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.

The Community’s public school is the greatest discovery, and the cornerstone of our democratic society – Horace Mann

Good Evening,
With today being MLK day, it is a great time to reflect and embrace the diversity we have in our public schools. It is also a time to remind each other the importance of accepting everyone no matter our differences. We need to continue to find ways to break down barriers and obstacles that remain for the betterment of our students and ensure everyone is afforded the same opportunities.

2017 WASB Conference
I will have a WiRSA booth at the WASB Conference this week, if you are planning on attending, please stop by and say hi.

2017 WiRSA Conference Save the Date
The 2017 WiRSA Conference will be held Oct. 30-31 in Wisconsin Dells at the Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness. Please note the date and location change. Room information and request for presenters will be coming out in the spring.

2016-17 WiRSA Scholarships
Be sure to inform your Guidance Departments about the 2016-17 WiRSA Student Scholarships. Each member district can submit one student for consideration for the five $500 scholarships given, one for each of the four regions and one at large. This year’s deadline is February 15. WiRSA Website

Summer Science Camp Reminder – Spots Still Open
Registration for the 2017 Summer Science Camp. If you would like to participate in the camp and bring students, please complete the following sign-up link. Positions in the camp will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis and a wait-list will be maintained for 2018. Here is an article about the Summer Science Camp.

Milwaukee’s Voucher Verdict
What 26 years of vouchers can teach the private-school choice movement—if only it would listen
The article is by Erin Richards

Rules hearing scheduled Jan. 30 on license flexibility changes
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will conduct a hearing from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Jan. 30 to accept public testimony on proposed permanent rules that add flexibility to educator licensing to help public school districts meet staffing shortages. The Jan. 30 hearing will be held at the DPI headquarters, GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison.

Additional information is available in the attached news release or on the Department of Public Instruction newsroom website. (Text)

Updates from the NREA
DeVos confirmation hearing has been delayed until January 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm Eastern. Click to watch live.
Letter to the leaders: NREA and NREAC signed with the NCPE to express our concerns regarding key issues. Please read the letter.
Transition memo from AASA/NREAC to President-Elect Trump.

New Tool Provides Rubric for Evaluating Reading/Language Arts Instructional Materials for Grades K-5

Selecting instructional materials based on rigorous research and standards is an important and time-consuming job at the state, district, and school levels. To facilitate this process, Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast has developed a rubric for evaluating reading/language arts instructional and intervention materials for use in elementary grades (K-5).

The rubric is organized by content area in two groups—grades K–2 and grades 3–5. Each content area (for example, writing) includes a list of criteria that describe what the instructional materials are expected to include. Each criterion is aligned to recommendations from six What Works Clearinghouse practice guides, and reviewers use a 1–5 scale to rate how well the criteria were met.

Guidance is also provided on when and how to use the rubric—including facilitator responsibilities, professional learning for reviewers, and ways to use the scores.

The tool is available here.

Director Events from Last Week
Jan. 9, John Baylor Prep Webinar
Jan. 9, Ed. Issues conference call
Jan. 10, Meeting with Laura Pettersen from Scenic River AHEC
Jan. 11, WiRSA Board Meeting in Stevens Point
Jan. 12, Meeting in Madison with WREA

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King Day
Jan. 17 – Ed. Issues conference call
Jan. 17-20 – WASB Conference
Jan. 19 – Meeting with DCA
Jan. 19 – Education Academy Meeting

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
2017 WiRSA Rural Awards
2017 WiRSA Conference save the date – Oct. 30-31 Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells
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!