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,
• DOJ second round of School Safety Funding and Trauma Sensitive Care
• Interesting articles and reports from NREA and IES

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. 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.

Watch for Membership Survey and Board Election Information in the next week.

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.

Legislative Update for the Week of August 6
There is nothing scheduled at the state level for this week.

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
USDA Invests $97 Million in Rural Broadband Infrastructure to Improve Service for 22,000 Subscribers in 11 States – Projects Will Provide High-Speed Communications Technology to Support Economic and Educational Opportunities

Federal Commission on School Safety to Hold Third Public Listening Session
WASHINGTON – Representatives of the Federal Commission on School Safety (FCSS) will travel to Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Tuesday, August 7, for their third listening session. Members of the public, as
well as state and local government representatives, will have the opportunity to speak to representatives of the Commission and express their views on how to improve school safety.

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 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 enough 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.

Policy Brief Safety at Schools: Identifying the Costs Associated with the Necessary Safeguards for Arming Educators

From IES
A brief look at how U.S. men and women compare on literacy and numeracy.
The findings include:

• Men’s and women’s average literacy test scores were not measurably different.
• Men, on average, scored higher than women on a numeracy assessment.
• Men had higher numeracy scores than women across age categories and across educational attainment levels.

To view the full report, please visit. The report is drawn from a broader set of tables summarizing adult skill levels; to view the tables, please visit.
New Report Examines Principal Attrition and Mobility between 2015-16 and 2016–17.

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

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Aug. 6 – Stakeholder conference call
Aug. 7 – Meeting with Fair Opportunity Project
Aug. 7 – Meeting and Interview with Alan Borsuk from Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel

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