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,
What another beautiful Fall weekend in Wisconsin. I hope you had time to relax and enjoy. Please remember that the WiRSA Conference is fast approaching. We have a great line-up this year beginning with a Pre-Conference Product Fair and a Welcome Reception hosted by Forecast5 and PMA on Tuesday. National Insurance Services will be sponsoring a reception on Wednesday evening. If you haven’t already registered, I encourage you to do so.

2016 WiRSA Conference Registration:

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 at the Holiday Inn.

Conference Brochure

WiRSA Conference Product Fair and Welcome Reception Reminder:

This year we will be hosting a Pre-Conference Product Fair to conference registrants at no additional cost. The Product Fair will begin on Tuesday, November 8 with registration beginning at 3:30, Welcome at 3:45 followed by three 45 minute sessions for vendor presentations. Each session will have four vendors to choose from. The vendors that are committed at this point to present are PMA, Wisconsin Digital Collaborative, Siemans Industrial, Forecast 5, Imagine Learning, ACT, Horace Mann, National Insurance, Academic Tutoring Centers and Focus on Energy.

To Register for the Product Fair, go to CESA 5

  • Login or Register,
  • Select all events,
  • Select November on the calendar,
  • Select Nov. 8 WiRSA Pre-conference Sponsor/Vendor Product Fair.

Remember, this is a free event.

Forecast 5 and PMA will be hosting a Welcome Reception for all registrants beginning at 6:30 at the Holiday Inn on November 8.

Thank You:
• To Don Stevens and the CESA 3 Districts Administrators for inviting me to present at last week’s PAC meeting. Great discussions.

• To all the schools that have responded thus far to the Whole-Grade Sharing Survey. October 24 is the deadline to register your response.

WiRSA Board of Directors Election Results:
Congratulations to the winners of the 2016–17 WiRSA Board of Directors Election who will be seated on the Board at our January Meeting:
o Region 1 Administrator – Rick Waski of Adams-Friendship
o Region 2 School Board – Rick Pedretti of DeSoto
o Region 3 Teacher – Julie Kodl of Owen-Withee
o Region 4 CESA Director – Ken Kasinski of CESA 12

A special thank you to our outgoing Board members and for their service and commitment to WiRSA:
o Lynn Brown – District Administrator – Montello
o Christine Reynolds – Board Member – Seneca
o Bob Morehead – Teacher – Chetek-Weyhauser
o Note: We are still in need of a Teacher Rep. for Region 4

More Money for Rural Wisconsin Broadband Approved:
Read article at this link

Wisconsin, Racine, and Milwaukee Parental Choice Programs Enrollments Released:
Click on this link for News Release.

Public High School Graduation Rate Reaches New High, but Gaps Persist – from IES:
The national graduation rate for public high school students rose to a new high of 83.2 percent in 2014-15, according to data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics. This adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) measures the percentage of students who graduate with a regular high school diploma within four years of starting 9th grade. The ACGR has risen by about four percentage points since the data were first collected in 2010-11.

The data released today show that between 2010-11 and 2014-15, graduation rates increased for all reported groups of students, including all racial and ethnic subgroups, low-income students, English learners, and students with disabilities. However, graduation rate gaps persist among the racial and ethnic subgroups.

Among the highlights of the data are:

  • In 2014-15, graduation rates were higher for Asian/Pacific Islander (90.2 percent) and White (87.6 percent) students than for Hispanic (77.8 percent), Black (74.6 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native (71.6 percent) students;
  • Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, the gap in graduation rates between White and Black students narrowed from 17 to 13 percentage points, while the gap between White and Hispanic students narrowed from 13 to 10 percentage points. In that same time period, the graduation rate gap between White and American Indian/Alaska Native students narrowed from 19 to 16 percentage points; and
  • From 2010-11 to 2014-15, the ACGR has increased 6 percentage points to 76.1 percent for low-income students; has increased 8 percentage points to 65.1 percent for English Learners; and has increased 6 percentage points to 64.6 percent for students with disabilities.

To view the full data, please visit.

Director Events from Last Week:
– October 19, Presented to CESA 3 PAC
– October 21, Met with new UW Network Fellow, Katie McCabe who will be helping me with some rural research.

Director Events for the Upcoming Week:
– October 24, Ed. Issue Conference Call
– October 24, Midwest REL Governing Board Webinar Part 1
– October 26, Meeting with Representative Rob Swearingen
– October 28, ESSA Updates Conference Call with DPI
– October 28, Midwest REL Governing Board Webinar Part 2

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

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders:
School Funding Reform for Wisconsin
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.