BOSCOBEL - At their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, August 1, the Boscobel School Board heard a presentation from junior Dakota Bedward about the Wisconsin Ambassador of Music recognition he received from Governor Tony Evers. He has been selected from among Wisconsin high school music students to spend two weeks in five different European nations playing music with other students selected for the program.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Bedward told the board. “I plan to continue with music after I graduate from high school, and am hoping for the school district to support me in fundraising for the trip, and a sponshorship.”
According to the ‘Wisconsin Ambassadors for Music’ website, “for over 50 years, the Ambassadors of Music program has celebrated talented student performers by giving them the chance to both share their music abroad, and experience breathtaking destinations across Europe.”
The trip will start in the United Kingdom, with a visit to Windsor Castle, exploration of historical sites in London, and two musical performances in London at Convent Garden and St. Matthews Church. On day four, the group will move to Paris, driving through the beautiful countryside in Normandy, France. In Paris, the group will explore historic sites, visit the Louvre Museum, and provide a musical performance at Luxembourg Gardens/L’eglise de Madeleine. From there, they will drive to the Crans Montana resort in Switzerland. After exploring the town, the group will depart for Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva, Switzerland, where they will visit historic sites and provide a musical performance at Orangerie. On day nine, the group will travel by train to the Zermatt ski resort, featuring a view of the Matterhorn Mountain. From there, the students will travel to Germany via the French town of Colmar.
On day eleven, the group will explore the German city of Rothenburg, and provide a musical performance at the city center. On day twelve, the group will move on to Salzburg, Austria, visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp en route. They will continue on to Vienna to explore, and walk the same streets that Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Haydn once walked. Their last day on the tour will be spent in Salzbur, touring famous concert venues, and conclude with a farewell dinner in the famous great hall of Stiegl Keller.
The dates of the trip will be June 27-July 12, 2023. The total cost of the trip is $7,000, and Bedward said that he has already raised $1,000.
“In fundraising for the trip, I have worked at A&W, Kinetic Creations, odd jobs, and sold ice cream for Udder Brothers,” Bedward said.
Bedward’s mother explained that the family is required to make monthly payments toward the cost of the trip. She said they have set up an account at People’s State Bank where donations can be sent, at 1609 Elm Street, Boscobel, WI, 53805. Checks should be made payable to Dakota Bedward.
“Dakota will continue his efforts of fundraising over the school year at sporting events, concerts, and within the community as well,” District Administrator Lisa Wallin-Kapinus explained.
The board conducted a discussion of what the district COVID protocols for the upcoming school year would be. School Nurse Suzanne Brinkman led the discussion.
“The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is still waiting on the Centers for Disease Control to issue an updated guidance,” Brinkman said. “Grant County Public Health Officer Jeff Kindrai has pointed out that only 50 percent of Grant County citizens have been vaccinated, and is encouraging schools to require sick students to quarantine, continuing the test-to-return policy, leaving it up to parents to decide if their child should quarantine after being a close contact to a positive case, continuing to maintain a COVID dashboard for the school, requiring masking for positive cases that are returning to school, and the county will support the schools with contact tracing.”
Ultimately, after extensive discussion, the board decided:
• face coverings and masks will be optional
• students and staff should stay home when they are ill; there will be no specific COVID-19 exclusion protocols – students and staff who exhibit symptoms of illness will be sent home, and can return when they are fever-free for 24 hours, symptoms are improving, and they feel well enough to attend school. Communicable diseases guidance and illness protocols will apply
• the district will not contact trace for positive cases, and close contacts will not be identified by the school. If reported to the school, close contacts do not have to quarantine at home, and will not be required to wear a mask at school functions
• COVID-19 testing is encouraged, but not required, when symptoms are present. All COVID-19 test results, including home tests are accepted. Test results reported to the school nurse must be confirmed with evidence of the test result by lab result, screenshot of home test result, or confirmation from a public health resource
• hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette will be encouraged, and hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms, on buses and throughout the buildings
• routine cleaning and disinfection of school buildings and transportation vehicles will occur, and high contact areas will be disinfected once daily as needed
• good ventilation has been pursued through cleaning of all ducts prior to the 2021-22 school year, and unit filters are cleaned/replaced monthly
• the district’s COVID-19 protocols will be posted on the district website, positive cases within the district will be reported via the dashboard, and employees of the district are required to self-report positive test results
• students will be offered in-person learning only, and students will significant underlying health issues will be considered through 504 special education avenues. The district will arrange remote learning or homework during any isolation. Confirmed positive cases will be excused per the isolation protocol, but not more than once per 90 days. Staff will use sick days when absent due to illness or for positive COVID-19 isolation - working from home will be at their supervisor’s discretion.
Bill Foster, president of the ‘School Perceptions’ company addressed the board about conducting a survey to help gauge district voter’s thoughts and feelings about a potential buildings and grounds referendum, and prioritizing potential projects.
“You basically have one options for a referendum in 2022-23, April of 2023, because there will not be a November election in 2023,” Foster explained. “If the district wants to pursue an April 2023 referendum, then time is short to survey district voters and craft referendum language in time to meet requirements to have the referendum included on the ballot.”
Foster explained that the survey would be a paper survey, mailed to all households within the district. He said the survey could be filled out with paper and pencil, or online, and that typically about 70 percent of responses come from online. He said that the tenative timeline for the survey would be to begin work immediately, send the survey out in October, have the data by November, and make a report to the school board in December. The board would need to approve final referendum language by January of 2023.
“The beginning to end cost of the project would be $10,000,” Foster explained. “If the board is not ready to approve the entire project, you could approve phase one of survey development, sketching the framework and developing proposed language, at a cost of $1,600.”
The board voted to approve contracting with School Perceptions for phase one of survey development at a cost of $1,600, and to approve the rest of the $10,000 contract if the FAC Committee votes to move forward at their August 17 meeting.
In other business
In other business, the board:
• learned that the project to replace the tiles in the middle school building had been put on hold until further information about asbestos abatement can be obtained
• approved the district’s Seclusion and Restraint Report
• approved the Employee and Student handbooks, with proposed changes, as presented
• approved a contract with Gundersen Hospital for OT/PT services at the same price as for the prior school year• approved an ‘Educator Effectiveness’ training contract with CESA-3.