By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Redman to end long career
At Seneca Schools
Seneca School District

SENECA - The really big news at the Seneca School Board meeting on Monday night came at the very end, when the board voted to accept the resignation of veteran teacher Kim Redman-effective at the end of the school year.

Redman has taught high school phy ed and math at Seneca for the past 37 years. She is currently, and has been for many years, the high school girls basketball coach.

Redman was also a student at Seneca, and played on the first interscholastic girls basketball team in the mid-70s. In fact, she held the career scoring record for many years.

A particularly interesting topic of conversation at the Seneca School Board meeting involved the school calendar.

The discussion began, when Seneca School Superintendent David Boland pointed out in his report that the district had already used 3.6 of its allotted snow days this year with the possibility of some winter weather bearing down on the area later this week.

Boland gave the board a couple of alternatives for solving the problem of meeting the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s required time of instruction.

The first alternative he offered was using one or more of the days at the end of upcoming spring break. A Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday would be available. The district administrator said the break could be shortened by eliminating a Wednesday, creating another day of instruction. If necessary the Tuesday and Monday could also become instructional class days.

Another alternative might be to add days at the end of the school year.

The last day of school on the current calendar is Friday,  May 26 and May 29 is Memorial Day. Students could return to school on May 30 and 31 if necessary to add instructional time

“It would be nice to be done before Memorial Day,” Seneca School Board President Shawn Lenzendorf said.

 Thursday, June 1 and Friday June 2 also could be instructional days.

Another alternative proposed by Boland was the virtual instruction of the students on snow days, when they stayed home.

The district administrator told the board that virtual days would work well with high school and middle school students, but would be tougher for the elementary school students because of short attention spans.

Board member Brittany Joy mentioned the idea of sending packets of materials home with elementary students to enhance their virtual experience.

Boland said virtual days would not be used without advance warning. Should there be advance warning of a virtual day this week?

For her part, Joy seemed to favor a wait-and-see approach.

“Let’s see how we get through this week,” Joy said.

Board member Adam Green recalled having minutes added to school days to make up time for missed days, when he attended school in Boscobel.

The board heard the options and discussed them, and everyone seemed ready to see what the weather created at the end of the week.

2023-2024 calendar

Well, it wasn’t just this year’s school calendar that was a topic of Boland’s report. What will the 2023-24 calendar look like?

“Well, if you want it to look like this year’s calendar, the easiest way to accomplish that would be to start in August and attend school on Tuesday, Aug. 29,; Wednesday, Aug. 30; and Thursday, Aug. 31; Boland told the board.

However, Wisconsin State Law does not allow school districts to start school before September 1, unless they are granted a waiver to do so by the DPI.

 The district administrator said he would try to apply for a waiver and that the DPI was flexible, but they needed a reason to grant the waiver.

“I’m not sure we can get a waiver,” Boland told the board.

In other business

In other business, the Seneca School Board:

• learned consumer price index to which staff salaries are generally tied is predicted to reach eight percent in the next year, and school districts are in a quandary as to how to deal with the situation

• approved a continuation of the district’s soccer co-op with Prairie du Chien and River Ridge at a cost  of $100 per participating student

• renewed there 20-year wrestling co-op agreement with North Crawford at a pro-rated cost based on number of students participating from each school

• approved allowing the senior class trip to Branson, Missouri to take an extra school day off, so the class could take advantage of some greatly reduced rates

• learned that the January student count for the district was 255–up two from the September count

• learned the programs incentivizing good behavior with trips and rewards for middle school students was working, according to high school-middle school principal Alex Osterkamp

• conferred the Seneca Area School District Monthly recognition award on Grace Varo, Sam Gallagher and Lilly McCullick, the Seneca Spelling Bee Champions, for their performance at the Sectional held at Southwest Tech; Jared Grimsled for wrestling his way into the WIAA Sectional; and to senior basketball player Evan Payne for scoring 1,000 career points and being chosen ‘Student Athlete of the Week’ by a local radio station.