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 societyHorace Mann

Good Afternoon,
Last week we received some good news. The JFC announced that it plans to work off the Governor’s proposed education budget rather than using the base budget model. Thank you to those of you that reached out to your legislators.

Keep up the great job of getting out to the JFC Public Hearings nearest you. Your voices are having an impact. See dates and locations listed below. We have been told that it is extremely important for administrators, board members and parents to participate in these hearings to advocate strongly on behalf of the children we serve. Keep up the great work.

Finally, be sure to contact your legislators and express your opposition to the six referendum bills I sent you in a legislative alert. Let’s get out ahead of this before it gains momentum so we have a good shot at defeating these bills once again.

Welcome Back
I want to welcome back Tami Olszewski and Ehlers as an associate member. Ehlers has been a strong supporter of WiRSA in the past and we are happy to have them back.

2017 WiRSA Scholarship Recipients Announced

Congratulations to the following recipients of the $500 WiRSA Scholarship for 2017. We received over 60 scholarship applications.

Region 1 – Matthew Dinse, Oakfield High School

Region 2 – Lauren Blumer, Albany High School

Region 3 – Marnie Schecklman, Greenwood High School

Region 4 – Amanda Kind, Marathon High School

At Large – Maya Dix, Wild Rose High School

Rural School Awards
The WiRSA Rural Awards are a great way to recognize the great people you have in your district for the outstanding things that they do for your school district and rural education. Now is a great time to start thinking about nominees for the 2017 WiRSA Rural Awards. More information here.

Upcoming Legislative Hearings
April 18 – JFC Public Hearing at Spooner HS from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
April 19 – JFC Public Hearing at Ellsworth HS from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
April 21 – JFC Public Hearing at Marinette HS from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Looking for Support of Special Education Bill
Senator Chris Larson, Senator Janet Bewley, Senator LaTonya Johnson, Representative David
Bowen and Representative Eric Genrich are looking for co-sponsors for LRB-0640/1 Relating to: increase funding for special education. This bill increases state aid to school districts for special education and school age parent’s programs provided by the school district to no less than 33 percent of the school district’s certified, eligible costs. See attached bill. If you are supportive of this bill contact your legislator and ask them to contact Senator Larson’s office by April 14th to be a co-sponsor. This is a much need bill to increase Special Ed funding.

Education Academy Information
On Feb. 8, several educational organizations held an Education Academy for legislators and their staff. There were a number of good sessions that you might want to share with your Board, especially the one on school finance.

From the NREA – myONcore

The NREA has been working with myONcore services and I wanted to share this information with you as a possible resource. myONcore is the 1st registered dietitian consulting service and free online menu solution exclusively serving rural schools. The NREA exclusively endorsed myONcore on February 1, 2017 and encourages all members to take our Free 5-point nutrition assessment reviewed by our RDs.

myONcore goal is help rural school districts nationwide prepare nutritious and delicious food for students. The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) was mandated in 2014, but unlike schools in larger districts, rural school food departments are understaffed for the strict new standards of HHFKA and have no budget for a registered dietitian.

myONcore solves that dilemma cost effectively and our RDs and menu coaches make sure all meals are USDA compliant. We also look for cost savings, operational efficiency, better tasting menus and to provide state and federal audit support. Link to myONcore.

To see the free 5-pt nutrition assessment follow this link.

IES Releases Education Technology Compendium
Education technology supports teaching and learning for students at all grade levels and across various subjects. Since 2002, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funded over 400 projects focused on education technology.

A new compendium is now available and provides information about current and completed education technology projects funded by IES’s two research centers—the National Center for Education Research and the National Center for Special Education Research. The compendium is designed to provide information on completed and current projects in an easily accessible and usable format.

With IES funding, researchers have developed or studied technologies for classroom, school, and education research purposes, including more than 270 web-based tools, 85 virtual environments and interactive simulations, 95 intelligent tutor and artificial intelligence software systems, 50 game-based tools, and 105 computer-based assessments. For additional information, please view link.

Director Events from Last Week
April 3, No Time to Lose Conference
April 3, Meeting at Tomah HS
April 7, Stevens Point WEAC Meeting

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
April 10, Weekly Ed. Issues conference call
April 11, CESA 4 PAC
April 12, DPI Rural Advisory Council in New Glarus
April 13, Meeting with Rep. Swearingen on Whole Grade Sharing Incentive

2017 WiRSA Conference Save the Date
The 2017 WiRSA Conference will be held October 30-31 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge at the
Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells. Please note the date and location change for this year. 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 – October 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!