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,
As the winter season comes to a close, I want to congratulate and recognize the following member school teams that took first or runner-up in their respective sports – Team Wrestling Division 3 Champion Stratford and Runner-up Fennimore. Boys Basketball Division 4 Runner-up Darlington and Division 5 Champion Barneveld. Congratulations to all the schools and student athletes that participated in this year’s tournament series.

Special Notice
DPI VISTA Homeless Project Coordinator
DPI is looking for someone who works well independently. You will update resource guides based off of conducting needs assessments and asset maps of your surrounding communities. You will build upon/create relationships with homeless liaisons in the surrounding districts to create and share best practices by coordinating meetings and/or trainings at your CESA. You will be in charge of meeting with community organizations and schools to help coordinate services to students who are homeless. You will also work with a school district to start a mentoring program for homeless students to support them academically- this will include recruiting and training volunteer mentors. Currently we have open positions at CESA 2 in Whitewater and CESA 4 in West Salem starting July 29th, and open positions at CESA 8 in Gillett, CESA 5 in Portage, and CESA 10 in Chippewa Falls starting August 12th.

To Apply, send your resume with your preferred site to

Upcoming Legislative Hearings:
– Assembly Ed. Committee meeting on March 23 at 1:00 room 417 North. The meeting will look at:

AB 71 and AB 72,
PI 7 – Pupil Transportation,
PI 12 – Wisconsin School for the Deaf and Visually Impaired,
PI 18 – High School Graduation Standards,
PI 19 – Education for School Age Parents,
LRB 2204/P1 – alternative education grants,
LRB 2205/P1 and 2205/P2 – modifying rules related to various grant programs, and
ESSA Update from DPI

– Dates and Locations for Joint Finance Committee Public Hearings

April 3 – Platteville at UW-Platteville                          April 5 – Milwaukee at State Fair Park
April 7 – Berlin at Berlin HS                                         April 8 – Spooner at Spooner HS
April 19 – Ellsworth at Ellsworth HS                           April 21 Marinette at Marinette HS

Link to DPI Governors Budget
Here is a link to the DPI Summary of the Governor’s Budget.

Federal Flash: 3/17/17: DeVos Issues New ESSA Guidelines; Trump’s “Skinny” Budget
Here is a quick link to the 5 minute YouTube.

DeVos Releases New ESSA Guidelines, AASA and NSBA Respond
This week, Secretary DeVos released a new ESSA application that eliminated the requirement for the state to reach out to diverse stakeholders, as was previously required. It also cuts out required descriptions, such as for why subgroups are sized over 30 or how school improvement resources are being distributed. AASA and NSBA collaborated on a letter in response, which reads “School superintendents and school board members have worked deliberately to infuse the voice of myriad stakeholders—including state education leaders, teachers, educators, parents and community members—in our ESSA work to date. The Department’s decision to no longer prioritize stakeholder engagement dismisses the intent of the underlying statute, disrupts the process, and discounts voices that are committed to ensuring all student receive a quality education.”

Study Finds Positive Impacts of Retired Educators to Support New Teachers

A new study finds that using retired educators to mentor and support new teachers can be a cost effective strategy to improve math achievement. Regional Educational Laboratory Central worked with Aurora Public Schools in Colorado to conduct a randomized controlled trial study in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years during implementation of the district’s innovative Retired Mentors for New Teachers Program. The program pairs recently retired master district educators with probationary teachers in high-need elementary schools. The retired educators provide the teachers with weekly support over two years that includes tailored in-class observations, coaching, and mentoring.

Key findings from the study include:

• Students of probationary teachers collaborating with retired mentors demonstrated a significant improvement in math achievement after a single year of the intervention. The increase was equivalent to one month of added instruction time in a typical nine-month school year;

• At an annual local cost of approximately $171 per student, the program’s positive impact on student math achievement produces a return on investment that may pay back the annual cost of the program more than 15 times over through increased student earnings over time;

• The program’s effects on reading achievement and on teacher retention and evaluation ratings were not significant.

Read the report.

Teacher Shortages Felt at College Level

NREA Essay Contest
The NREA had an Essay Contest for students in grade 3-12, with division groups 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. The submission deadline is April 15. For more information go to the NREA website.

Presidential Teaching Award Seeks Nominations
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. The 2016-2017 nomination and application period for 7-12th grade mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers is currently open.

Established by Congress in 1983, the President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year. The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Presidential awardees receive a certificate signed by the President; a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; and a $10,000 award from NSF.

Please consider nominating a talented science or mathematics teacher using the PAEMST website today. If you are interested in applying yourself, you can begin an application here. The 2016-2017 nomination deadline is April 1, 2017, and the application deadline is May 1, 2017.
Should you have any questions about the program or the nomination process, please contact or 855-723-6780.

Director Events from Last Week
March 13, Ed. Issues Conference Call
March 14, Meeting with UW Direct and Private Loans Office on better outreach to rural schools
March 14, Meeting with a possible new Associate Member
March 16, Meeting with John Schmitt of myOncore
March 17, Meeting with Jack Jorgensen – UW Rural Research
March 17, ESSA Update from DPI

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
March 20, Ed. Issues Conference Call
March 22, Voucher Webinar
March 22, Interview for Capital Sunday on Referendums
March 23, Assembly Education Hearing

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. A request for presenters will be coming out in the Spring.

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
2017 AHEC Summer Health Camps

Have A Great Week!