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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo School District To Seek Bussing Bids

Issue Date: November 18, 2020

Superintendent Patrick Rau opened the Peshtigo School Board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 11 by awarding certificates to two board members, Rebecca DeMarce and President Muriel Carter who reached level one and training based on their service

Rau announced the current contract for student transportation with Kobussen Bus ends June 30, 2021. "We had multiple meetings with them trying to accept the contract but last school year they asked to terminate the contract so we need to go out for bids. I provided a copy in the board packet and it was also discussed at the committee meeting. I updated the information about the fleet about overhead and under storage and larger busses for athletic trips and field trips and what options we would have. We hope to have completed by Feb 10 board meeting", Rau said. It was approved to go forward with bids for transportation.

District resignations, retirements, hirings and volunteers included the resignation of Michael Fisher as JV Boys Basketball Coach. Hired to replace Fisher was Jordan Berth. Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center (PELC) Fifth Grade Teacher Cheryl Lange will be retiring at the end of the school year in 2021 and Lance Pesch will be a Volunteer Varsity Girls Basketball Coach.

Superintendent Patrick Rau asked for a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for Lange so she could qualify for early retirement to allow her to get full benefits. Lange meets the requirements with 15 years of continuous service to the district and has taught for 30 years, but didn't meet the age requirement, being only 57 years old. Rau stated if we waive the age factor, then she will qualify for full retirement benefits. The Board approved the waiver to allow Lange to receive the full benefit package.

In his Adminstrator report Rau said with a reduction in anticipated expenses of $146,288 for unused services due to COVID that amount was transferred to Fund 46 to be used for improvement funds. Other anticipated expenses will be an additional amount of $320,000 in additional expenses that is offset by the Cares Grant in the amount of $110,000, which still leaves a remaining balance of $210,000 for needed items for the pandemic.

Three vehicles were donated to the District including a 1987 Ford pickup truck with a value of $600 from Elizabeth Rocque, a 1997 Dodge sedan from Mary Beth Edwards with a value of $1,000 and a 2009 Pontiac G8 with a value of $4,000 donated by Tye Schoenebeck. All vehicles will be used for the Automotive Program.

Policies Committee Member Jenny Schwittay asked Rau, "Do we have a place to put them all"? Rau responded, "Yes, some will be scrapped for parts and after being scrapped they will go to the scrap yard".

There were also two donations from the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO). One was in the amount of $842.73 and $418.23 to be used for Student Engagement for general requests from classroom teachers.

Building and Grounds Committee Chairman Josh Seefeldt gave an update for capital improvement projects stating the main reason he wanted to push this through now is if we have the opportunity to get started early we would like to and in order to get a price, a lot of times we only have 30 days to make a decision until the price lock is not valid. Projects will include remodeling of six rooms, a fencing project to the playground by the parking lot, blacktopping by the PELC shed and dumpsters scheduled for Spring or Summer, crack sealing on the tennis courts with Peshtigo Asphalt spray coating and repainting the lines on the court and adding lector room furniture to make the room more usable, along with patching and epoxying the floor for slip resistance. The furniture has the flexibility to be configured in many different ways, keeping in mind social distancing to seat 24 to 30 people comfortably and max out at 72 when we are at a point of not needing to social distance. The board approved to go forward with these projects plus an additional project of replacing the boiler at the PELC with a bid from Tweet Garrot for $58,705.

The Board also approved board goals including the main goals of a safety - evacuation plan, mental health support for students and staff, especially after the pandemic is over, matching up career and vocational programing with career needs and staffing, more parental feedback, review support options from WASB as to how they can better structure their meetings and continue with the Connect program. Rau also thanked the Peshtigo Times for their support of the schools and putting in press releases provided by Midddle School History/ Career Exploration Teacher, Sam Zuehls.

Chamber of Commerce President Tony O'Neill gave an update of recent and upcoming Chamber events. There will be a Community Business Celebration on Dec. 5; The Chamber teamed up with the school Kids Closet to fill the Kayak and will be getting a list of what items are needed; Received favorable feedback on a major grant that we hope to get an official letter for; We met with the Building and Grounds Committee, Board of Public Works Director George Cowell, Alderman Rick Berth and our plans for the Kayak launch falls in line with the maintenance for the city boat dock launch and can be co-ordinated with the that. Rau commented, "We will lose three parking spots, but we have overflow parking to use".

The Board approved the first reading of all polices from 0162 through 8900 and also the second reading of #3362, 4362 and 5517.


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