Thank you to our Sponsors: UW-Oshkosh, National Insurance Services, Culver’s VIP Foundation, Farmers Union, CESA Foundation, Forecast5, PMA, Meemic, Ehlers, Jostens and WEA Members Benefits.

Good Morning,
I hope all is well with end of the year AP Testing and other preparations. It is exciting to see how well many of our students did at State Solo and Ensemble and FFA competitions in the last couple of weeks. Congratulations to those students and teachers that competed. It has also been exciting to follow all of the exciting field trip and outdoor activities that are taking place in our member schools on the WiRSA Facebook page. It is amazing to see the creativity and use of local resources by our many wonderful teachers. Thanks for your posts!

Back-to-School Supplies Grants for Teachers:
The Meemic Foundation, which is an annual sponsor of our conference, has partnered with to offer Back-to-School Supplies Grants up to $100 each. If you know of teachers who might benefit from these grant funds, encourage them to apply. There are 1,500 grants available. Applications are accepted through 6/30/16. More information is available here.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) releases Findings from the Third-Grade Round of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11:
This study provides a first look at the overall third-grade reading, math, and science achievement of the students who were attending kindergarten for the first time in the 2010-11 school year and were in third grade in the spring of 2014. The ECLS-K:2011 is a longitudinal study that is following students from their kindergarten year to the spring of 2016, when most of the students are in fifth grade.

Director’s Events from this Past Week:
– May 9, Phone interview on Rural Schools with UW Journalism Student Cadence Bambenick
– May 9, Educational Issues Conference Call
– May 10, Met with Stephanie Laudon and Jeff Carew regarding a possible Product Fair at this year’s conference.
– May 11, Presented to the District 1 Retired Teachers in Rice Lake

Director’s Events for the Upcoming Week:
– May 16, Follow-up meeting with the Richland School Board on membership
– May 17, Midwest REL Board Meeting – via conference call
– May 18, Social Media Webinar
– May 18, WiRSA Conference Planning Committee meeting @ 3:30

Reminder – Free Social Media Webinar Offering:

5 Ways to Improve your Social Media This Summer

Thursday, May 19th 11:30 am

Register at this link

Hosted by WiRSA member Andrea Gribble, founder of #SocialSchool4EDU – she helps schools celebrate their students and connect their communities with social media.

Reminder –Hammelman Resources:
This note is in follow-up to my mention about Human Resources services in the April 18 Weekly Update.WiRSA associate member Hammelman Resources offers HR services to WiRSA districts, primarily in three areas:
Exit interviews – Details are on the WiRSA website under the Resources tab
Position Descriptions – Dave maintains over 60 generic position descriptions covering just about every certified and support staff job in a school district. He can efficiently and inexpensively customize any to meet your district specifications. How long has it been since yours were updated?
Teacher Stay Surveys – Addressing the reasons staff may decide to leave your district on a proactive basis
Hammelman Resources, LLC contact information:
• (262) 370-8517

Reminder – FAST Grant Partnership Opportunity:
WiRSA has an exciting opportunity to team up with WiRSA partner Families and Schools Together, Inc. (FAST, Inc.) on a large-scale grant with the Wisconsin Partnership Program to implement FAST, the evidence-based parent engagement program in rural schools across the state.

FAST helps children thrive at school by building stronger, more supportive relationships at home. Built on proven research and rigorously tested, FAST empowers parents to become more effective family leaders, connects families to schools, and creates a community engaged in children’s well-being and education. For over 27 years, FAST has been serving as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of children and their parents across cultures, languages, and socio-economic classes around the world.

In partnership with WiRSA, FAST aims to strengthen rural families and engage parents in their child’s education to improve academic outcomes for children through the following activities and outcomes:
• By implementing evidence-based family strengthening activities, child behavior and mental health
will improve and parental stress will decrease.
• By forging relationships between parents and the school, parent and teacher expectations’ of
students will align, increasing child school engagement and performance.
• Through parent support groups, and one-on-one parent time, parents will find social support,
decrease stress, and improve their well-being. Visit our site.

In an attempt to demonstrate interest, we would like to identify who may be interested in learning more about bringing FAST to their school(s) through this project by or before Monday, May 23, 2016. Please confirm interest by sending an email to Kelly Hook, Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships at FAST, Inc: Or, for more information about the FAST Program, visit us online.

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders:
School Funding Reform for Wisconsin
– WiRSA 2016 Conference Save the Date: “Rural Schools – Creative Best Practice,” November 9-10 in Stevens Point
ESEA Information and youtube.
ESSA Overview Video – Narrated PowerPoint – This information is also available off the ESEA web page on the DPI site.
Into the Outdoors – Free Classroom Resources
– Meemic Teacher Back to School Grants –
Meemic Foundation Grants for Teachers

Have a great week.