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,
I hope everyone was able to enjoy the Easter weekend with family and friends. It is times like these that we look at our children and grandchildren and realize the impact that family and education have on their development. Keep up the great work that you and your staff are doing for the youth of Wisconsin.

WiRSA Board of Directors Meeting
The WiRSA Board of Directors will hold their quarterly meeting on Wednesday, April 19 from 3:30 – 5:30. Agenda attached.

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. Deadline for submitting rural school awards is September 15, 2017. For more information click here.

WiRSA Conference Alert – Call for Presentations Coming Soon
A call for presentations for this year’s WiRSA Conference, Oct. 30-31, will be coming out later this month. Take a look at all of the great programs you are offering in your districts and share them with the rest of the organization. We are looking for a blend of classroom programs, district-level programs and district-community collaboration. Please encourage your staff and others to submit a presentation.

Upcoming Legislative Hearings
April 18 – Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform at 10:00 in Room 412 East – AB 240. Under current law, the Learnfare Program requires school age children of
Wisconsin Works (W-2) participants, with some exceptions, to meet certain school
enrollment standards.
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

Keep up the great job of getting out to the JFC Public Hearing nearest you and talking with your legislators about the referendum bills. Your voices are having an impact.

MJS Editorial on Referendum Bills
Here is a great editorial against the proposed referendum bills.

Evers names 178 Wisconsin Title I Schools of Recognition
State Superintendent Tony Evers announced 178 Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition awards for the 2016-17 academic year, an honor that recognizes success in educating students from low-income families. Congratulations to the many member schools on this list. Keep up the great work. Report

“Personalized Learning” can help rural schools address their unique needs and challenges, says new report
To prepare all students for college and a career, many schools and districts nationwide have turned to “personalized learning,” a student-centered approach that tailors instruction to students’ unique strengths and needs while engaging them in challenging, standards-based academic content. Largely an urban phenomenon, personalized learning can also address the unique challenges facing rural schools, and a new publication released today by Future Ready Schools® (FRS) offers them a step-by-step guide for how to do so.

Released in partnership with AASA, the School Superintendents Association, and the National Rural Education Association (NREA), A Guidebook for Success: Strategies for Implementing Personalized Learning in Rural Schools uses the FRS research-based framework and five-step planning process to help rural schools move to a personalized learning model. The framework includes seven essential planning components, or gears, of a personalized learning model while the planning process guides districts as they assess their readiness for personalized learning and develop a plan to implement personalized approaches to learning.

Download A Guidebook for Success: Strategies for Implementing Personalized Learning in Rural Schools here.

REL West Releases Studies on Students’ Academic Mindsets and on Students’ Perceptions of School Climate and Their Own Competencies
Two new reports from Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West examine how students’ academic mindsets and behaviors vary across groups, and whether participating in a student listening circle improves students’ connectedness to school and their own perceived competencies.
study 1, study 2

Director Events from Last 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

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
April 17, Ed Issues Call
April 17, Connecting Policy and Research Symposium – UW
April 18, Mtg with Senator Petrowski on Whole-Grade Sharing Incentive
April 19, WASDA Regional Meeting in Richland Center
April 19, WiRSA Board of Directors Meeting via Zoom 3:30–5:30
April 21, CESA 12 PAC

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.

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
2017 WiRSA Rural Awardsdeadline for submitting rural school awards is September 15, 2017.
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!