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The Beat: Registration, annual meetings and an award
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It's the final countdown: In less than a month, kids will be heading back to school.

The Monroe school district has many special back-to-school events in August. Some highlights:

• Monroe High School Parent/Athlete Meeting: 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 10, Monroe High School Performing Arts Center.

• Monroe High School registration: 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, Wednesday, Aug. 13 and Monday, Aug. 18.

• Elementary back-to-school packets will be mailed Thursday, Aug. 14.

• Elementary school offices open Monday, Aug. 18.

• Monroe Middle School registration and school pictures: 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, and Wednesday, Aug. 20.

• Elementary Meet Your Teacher: 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

• Monroe Middle School Open House: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

• First day of school: Tuesday, Sept. 2

• Monroe Middle School fall athlete/parent meeting: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2

Parents of elementary students can find school supply lists at the school's Web site,; local retailers also have lists for Monroe and surrounding school districts available.


Another sure sign that school is just around the corner is district annual meetings.

Annual meetings are when the school district presents its budget, and subsequent tax impact, for the coming year to residents. Historically, these meetings have been held sometime around August. More school districts are holding these annual meetings later - even into October. (Districts are required to hold annual meetings before the end of October.) The reason? School aid is based on official enrollment figures taken the third Friday in September - some districts are opting to hold off on the annual meeting until more accurate aid numbers are available before voting on its budget.

Area school districts' annual meetings are:

• Albany: 6 p.m., Oct. 13 in the school library

• Argyle: 7:30 p.m., Oct. 13 in the high school library

• Black Hawk: Oct. 27, following budget hearing at 8 p.m. in the South Wayne commons

• Brodhead: 8 p.m., Aug. 25 in the high school auditeria

• Darlington: 8 p.m., Aug. 25 in the large group room in the elementary/middle building

• Juda: 7:30 p.m., Aug. 25 in the school's tech room

• Monroe: Oct. 20 in the District Administrative Center

• Monticello: 8 p.m., Sept. 29 in the school cafeteria

• New Glarus: 7:15 p.m., Sept. 29 in the high school auditorium

• Pecatonica: 7:30 p.m., Oct. 27 in the high school LMC


The New Glarus school district has something to celebrate as it heads back to school - a $91,000 technology grant from Hewlett-Packard was awarded to the elementary school.

The 2008 HP Technology for Teaching Leadership Award is "designed to transform learning in the classroom through innovative uses of technology."

New Glarus was selected for the award "because of its success integrating HP technology into the classroom curriculum - demonstrating measurable, positive impact on student achievement - and for proposing innovative plans to expand its project to have broader impact on student success," according to a news release.

The New Glarus elementary team selected fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students as mentor buddies for kindergarten through third-graders.

By the end of the year, the younger students were able to independently use the technology.

The buddy system also fostered a familial feeling as older students took their new younger friends under their wings.

"These relationships have extended the feeling (of a) community family in the New Glarus Elementary School," the release said.

In the first year of the HP Technology for Teaching grant work, five New Glarus Elementary School teachers were part of the project.

Through the reinvestment with the Leadership Award, 10 more teachers and one school administrator will join the effort.

In addition to HP equipment and cash, the teachers will receive customized mentoring from the International Society for Technology in Education help them better use technology in the classroom.

It's been an important boost for the school.

"The HP Technology for Teaching Grant has energized our staff. It has provided an opportunity for staff to use technology to create exciting lessons through an interactive learning experience. The New Glarus School District is very proud of the HP Technology for Teaching Grant team," said Thomas O'Brien, the district's technology coordinator.

The HP Technology for Teaching Grant members are project leader Molly Hooks, Julie Slattery, Jodi Gevelinger, Beth Tadlock and Ken Brunner.