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Monroe School Board: previous meetings
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MONROE - At a meeting Nov. 28, the Monroe school board:

• Heard about school report cards released in mid-November by the state Department of Public Instruction. The rating system was on hiatus last year and has changed the way scores are calculated, making them incomparable to previous years, according to Director of Curriculum and Instruction Terri Montgomery.

Monroe school district received an overall score of 77.5 out of 100, putting it within the exceeds expectations category. Montgomery said the score could be used to compare Monroe to the rest of the state, providing school board members with a list ranking the scores of Badger South districts and others near Monroe. Of the 24 school districts being compared, Monroe had the fifth highest score. Montgomery noted Monroe has a higher poverty level than most of the districts that did better.

• Recognized Joe Monroe, director of pupil services, for winning the November Lamp of Learning Staff Excellence Award. Business Administrator Ron Olson said he nominated Monroe for spearheading the referendum effort - not a typical area for a director of pupil services - and working on the district's social media presence, among other reasons.

• Accepted the resignation of exempt staff member Lori Soderberg, district nurse.

• Gave final approval of 15 policy reviews and revisions and one policy deletion. Olson said the district hasn't had the Construction Capstone Program, the policy that was deleted, for nine or 10 years.

• Approved a request for a Monroe student to attend Juda School District.

• Met in closed session to discuss the superintendent search.

Board member Dan Bartholf was absent.

At a meeting Nov. 14, the Monroe school board:

• Received information on the Monroe High School German Exchange trip scheduled for March 11-25. The two-week trip overlaps with the week of spring break. Administrators chose the spring dates because of changes to the German school calendar, despite the board rejecting a similar recommendation last year because members said they didn't want students and teachers to miss a week of school. The biennial trip usually occurs on even years but the 2016 trip was canceled due to safety concerns about traveling to Europe and scheduling conflicts.

• Approved the hiring of support staff members: Sara Newcomer, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School educational assistant; Mary Andrews, Monroe Middle School special education assistant; and Ashling Meehan, library specialist at Monroe Public Library.

• Authorized a line of credit of up to $2 million from Wisconsin Bank and Trust. This allows the district to borrow cash short-term in order to pay bills in the weeks before it receives its funding. Olson said the district will likely need to borrow at the beginning of December and again around late May and early June.

• Accepted donations of $1,100 in clothing from MPG Castings Technology for health offices to give to students with clothing and supply needs and clothing supplies from Jordan Lutheran Church for families in need.

Board treasurer Brian Keith was absent.