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Monroe School Board: Previous meetings
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MONROE - At a meeting Oct. 24, the Monroe school board:

• Recognized Eric Ekum, director of food services, for winning the Lamp of Learning Staff Excellence Award for October.

• Heard presentations from students who received Gifted and Talented scholarships that allowed them to participate in learning programs over the summer. Students who presented were Jeremy Cairy, Jack Bochar, Marissa Vosberg, Aiden Dalby, Kajen Medenwaldt, Sidney Hatch, Maggie Setterstrom and Silas Setterstrom. The scholarships are funded by an anonymous donation.

• Accepted donations: $5,920 from the Monroe Booster Club for track and field hurdles; $474 from Faith Engineering to the Monroe High School technology and engineering department; $1,000 from the Monroe Optimist Club for the Fine Arts Festival; $500 from Monroe Parks and Recreation Department for volleyball standards; and $1,000 from the Monsignor Thomas Campion Special Projects Fund for the construction of a batting cage at the Abraham Lincoln elementary school baseball field.

• Gave final approval for five policy reviews and revisions and one addition.

Board member Les Bieneman was absent.

At a meeting Oct. 10, the Monroe school board:

• Accepted the resignation of support staff member Jessica Keehn, Abraham Lincoln elementary school educational assistant.

• Heard a report from Joe Monroe, director of pupil services, on a self-evaluation the district conducted in September that found the district is compliant with state and federal laws regarding nondiscrimination against students and equality of educational opportunity. He said state law requires school districts to perform the self-evaluations every several years. The district contracted with an educational consultant to interview staff and look through records and policies to make sure they aren't discriminatory.

• Accepted donations: $500 from the United Methodist Church to the Backpack Buddies program; $904 from the Monroe Arts Center to the MHS science department; $500 from the Optimist Club to the MHS science department; and $625 from Joe and Niki Monroe for T-shirts.

• Approved one alternative open enrollment in request.

Board members Amy Bazley, Bob Erb and Brian Keith were absent.

At a meeting Sept. 26, the Monroe school board:

• Approved the appointment of Andrea Nolen to the Monroe Public Library Board of Trustees.

• Recognized Donna Cairy, deaf and hard-of-hearing teacher at MHS, for winning the Lamp of Learning Staff Excellence Award in September.

• Approved three alternative open enrollment out requests.

• Went into closed session to discuss personnel matters.

Board member Les Bieneman was absent.

At a meeting Sept. 12, the Monroe school board:

• Hired support staff members: Sue Armstrong, Northside Elementary School special education educational assistant; Angie Lancaster, MHS special education educational assistant; Stacey Christensen, MHS building secretary; and Monica Crook, MHS special education educational assistant.

• Accepted donations from the Cheesemaker Booster Club: $1,800 for Hudl subscription renewal, $4,800 for NOAH Basketball Shooting System, $1,100 for football program hydration station, $165 for MHS dance team and $1,500 for improvements to MHS batting cage.

• Accepted the Technology Education Foundation Berbee Derby Grant, which gave the district $9,000 for technology.

• Approved one alternative open enrollment out request and six alternative open enrollment in requests.

At a meeting Aug. 8, the Monroe school board:

• Heard the annual report on pupil services by Joe Monroe, the district's director of pupil services. He reported an increase in students being referred to special education in 2015-16, possibly because of the area's level of poverty and the number of at-risk students moving into the district. Students in special education also rose from less than 12 percent to about 13 percent, just under the state average of 13.7 percent. But he said the district is still in "much better shape" than it was a decade ago. Monroe also pointed to data showing students with disabilities in the Monroe school district are more likely to be proficient in math and English than those in other Green County schools.

Bullying cases went up in 2015-16. "This is an area we need to work on," Monroe said.

The graduation rate and GPAs increased for students in the Bauer Learning Center at MHS. The BLC used to be in the charter school building before it moved to MHS in 2013.

• Hired instructional staff member Eliza Leitzinger, Northside counselor, and support staff members: Ruth Suthers, Parkside Elementary School building secretary; Andrea Schmitz, Monroe Public Library youth services coordinator; Brenda Salzwedel, Northside health assistant; and Gordon Grunder, MHS custodian.

• Accepted resignations from Beth Herbst, Abraham Lincoln elementary school health assistant, and Tracy Bristow, Abe Lincoln special education teacher.

• Allowed the purchase of a three-year subscription to IXL Math Intervention at a total cost of about $29,000 to be paid from the curriculum budget. The online program is for students from kindergarten to eighth grade.

• Approved the purchase of spin bikes from Summit Fitness for almost $23,000 to be paid by the PEP grant.

• Accepted a donation of $2,500 from Jacob's SWAG Foundation for student awareness programs.

• Approved one open enrollment out request.

• Went into closed session to discuss personnel issues.

Board members Les Bieneman and Jim Plourde were absent.

- Susan Endres