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Referendum projects coming to a close

According to Somerset district administrator Randy Rosburg, most of the projects funded by the referendum are almost finished and on budget. All that’s left is a few minor things to be wrapped up and final detail work, Rosburg told Board of Education members at the Monday night meeting.

Over the winter break, the middle school gym walls and floors will be painted. The high school heating and cooling system controls will be installed and balanced so the heat and cool air is distributed evenly among rooms, Rosburg said. The wrestling mats and wall mats will be installed at the high school as well.

In January, lockers will be installed in the physical education area. Lockers in the athletic area are all installed, but they were six short, Rosburg said. Those six should be coming and installed soon.

“Students have moved into the new classrooms and are using the wrestling room space,” said high school principal Chris Moore. “They are especially excited about the concession area being done and have two lunch lines.”

The final details will be wrapped up in the spring when the parking lot is chip-sealed and patched, Rosburg said.

The public is invited to attend two open houses to tour the completed facilities and see their tax dollars at work. They are scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 14 and 16. People will be available to conduct tours and answer questions.

John Huenink and Gary Zifko of Kraus-Anderson gave the facilities committee a brief overview of the planning process other school districts have used when anticipating future growth due to enrollment increases.

“It enlightened the board on how the process works,” Rosburg said. “If and when the board is ready to research whether new facilities are needed, if growth warrants it.”

DPI Vision 2017

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is working with school districts to implement positive initiatives for student learning in its Agenda 2017.

Agenda 2017 focuses on three important categories: standards and instruction (What and how should kids learn?); assessments and data systems (How do we know if they learned it?); and school and educator effectiveness (How do we ensure kids have highly effective teachers and schools?)

This is a student-based initiative, rather than an employee-based initiative, said Rosburg. The focus will be on collaboration, student learning and results.

Teachers will work locally to gather results and apply their findings to the students, Rosburg said. The four critical questions of learning will be answered by the initiative: What do we want our students to learn? How do we know if each student is learning? How will we respond to the students who aren’t learning? How will we respond to the students who are learning and may need advanced instruction?

The administrative team will continue to work with the teaching and learning committee to understand what this means for teachers and students in the district and classroom in the coming years, according to the minutes of the teaching and learning committee meeting Dec. 2.

Grants and Donations

:--The middle school received donations for two new wireless scoreboards to go in the refurbished gym, middle school principal Sara Eichten said. They were donated by Northview Service, Scientific Molding Co. and Spartan Quick Service.

--The new athletic areas in the schools were funded by donations from the following parties: the 2014 Ice Fishing Contest, Somerset Youth Football, General Sam’s Super Bowl party, John Melvin, Mitch Flandrick, Somerset Youth Track and Somerset Youth Wrestling.

--Eichten said the students are enjoying their new instruments that were purchased with the grant the district received from the St. Croix Valley Foundation.

“It’s priceless to see the looks on the kids’ faces when the instruments they’re playing actually work,” Eichten said.

Other business:

--The board approved hiring Dawn Spafford as the district census taker for 2014 at a cost of $2,700.

--The board approved hiring Zac Eichten as a 9-12 emotional and behavioral disabilities teacher for 2013-14.

--Special education aide Tabitha Lunning’s resignation was approved.

--The hiring of Anna Johnson as a seven-hour per day special education aide was approved.

--The board approved hiring Salina Caroon as the elementary school food service point of service position.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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