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 Board of Directors Election. Our Board is a vital part of our growth as an organization.

I encourage you to nominate an administrator, school board member, teacher, community member/group and advocate for this year’s WiRSA Rural Schools Awards. This is a great way to recognize folks for their efforts in working with and/or assisting rural students and schools. See more information in the Reminders section of this Update.

Important Deadlines Fast Approaching:
• WiRSA Rural Education Awards – October 7 – See information in Reminders

Congratulations to Our Member Schools on Blue Ribbon Schools Recognition:
-Marengo Valley Elementary School – Ashland School District, District Administrator, Keith Hilts and Principal, Heidi Stricker
-Oconto Falls Elementary School – Oconto Falls School District, District Administrator, Dean Hess and Principal, Daniel J. Moore

WiRSA Board of Directors Election Ballot –
Board of Directors ballots will be emailed to member district electors this week. Please advise your electors to complete and return by Oct. 14. We are still seeking teacher representation for Region 3.
Region 1 Ballot for Administrator 
Pattie 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
To be filled

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

Region 4 Ballot for Teacher
Julie Kodl, Owen-Withee

UW Remediation Report:
Use this link to see the most recent Freshman remediation statistics for the UW System.

New report examines the impact of teacher professional development on student achievement in math.
Content-intensive professional development (PD) in math boosted fourth-grade teachers’ subject knowledge and some aspects of instructional quality, but did not have a positive impact on student achievement, according to a new report.

The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), in the Institute of Education Sciences, released a new evaluation report today (Sept. 28) that examines the effectiveness of a content-intensive PD program. The PD program included an 80-hour summer workshop (Intel Math) that focused on grades K–8 math, as well as 13 additional hours of collaborative meetings focused on analyzing student work and one-on-one coaching based on observations of teachers’ lessons. More than 200 4th-grade teachers from six districts in five states were randomly assigned to either a treatment group that received the study PD or a control group that did not.

Key findings include:

• The PD had a positive impact on teacher knowledge: Average scores on a study-administered math test were 21 percentile points higher for teachers who received the study PD than for those who did not;

• The PD had a positive impact on some aspects of instruction: Average ratings of teachers’ use and quality of math explanations in the classroom were 23 percentile points higher for teachers who received the study PD than for those who did not; and

• The PD did not have a positive impact on student achievement: Students of teachers who received the PD scored, on average, 2 percentile points lower than control teachers’ students on both a study-administered math test and state assessment. In general, this difference was not statistically significant.
Learn more.

Director Events from Last Week:
– September 26, Ed Issues Conference Call
– September 27, Meeting with Senator Janet Bewley
– September 27, Meeting with Senator Howard Marklein
– September 29, Meeting with Innovative Schools Network
– September 30, DPI ESSA Updates
– September 30, WPEN Meeting in Appleton

Director Events for the Upcoming Week:
– October 3, DPI Administrative Rules Conference Call
– October 5, DPI Hearing on Emergency Teacher Licensure
– October 7, CESA 8 PAC Meeting


Register now for the 2016 WiRSA Conference:

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 hope to see you in November!

Conference Brochure

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.

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders:
School Funding Reform for Wisconsin
WiRSA 2016 Conference — Register Today:  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.