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,
As the winter season winds down and state-level competition begins for our students, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the participants from our member schools on their seasons and wish them the best of luck moving forward in their competitions. Your hard work has paid off. Good luck to all.

Welcome to WiRSA, Shiocton School District and Tricor Insurance. We look forward to working with you.

WiRSA Rural Awards
The WiRSA office is now taking applications for the 2018 WiRSA Rural Awards. The WiRSA Rural Awards are a way to recognize the great people you have in your district and community for the outstanding things that they do for your school and rural education. The deadline for nominations is September 14. Click here for more information.

Legislative Update for the Week of February 19
Feb. 20 – AB 693 – Relating to: rights of and protections for teachers. Please note the bill’s author has introduced substitute amendments to AB 693. This will be an Executive Hearing.

Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding
The next meeting of the School Funding Commission TBA.
Informative links
         Blue Ribbon Commission website
         Blue Ribbon Commission members
         Blue Ribbon Commission mission and directive
         Legislative Fiscal Bureau school finance documents

From the DPI
Charter sub-grant applications now available
Applications for the 2018-19 Wisconsin Charter Schools Program sub grant competition are now available.

The Wisconsin Charter Schools Program is also seeking peer reviewers for this competition. More information regarding the peer review process is also available here.
Application Deadline is 4:30 pm, March 9 2018.

Please feel free to contact Latoya if you have any questions regarding this information. Email:

Proposed rules restore part-time open enrollment
The Department of Public Instruction will conduct a hearing from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Feb. 21 at department headquarters, GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison, to take public testimony on proposed administrative rules to restore part-time open enrollment (PI 36).

Additional information is available in the attached news item or on the Department of Public Instruction newsroom website.

Bucky’s Tuition Promise Announcement
Bucky’s Tuition Promise (BTP) commits to providing some of our most financially vulnerable students and families with the opportunity to attend UW-Madison without concern of the cost of tuition and segregated fees. We feel that one of the best parts of this new initiative is that the clarity and simplicity of the criteria and commitment– if an incoming student’s household adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than or equal to $56K, we’ll ensure that tuition and segregated fees are paid with gift aid (i.e. scholarships and grants).

WiRSA has consulted with the UW team on removing barriers to access over the last two years. Attached are some of the highlights of the program.

From the NREA
Call for Proposals for the NREA Convention and Research Symposium:
The convention will be held OCTOBER 11–13, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. If you have a great rural program to share with others I encourage you to submit a proposal.

This annual event is designed to create an environment for collaboration and innovation with a diverse community—national experts, K–12 and higher education practitioners, leading researchers, policymakers, and philanthropic leaders—to learn and share ideas around the topics at the forefront of rural education and to ensure 21st century learning is a reality for all rural students. Ultimately, we want to help unite and inspire people to action.

Submit your proposal online.

NREA Foundation Essay Contest allows contestants to participate in three divisions: elementary, middle/junior high, and high school. Grades 3-8 may participate in a written essay contest using the provided prompt and rubric. Grades 9-12 may participate in a video essay contest using the provided prompt and rubric. The winner in the elementary division receives $250. The runner-up will receive $100. The winners in the middle/junior high and high school divisions receive $400. The runners-up receive a $200 prize.

SRSA Grants Open Feb. 20
The FY 2018 Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) grant application period is scheduled to open Tuesday, February 20, 2018, and close Friday, April 20, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. Washington, D.C. time. The FY 2018 SRSA application will be available in once the application period opens on February 20.

The Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) team sent this notification to local education agencies (LEAs) and state education agencies this morning.

We will send a follow-up email to LEAs next week with a link to the updated eligibility spreadsheet and details about pre-application actions that SRSA-eligible LEAs should take to be prepared to start their FY 2018 SRSA grant applications on February 20.
If you have questions regarding this notification, please send them to

Here is a link to the USDE site on SRSA eligibility. If you click on the eligibility spreadsheet it will tell you if you are eligible.

From IES
REL Webinar: Implementing Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools
Join Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic for a free webinar on how evidence-based strategies can support educators and administrators in preventing dropout in secondary schools.

A recently released What Works Clearinghouse practice guide, Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools, presents four evidence-based recommendations for reducing dropout rates in middle and high schools and improving high school graduation rates. Presenters will discuss the guide’s four recommendations and give educators actionable guidance on how to implement them in schools. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from practitioners in the REL Mid-Atlantic region to learn how they have implemented some of the strategies.

March 5, 2018
2:00–3:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Director Events from Week of January 22
Feb. 10-14 – WiRSA office closed
Feb. 16 – CESA 3 Conference Call

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Feb. 19 – Ed Issues Weekly Call
Feb. 20 – AB 693 Hearing
Feb. 21 – Farmers Union Lobby Day
Feb. 22 – Meeting with UW Admissions and Financial Aid
Feb. 22 – WiRSA Conference planning meeting
Feb. 23 – Meeting UW Grad. Student working on referendum research

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
Clif Bar Family Foundation Grants
ESEA Information
DPI Budget Summary
Licensure Webinar
NREA in Denver Colorado October 11-13
2018 WiRSA Conference, October 29-30, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells