Before getting into a number of business items at Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, the Hillsboro School Board was apprised of the staff’s continuing success at a number of projects.
Technology Coordinator Jenny Barreau reported that the position is a “work in progress,” with much time being spent teaching keyboarding to students, but it is highly needed and very important to future success.
“It is all new to many students and extra time has been taken to assist the staff in answering tech questions from them,” she told the Board members.
“We’re also working to add an on-line assessment for parents to check during the course.”
Business Manager Mindy Lankey reported to the Board that the auditors will be coming to the school next week.
Superintendent Curt Bisarek brought the Board up to date on the many projects being taken care of during the summer school break. They included:
• Carpeting of the high school library block is nearly complete.
• Unit ventilator installation is nearly complete. The next steps will be wiring and connecting the control system.
• Truckloads of fill are continuing to arrive, and the district is getting many questions about what will happen with that area next to the high school. There are no immediate plans beyond leveling and, hopefully, seeding the area down.
• The school orchard lot will have to be rezoned so the transfer is delayed until that occurs.
Bisarek also wanted to clarify a recent headline in the Sentry Enterprise that could be misunderstood by readers.
After reporting that Gov. Scott Walker signed the state budget the previous day in Waukesha, the school can finalize its budget planning for next year.
However, he pointed out that the headline on the story reported “District Will Receive More State Aid.”
The Department of Public Instruction press release correctly identified a 4.1 per cent ($138,625) increase in state aid for the 2015-2016 school year. However, Bisarek is concerned that readers will feel that this means the district has that amount to invest in its programming.
In reality, the revenue limit did not increase, it actually went down $55,194, which means without the referendum the district would have to operate on less money in 2015-2016 than it did in 2014-2015.
Bisarek said the increase in state aid is a benefit to the district that is appreciated because it helps control property taxes.
During the business portion of the meeting, a number of decisions were discussed and voted on by the Board members.
• A Special Education driver contract was approved, with annual renewal of the contract with Kevin Munson to transport a student to Chileda in LaCrosse each day.
• A sports specialization study was approved after the University of Wisconsin-Madison requested to have schools, students and trainers participate in a study (optional) to analyze the impact of student athletes specializing.
• Approved hiring Andrea Mueller as a third grade teacher.
• Approved hiring Krista Revels as a first grade teacher.
• Approved hiring Bruce Borchardt as an assistant football coach.
• Approved an Art Club activity fund that would allow the group to raise and use funds.
• Approved the first reading of a Fleet Safety Policy that would include a walk-through by bus drivers before trips.
• Approved Appendix B and C of the employee handbook for 2015-16 school year, which will adjust the model for coaches’ and advisors’ salaries to be more in line with Scenic Bluffs Conference averages.