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 Morning,
Last week was a busy week with Governor Walker’s announcement of ‘Dramatic’ plans for rural schools. What I know from the outline I received is he will be discussing the following:
Sparsity Aid,
Per Pupil Transportation Aid and High-Cost Transportation Aid,
Initiatives to improve the teacher pipeline,
Broadband Expansion, and
 (The budget will include a provision to allow districts to apply for TEACH grant funding for mobile hot spots for buses and to allow students to take home.)
Administrative Efficiency.

What I don’t know are the financial numbers attached to each and where the funding will be coming from. What I am hearing the tour is to be rescheduled for possibly this week. I will keep you posted as I know more.

On December 19, the National School Public Relations Association released its biennial list of names honoring the top 35 School Public Relations Professionals in the United States under the age of 35. Joelle Doye, Communications Director for the Mineral Point Unified School District was recognized in this listing.

2016-17 WiRSA Scholarship Deadline is February 15
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. WiRSA Website

2017 WiRSA Conference Save the Date
The 2017 WiRSA Conference will be held Oct. 30-31 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells. Please note the date and location change for this year. See attached for room information and discounts. A request for presenters will be coming out in the Spring.

UW System Math Placement Survey
UW System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs is asking for our feedback on the Early Math Placement Test (EMPT). The University of Wisconsin System sponsors the EMPT, a voluntary program in which high schools in Wisconsin have students take a version of the math placement test required of all students entering the University of Wisconsin System as freshmen. Please watch for the survey that will be coming out today.

Legislative Education Academy February 8
WiRSA along with SAA, WASB and SESA is sponsoring a Public School Education Academy to help our legislators better understand the basics of Wisconsin Public Schools. The Academy will be held in Madison at the Inn on the Park from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm on February 8. The Agenda for the morning will include highlights of creative programs in our public schools, along with School Finance 101 and an overview of School Accountability 101. Please encourage your legislator and/or their staff to attend. Invitations were sent to all legislators, but feel free to forward the attached invite along to your local legislators.

The Federalization of Wisconsin
This is an interesting article on the growth of educational bureaucracy.

Top 13 percent of earners receiving two-thirds of private school tax benefit

Computer science standards draft released for public comment
Citizens, parents, educators, and other school personnel are invited to submit comments or attend one of two public hearings on newly drafted Wisconsin Standards for Computer Science. The standards and a link to the feedback form can be found on the department’s Computer Science webpage, under Draft Computer Science Academic Standards.

Summary Report on Teacher Labor Markets: A Working Session to Examine and Address the Issues
I had the opportunity to take part in this working session in November 2016 at the UW. Attached is the summary report from that session that I thought you might find interesting.

Director Events from Last Week
Jan. 23, Senator Strobel on AES
Jan. 23, Senator Larson on Community Schools
Jan. 23, Various stops in the Capital to share WGS Incentive research
Jan. 23, Ed. Issues Conference Call
Jan. 25, Run up to Governor Walkers tour on “Dramatic” plans for rural schools
Jan. 26, School Finance Network Meeting
Jan. 27, Education Academy Committee Meeting
Jan. 27, Conference call with WDLC and Jesse Harness on online resources for students

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Jan. 30, Ed. Issues Conference Call
Jan. 31, Meeting with Scenic Rivers AHEC on possible health apprenticeships
Feb. 1, Legislative Council Hearing
Feb. 2, CESA 2 PAC meeting
Feb. 2, WPEN Panel with Dr. Kathy Cramer
Feb. 3, Battelle for Kids Capture Strategy Work Group
Feb. 3, ESSA Updates Conference Call

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!