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

Good Morning,
On behalf of myself and the WiRSA Board of Directors, best wishes and future success to the WiRSA member schools’ 2018 graduates.
Important mentions in this edition:

• News from Rural Research Center
• DPI 17-18 Budget Summary
• HR 5199 Letter
• NREA CTE Resources
• WiRSA Conference call for proposals
• WiRSA Rural Awards information. This is a great way to recognize staff and community members.

Congratulations to WiRSA Member Schools’ Teachers of the Year
Elementary School Teacher of the Year — Liz Gulden, a kindergarten teacher at Willson Elementary School in Baraboo
High School Teacher of the Year — Benjamin Grignon, teacher of traditional Menominee crafts at Menominee Indian High School in Keshena
Special Services Teacher of the Year — Michael Wilson, a school counselor at St. Croix Falls High School

WiRSA Conference Call for Proposals
The WiRSA Conference Planning Committee is looking for proposals sharing the great programs/solutions that are occurring in our rural school districts. The conference theme is Rural Schools Matter.

To submit a proposal please go to the following link.

Proposals are due June 22. District proposals will receive top priority, followed by district/vendor proposals and vendor alone proposals.

WiRSA Rural Awards
WiRSA 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 May 21
No sessions scheduled at the time of this publication.

WiRSA Letter to Wisconsin U.S. Representatives opposing HR 5199

Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding Dates
The next meeting of the School Funding Commission will be held today in Turtle Lake from 1:00–5:00 at the Turtle Lake School District Auditorium.

Future meetings are scheduled for the following communities from 1:00-5:00. I encourage all of you to
attend the Blue-Ribbon Commission meeting nearest you and share your thoughts on funding with the Commission. If they don’t hear from us, they assume everything is okay.
• Monday, June 4- Madison (Location to be determined.)

Testimony Tips for future hearings:

1) We strongly encourage Business Mangers, Bookkeepers and/or other key financial personnel to present as they work with this daily.
2) Key areas to build testimony around
a) School districts lack a predictable, sustainable funding mechanism which impacts programming for students and the ability to attract and retain quality educators in our districts.
b) Removal of enrollment from the Sparsity Aid Formula (some legislators have expressed interest in doing this)
c) School choice funding is impacting our property taxpayers and there is a lack of transparency of where their tax dollars are being allocated.
d) Funding for school mental health.
e) Increase to Special Education categorical appropriation.
f) The ever-changing role of the traditional community public school and the responsibilities and expenses associated with the mandates imposed upon our districts.
g) Unfunded Mandates: Although well meaning, new programs are often mandated by the state.

Informative links
Blue Ribbon Commission website
Blue Ribbon Commission members
Blue Ribbon Commission mission and directive
Legislative Fiscal Bureau school finance documents

From UW Rural Research Center
On Friday, May 18, WiRSA and members from the UW Rural Research Center held a meeting with the DPI SSPW team to discuss mental health issues, data and initial approaches to developing solutions for providing mental health services in rural Wisconsin. This initial meeting will help in the development of research and potential resources for the future.

DPI Summary of 2017-18 Enacted Legislation Affecting Schools

From the NREA
Register Now to Reserve Your Spot today for the 110th NREA Convention and Research Symposium. October 11–13, 2018 in Denver, Colorado
If you’re looking to engage with national experts, leading researchers, K–12 and higher education practitioners, policymakers, and philanthropic leaders to advance conversations and ideas around innovative rural leadership, practice, research, and policy, this is THE event for you! If you share our passion for advancing rural education, we hope you will join us and help unite and inspire people to action! Convention and Research

Advance CTE Resources:
Career Tech Campaign Strategy Guide
The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education: Results from a National Survey of Parents and Students
The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education Fact Sheet
CTE: Pathways to College and Careers — YouTube

Director Events from Last Week
May 14 – Weekly Ed Issues Call
May 16 – NREAC Monthly Call
May 16 – Present WiRSA Scholarship at Albany HS
May 17 – NREA CTE Webinar
May 18 – UW/DPI Mental Health Discussion

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
May 21 – Blue Ribbon Commission on Funding in Turtle Lake
May 22 – CESA 3 Summer Inst. Meeting
May 22 – RCN Monthly Call
May 23 – Meeting with WECAN on member concerns
May 23 – Present WiRSA Scholarship at Fort Atkinson HS
May 24 – CESA Conference

WiRSA – WREA Job Connection Reminder
WREA and WiRSA have joined forces to connect school districts with hard to fill partial positions and long-term substitute positions with retired educators looking to get back into the workforce part time to share their knowledge and love of education with the students of rural Wisconsin. website

District Administrators and or HR personnel can complete the form below to post a partial position or long-term substitute position for posting on the WREA website. There is no cost for the posting, this is a service of WREA and WiRSA.

Please send or email completed form to Diane Wilcenski, WREA Executive Director, 6405 Century Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562 or email Diane at
WREA and WiRSA Job Connection Fillable Form

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• WiRSA Rural Awards – Click here for more information
WiRSA Scholarships
ESEA Information
Licensure Webinar
• NREA Conference in Denver, Colorado– October 11-13
• 2018 WiRSA Conference, RURAL SCHOOLS MATTER, October 29-30, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells.

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