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 societyHorace Mann

Good Morning,
As fall ends and winter begins, I would like to congratulate all the student athletes and other student organizations and the pride they bring to their schools and communities. These students are most often the best-rounded students in our buildings. They are usually the leaders both in and out of the classroom and great role models for our younger students. Please take time to recognize and thank them for their efforts.

WiRSA Office Notice
I will be out of the office November 13-14 attending and presenting at the MREA Conference in Minnesota. The best way to reach me will be by email.

Welcome New Member
Welcome to Scot Sabol and the Mayville School District. We look forward to working with them.

WiRSA Rural Awards Presented at WiRSA Conference
Rural Teacher of the Year – Kay McClain Florence School District
Rural Administrator of the Year – Luke Francois, Mineral Point School District
Rural School Board Member of the Year – Rick Pedretti, DeSoto School District
Rural Support Staff Person of the Year – Jim Briggs, Albany School District
Rural Community Partner – Sleepy Hollow Auto, Viroqua School District
Rural Advocacy– Ken Luety, Clinton School District

Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships – Please remind your counselors to check out the WiRSA website for the regular scholarship and the new education scholarship guidelines.
Scholarship Deadline is February 15.

Legislative Update for the Week of November 13
Nov. 16 Assembly Education Committee
Executive Session:
Assembly Bill 159 Relating to: policies regulating the use of electronic smoking devices on
school district property.
Assembly Bill 221 Relating to: creating a pilot program under which certain school districts are not required to provide a minimum number of hours of direct pupil instruction.
Assembly Bill 398 Relating to: summer school and interim session classes.

Public Hearing:
Assembly Bill 496 Relating to: suspending and expelling a pupil for possession of a firearm at
school. WiRSA plans to register in support.

Rural Bills Looking for Co-sponsorship
The following bills are looking for co-sponsorship. Both are part of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative presented last February. If you are interested and supportive, I urge you to contact your local legislator to be a co-sponsor. WiRSA is considering both initiatives for support.

LRB-2115/1 – This bill creates a school district revenue limit adjustment for workforce development improvements to support vocational or technical education. Current law generally limits the total amount of revenue per pupil a school district may receive from general school aids and property taxes in a school year to the amount of revenue received per pupil in the previous school year. Current law provides several exceptions to the revenue limit. Under one such exception, a school district may pass a resolution and submit the resolution to the electors of the school district in a referendum election. If a majority of the electors of the school district votes to approve the referendum, the revenue limit of the school district is increased as specified in the referendum question. Under this bill, a school board that receives a petition and that adopts a resolution to initiate workforce development improvements may increase its revenue limit by the amount the school district spends on the improvements in a school year, including amounts spent for debt service on a bond, note, or state trust fund loan used to finance the improvements. The term of the bond, note, or trust fund loan may not exceed 20 years. The petition must be filed jointly by the president of a local chamber of commerce or a chamber of commerce that serves the geographic area encompassing any portion of the school district and the executive director of a regional workforce development board.

LRB-0486/1 – This bill allows a high school senior to begin an apprenticeship program during the student’s senior year of high school. Under current law, any individual 16 years of age or over may enter into an apprentice contract whereby the individual is to receive from his or her employer, in consideration for the individual’s services, instruction in any trade, craft, or business. That instruction must include a minimum number of hours of related classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Under the bill, a high school senior may enter into an apprentice contract if the school district in which the student is enrolled does all of the following: 1. Certifies that the student is expected to graduate high school no later than the end of the current school year. 2. Certifies that the student’s proposed on-the-job training schedule allows adequate time for the student to complete any high school graduation requirements no later than the end of the current school year. 3. Agrees to award the student high school credit for the hours of related instruction and on-the-job training the student completes during the first year of the contract. At the end of the first year of the contract, the student must have earned his or her high school diploma or its equivalent in order to continue in the apprenticeship program. For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be printed as an appendix to this bill.

WPEN Update
Many of you had the opportunity to hear about the great grassroots work Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN) is doing at this year’s conference. If you are interested in finding out more about WPEN, I would like to encourage you to watch for their mailing and take some time to review the material. They are committed to making sure public education advocates around the state understand the concerns facing rural districts, and connecting with them helps us get that message out. At the least, if you are not able to help support their effort by becoming a contributing partner, I would encourage you to get on their mailing list to keep up with the great work they are doing in Wisconsin in support of our schools.

From the NREA
Can Fresh Attention to Rural Schools Fix Old Problems?

How rural poverty is changing: Your fate is increasingly tied to your town
The geography of poverty in rural America is changing fast. By Lydia DePillis

From IESHow Long Does It Take English Learner Students to Become Proficient in English and Pass Standardized Reading and Math Tests?
A recent study from Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest determined the average time it took a cohort of Hispanic English learner students in Texas to attain English proficiency and demonstrate at least satisfactory performance on state reading and math assessments.

The study was based on eight years of statewide data on a single cohort of grade 1 Hispanic English learner students in Texas public schools. It found that by the end of grade 3, most students in the cohort had passed statewide tests in reading (about 84 percent) and math (about 80 percent). About half of the students attained English language proficiency by the end of grade 4, and about 88 percent were proficient by the end of grade 8. However, English learner students who started grade 1 with a beginning level of English proficiency, those who participated in a special education program, and those who started grade 1 at age 7 or older were less likely to attain English proficiency and meet math and reading state standards at any given grade.
Read the report.

UW Colleges Online to offer EDU 201 Concepts, Issues, & Field Experience in Spring 2018 semester
EDU 201 is a required educational foundations course that is part of UW Colleges Online Education career cluster, and a required course for an alternate path to licensure in the UW-Oshkosh act! Program. Therefore, it is an ideal course for high school students who may be interested in a career in education, or current one-year licensed teachers who are working on an alternate path to teacher licensure.

Students contribute, analyze, and discuss current issues in education at the local, state, and national/international level via a discussion-based current events activity. They learn to analyze classroom video for pedagogical strategies, theoretical grounding, classroom environment, cognitive work, and interpersonal interactions, and then apply their analytical skills to actually classrooms. They reflect on discussions of current issues in education and advice from practicing teachers, principals, directors of instruction and human resources, and superintendents.

At the core of the course is actual classroom experience, at least fifty hours of practicum experience spent observing and participating in the activities of a classroom at the grade level and/or subject of their choice. Part of the experience consists of guided observation and reflection on how their cooperating teacher leads and guides classroom learning, and part is engagement with students to a degree determined by the cooperating teacher. [Note: Alternate license teachers will use their own classroom as a basis for analysis and reflection.]

Director Events from Last Week
Nov 6, Ed Issues conference call
Nov 6, Meeting with WPEN and League of Women’s voters
Nov. 7, Meeting with Craig Albers and Andy Garbasz UW Rural Research
Nov. 7, Meeting Benecras Group
Nov. 8, RCN conference call
Nov. 10, WPEN Meeting

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Nov. 12-14, MREA Brainerd, MN
Nov. 13, Ed Issues conference call
Nov. 15, Meeting with Midwest REL

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
Clif Bar Family Foundation Grants
ESEA Information
DPI Budget Summary
Licensure Webinar
Save the Date: 2018 WiRSA Conference, October 29-30 Glacier Canyon in Wis. Dells