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April 16, 2021

3/23/2021 9:47:00 AM
Dodgeville School Board moving forward with 2021-22 plans

Stay tuned.
That was the message presented to the Dodgeville School Board about what learning will look like next year. In Monday's presentation Bryan Brom discussed the virtual component which was accomplished this past year due to COVID but has worked so well that many families want it to continue in 2021-22.
Those indicating they favor a virtual or virtual/hybrid plan had higher numbers in the high school and middle school than the elementary levels.
Brom said a survey will go out this week with future presentations to take place in the "stay tuned" time between now and when the decision on virtual offerings has to be made. The timeline for committing to virtual learning must be followed for staffing decisions. Brom said he favors a dedicated position for delivering instruction virtually.
Board member Mike Knoedler said he sees the possibility of virtual learning projecting further into the future.
District Administrator Paul Weber said the district did well in virtual delivery this year with the dedicated staff position.
"While others are discussing going back to a regular model by offering virtual we could attract more students through open enrollment," Weber said.
Robert Smudde, who oversees pupil services in the district said students find ways to interact and remain social with technology helping with the social/emotional needs.
Brom added that many parents have said being involved in helping their students in virtual learning has been a benefit in bringing the family closer together.
"Who knows, maybe this will be the new norm," Brom said.
Knoedler said some of the parents who put their children back into face to face learning said they did so because of not being able to stay home to help their children learn.
More discussion is scheduled for the  April committee and board meetings.
The board discussed creating a before and after school program to give students with no place to be and no place to go before and after school a place to be when parents must be at work. It would run into the evening until parents can pick up their child. An anticipated cost of $60,000 to $70,000 for the district is expected.
"We would want the program to be successful and this could help with virtual plans as well as open enrollment," Weber said.
Weber will meet with the Finance Committee to determine a funding source. He added that there is work to be done and one thing is sending out a questionnaire to determine a need.
"We need to get moving on this if we want to have it ready for next year,"said Weber.
The board gave Weber approval to move forward with creating the program.
Graduation requirements for future classes were discussed and the board approved adding a credit.
Other Board Matters
The board also heard:
-Third grade is ready for a competency based report card next year. Third and fourth quarter will see rubric instead of letters for K, 1-2-3, which is a mastery of proficiency focus. The card will reveal the standards taught at the elementary level which reveals the acquisition of skills rather than the acquisition of points.
The idea is to determine the percent of measurement as to what the student is learning.
Director of Learning Jacque Goetzke said there are many elementary, middle and high schools using skills measurement rather than points earned.
-K-8 teachers are looking at options to upgrade math from programs which are becoming outdated.
-Disability, economic status, ethnicity and the effect on learning is being studied and reviewed.
-The move of the seventh grade from the high school building to the middle school building went very well.
-The district spent an additional $250,000 for sub teachers during COVID and will see if some of those costs can be recovered.
"Those subs were money well spent as we were able to keep school running," Weber said. "It was a great decision to hire the subs."
-A tech budget report was presented to the board by Joe Ruskey of Dependable Solutions. His report was long range and included getting out of leases and having the district have its own replacement plans.
Once the lease on chromebooks runs out, he recommends a five year replacement plan where the chromebook would follow the student for four years. He also discussed other replacement of equipment plans. Maintenance needs and plans were also part of the report.
Ruskey said often Dependable Solutions comes in under budget and if the money does not need to be spent it will not be.
-approved the course descriptions with minor changes from last month's meeting.
-The board adjusted the district chromebook policy to include a cost for insurance and rental.
-The board approved the first reading of the district's restraint and seclusion policy.
Athletic Director Joey Martin
Martin said the district's youth basketball teams are struggling at finding places to play games and he feels there could be hosting possibilities in the local gyms. Competition would involve only single opponents and not multiple schools.
Martin also asked consideration for a fitness run by the DNR and hosting blood drives. Administration will consider requests on a case by case basis.
Martin also said several athletes have received special honors. Charlie Meudt was at state individual wrestling as a 106 pound freshman, Brooklyn Murphy competed at state individual gymnastics on two events and two basketball players, Olivia Argall and Dillon Garthwaite, have earned all-state honorable mention in Division 3.
Also, the board approved the spring coaching contracts for extra-curriculars as presented by Martin.
The board accepted with thanks for her service the retirement of Deb Flynn who has been in the middle school office staff for years.
The board was introduced to new business manager Sam Lehman who will take over when Lois Weier retires. They approved his employment.
In another personnel matter the board approved a non-renewal of the long term district subs (not performance related). The non-renewal is required by law per the district's attorney Eileen Brownlee. The board wants the subs to know they are appreciated and this is being done as it is a requirement.

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