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Somerset School Board 6/15/09

Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 11:00am

regular meeting of the board of education

school district of somerset

June 15, 2009 Minutes

Board President Tim Witzmann called the meeting to Order at 7:04 p.m.

Roll Call was taken. Present were Tim Witzmann, Catherine Cranston, Brian Moulton, Marie Colbeth, Robert Gunther and Marin Hansch. Board member Mike Connor was absent.

Colbeth moved, with second by Moulton, to approve the agenda. Motion carried unanimously.

Witzmann read the rules for the Groups or Individuals Wishing to be Heard portion of the meeting. No one came forward.

Positive Recognition

Board member Mike Connors was unable to be present to receive the 20-year WASB board member service plaque. Witzmann stated the recognition will be postponed to a later date.

The board recognized 2009 State Destination Imagination participants including Ashley Beasley, Brittanny Birrenbach, Courtney Buckland, Emily Colombo, Jordan Danielson, Brian Dolezal, Jack Emmert, Ashton Harrell, Frank Johnson, Aaron Joppru, Tyler Kupczak, Kacie Larkowski, Rhys Linke, Cassie Mussehl, Ethan Pike, Kaitlin Raber, Katriana Ryther, Tayva Strom, and Nicole Tetzlaff, as well as advisors Rosanne Erickson and Richard Thompson. Rosanne Erickson introduced the students in attendance and stated DI had a wonderful year, with three teams going to state. She said students did a terrific job representing Somerset Schools. Board member Hansch thanked the students for their creativity and enthusiasm as she presented certificate of recognition awards.

The board recognized 2009 State Track & Field participants including Cole Cloutier, Darrin Emmeck, Monica Emerson, Christina Flandrick, Gina Hanzlik, Sara Henry, Natalya Kandakova, Alicia Potting, Lauren Rathai, Dylan Rivard, Elizabeth Vanasse, and Lauren Westerdahl, as well as coaches Diane Belter, Nathan Klinger, Autumn Powers, and David Praschak. Nathan Klinger said the athletes were an amazing group of kids and said he had a great time coaching them. Dave Praschak said it was a good and productive year, and summarized events of the successful season. Witzmann thanked the students and coaches for their long hours and commitment. Board member Moulton thanked the participants while presenting recognition certificates to them.

The board recognized school health care staff Patty Schachtner, Dawn Spafford, and Chuck Ennis, as well as school nutritionist Debbie Revalee for receiving the Governor's Health Award. High School Principal Shawn Madden stated the high school received the silver award last year, making it quite an exciting accomplishment to receive the gold award this year. Middle School Principal Rick Lange said the middle school was the recipient of a bronze award, and thanked Spafford for her outstanding efforts, noting Spafford helps coordinate health care services between the three schools. Elementary School Principal Cherrie Wood said the elementary school received a silver award this year, stating Ennis would like to try for the gold award next year. Cranston awarded recognition certificates to the recipients.

Meeting recessed at 7:32 p.m. and reconvened at 7:48 p.m.

Consent Agenda

Cranston moved, with second by Colbeth, to approve the Consent Agenda:

A. Approval of Minutes of the Regular Session of May 18, 2009

B. Approve payment of May/June Board Bills

C. Approve hiring of Melissa Terbeest as K-4 EBD teacher for the 2009-10 school year

D. Approve hiring of Kristin Flater as elementary school librarian/media specialist for the 2009-10 school year

E. Approve hiring of Brianne Mehlos as elementary school guidance counselor for the 2009-10 school year

F. Approve hiring high school Science 9 teacher for the 2009-10 school year

G. Approve resignation elementary teacher Pamela Johnstone

H. Approve Coaching Assignments

I. Approve Orthopaedic Sports, Inc. (OSI) Athletic Training Services Contract

J. Approve New Richmond News as official newspaper

K. Approve Anchor Bank as official bank

Motion carried unanimously.


Board member Cranston said Teaching & Learning Committee members reviewed a description of the duties of board liaison from last year's conversation regarding roles of a board liaison. Cranston said the committee was not interested in having the description as a policy, but more as a guideline. Witzmann would like to see a board liaison representative for all three buildings and asked members to let him know if they were interested. Witzmann indicated he may assign positions if he doesn't receive volunteers. Colbeth felt there should be two liaisons for each school. Witzmann stated he would be receptive to one or two at each school. Members agreed that assignments should be done in July.


Superintendent Rosburg stated enrollment numbers have been stable for the past couple of months. Rosburg noted there are now 100 or better students in each of the grades from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Rosburg said committee meetings slated for Monday, July 6, 2009 include Teaching & Learning Committee to review student and teacher handbooks. Because of a previous commitment, Cranston asked that the meeting be scheduled for a later time that day. Board agreed to set the meeting for 7:00 p.m.

Board of Education Report

Cranston updated board members on CESA 11 board activities, stating she recently attended the CESA 11 Annual Meeting where there were no major changes in representation of the board cluster. Board members discussed community involvement. Witzmann said he attended many graduation open houses and received a number of questions about the length of the school year this year, as well as questions regarding the new soccer fields.

Curriculum & Instruction Report

Ron Berg, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, reported on Project Lead the Way (PLTW), saying it is a very reputable and much prescribed program connected with the Milwaukee School of Engineering and will be the next step to 21st Century learning. Starting next school year, the district will include four PLTW courses over the next three years. Students will need to enroll, or be currently enrolled in, Algebra 1 to be able to participate in the program. Berg said high school instructor Eric Olson will attend the Milwaukee school of Engineering for PLTW instructor training.

Elementary School Principal Report

Elementary School Principal Cherrie Wood reported the elementary school is in the process of interviewing candidates for several elementary positions. She said the number of employment applications for the positions have been high. Wood continues to gather field trip data regarding behavior and course relevance for the year, and hopes to bring that data to next month's board meeting. Report card assessments will be brought to the Teaching & Learning Committee in July for review. Wood then introduced Jr. Kindergarten teacher Donna Eiring, who provided a short presentation on Jr. Kindergarten thematic learning and how students used the theme of corn to weave into other areas of learning.

High School Principal Report

High School Principal Shawn Madden recognized May students of the month congratulating them on demonstrating "Qualities for Life" in one or all three areas of sympathy, tolerance, and trustworthiness. Madden also thanked high school staff for their continued assistance with this successful program throughout the year. Madden stated Johanna Smith will be coming back as the 2009-10 Student Board Representative. Witzmann asked Madden to inform Smith the board will be pleased to have her back.

Middle School Principal Report

Middle School Principal Rick Lange reported that the middle school had a successful close to the school year, and that tomorrow is the start of summer school classes. Lange said Brad and Sandy Nemec have organized an extensive class list of summer school classes for this year. Lange went on to report some of the activities held at the middle school this month included the World Day Celebration which was bigger and better than last year. Students all over the building presented their thematic projects and alternated doing their presentations and viewing other students' presentations. Lange said there were quite a few parents and community members who also attended. Lange said that 8th grade students had visitors from the high school speech class who put together a video for them on how to survive 9th grade.

Business Manager Report

Business Manager Robert Avery provided an update on the cash flow report stating the district is in good shape and that the district is set for the summer in terms of cash flow. Avery stated, with regard to the 2009-2010 budget development, two changes will be made as a result of action taken last week by the state legislative Joint Finance committee and assembly committee. The bill is expected to move on to the Senate. Some of the major changes that came out of the bill is the lowered the per-pupil costs from $275-to $200 to cover inflationary cost. This change may impact the district with a $120,000 in reduction of revenue; Avery stated, however, that this may be made up with the $326,000 special education stimulus dollars of which fifty percent can be used to offset other district costs. Avery stated the district is in good shape relative to what is coming out of Madison, and that the district is very close to, or on target, for its budget plan.

Pupil Services Director Report

Pupil Services Director Darren Kern reported that part of the special education self-assessment validation process includes assessment and review of student files to assure complacency. Somerset was asked to choose and send six student files for assessment review. The reviews will come back with a determination of complacency. Kern said special education staff is excited about the stimulus money the department is slated to receive, stating it holds a unique opportunity to purchase items the district would not normally be able to purchase such as assistive devices for students. Kern also reported that the department is waiting for the final results of the Autism Project Assessment. Kern said the district stands out as exceptional and a national leader amongst school districts in the area of social skills and social competence. He said this area was specific to Sonya Stewart's teaching, stating Stewart had been asked to make a presentation about her Autism project later this month in Madison. The board was excited to hear of Stewart's achievements and will recognize Stewart at a future board meeting.

On behalf of the Business Services Committee, Colbeth moved, with second by Witzmann, to approve the 2009-2010 Preliminary Budget. Colbeth stated Avery did a great job of providing information to the committee. Witzmann reminded members the budget is preliminary and to keep in mind various impacts such as student numbers and other variables. Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Business Services Committee, Colbeth moved, with second by Cranston, to approve the 2008-09 Budget Amendments. Colbeth stated that the district will continue to look at budget amendments in a more timely fashion rather than waiting until the end of the year as in the past. Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Business Services Committee, Colbeth moved, with second by Moulton, to approve the Specification and Drawing Contract from HVP Design, Inc. for Somerset Middle School Circulation Pumps. Rosburg stated bids received came in higher than anticipated and will bring more information back to the board for further consideration. After no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Business Services Committee, Colbeth moved, with second by Moulton, to approve the Vonasek & Scheiffer, Inc. Proposal for Middle School Masonry Repairs. Colbeth stated the actual repairs came in higher than the initial bid because it was discovered more repairs needed to be done than initially bid; she said having the vendor repair the deteriorating masonry while they were there was more cost efficient than to wait and have the vendor return. The board agreed that the newfound masonry deteriorations were important to repair immediately. Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Business Services Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Colbeth, to approve the E.O. Johnson Bid Proposal for the Somerset Middle School Copier. Cranston stated the staff has been very pleased with E.O. Johnson's past services, and the copier bid came in very low. Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Business Services Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Gunther, to approve the Transfer of $200,000 from Fund 10 to Fund 73 of the OPEB Trust Fund Account. Avery explained that the district is positively aided and is in a position where the additional expenditure for this year will increase the district's shared costs which will result in an additional $19,000 of state aid. Avery stated the district will see nearly $26,000 of one-time additional aid dollars next year. Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Teaching and Learning Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Colbeth, to approve a Comprehensive School Counseling Program. Cranston informed the board that the purpose of a school counseling program is to help students develop skills that will help them become good students and citizens. Cranston stated Somerset school counselors presented a PowerPoint presentation of the program; committee members felt the program was very comprehensive and will be good for students. Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Teaching and Learning Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Moulton, to approve the 2009-2010 District Goals. Cranston said the goals have had two readings with no major changes at the committee level.

Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Teaching and Learning Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Hansch, to approve staffing for Jr. Kindergarten & Kindergarten Aides Allowing Current Staffing to Continue into the 2009-10 School Year. Wood said aides have been a tremendous help for the elementary school. Motion carried unanimously.

On behalf of the Teaching and Learning Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Hansch, to approve the Middle School Principal Transition Plan. Cranston said the committee was very impressed with how detailed the plan was, stating it was a good plan for new leadership and ultimately for students. Motion carried unanimously.

Cranston moved, with second by Moulton to adjourn at 8:50 p.m. Motion carried.

Tim Witzmann, President

Catherine Cranston, Clerk