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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Lena Seeks Middle, High School Principal

With multiple “snow days” already in the books for the 2012-2013 school year, the Monday, Feb. 18 meeting of the Lena School Board saw another adjustment to this year’s calendar.

The original schedule had established days off for Friday, March 1 and Monday, March 4. Because of the number of weather related cancellations this winter, the District had already announced there will be school on March 4. At the meeting the Board decided to also have school on Friday, March 1. Parents will be notified in the school newsletter sent out later in the week.

The School Board also reviewed and established the school year calendar for 2013-2014. While very similar to this school year, the calendar is highlighted with the dates: The first day of school will be Tuesday, Sept. 3; there will be no school during the week of Thanksgiving/Deer Season; Christmas break will be Dec. 21-Jan. 1, March 7 and 10 are scheduled to be off or used as snow makeup days, Easter Break is April 18-21; graduation is set for May 28, and the last day of school is June 6.

In other matters, the Board approved Tyler Wagner as the Assistant Track Coach.

The Board also approved the 2013-2014 CESA 8 contract which provides professional servicesthat the district cannot afford to do by itself. There were a couple of changes to next year’s contract, dropped were library/media delivery services and some unneeded autism services. Added to the contract was Educator Effectiveness Training. The Lena School contract with CESA 8 is in the $56,000 range.

After a very brief discussion, the Board approved a resolution supporting the “Fair Funding for our Future,” that has been proposed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for the 2013-2015 state budget.

The plan is the brainchild of Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The program calls for greater responsibility at the state level and requests school aid increases of 3.75 percent in 2013-2014 and 4.5 percent in 2014-2015.

The biggest factor behind the proposed increases is Evers’ plan to return to a system where the state funds at least two-thirds of a district’s per-pupil costs by 2017. These increases would ensure that every child in Wisconsin would be guaranteed at least $3,000 in state funding every year beginning in 2013-2014.

According to District Administrator David Honish, if the plan is adopted by the state legislature the Lena School District could see a funding increase next school year of about $90,000.

The Board approved the second and final reading of these three district policies: 7530.01 Wireless Communication Allowance and Staff use of Wireless Communications Devices (Property); 7542 Network Access from Personally-Owned Computers and/or Other Web-Enabled Devices (Property); and 7543 Remote Access to the District’s Network.

Prior to entering into closed session on the topic of “Discussion on the Preliminary Notice, Consideration or Nonrenewal/Layoff to Staff Members,” Honish explained the matter concerned elective teachers. The number of students taking electives is low because of small numbers in the high school classes next year. Consideration is being given to cancelling some of the elective classes and using those teachers in other needed teaching capacities during the timeslots of the cancelled electives. This route is more desirable rather than cutting staff or cutting their hours.

After the closed session, no action was taken, meaning that no non-renewals or layoffs were considered or issued.

Student Board member Marlena Wagner was not present at the meeting because she was involved in basketball game at the time.

Elementary Principal Carla Spice reported that the WKCE test results have arrived and will be mailed to parents. She also reported that scheduling work for next school year is underway.

The Elementary School was the recipient of a $2,500 gift. Spice explained that an area resident had received an award which allowed him to name two local charities as recipients. He chose the Elementary School and the Lena Library.

The Elementary School is also working on a yearbook for the students.

Under future activities, Spice announced the annual “Read Across America” event is approaching. The event is in connection with Dr. Seuss. Mr. Bookmark will also make an appearance at the school in early March. Parent/Teacher conferences are being held this week in all schools in the district.

Honish also reported on the WKCE test scores, explaining that a letter was included with the scores listing the changes to the scoring format.

Two major accomplishments were acknowledged in athletics. Marlena Wagner was congratulated for surpassing the 1000 point mark in her high school basketball career and Sam Beschta was congratulated for advancing to the State Wrestling Tournament.

The agenda called for a discussion of the Grade Point Average process, but that discussion was postponed until the next meeting.

The last discussion item was an update on the interview process for the Middle/High School Principal position. Elementary Principal Spice will retire at the end of the school year and the current Middle/High School principal David Honish will move to the Elementary Principal position while still being the Administrator. Hence the need for a Middle/High School opening.

Honish reported there were about 30 applicants for the position. He is anticipating the list will be narrowed down before interviews take place in March.






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