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

Good Morning,
In this edition:
• WiRSA Conference registration is now open,
• Nominate someone for the WiRSA Rural Awards,
• Special Education Funding Announcement
• Student Broadband Access Webinar
• Free from DOJ – Round 2 Safety Grant Funding and Trauma Sensitive Training
• REL Midwest resource on Strategies to Support Evidence Use in Education

WiRSA ‘Rural Schools Matter’ Conference Registration is now Open

The 2018 WiRSA Conference will be held again this year at the Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells October 29-30. View the program outline and registration information on our website. To register for the conference, go to the following link.

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.

Special Education Budget Announcement from DPI
To better serve students with disabilities and relieve budgetary pressure, the department is requesting an additional $600 million to support students with disabilities through the special education categorical aid, more than doubling the current reimbursement rate. The aid will bring the state’s reimbursement rate to 60% by the end of 2019, moving us closer to the national average.

This proposal sets the course for transformational change by reinstating the statutory requirement to reimburse 90% of special education costs.

From the DPI
Student broadband access at home – upcoming webinar August 2
Digital equity has become an urgent issue as schools provide more and more of their students with mobile devices to take home, while 20% of Wisconsin households do not have access to the internet. For many children and adults, the public library is the only source of internet access.

The Internet Discount Finder, created by the Wisconsin Public Services Commission, can help low-income households find discounted internet service. Discounts are as deep as 80%.

Schools and public libraries can play a critical role in promoting the Internet Discount Finder, to help all their students and library users get internet access at home.

You are invited to join a DPI call-in session on Bridging the Homework Gap: Helping Low-Income Families Get Affordable Internet Access. We will explain the Internet Discount Finder (which we encourage you to try out in advance), and offer ideas about how to promote it in your schools or libraries.

Note—The Internet Discount Finder is not just for households with students. It is designed to help *all* Wisconsin families and residences get internet access.

Call in at 1-877-820-7831, passcode 647831.

Session Dates
Thursday, August 2, 1:00 – 2:00

Review the presentation
Submit an idea or question before or during the presentation.

Legislative Update for the Week of July 30
There is nothing scheduled at the state level for this week.

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
No update this week

From the Department of Justice
School Safety Grant Funds – Round Two
This funding utilizes the remaining $45 million to advance baseline mental health and physical security improvements through advanced training for teachers on mental health; the creation of local teams of educators, counselors, and law enforcement to develop School Safety Intervention Teams that will assess threats and identify students in need of support; and additional physical security upgrades. K-12 schools-public, private, charter, and tribal-are encouraged to apply for this next round of grants, which will be awarded starting in October.

Schools applying for the second round of grant funding must agree to send 10 percent of full-time teachers and counselors to DOJ-approved 12-hour Adolescent Mental Health training by August 31, 2020. Schools may use grant funds to pay expenses incurred (tuition, travel, lodging, meals, substitute teacher pay, etc.). Schools applying must also establish a School Safety Intervention Team (SSIT), following DOJ guidelines based on the U.S. Secret Service model, which will engage in behavior monitoring, threat assessments, and intervention. Funding will also be available for more physical security improvements. Additional details are in the grant summary on the DOJ website.

Schools interested in applying for the second round of grant funding must submit a mandatory “intent to apply” to the OSS by August 15, 2018. Schools and school districts that applied for the first round of grants are eligible for the second round of grants and will apply for the second round through a simplified grant application process. Schools that applied for funds in round one must have completed that grant application process and received their award notice in order to be eligible for round two funds. If a round one applicant has not yet received their award, please respond to the assigned DOJ grant specialist with all requested information as soon as possible to expedite that process. Schools and school districts that did not apply for the first round of grants are eligible for the second round of grants but will need to satisfy all prerequisites of the first round and second round of grant funding. Under the second round of grant funding, grant funds will be awarded on a per-student formula, according to student enrollment as reported to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. No awardee will receive less than $10,000 nor receive more than $2.5 million, to ensure all applicants receive sufficient funding to complete training and make meaningful physical security improvements.

More details, including a link to the Summary document and the Intent to Apply, are on the Office of School Safety website.

Trauma Sensitive Schools
In support of the School Safety Initiative grant requirements, please see the email below from DPI regarding a new option for Trauma Sensitive School training

DPI has collaborated with SaintA, Trauma Sensitive Education, LLC, the Wisconsin Safe and Health Schools Center, the 12 CESAs, and the Wisconsin Coalition of Religious and Independent Schools to develop a 3 hours Trauma Sensitive Schools Awareness Training.

This training will support schools in beginning the transformative journey towards becoming a Trauma Sensitive School. Covered topics include Adverse Childhood Experiences, the universal approach to Trauma Sensitive Schools, and the importance of staff wellness. Participants will end the training with ideas of how to further the journey. This training will satisfy 3 hour ACE/TSS training requirement as outlined in the Department of Justice’s School Safety Grant.

For information on scheduling a training, please visit.

From REL Midwest
“Strategies to Support Evidence Use in Education.”

The webinar recording, and slides are now available. For more information, you can also visit the archived event page.

The full webinar and shorter segment videos are posted on the IES YouTube channel:
Full Webinar
Research on Increasing Information Uptake
Strategies to Support Evidence Use in Practice
Panel Discussion on Evidence-Based Intervention Resources
Question and Answer Session

Director Events from Last Week
July 23 – DPI Mental Health Grant and 19-20 Budget Announcement
July 24-30 – WiRSA Office Closed

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Aug. 1 – Presenting at WPEN
Aug. 2 – Connect America Conference Call
Aug. 2 – Stakeholders meeting on school funding

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• WiRSA Rural Awards – Visit our website for more information.
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!
Alliant Energy, CESA Foundation, Ehlers, Jostens, McKinstry, National Insurance Services,
Nexus Solutions, The Insurance Center, TRICORE Insurance, UW Colleges Online,
WEA Member Benefits and Wisconsin Farmers Union