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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Wausaukee Board Meets New Superintendent, Okays Roof

Ann Kox, who will take over as Superintendent for Wausaukee School District on July 1, when present Administrator Jan Dooley retires, was formally introduced to the school board at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 23. She had been present at the school for a “meet and greet” gathering with the community prior to the 6 p.m. board meeting.

Kox is currently principal at the American School in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and visited Wausaukee during Easter vacation. She was born in Illinois but moved at an early age to the Fox Valley, where she grew up. She was engaged in Early Childhood Education and worked for CESA-5 and served as a teacher and principal at Waterloo before going to Brazil. After the current school term ends in Brazil, Kox will be moving to Wausaukee with her husband and two young sons.

In addition to her superintendent’s and Principal’s licenses Kox is certified as a Director of Instruction (Curriculum Director), Director of Special Education and Pupil Services and School Business Manager. Dooley commented that she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the district.

Jim Brien, on behalf of the Knights of Columbus, presented the district with a check to be used toward purchase of adaptive playground equipment for handicapped youngsters in the Special Ed program. He said the money comes from the KC’s annual Tootsie Roll drive. He said some of the funds go to support the Special Olympics, and some goes to the state organization to support larger grant projects. Wausaukee got a grant through that program a few years ago. Applications for those grants will be accepted again in October of this year, Brien said.

In his report to the board, Principal Jared Deschane congratulated the Hi-Q team on their fourth place finish this year where they once again made it to the playoff rounds.

He reported that on Monday, April 7 the M & O Conference honored the top academic individuals from their respective schools. The ceremony took place at Romy’s Holiday in in Kelly Lake. Beau DeLaet, Lauren Edlbeck, Staci Sturmer, Trista Clark, and Alyssa Ferrington were all in attendance for Wausaukee.

He thanked Evergreen Productions for performing the story of The Bremantown Musicians and Sacramento Fifty Mile for elementary students on Tuesday, March 25.

April 23 was fine arts day at the school, and Deschane gave special thanks to the Fine Arts Department for all of their efforts in coordinating events for students and staff, as well as to the many artists and musicians who came in to demonstrate their talents. During the later part of the board meeting, strains of the music from a “Let Me Be Frank Production” that started at 7 p.m. could be heard from the auditorium. The Sixties Revival performance was made possible in part by donations of Stephenson National Bank, Bank North and the Wausaukee Education Association.

He said they had added minutes to each school day to cover for the overage of late start and cold delays, and will also be adding some extra time to the scheduled early dismissal on the last day of school. Spring MAPS testing is just about complete.

The third grade class won a pizza party for the best average attendance for the 3rd quarter.

Deschane said the 6th grade class would be going to Camp Bird for a week starting on Wednesday, April 30.

The State Bank of Florence, which sponsors Ranger Bank, is sponsoring a savings competition during the month of April. Mrs. Tracy’s first grade class is leading the way.

The PTO Community Day was once again a success. Money raised will continue to be used for sponsoring filed trips and monthly student/family events, Deschane said. “It was just cool to see the community come together,” he remarked.

Deschane said the Baseball, Softball and Golf teams were finally able to get their first events in this week. “Mother nature has forced their schedule to become more compact,” he said. “I would like to give a ‘shout out’ to Mr. Edlbeck for all of his hard work in rescheduling the events.”

During her report, Dooley gave “a shout out” to Deschane for handling things well while she was gone on her trip to Haiti, particularly in view of the bad weather. “He knows how to call it and when to let it be,” in regard to deciding whether or not to close school, Dooley declared.

“I didn’t see a whole lot of change, but the journey is important,” Dooley said of her trip to Haiti with a medical mission. She said while importing information for a sick patient data base they discovered a pattern of illness so the medical teams can better address the illnesses.

She said trying to transform the Haitian educational system is a powerful journey.

Dooley commended Food Service Director Julie Behnke and her staff for all they’ve been doing lately on a special program, and Guidance Counselor Misty Betts for the work she does to promote student involvement.

Dooley reported that a grant has been written with Lakewood and Laona and now special ed coaches Katie Ambrose and Lisa Delfosse are taking training to become coaches in evaluations for educator effectiveness.

Dooley reminded the board they will be reorganizing at their meeting in May, and they need to start the process of finding a replacement for Administrative Assistant Sherri Schlies. Applications were due April 30, and hopes are to have someone hired by Wednesday, May 6, Dooley said. Dooley added Schlies had written that she will be available to help train her replacement, “I want her to be successful.”

“That’s a testament to who Sherri is,” Dooley declared. “If she were here, I’d give her a ‘shout out’ in her presence!”

Dooley said work continues on professional development, and the team is working on short and long term plans. They hope to have a presentation ready for the next board meeting.

Special Ed Director Terry Hanson asked the board to approve a Framework for Special Education Development that he and his staff have been working on, setting goals and looking at how special ed fits into the overall staff development plans.

Their first goal is to be sure they are in compliance with IEP requirements, and to that end they identified and corrected areas were they were out of compliance. They want to make sure everyone involved is an active participant in devising the plan, and as a third goal, they want to identify behaviors and diverse plans to work with them.

They are also focusing on co-teaching and found four main areas to work on. They want to provide instruction in multiple learning styles so all students can be successful in the least restrictive environment, and to teach to the needs of each individual student, Hanson said. They also addressed professionalism and confidentiality.

“This is a working document that will continue to evolve,” Hanson concluded.

“I think this is where we’ve wanted to go for he last several months. It’s a wonderful start,” Dooley declared as she asked the board to approve the plan. The board responded with a unanimous vote in support.

The board also unanimously approved the CESA-8 service agreement totaling $1,116,772 for the 2014-2015 school year.

They also approved a 1-year extension of the TRITON distance learning contract, with the price of $13,000 down considerably from previous years.

“Triton is evolving,” Dooley declared. “I’ve seen good things happening there - CESA-8 is taking it over.”

“We’ve been battling the TRITON monster for the last several years and I think our side has won. It’s going in a direction we want it to go,” agreed Board President Dave Kipp.

Dooley reported on projected class sizes and instructor needs for the coming school year. There was an opportunity for the public to comment on elementary grade level structures, but no one had anything to say.

Misty Betts presented plans for high school classes, and thanked the board for giving her the additional staff member that she described as “the third leg of the stool” on which staff can work with struggling students.

Betts said the school lost one transcribed NWTC class, on personal finance, which NWTC no longer offers, but Wausaukee will continue offering it. They will still offer 12 college/high school dual credit courses, having added one on abnormal psychology. They also added a World History Course for Social Studies that will go hand in hand with the Global Certificate. She said 15 or more Wausaukee students are dedicated to doing it.

Deschane said they felt World History helps Wausaukee students be informed and understand what is going on in the world today. He said the last time the students had world history was in sixth grade.

Enrollments in the NWTC welding and automotive courses “are through the roof” Deschane reported.

Dooley reported 88 Wausaukee students are participating in the Youth Options program, which she felt was wonderful for a school the size of Wausaukee. “Usually small rural schools cannot offer that number of electives,” she declared.

She said the framework is therefor personalized learning at the middle school and it is evolving into the high school.

The board approved all the class schedules without dissent.

They also agreed to renew the contact with Lamers Bus Service for a year with a few minor changes. The contract price increase will not exceed the Consumer Price Increase Index increase of 3.5 percent, and last year it was much less.

Deschane reported they had received eight bids for the roofing project, and 15 contractors came to the pre-bid meeting, which he said was very good. The low bid of $778,780 came from Crafts, Inc., which he described as “a good, reputable company.”

He said they will continue to work with “Inspec” on the project and is glad they were recommended. They decided not to go with the extra insulation because it would take 32 years to recoup the added cost from savings, and the roof probably won’t last so long. The new roof will be a lighter color. He recommended spending $78,500 extra to have the roofing glued rather than nailed.

They are already getting two and a half additional inches of insulation.

Inspec will come and check the contractor’s work at special points in the project, Deschane said.

To a question from Board member Mary Marquis, Kipp said there are two warranties with the work, one for materials and one for workmanship. Total price, with job supervision, will be $867,284. Work is to be done this summer.

Marquis reported at length on a training session she, Kipp and Business Manger Kelly Stumbris had attended at Menomonee Falls in late March that she described as, “Our Journey with Quality.” It was a long day, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 .m. “but this kept our interest, and they have made a commitment to excellence.” Emphasis is on an evidence based learning model, staff team work, recognition that every individual can improve, and recognition that to try and fail is okay, as long as you try, she reported.

She mentioned an NWTC “Regional Center for Quality” that works with the schools of Waukesha County. Schools there have developed partnerships with local businesses, other schools and NWTC. Marquis commented that Wausaukee already has partnerships with other schools and NWTC.

After concluding regular business the board went into closed executive session to discuss an employee request for an unpaid leave of absence, staffing for the 2014-2015 school year, and preliminary notices of non-renewal.

After returning to open session the board approved leaves of absence as discussed in closed session, and also approved a notice of non-renewal as discussed in closed session.

During time for public comment at the start of the meeting, Roger Lanich urged the board to encourage use of a walking path near the school. “It’s a beautiful walking path,” he declared. “It leads to the north and south ponds. If you sit on the piers you might see a beautiful blue heron, or perhaps if you’re lucky, a mom with baby ducks. I’d like to see it used more, especially for young classes.”


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