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

Good Morning,
Just a quick reminder that there is still time to register for this year’s WiRSA Conference. Come join us for this excellent conference that highlights the great things going on in our rural schools, along with great sessions on timely subject matter. See more information below.

WiRSA Conference Registration – Still Open
The 2018 WiRSA Conference will be held at the Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells, October 29-30. View the program outline and registration information on our website.

WiRSA Annual Meeting – October 30
The 2018 WiRSA Annual meeting will be held at 2:05 pm on October 30th at the Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center following the WiRSA Conference. All members are invited to attend.

WiRSA Board of Directors Election Results
Congratulations to the following members for being elected to the WiRSA Board of Directors for a four-year term.
Region 1 – CESA Administrator Seat – Jeremy Biehl, CESA 5
Region 2 – District Administrator Seat – Robert Smudde, Prairie du Chein
Region 3 – School Board Member Seat – unfilled
Region 4 – Teacher Seat – Kay McClain, Florence County
Region 4 – School Board Member Seat – unfilled

WiRSA Membership Invoices
Invoices were due Sept. 1. Reminders were sent the week of Sept 10. Please feel free to contact me, if you have questions.

Legislative Update for the Week of October 15
No hearings scheduled this week.

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
US Department of Education releases Rural Report

From the US Department of Education
Late last month, President Trump signed into law the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019, providing full-year funding for the Department of Education for Fiscal Year 2019. The bill increases the agency’s discretionary funding by $581 million from FY 2018. Among the programs receiving large increases: Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title I grants to school districts (up $100 million, to $15.9 billion); special education grants to states (up $87 million, to $12.4 billion); career and technical education state grants (up $70 million, to $1.27 billion); ESEA Title IV-A Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants (up $70 million, to $1.17 billion); and charter school grants (up $40 million, to $440 million).

Further, the bill boosts the maximum Pell Grant award by $100 to $6,195 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Special Education Resolution Article from the Portage Register

From the Department of Public Instruction
School districts receive certified general aid figures PDF    HTML
School Finance – Certified General Aid

DPI releases training module that covers mandatory reporting of threats of school violence.

From the DOJ
The Office of School Safety has many, free school safety plan resources available on our website. The OSS has begun work with stakeholder organizations to summarize and integrate key materials, but a comprehensive school safety plan should include elements of the following.

• Free Resources from the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Center
o Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans, REMS Technical Assistance Center. That comprehensive document is available “at a glance” here.
o The REMS Toolbox, contains example forms, MOUs, Policies, Procedures, Templates, etc.
o REMS has online training available regarding how to develop Emergency Operation Plans and common sub-annexes.

• Free Resources from the I Love U Guys Foundation
o The Standard Response Protocol promotes safe schools through uniform classroom response to any critical incident. Instead of scenario-based planning to a large number of potential hazards (weather, fires,         accidents, intruders, etc.), the SRP is based not on individual scenarios but on the response to any given situation. All crisis events are addressed through Lockout, Lockdown, Evacuate, or Shelter. The common terminology helps ensure clear understanding within a school and with emergency responders.
o The Standard Reunification Method provides school and district safety teams with proven methods for an accountable reunification of students with their parents or guardians in the event of a school crisis or emergency.

You are invited to attend a FREE training directly from John-Michael Keyes, founder of the I Love U Guys Foundation, at the DOJ event on October 26, 2018. Register here.

From IES
REL Webinar: Addressing Student Chronic Absenteeism
The webinar will present information on why chronic absenteeism matters, what the research says about the state of chronic absenteeism and summarize the evidence about approaches to reducing chronic absenteeism. A speaker from the Pennsylvania Department of Education will discuss the importance of monitoring chronic absenteeism and why it’s a priority for the state.

What Research Tells Us About Addressing Student Chronic Absenteeism
October 25, 2018
2:00–3:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Director Events from Last Week
Oct. 8 – Interview with Portage Paper
Oct. 8 – Ed. Issues conference call
Oct. 9 – Meeting with Benecras Group
Oct. 10-13 – NREA Conference
Oct. 10-13 – WiRSA Office closed

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Oct. 15 – Ed. Issues conference call
Oct. 17 – DPI Rural Advisory Council at Denmark School District
Oct. 18 – Stakeholder Meeting at SAA Office in Madison
Oct. 19 – CESA 12 PAC in Ashland

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
2018 WiRSA Conference, RURAL SCHOOLS MATTER, October 29-30, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells.
2019 WiRSA Scholarship Information


Thank you Sponsors!
Alliant Energy, CESA Foundation, Ehlers, Jostens, McKinstry,
Mid-State Technical College, National Insurance Services, Nexus Solutions,
The Insurance Center, TRICORE Insurance, UW Colleges Online,
WEA Member Benefits and Wisconsin Farmers Union