moved to adopt the Resolution to Lay Off Educational Assistants for the Ensuing Year to eliminate five educational assistant positions and reduce two other positions in this category for a total staff reduction from the educational assistant category of 42 hours ($155,000 deficit reduction) for the 2003-04 school year. Smith seconded.
Those educational assistants who will be laid off full time are Karin McKaskey, Julie Meixelsperger, Heather Olson, Kathy Keiler, Paula Carpenter, and Jennifer Kraemer. Those whose hours have been reduced are Barb Gribble, Janell Studnicka, and Mary Ann Kramer. Benson noted that these individuals have already been contacted individually and there was a group meeting with all educational assistants. It was noted that there was staff input from educational assistants regarding the assignment and transfer of remaining staff in this category.
Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent. Motion carried.
Consideration & Action on Second Reading of New and Revised Board Policies
Roske moved to approve the second reading of Policy #423 - Public School Open Enrollment and Policy #423-Rule. Pitts seconded. Motion carried.
Pitts moved to approve the second reading of Policy #537.3 - Resolution of Board of Education Designation as a "Hybrid Entity." Pronold seconded. Motion carried.
Smith moved to approve the second reading of Policy #722.6 - Emergency Code Signals for Use in River Valley School District. Limmex seconded. Motion carried.
Smith moved to approve the second reading of Policy #722.67 - Public Access Defibrillation Program with minor changes. Pitts seconded. Motion carried.
Consideration & Action on Resolution Accepting Gifts
Limmex moved to approve the resolution accepting gifts of five cases of colored Post-It tabs from Lands End. Pitts seconded. Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent. Motion carried.
Roske moved to approve the resolution accepting gifts of a total of $3,400 from the Spring Green EMT, River Valley Booster Club, Knights of Columbus, and Spring Green Lions Club towards the purchase of two defibrillators. Pronold seconded. Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent. Motion carried.
Consideration & Action on CESA #3 2003-04 Services Contract
Smith moved to approve a $52,882 contract with CESA #3 for the 2003-04 school year. Roske seconded. Motion carried.
Consideration & Action on CESA #5 2003-04 Services Contract
Limmex moved to approve a $9,340 contract with CESA #5 for the 2003-04 school year. Pitts seconded. Motion carried.
Consideration & Action on Special Meeting Date - March 20, 2003
Roske moved to set a special meeting for March 20 at 8:00 p.m. Limmex seconded. Motion carried.
Consideration & Action on Changing April Regular Meeting Date - April 3, 2003
Smith moved to approve changing the April Regular Board Meeting date to April 3, 2002. Limmex seconded. The Policy Committee will meet at 6:45 p.m. prior to the Board meeting. Motion carried.
Consideration & Action to Adjourn to Closed Session Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes
19.85 and 111.70 to discuss 2003-2005 RVEST Collective Bargaining and 2003-05 RVEA
Collective Bargaining; 19.85(1)(c) for Discussion of Administrator Contracts and
Evaluations; and 19.85(1)(c) and (i) for Discussion of Personnel Layoffs
Caraway moved to adjourn to closed session at 9:55 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85 and 111.70 to discuss 2003-2005 RVEST Collective Bargaining and 2003-05 RVEA Collective Bargaining; 19.85(1)(c) for Discussion of Administrator Contracts and Evaluations; and 19.85(1)(c) and (i) for Discussion of Personnel Layoffs. Smith seconded. Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent. Motion carried.
Submitted by Paula Wedige For Deborah Nelson, School District Clerk