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,
Ah, the beginning of the school year is just around the corner with football practice starting up this week followed closely by the other fall sports. This is a great time of year to get out and see student/athletes outside the classroom working together as a team, or individually, to be the best they can be to represent their school and community. These teams and the game nights are a great sense of pride to rural communities and a time for communities to come together and support their local student athletes. These events are also a great way to get valuable information about the district out to your parents and community members. Use these events to grow school/community pride as well as community knowledge.

2016 WiRSA Conference Registration Is Now Open:

The theme for this year’s conference is Rural Schools – Creative Best Practice. Please join us and the many great rural educators and educational leaders from across Wisconsin in Stevens Point on November 9-10. Once again, the Holiday Inn will be host to our conference. On November 8, we will be offering a free Pre-Conference Product Fair for our members and registrants to come listen to our business partners do presentations on the products they can provide. The cost of the Conference is $90 for members and $140 for non-members. We will also be running a discount until September 30 for schools wishing to bring a team of 5 for $400. We hope to see you in November!

Call for WiRSA Rural Award Nominations:

Each year at our Annual Conference, WiRSA recognizes rural leaders through our awards program. Nominations can be made for Administrator of the Year, School Board Member of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Support Staff Person of the Year, Rural Advocacy and Rural Community Partner of the Year. To make a nomination, please complete the appropriate form found on the WiRSA website and return to Kim Kaukl by October 7.

WiRSA 15-16 Audit:
I met with Mike Koltes and Michele McCune on July 21 to audit and close the 15-16 budget cycle. The books are in order and we closed the year with a small surplus to carry over to the 16-17 budget.

De Soto Educator Ron Von Glahn Recognized as Monsanto Teacher of the Year Finalist:

John Hill, Executive Director of the National Rural Education Association, announced the selection of Virginia Sautner as the Monsanto Fund National Rural Teacher of the Year.

Sautner  teaches at Lake Havasu High School where she has taught 9th grade English Language Arts and Student Government for the last 13 years. She achieved National Board Certification and is an Arizona Master teacher.

Sautner will receive the award at the 108th National Rural Education Convention and Research Seminar and National Rural Education Forum on October 14th in Columbus, Ohio. She will receive a $2000 award and Lake Havasu High School will receive $1000. All finalists for the award will be recognized at the banquet.

Finalists for the 2016-17 Monsanto Fund Rural Teacher of the Year were:

Tiffany Adair – Mexia, TX       Brenda Bowman – Galveston, IN   Scott Lambley – Benkleman, NE Kristen Richerson – Oakfield TN   Leah Shannon – Livingston, MT   Ronald Von Glahn – De Soto, WI

Guides Offer Educators Help Designing, Administering, and Analyzing Surveys:
Survey data can be an effective way to gather data that informs instruction or programmatic decisions. However, many educators do not have the training or experience needed to design surveys or analyze the data that surveys can provide.

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released the new Survey Methods for Educators guides today (August 2). The guides provide clear information that describe how to:
• Develop and adapt surveys (part 1).
• Select a sample of potential respondents and administer surveys (part 2).
• Analyze and report survey data (part 3).
Read all three guides here.

Getting School Finance Right: From the Budget to the Levy:
This workshop will be conducted by the DPI School Finance Team. Although open to all, this “how to do it from the ground up” workshop is geared toward new administrators or those with less than 3 years’ experience.

October 18 at the WI School Leadership Center – Madison
October 25 at the Holiday Inn – Stevens Point

Visit the WASDA Calendar of Events for all the details and registration information!

WPEN Summer Summit:
Registration is now LIVE for our second annual SUMMER SUMMIT, August 23, 2016 in Wauwatosa!
The Summit will take place at Wauwatosa West High School from 8:30am to 5:00pm, and will be followed by a dinner event at the Tosa Pool. Registration for the Summit is $20 (includes lunch), and the dinner is an additional $20. Registration fee waivers are available for those for whom the cost is otherwise prohibitive, and those who wish to donate to this scholarship fund may do so at check-out. Early bird and group discounts are also available. See the registration form for details and email with any questions.

Director Events from the Past Two Weeks:
– July 18, Education Issues Conference Call
– July 18, Meeting with CESA 4 regarding Read Evidence, Analyze, Communicate: Critical Thinking (REACCT) Program
– July 19, DPI Biennial Budget Discussion
– July 21, Meeting with Mike Koltes at CESA 5 for end of the year WiRSA financial audit
– July 20, Meeting at UW-Oshkosh regarding the Center for Wisconsin Rural Communities and Education
– July 20, REL Midwest Conference Call on needs and ideas
– July 25, WCER meeting regarding a grant to reduce inequity in education
– July 25, DPI Biennial Budget Discussion
– July 25, Rural Schools Collaborative Meeting at the UW-Madison
– July 26, DPI Biennial Budget Discussion
– July 26, Meeting with WiRSA President Jeremy Biehl – End of year review
– July 27-August 1, WiRSA office closed.

Director Events for the Upcoming Two Weeks:
– August 1, Education Issues Conference Call
– August 4, Conference Call with Jeff Hicken on DPI Rural Awards
– August 8 or 9, Working on finalizing the conference presenters and program.

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 more here.
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 couple of weeks.