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Lena Students Officially Start New Year Oct. 15

Issue Date: October 14, 2020

Students and teachers of Lena School District officially closed out the 2019-2020 school year on Thursday, Oct. 8. Students then enjoyed a brief vacation before returning on Thursday, Oct 15 to officially begin their 2020-2021 school year, while teachers had four days of in-service to close out the old year and prepare for the new one.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7 there was a a students only 8th grade recognition ceremony in the big gym for students moving on to 9th grade on Oct. 15.

Lena scheduled the six week closure session to make up for the final weeks of the 2019-2020 school year were disrupted for all public school students in Wisconsin due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent school closing orders issued by Gov. Tony Evers in March. Those orders ended up keeping schools in Wisconsin closed through what would have been the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

When classes were allowed to resume this fall, Lena opted to start this year's September term with the 6-week period for closure of the unfinished prior school year and preparation for the new one.

At the Lena School Board meeting on Monday, Oct. 5, District Administrator/Elementary Principal Ben Pytleski reported that so far this year, like most schools, Lena has had students and staff who have needed to quarantine for a specific amount of time, but has continued to have very few positive COVID-19 cases among staff and student-body.

There will not be a conference team championship for fall sports this year. Spectator guidelines for sports events will remain in place and were to be revisited at a meeting of athletic directors on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Conference awards for student athletes were also to be discussed in two weeks.

High/Middle School Principal James Torzala reported Johnson Controls in Marinette is donating a fire extinguisher to every school age child in Oconto and Marinette counties in memory of an employee who lost her family in a tragic fire in Oconto earlier this year.

Pytleski advised the board that the official September pupil count shows Lena has 412 students in grades Pre-K through 12th grade.

The board approved resignation of Roberta Hermersmann from her position as co-advisor to the Student Council for the 2020-2021 and approved Tara Seefeldt to replace her in the shared position with Heide Place, who continues in that role.

High School Tutoring Contracts for the 2020-2021 school year were approved for Tara Seefeldt, Roberta Windus, Abigail Englebert, Tammy Klimpke, Michelle Meisner, Samantha Kassien, Jackilyn Wolford, and Victoria Magee as presented.

Board members present for that meeting were President Lori Dufek, Charles Imig, and David McNurlen. Timothy A. Goldschmidt and Ed Huberty were absent.

The brief 6 p.m.board meeting was followed by the 6:30 p.m. public hearing on the 2020-29021 budget and then the district's annual meeting, at which the budget was approved as presented, as was the tax levy needed to support it.

Present for the Annual Meeting/Budget portion of the evening were members of the public Donna Loeffler, Roberta Windus, Tina Rouer, Ben Pytleski, and James Torzala, and Board of Education members Lori Dufek, president; David McNurlen, treasurer, and Charles Imig, clerk.

On a motion by McNurlen, seconded by Imig, Roberta Windus was elected to chair the Annual Meeting.

Minutes of the October 7, 2019 Annual Meeting were approved as presented by Imig.

By unanimous vote, the board was authorized to borrow money as needed to meet obligations during the 2020-2021 school year.

Also by unanimous votes, salaries for all five Board of Education members was set at $1,000 per year plus $50 for each meeting attended, and payment of actual and per diem expenses for Board of Education members when traveling outside of district in the performance of Board duties was authorized. Per Diem expenses may include reimbursement for wages lost up to a maximum for $100 per day.

The board was authorized to furnish textbooks and provide a school lunch program as presented; use funds for legal action needed by the district as presented, and sell or transfer school property as presented.


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