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Good Morning,

Congratulations to the many member schools that had successful referendums. Fifty-three districts ran referendum questions with a total of 71 referendum questions being asked. Eighty percent of the referendum questions asked passed. In most cases, these referendums were for operation and infrastructure improvements. It has become an unfortunate part of our funding system that referendums are needed on such a regular basis for the continued operation of our public schools. Fortunately, the vast majority of Wisconsinites still value their local public schools. The reason for that support is the great work done by teachers, administrators and school boards throughout the state. See list.

It is important for us to stay vigilante of any future referendum bills that our legislators may try to pass.

Correction to Member School Kohl Recipients Listing: My apologies for missing Dana Johnson, Grand Marsh Elementary in the Adams-Friendship School District – Congratulations.

National Teacher of the Year Survey Results: WiRSA Board of Director, Leah Luke is sharing the following survey information with the membership. Leah is a member of the Government Affairs Committee of the National Network State Teachers of the Year. One of their current tasks is disseminating the results of a recent national survey.

The first link takes you to the survey results and the second to a related blog written by Katherine Bassett, CEO National Network State Teachers of the Year and 2000 NJ STOY. Despite the federal focus of the survey, the results definitely have the potential for being an excellent resource for state-level educational policy development as well. Please feel free to share across your networks.

State and district leaders don’t need to guess what the best teachers think about policy@NNSTOY #TeachersLeading

 Events from this Past Week:

  • March 29 – April 6 – WiRSA Office was closed

 Events for the Upcoming Week:

  • April 11 – Educational Issues Weekly Conference Call
  • April 12 – Meeting with Jack Jorgensen Wisconsin Educational Research Network
  • April 12 – Meeting with Kelly Hook Family and Schools Together (FAST)
  • April 15 – Non-Partisan Redistricting Working Group

 Discovery Education Earth Day Resources: Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, is helping educators nationwide observe Earth Day with a variety of dynamic new resources supporting classroom lessons focused on marine science, biodiversity, conservation, and other critical science topics.  These new learning tools, which have been reviewed by Discovery Education’s expert curriculum team and are aligned to state standards, have been added to Discovery Education’s website as well as its award-winning services, Discovery Education Streaming Plus and the Discovery Education Science Techbook™.

Among the new resources available is an exciting underwater expedition created in partnership with Ocean First Education. During this unique experience, students will study the biodiversity of the coral reefs of the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific Oceans, and learn how shifting land masses impacted the number and types of organisms in these regions. Appropriate for grades K-12, the expedition features interviews with Ocean First Education founder Graham Casden, director of science and research Caine Delacy, and director of curriculum development Catherine E. Christopher, who discuss marine ecology and biology, the effects of mankind and evolution on our oceans, and the role students can play in protecting the health of our ocean for future generations. It also features Ocean First Education video and photographs from underwater research dives around the world. This expedition, as well as grade-band specific classroom resources that can be integrated into instruction to support Earth Day-related lessons, is available to educators at no cost at click here..

Educators using these resources will receive a free, 60-day trial of Discovery Education’s Science Techbook. In addition, on April 22, from 1:00 – 1:30 PM ET, Discovery Education and Ocean First Education will host a “Meet the Marine Experts” Twitter chat. Tune in to @DiscoveryEd on Twitter with the hashtag #EarthDay2016 for a live question and answer session with Ocean First Education’s team of experts.

 Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders:

Have a great week.