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Monroe School Board: April 8, 2016
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MONROE - At a meeting March 14, the Monroe school board:

• Discussed the referendum survey the board is planning to send out to community members in the district this spring. The district is working with research company School Perceptions to develop and conduct the survey. Board members critiqued a rough draft of possible survey questions with some suggesting that safety and maintenance items should be in separate questions rather than combined in a single referendum question. Member Les Bieneman said the public had ranked safety issues as a low priority in a survey last year, so a maintenance question might fail if lumped with safety. The board is looking to approve the survey at its next meeting Monday.

• Heard an update on the Youth in Government program. Monroe City Administrator Phil Rath attended the school board meeting to speak along with three of this year's four student participants. The four participants were the only ones who applied for 2015-16, but interest in the program doubled for 2016-17 with eight or nine students applying, according to Monroe High School Principal Chris Medenwaldt.

• Approved the renewal of the girls hockey co-op agreement for two years. The co-op includes Beloit, Black Hawk, Beloit Turner, Clinton, Janesville and Milton.

• Recognized Susan Lawson, MHS English teacher, who won the March Lamp of Learning Staff Excellence Award.

• Approved the retirement of Pat Bowdish, first-grade teacher at Abraham Lincoln Accelerated Learning Academy.

• Accepted the resignations of instructional staff members Kate Applegate, Parkside Elementary School special education, and Debbie Schmidt, MHS guidance counselor.

• Hired new instructional staff members: Amber Schade, MHS school psychologist, and Jenna Mathew, Monroe Middle School psychologist.

• Accepted donations: $500 from Dr. and Mrs. Lance Sathoff and family to Parkside; $400 from Mary Friedrichs to Parkside's School to Home program; $741 from Noon Optimist Club for the purchase of a Buddy Bench for Northside Elementary School; an assortment of fasteners from Monroe Farm & Fleet to MHS tech ed; a green screen from Monroe Volunteer Firefighters Association to MHS; and a piano valued at $900 from Angie and Mike Werth to the MMS music department.

The following donations were all made to Parkside's Backpack Buddies program: $1,500 from Monroe Lions Club; $500 from Loaves and Fishes Community Meal; $500 from St. John's United Church of Christ; $300 from Alpha Delta Kappa; $250 from Optimist Club Youth Fund; $250 from Hedeman Real Estate (Scott Larson); $250 from Monroe Bible Church; $250 from Monroe Clinic; $250 from Monroe Lock Shop (Mark and Cheryl Keene family); $100 from an anonymous donor; $100 from United Methodist Church; $100 from Jan Wartenweiler and family; $100 from Deb Thompson; $50 from Mark and Tammy Fetterholf; $100 from National Mutual Benefit - Branch 480; and $500 from United Methodist Church.

• Gave initial approval to updates to the District Emergency Safety Plan. District Administrator Cory Hirsbrunner said the updates include adding A.L.I.C.E. protocols, which teach individuals to make decisions during an attacker situation, such as making barricades or distracting the attacker.

• Approved revisions to policy EFA - School Wellness Policy.

• Decided not to renew contracts with seven staff members because of licensure issues or because they were late hires with a one-year contract.

• Approved a tuition agreement with Orangeville school district, where Orangeville will pay Monroe to provide educational services for a student.

• Went into closed session to discuss personnel issues.

Board president Bob Erb and vice president Scott Schmidt were absent.

MONROE - At a meeting Feb. 22, the Monroe school board:

• Heard the mid-year pupil services report given by Joe Monroe, director of pupil services, and school principals. Monroe noted that the number of office discipline referrals have been trending downward since 2012-13. Some of the schools in the district experienced a jump in ODRs during this year's first semester, but most had decreased by January. Sara Latimer, principal of Abe Lincoln, said behavior started improving after the school implemented "recess school" for second- and third-graders with two or more ODRs. Some of the increases in ODRs had been caused by how the data was being collected and didn't necessarily reflect a change in student behavior, according to administrators. Monroe said physical aggression and fighting are among the biggest behavioral issues across the district.

• Recognized Kim Schaaf, MHS technology and learning coach, for winning the February Lamp of Learning Staff Excellence Award.

• Accepted resignations from instructional staff members Alaina Nesbitt, MMS school psychologist, and Saycha Basken, MHS school psychologist.

• Approved the retirements of Randy Ninmer, Northside fifth-grade teacher, and Marilyn Rolfsmeyer, MHS art teacher and Gifted and Talented coordinator.

• Recognized board member Mary Berger for her Wisconsin Association of School Boards Recognition.

• Accepted donations: $2,000 worth of carbide tooling from Rogue Systems Inc./William McDonald to the MHS tech department; $2,000 from Whole Kids Foundation Grant to Ann Kaderly of MMS; and a Cricut scrapbooking machine and cartridges from Sara and Ryan Ackerman to the summer school program.

• Approved the purchase of BoardDocs LT for $3,000 annually and a one-time additional fee of $1,000 for setup and instruction. BoardDocs is a cloud-based management system that will allow board members to access agendas and other shared resources across multiple devices. Members will be bringing their own personal devices to use during meetings, except Dan Bartholf, who Hirsbrunner said will be able to use one of the district's extra Chromebooks.

• Decided to keep Board of Education meetings at 7 p.m. year-round instead of changing due to Daylight Saving Time. Administrators present applauded the board's decision for what president Bob Erb joked was the first time.

• Went into closed session to discuss personnel issues.

Board vice president Scott Schmidt, clerk Amy Bazley and member Les Bieneman were absent.

- Susan Endres