Thank you to our Sponsors: UW-Oshkosh, National Insurance Services, Siemens, Wisconsin Farmers Union, CESA Foundation, Forecast5, PMA, M3 Insurance, Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative, Jostens, Nexus Solutions, Ehlers, CESA 10 Facilities Management Services, UW Colleges Online and WEA Members Benefits

The Community’s public school is the greatest discovery, and the cornerstone of our democratic society – Horace Mann

Good Morning,
Thank you to everyone who completed the WiRSA Membership Survey. The results will now be compiled and discussed at this year’s Annual Meeting following the close of the WiRSA Conference on October 31. Also, thank you to everyone that voted for the WiRSA Board of Directors. Election results will be announced early next week.


  • WiRSA Conference Oct. 30-31, ‘Rural Schools – The Heart and Soul of Wisconsin.’ We again have strong General Session speakers including Dr. Katherine Cramer and Leroy Butler, along with 32 different break-out sessions to appeal to administrators, board members and teachers. Please join us at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells.
    Please note the room block deadline has been extended to October 6th.
    WiRSA Conference Brochure
  • 1st Annual WiRSA Conference Auction – We are excited about our new initiative! We will be holding an auction during the Monday night reception at the WiRSA Conference. All proceeds will fund new scholarships for students who plan to major in Education. We feel this is a great way to encourage young people to enter the field of education and to help build our teaching ranks. For more details read the information sheet.

Legislative Update for the Week of October 2
Oct. 3 – Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government will have public hearing on Senate Bill 236. Relating to: competitive bidding thresholds and requiring school districts to utilize competitive bidding.

Congratulations – Blue Ribbon Schools Announced
Nine Wisconsin elementary schools that were among 342 schools nationwide named to the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program by the U.S. Department of Education. To be considered for the program, public schools must be among the top schools in the state for overall achievement on statewide assessments or closing achievement gaps between student groups. The following WiRSA Member Schools were recognized.

Robinson Elementary School, Laona School District
Phillips Elementary School, Phillips School District

2018 OWL Awards: Nominate a Principal
AWSA and the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation is celebrating its third year of providing fellowships for principals and their schools. The 12 public school Kohl Leadership Award recipients and the 12 schools of those principals will each receive $6,000 grants from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation and will be recognized at a spring banquet.

These awards recognize the importance of exceptional school leaders who help provide successful
school environments for students and faculty members. Specific information regarding the
Outstanding Wisconsin Leadership fellowship is available here. For any questions please contact

Jena Sebald at Nominations are due Friday, October 6, 2017.

Request from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Reminder

Please review this request from Patrick Thomas from the MJS. Patrick is working with Erin Richards on an extensive story involving transient students in our schools. Patrick and Erin have both done positive articles on education and have reached out to our organization for input. If you would like to contribute, please read Patrick’s request and respond to him at the email address he has provided.

My name is Patrick and I am working on an extensive project for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel regarding the issue of rural student homelessness, student mobility in rural areas and what’s going on to address it.

This is part of a much larger project from the Journal focusing on student transience, but most of that will highlight urban areas. I am specifically focusing on student homelessness in rural areas, with a goal of giving rural schools a voice in this.

If rural student homelessness is a problem or something you handle on a regular basis in your district, please contact Patrick Thomas at I’d love to hear your district’s story.

From the NREA
Nebraska small-town citizens put money where their mouths are to keep rural grocery stores open By Barbara Soderlin / World-Herald staff writer, Sep 25, 2017

‘Space to Create’ Program Aims to Enrich Rural Colorado Communities

Verizon Fios Technology Teacher Grant
You can find more details about the grant here: Technology Teacher Grant
The deadline for the submission is December 9, 2017. I am sure teachers would appreciate it if you post the grant link as soon as possible on a suitable page of your site to ensure visibility, so they have time to apply.

Directors Events from Last Week
Sept. 25, Conference call with UW Center for Rural Research
Sept. 25, Ed Issues conference call
Sept. 26, RCN online meeting

Directors Events for the Upcoming Week
Oct 2, Ed Issues conference call
Oct 3, Presenting at WREA Conference
Oct. 5, UW Rural Research – multiple meetings

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
2017 WiRSA Conference – Oct. 30-31 Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells
Clif Bar Family Foundation Grants
ESEA Information and more here.

Have A Great Week!