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 Afternoon,
Congratulations to Iron River Elementary in the Maple School District and Prairie View Elementary in the DeSoto School District for being nominated along with six other schools for the National Blue-Ribbon Schools Program. This program recognizes schools with some of the highest student academic achievement in the state or that demonstrate dramatic gains in closing achievement gaps.

WiRSA Scholarships – Please remind your counselors to check out the WiRSA website for the WiRSA scholarships, including the new education scholarships.
Applications are due by close of business on Thursday, February 15.

TEACH Grant Deadline Approaching – TEACH announced the latest round of infrastructure grants in mid-December. Your district is eligible to receive up to $60,000. The application deadline is February 2.

Note that equipment can be purchased up to two years after it has been approved, so you can lock in money to support purchases that you expect to make during the next two schools years (through March 2020). You can also be reimbursed for purchases you have already made during this school year.

Along with network equipment and services, new equipment and services are eligible this year. Network and security assessments are covered at 100%. Hotspots (portable wireless internet access devices) for student check-out and for buses are also covered at 100%, although service is not.

If you have any questions, please contact Bill Herman (

Legislative Update for the Week of January 29
January 30th – Assembly Committee on Workforce Development will hear:
AB 872 Relating to career and technical education incentive grants for school districts and completion awards for students and making an appropriation.

February 1st – Assembly Education Committee will hear:
AB 569 Relating to publication of school and school district accountability reports.
AB 803 Relating to excluding costs funded by referenda from shared costs for determining general equalization aids for school districts.

Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding
The next meeting of the School Funding Commission is set for Friday, February 2, 2018 starting at 10:30 AM at the James Madison Academic Campus, 8135 W. Florist Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53218.

The Blue-Ribbon Commission will hear testimony from invited speakers including representatives from the following: Milwaukee Public Schools, Southeast Wisconsin Schools Alliance and School Choice Wisconsin. Following the presentations, members of the public are invited to speak and share their thoughts. To ensure all of those in attendance can be heard, public testimony will be limited to 5 minutes. Hearing will conclude at 4:00 p.m.

From the NREA
Mark your calendars for the 2018 110th Annual Research and National Forum to Advance Rural Education! The conference will be Thursday, October 11, 2018, through Friday, October 13, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center in Denver, Colorado. Please visit our Convention and Research page for updates.

Amid teacher shortage in rural Montana, a ‘last resort’ hiring option has spiked — again, MATT HOFFMAN, Jan 24, 2018

Closing the gap: How a poor, rural school uses culture to help Native American kids learn, Megan Raposa, Article

Rural Districts Face Challenges and Opportunities with Technology Access Taking the digital leap requires broadband access, proper funding and the right people on board.   Article

From IES

REL Webinar—Blended Learning in Practice: Understanding the Potential of Using Technology in the Classroom

Blended learning combines online and face-to-face instruction. Join Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic for a free webinar that explores blended learning in practice and builds on their recently released infographic on the effectiveness and implementation of blended learning.

Presenters will provide an overview of blended learning, research evidence on its effectiveness at improving student outcomes, and experiences implementing it in schools.

Register for the webinar at the link below and submit your questions for the panelists in advance by emailing

February 5, 2018 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

Register here

Director Events from Week of January 22
Jan. 22 – UW Community Relations and Enrollment
Jan. 22 – Ed. Issues Conference Call
Jan. 23 – Meeting with Rep. Kulp
Jan. 23 – RCN Conference Call
Jan. 23 – Meeting with Rep. Nygren
Jan. 24 – Meeting with Mary Jarvis and Jeri McGinley
Jan. 25 – Meeting with UW Grand Challenges Group
Jan. 25 – Assembly Education Committee
Jan. 25 – Meeting with Rep. Felzkowski
Jan. 26 – Meeting with Stephanie Richards – UW Rural Arts

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Jan. 29 – Ed Issues Conference Call
Jan. 29 – WPEN Webinar
Jan. 30 – Meeting with Todd Lacher from the Institute for Research and Reform in Education
Jan. 30 – Wisconsin Statesmanship Reception
Feb. 1 – Assembly Education Committee
Feb. 2 – Blue Ribbon Funding Commission Meeting

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