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June 16, 2019

5/17/2019 10:51:00 AM
Highland School Board elects officers, renews contracts
At their regular meeting on Wednesday, May 8, the Highland School Board elected the same officers as the previous year including Mike Dreischmeier as President, Ken Esser as Vice President, Andrea Benish as Clerk, and Todd Michek as Treasurer. Additionally, changes were made to committees as new board member Katrina Shemak was appointed to the Policy Committee, switching Brent Drury to the Transportation Committee. Other changes include Dreischmeier to Building and Grounds Committee with Greg Biba moving to the alternate, and Shemak will be an alternate on the Support Staff Committee; otherwise, the committees will be staying as they are. Michek was selected as the WASB delegate and Shemak as the CESA #3 delegate.
Contracts were renewed for most teachers - one less elementary classroom is needed, so a resolution was passed to non-renew an elementary teacher's contract. "It's not due to performance at all," Nancy Hendrickson, Highland District Administrator stated. "It's just a reduction in staff." Supplemental contracts, support staff contracts, non-union administrative and support staff contracts, and extra-curricular contracts were approved. Support staff members will be getting a raise of $0.35/hour. Non-union staff who are salaried will be seeing a 2 percent raise, and teachers will be on the salary schedule.
Highland senior Riley McGuire signed his letter of intent for the Project SEARCH program out of UW-Platteville. According to a Memorandum of Understanding submitted "Project SEARCH is a business led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration." McGuire said that he is excited for the program and to explore various employment opportunities - top on his list are coding and writing, so he'd like to make video games or do something with reading/writing. Project SEARCH staff explained that there is an employment rate of 85 percent or higher for students who graduate from the program. It provides real work experience for students. So far, 11 students from the area have applied for the program this year; last year, there were nine participants.
A 10-year maintenance/capital projects plan was passed. Projects included on the list are high school masonry/windows, main entry sidewalk curb and gutter, elementary EFIS repair/replace, roofing repair/replace, parking lot pavement, lighting upgrades, kitchen updates, and more. The board had to have this in place in order to pass the next resolution - to create a long-term capital improvement trust fund (fund 46). According to Wisconsin statute 120.137, "A school board with an approved long-term capital improvement plan (minimum of 10 years) may establish a 'trust' that is funded with a transfer from the general fund. The contribution from Fund 10 to Fund 46 (Long-term Capital Improvement Trust Fund) is recorded as the expenditure for shared cost and equalization aid purposes. Future expenditures from Fund 46 are not part of shared costs. A school board is prohibited from removing money deposited into Fund 46 for a period of five years after the fund is created. After the initial five year wait period is over, funds may only be used for the purposes identified in the approved long-term capital improvement plan. Fund 46 assets may not be transferred to any other school district fund." Hendrickson and board members thought it was a great idea to establish this fund and do some thinking ahead about maintenance projects for the school. The school will also get state aid on the money invested next year, and this will level out the impact on local taxes. "You spend money to keep getting revenues by that year; this is a way to save a bit of it [money]," Dreischmeier said. "It's a funny way to run a business - in government, you have to spend money to get money."
In other business:
• 2019-20 open enrollment applications were approved. As of the time of the meeting, Hendrickson anticipated there being 28-31 applications in with 37-39 out - these numbers could change in a hurry though. There are some students/families who have Highland as their second or third choice for open enrollment in while there are two families potentially moving.
• Donations were gratefully accepted.
• Hendrickson briefly discussed the fiscal year 2020 budget projections explaining that everything is looking good and balanced.
• The next regularly scheduled Highland School Board meeting will be Wednesday, June 12 at 6 p.m.





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