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

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

Good Morning,

We are one week away from the Annual WiRSA Conference and we have over 140 registrants to date. If you are interested in attending, there is still time to register and join us for this outstanding event. Along with the information in the reminders below, there will be a Welcome Reception on Sunday evening at 6:30 sponsored by Siemens, a reception and auction on Monday evening sponsored by National Insurance Services and a full breakfast, breaks, and lunches provided both days thanks to our many sponsors. The Conference will conclude with our Annual Meeting.

• 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.
The room block has been released but rooms are still available at the conference rate.
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.

• WiRSA Annual Meeting Notice and Agenda – The WiRSA Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday Oct. 31 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells at 2:05 pm, immediately following our closing session.
1. Call to Order – Ken Kasinski, President
2. Member Sign-In, Roll Call
3. Minutes of the 2016 Annual Meeting
4. Treasurer’s Report – Final 16-17 Audited Report – 17-18 Budget – Kim Kaukl
5. State of WiRSA – Kim Kaukl,
6. Membership Survey
7. Bylaws – If needed
8. Membership Input on Future Activities of the Organization
9. Adjournment

WiRSA Conference Rural Research
UW graduate student Katie McCabe and her colleague are interested in doing research in rural schools. (Katie has done some previous work for WiRSA.) They are currently in a class which focuses on qualitative research methods. For some of their assignments they are required to set up opportunities in which they can practice qualitative data collection in an area of interest. Their overarching question is: How do rural school districts make decisions to distribute resources to support students in an equitable manner?

They are both attending the WiRSA Conference this year and thought that it would be a good time to
meet interested administrators. If you are interested in working with them, they would love to hear from you. They will be doing a focus-group format on Sunday evening, October 29th from 5:30 until the
Welcome Reception at 6:30. Thank you to the districts that have responded so far. They are looking for 5-6 districts to work with. If you are interested in being part of this discussion, please email me at

Legislative Update for the Week of October 23
Nothing pertaining to rural education on the docket this week

Sparsity Aid Bill Reminder
Reminder to contact your local legislators and encourage them to support the Sparsity Aid Bill. This was something WiRSA had originally requested in our budget talks and was in the Governor’s original budget proposal. See entire press release.

Cost of Parental Choice Program for the 2017-18 School Year
The DPI has released these preliminary cost figures, which are based on unaudited enrollment figures and are subject to change.

Wisconsin $34.0 million
Racine $22.4 million
Milwaukee $213.3 million
Total — $269.7 million

Licensing Changes Webinar
AWSA would like to invite you to join our webinar on the significant changes to educator licensure included in the State Budget. The webinar will take place at 9 AM on Thursday, October 26.

You will be able to access the webinar by registering at this link.

From IES -Higher Pay and Increased Responsibilities Associated with Successful Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Rural Oklahoma School Districts
New research from Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest analyzes 10 years of data to identify teacher, district, and community characteristics that predict which teachers are most likely to be successfully recruited and retained in rural Oklahoma, and under what conditions.
Read the report.

From The Hill – If you want a world-class education system, then empower our teachers

Director Events from Last Week
Oct. 16, Conference call with Health Tide
Oct. 16, Ed Issues conference call
Oct. 19, Health Tide Schools Team Meeting
Oct. 20, CESA 12 PAC

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Oct. 23, Ed Issues conference call
Oct. 24, RCN Meeting
Oct. 25, Finalizing the Conference with Glacier Canyon Staff
Oct. 26, Meeting with Carl Hampton of the UW System

Request from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Please review Patrick Thomas’ request 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.

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.
DPI Budget Summary Here is the link to the summary.

Have A Great Week!