By TRICIA HILL
As the school year inches closer, REMS Principal Shari Hougan updated the Riverdale School Board at their monthly meeting Monday night on changes to the four-year-old kindergarten. As of right now there are 36 students registered for the 4K programs, which would make for two sections, one to be held in the morning and one to be held in the afternoon. Out of those students six of them will be attending Head Start or Early Childhood, which will put the Kinder Academy group at about 13 students per section.
“We are calling it Kinder Academy because we don’t want to call it daycare as it is part of the learning day and we don’t want people to confuse it with Chieftain Care,” Hougan said.
The Kinder Academy will be ran by Alecia Hach in the morning and Sandy Menne in the afternoon. Then Mrs. Drone along with a paraprofessional will have the students for three hours of instruction. The morning class with Mrs. Drone will meet from 8 a.m. – 11a.m. and the afternoon class will meet 12:15 – 3:15 p.m.
The 4K students and the Kinder Academy students will attend lunch at 11 a.m. by the paraprofessionals. The students will have from 11:00 – 11:45 a.m. for lunch and recess. Following that the students will be brought in for quiet time activities with the paraprofessionals. When Mrs. Drone returns from lunch and prep time at 12:15 p.m. she will begin her second session of 4K.
“A meeting will be set up with the staff involved in the Early Learning Programs to discuss the specific schedule during the Kinder Academy and 4K class time,” Hougan said.
Hougan explained to the board that letters were sent out to parents about two weeks ago explaining the full day four-year-old program about two weeks ago.
Riverdale’s Chieftain Care daycare will run again this year in the morning from 6:30 a.m. – 7:40 a.m. and after school until 5:30 p.m. The daycare will also be open to students for scheduled early release days.
“There will again be a fee for this service. My plan is to put the registration form on the website and send an Alert Now message about how to access it. Parents can look for the registration form to be out sometime this week,” Hougan said.
Chieftain Time and Kinder Academy will be in room 127 and 4K will now be in room 129. The rooms have new carpet and epoxy flooring.
At the end of the school year, 17 AP tests were taken by 12 Riverdale students and out of those students nine of them received an average of three or higher, which will earn them at least three college credits or more. For example a five or higher in AP Calculus would earn five credits of Math at UW-Madison. Out of the 17 tests that were taken, as a whole the Riverdale students earned a total of 37 college credits by just taking the AP exams.
The high school, offered summer school math courses for Algebra and Geometry with a certified math teacher. The classes ran for an hour each day during the morning.
“The middle school started this last year and we feel that this is more productive than trying to have struggling math students on a computer trying to relearn math,” Principal Jonathan Schmidt said.
This program was promoted as an enrichment class for students who wanted to get a head start for the 2015-16 school year. However, no students seemed to show an interest but they still plan to continue this practice next summer for the students.
Schmidt also announced to the board that congratulations was in order for Riverdale senior Tiara Thomas. Thomas competed at the International North American Powerlifting Championships at Moose Jaw, Canada and earned a gold medal.
“Tiara is a great athlete and we are very proud of her,” Schmidt said.
With a recommendation by administrator Bryce Bird the board approved a 1.62 percent base wage increase for REA members and a 1.62 percent base wage increase for the RCAP members. The wage increase for the RCAP will result in a 10-cent an hour increase for wages and a 15-cent increase on regular bus routes.
Bird also recommended that the board approve the REA and RCAP supplemental pay agreements. The REA increase would be 25 cents per hour for extra duty pay to make it $20.25 per hour. The extra curricular base pay was increased by 1.62 percent. RCAP was increased for night differential from 15 cents to 25 cents per hour. The bus driver waiting time was increased by 20 cents to $7.45 per hour.
The board approved the hiring of Rachel McKay as assistant softball coach, Jen Mau and Chelsea Clark as middle school volleyball coaches, Dale Spies as wrestling varsity assistant/JV coach, Tim Miller as JV volunteer coach, Butch Layton at middle school wrestling coach, and Nick VanEpps as high school cross country coach.
The board hired on Sarah Martinsen as a second grade teacher, Emily Dickman as an elementary guidance counselor, and Megan Witt as a high school math teacher.
The board accepted resignations from Katie Moore as 7-12 English teacher, Abby Wiest as a middle school girls' baseketball coach, and Terry Barne, Elementary Special Education teacher. They also accepted the retirement of Mary Devenny, Business Specialist, which will be effective as of June 30, 2016. Devenny has been with the school district for the past 32 years.