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

Good Morning,
Thank you for the nominations sent in for this year’s WiRSA Rural Schools Awards. We have a lot of great nominees for the WiRSA Executive Board and myself to review. As I stated in last week’s email, this is a great way to recognize your staff and community members for their efforts in working with and/or assisting rural students and schools.

Thank You:
I want to thank Dave Honish, the CESA 8 staff and the CESA 8 District Administrators for allowing me to join them for their PAC meeting last Friday; it was a great visit.

WiRSA Board of Directors Election Ballot Reminder
Board of Directors ballots were emailed to member district electors early last week. Please advise your electors to complete and return their vote via email by Oct. 14. We are still seeking teacher representation for Region 4.
Region 1 Ballot for Administrator
Patti Vickman, Southern Door
Christine Weymouth, Mauston
Rick Waski, Adams Friendship

Region 2 Ballot for School Board Member
Paul Cummings, River Valley
Rick Pedretti, De Soto

Region 3 Ballot for Teacher
Julie Kodl, Owen-Withee

Region 4 Ballot for CESA Rep.
Ken Kasinski, CESA 12

Region 4 Ballot for Teacher
To be filled

Upcoming Event

Lessons from a Quarter Century of School Vouchers: One Conversation, Two Points of View – November 30

The event will be moderated by Alan J. Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy, Marquette Law School, Scott Jensen, a leading advocate for school choice nationwide, and Julie Underwood, a nationally recognized authority on school law and a critic of school vouchers, discuss what has been learned about vouchers and how to apply those lessons. Jensen is a senior strategist for the nation’s largest school-choice organization, the American Federation for Children. He previously was a member of the Wisconsin Assembly for 14 years, including three terms as speaker. Underwood was dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education from 2005 to 2015 and continues as a professor of law and education at UW. She previously was associate executive director and general counsel of the National School Boards Association.

12:15 to 1:15pm, Marquette Law School, Eckstein Hall.

Link: reserve your complimentary spot.

Article on Act 10
This article was in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this past weekend regarding the impacts of ACT 10. The main reporter Dave Umhoefer will be closing our conference this year and sharing his research on Act 10 – .html

Upcoming Events from the Regional Educational Laboratory Program

The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) program is hosting several webinars in the coming weeks that cover a wide range of important educational topics. The events are free, open to the public. If you can’t make one of the webinars, register below to be notified when a recording is available. For more details and registration information, see the IES Calendar.

Student Learning Objectives: Lessons Learned and Next Steps -October 19, 2016, 3:00-4:30 p.m. CT

Join REL Southwest and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders for a webinar on the benefits and challenges of using student learning objectives (SLOs) in educator evaluation systems. With new evaluation requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act, many states and districts are reviewing the role of SLOs in evaluating educators. This webinar examines SLOs from national, state, and district perspectives to discuss benefits, lessons learned, and next steps. Topics discussed will include: a national overview on the use of SLOs as a measure of educator effectiveness; how states and districts are using SLOs in educator evaluation systems; ways to refine SLO models to improve effectiveness; and how states and districts may want to use SLOs going forward. This webinar is designed for state and district staff involved with educator evaluation policy and practice.

Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade: A Practice Guide -October 19, 2016, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. HT (4:30–6:00 p.m. ET)

Research suggests that when young children lag behind in reading, it can have a cascading effect, leading to academic difficulties in later school years. According to the What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide, Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through Third Grade, students need two sets of skills to develop literacy: foundational reading skills and reading comprehension skills. On this webinar hosted by REL Pacific, Dr. Joseph Dimino, a Practice Guide panelist, will provide an overview of the four recommendations highlighted in the guide. After each recommendation is presented, participants will have the opportunity to discuss how it relates to their own unique contexts.

Supporting college and career readiness through advanced course taking: Findings from states and districts – October 25, 2016, 10:00–1:00 a.m. PT

What do we know about how advanced high school courses prepare students for college and careers? What does college enrollment and success look like for students who took advanced courses in high school? Explore these questions and interact with leading researchers on college and career readiness during an upcoming webinar hosted by REL Appalachia, REL Midwest, REL Northwest, and REL West. Researchers from across the country will present new research highlighting how participating in advanced coursework is a promising factor in preparing students for college and careers, as well as the characteristics of students who take advanced courses and the contexts in which they take them. The webinar will also feature a practitioner perspective from a district in Oregon that has initiated ambitious programming to help students gain college course credits while still in high school. District and school leaders, higher education counselors and academic advisors, and state policymakers interested in the availability of advanced high school courses and their relationship with college enrollment are especially encouraged to attend.

Director Events from Last Week:
-October 3, DPI Administrative Rules Conference Call
-October 5, DPI Hearing on Emergency Teacher Licensure
-October 7, CESA 8 PAC Meeting
-October 7, WiRSA Rural Awards Deadline

Director Events for the Upcoming Week:
-October 10, Ed Issues Call
-October 12-14, NREA Convention in Columbus, Ohio

Facebook: Just a quick reminder to check out and like the WiRSA Facebook Page. It is a good place to see the great things our member districts are doing.

2016 WiRSA Conference Registration:

This year’s conference theme is 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 hope to see you in November!

Conference Brochure

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders:
School Funding Reform for Wisconsin
WiRSA 2016 Conference: 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 Foundation Grants for Teachers

Have a great week.