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SCC school board president earns Level 5 award from WASB

St. Croix Central School District Board of Education President Howard Kruschke receives the Certificate of Achievement Board Level Five award from John Ashley, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)

John Ashley, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, made a special trip from Madison Monday afternoon to recognize the achievements of St. Croix Central School Board President Howard Kruschke in person.

”You have here in Howard a leader, somebody who has been committed not only to the students in your district but to students throughout Wisconsin,” Ashley said. “This Certificate of Achievement Board Level 5 is being awarded to Howard for his commitment to children through continuous participation in our Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) programs and activities. Level 5 is the highest level that you can achieve as a school board member in the WASB. You don’t get to be a Level 5 by just doing the job. It is about raising your knowledge of education.”

Earlier in the evening, Kruschke took the opportunity to thank the community for supporting the board and passing both referendum questions in the Nov. 4 election.

“I would like to thank the citizens who participated in our Facilities Task Force. They were very instrumental in getting information out to the community,” Kruschke said. “Secondly, I would like to thank the community for having the confidence in both the committee and the school board to support this package. Your vote of confidence is very much appreciated.”

Board directors David Olsen and Scott DeGross summarized the plans for construction discussed at last Wednesday’s kickoff meeting moving forward from passage of the referendum.

Surveying and soil boring are underway while Wold Architects works to prepare detailed plans beginning with STEM facilities and the new bus garage to be put out for construction bidding by the end of January. Meanwhile WASB attorney Barry Forbes is reviewing design and construction contracts to be presented to the board at its Dec. 8 meeting.

“They (Miron Construction and Wold Architects) know the budget is the budget. Construction costs are not going up, so we are going to get great facilities but we are going to stay on budget and on schedule,” said DeGross.

DeGross noted that major facility additions including the auditorium and STEM facilities will be preceded by site visits to model facilities in other districts by a committee that includes stakeholders to provide ideas to guide the construction of the new SCC facilities.

Virtual Education Coordinator Stephani Owens updated the board on the progress of the district’s virtual charter school and virtual education program. The St. Croix Valley Academy of Virtual Education currently has eight full-time students enrolled while the district also teaches 17 full-time and 33 part-time virtual students outside of the academy.

“I am hopeful that the numbers in this program are going to increase, I believe very rapidly, but hopefully not more rapidly than we can handle. I’m confident that as that happens our funding will go up enabling us to fund more programs,” Owens said.

Alternative Education teacher Canyon Schultz told the board his program initially scheduled to serve four students is currently serving nine students successfully. Schultz continues to learn from other successful programs in the region. His goal is to build a well rounded, blended program balancing career, social and academic opportunities for students. Focusing on post secondary opportunities and taking advantage of local school to work programs will not only benefit students but could also provide additional financial support for the alternative education program.

Other business --To fund the initial phase of design and construction approved in the referendum, the board approved a resolution authorizing the issuance and awarding the sale of $10,000.000 in Bond Anticipation Notes before year’s end.

-- Based on passage of the referendum, the board approved changes to the 2014-15 budget affecting Revenue Fund 10, Revenue Fund 39, and Fund 10 Expenditures.

-- To avoid conflict with holiday music events at the middle school and high school, the board moved its December meeting to Monday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. in the middle school library.