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

Good Morning,
In this edition,
• Check out the three grants from the DOJ, and US Department of Education.
• The WiRSA Conference call for proposals and Conference Vendor/Sponsor Registration are now live.
• Remember to look at the Rural Awards information. This is a great way to recognize staff and community members.

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

WiRSA Conference Vendor Booth and Sponsorship Registration is Open
Information for securing one of the 26 vendor booths for the 2018 WiRSA Conference is now available. Please see attached flyer for more details. Priority will be given to our Business Partners, formerly known as Associate Members, then vendors from last year, followed by new requests.

We will be using a new registration process this year, so please read all information carefully.

Link to Registration Form

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 7
No sessions scheduled at the time of this publication.

Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding Dates
The next meeting of the School Funding Commission will be held today in Tomahawk from 1:00–5:00 (note time change) at the Tomahawk School District Auditorium.

Future meetings are scheduled for the following communities from 1:00-5:00; locations to be determined. 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, May 21- Turtle Lake
• Monday, June 4- Madison

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

Grant Opportunities from WI Department of Justice
School Safety Grant Application – Due June 8, 2018
The WI Department of Justice announced that the application is available for the new School Safety Grant program. The DOJ announced that schools interested in applying for a School Safety Grant should create an account on the Egrants online system, and review the DOJ Grants Administrative Guide prior to submitting an application. The School Safety Initiative Grant application is available online, along with instructions.

This information can also be found on the Office of School Safety website.

Online Help is available throughout the Egrants application process.
• Once you have started an application, look for the HELP button in the top right corner of the screen, and you will be directed to page-specific instructions.

State of Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Egrants technicians are available non-holiday weekdays from 8 am to 4:30 pm CST.
• Madison area local calls: (608) 267-9068
• Statewide toll-free: (888) 894-6607

The DOJ Grants Administrative Guide provides assistance with grants management and fiscal management rules, such as allowable costs and procurement.

For any general program, policy, or budget questions related to 2017 Wisconsin Act 143 (Office of School Safety and School Safety Grants) please submit via email to:

From the US Department of Education
U.S. Department of Education Announces STEM, Computer Science Education Grant Opportunities
The U.S. Department of Education is now accepting applications for two fiscal year 2018 grant
competitions that support the Presidential Memorandum on increasing access to high quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Computer Science (CS) education.

The $75 million competition for Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program and the $120 million Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program include priorities for STEM/CS and are designed to further expand access to underserved communities and support educators in these fields.

The application deadline to apply for SEED is May 17, 2018, and the EIR deadline is June 5, 2018. Funding will be awarded in the fall.

For more information about the SEED and EIR grant competitions or other STEM/CS funding opportunities, please email or

U.S. Department of Education Announces Education Innovation and Research Grant
The Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant provides funding for recipients to create or scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve achievement and attainment of high-need K-12 students.

If your district has over 350 students in Average Daily Attendance and would like more information about the EIR grant, please see the information sheet, and visit the EIR 2018 Competition Page (/).
Please note: All EIR applications are due by June 5, 2018.

From the NREA
Register Now to Reserve Your Spot today for the 110th NREA Convention and Research Symposium. October 11–13, 2018 in Denver, CO
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

USDA Rural Development Innovation Center Launches Interactive Webpage to Share Best Practices for Rural Economic Development

From IES
A Look at Career and Technical Education Programs in Public School Districts: 2016–17
Key Findings based on the 98 percent of public school districts that offered CTE programs to students at the high school level in the 2016–17 school year:

• Districts reported that the following entities provided the CTE programs that the district offered: the district individually (77 percent of districts), area/ regional CTE centers or a group/consortium of school districts (54 percent of districts), 2-year community or technical colleges (46 percent of districts), and 4-year colleges or universities (11 percent of districts).

• Seventy-three percent of districts offered CTE courses for which students could earn both high school and postsecondary credit; 61 percent offered CTE courses in which students could earn high school credits in math, science, English/language arts, or social studies; and 30 percent offered online CTE courses, including blended/hybrid courses.

• Districts reported that the following were large or very large barriers to the district in offering CTE programs to high school students: lack of funding or high cost of programs (50 percent
of districts), finding or keeping teachers for in-demand industries and occupations (44 percent of districts), and facilities or space limitations (43 percent of districts).

View the full report here.

Availability of services to support parent involvement.
This report describes the availability of services to support parent involvement in K-12 schools by community type, school sector, and school classification. This report uses data from the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey. Full report.

Director Events from Last Week
April 30 – Weekly Ed Issues Call
May 2 – CESA 9 Zoom Mtg (Blue Ribbon discussion)
May 3 – Connect America Call

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
May 7 – Blue Ribbon Hearing in Tomahawk
May 8 – CESA 5 registration meeting
May 9 – Meeting with Network
May 9 – Meeting with Jennifer Berkshire (Journalist)
May 10 – Conference call with Better Lessons
May 11 – CESA 11

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