September 18, 2023 at 11:10 a.m.

MP School Board discusses possible operating referendum

By Mary Glindinning

Mineral Point School Board members discussed a possible operating referendum timeline Monday night. 

“If and when the board decides it needs to go for an operating referendum,” language of the referendum question, including the amount and term, must be approved 70 days before the election, said Superintendent Mitch Wainwright.  

The preliminary discussion included whether the question could be on the ballot April 2, which is also the state presidential primary, or the Nov. 5 presidential election. If the spring election is chosen, language would need to be approved in January. 

Operating expenses, including natural gas and water bills, have gone up, Wainwright said. 

Discussion will continue at the Oct. 9 school board meeting. 

Elementary School Principal Tom Ingwell said the first week of school went very well. 

“Morning drop-off is proceeding to get better and better, but is still a work in progress,” Ingwell said. “We’re trying to figure out traffic flow in and out,” adding that safety is the priority. 

Up to 30 students are participating in Pointer Kids Club, 25 in the after-school program and five before school. District officials expect the program to grow and mentioned potential financial aid for families. 

Brooke McGraw, assistant principal who focuses on the middle school, said sixth grade orientation had an “incredible turnout” and students are acclimating to the building and moving for classes. 

New students are moving into the district. 

“Just last week we registered six new students,” said Angela Klein, director of pupil services. “We have a lot of new students, which is wonderful. People continue to want to come to Mineral Point.” 

Two students who have not yet started classes do not speak English. “It is a changing demographic, which will be great for the community, but it is new to us,” Klein said. 

She is finding staff members conversant in Spanish and reaching out to counterparts in other districts who have experience with students who are not native English speakers. 

School board members set goals and priorities for the next three years as recruiting and retaining teachers and staff; supporting the well-being of teachers and staff; and becoming more efficient in running meetings and interacting with each other.