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,
Well, May is here and it is the home stretch for another school year. May is one of the busiest months for educators and a time for both excitement and stress. Remember to communicate with your staff on the importance of rest and stress relief during this busy time. Let your staff know how important and valuable they are, for many, this will go a long way in their mental health.

WiRSA Conference Call for Presentations
The call for presentations for this year’s annual WiRSA Conference (Oct. 30-31) to be held at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells is now open. The WiRSA Planning Committee is seeking proposals for sessions that share best practices, solutions and research in and outside our rural classrooms.
We encourage you to share the great programs you are providing. Examples, but not limited to, teacher professional development, early literacy, innovative classroom practices, collaborative efforts within a school or with other schools and the use of technology.
To submit a proposal, complete this form by the submission deadline of June 23, 2017.

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. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Legislative Hearings
May 3 – Senate and Assembly Education Committees will be hearing invited speakers only to discuss the states ESSA Plan
May 3 – Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy – AB 199 Relating to technical education equipment grants for school districts, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.

AB 267 – The Voucher Tax Transparency Bill
This bill was introduced on Monday, April 24. This bill requires that a person’s property tax bill include information from the school district where the property is located regarding the amount of any net
reduction in state aid to the district as a result of pupils enrolled in the statewide choice program, the Racine choice program, or the Milwaukee choice program.

Digging Deeper: Should tax payers foot the bill for private school vouchers?
For the 2016-2017 school year 3,057 private schools are enrolled in the Wisconsin Parental Choice
Program, or as we commonly refer to it, the student voucher program. It’s where income eligible families can send their children to a private school free of charge, and by free of charge, we mean free to them. You the tax payer are footing the bill. Article

The building blocks of our future: A look at quality early education [Public Television]
In 2017, REL Midwest partnered with WFYI, the public television station in Indianapolis, to produce a documentary-style program on quality early childhood education. Watch the program to learn about three Indiana early childhood education programs providing high-quality experiences for different student populations. The program also features experts from research, policy, and practice discussing the characteristics of high-quality early childhood education and the balance between academic rigor and developmentally appropriate practice. REL Midwest created this program under the 2012–2017 contract. Watch the program on the IES YouTube channel.

Getting Students on Track for Graduation: Impacts of the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System after One Year

A study by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest examines the impacts of the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System (EWIMS), a systematic approach to early identification and intervention with students at risk of not graduating on time. The study randomly assigned 73 schools to use EWIMS or to continue with their usual practices for supporting at-risk students.

After a year of limited implementation, EWIMS reduced chronic absence and course failures, but did not reduce the percentage of students with low grade point averages, suspensions, or insufficient credits for graduation.

The findings provide initial, rigorous evidence that EWIMS is a promising strategy for reducing rates of chronic absence and course failures, two key indicators that students are not on track for graduation. Even with these promising findings, EWIMS was challenging to implement in the first year and did not have an impact on other outcomes at the student or school level.

Read the report.

Director Events from Last Week
April 24, Ed Issues Call
April 25, Meeting with potential Associate Member myONcore
April 26, WiRSA Conference Planning Committee
April 28, Battelle for Kids Rural Collaborative conference call

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
May 1, Ed Issues Call
May 1, Send out Request for WiRSA Conference Proposals
May 3, CESA 7 PAC
May 4, Meeting with Senator Bewley

2017 WiRSA Conference, ‘Rural Schools- The Heart and Soul of Wisconsin’
The 2017 WiRSA Conference will be held Oct. 30-31 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells.

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!