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

Good Morning,
I would like to thank Ronnie Kaukl, Kevin Clougherty and the WiRSA Board members for their help in running another successful conference. Our registration numbers were up again this year with nearly 140 registrants for the two-day event. I would also like to say thank you to our 26 vendors and 13 sponsors, your support is vital to the success of this conference. Also, a special thank you to Representatives Hebl, Considine and Pope and to Senator Olsen for joining us. The Blue-Ribbon update provided by Senator Olsen on Tuesday was greatly appreciated.

WiRSA Rural Awards Announced
The 2018 WiRSA Rural Awards were announced on Monday, October 29 during the luncheon at the WiRSA Conference. Congratulations to the following:
* Teacher of the Year – Justin Gerlach from the Mishicot School District
* Administrator of the Year – Bryce Bird from the Riverdale School District
* School Board Member of the Year – Steven Pate from the Portage School District
* Support Staff Person of the Year – Dan Viste from the Southern Door School District
* Community Partner of the Year – Ashley Furniture Industries from the Arcadia, Whitehall, Blair-Taylor and Independence School Districts
* Rural Advocacy Award – Heather DuBois Bourenane, Executive Director for WPEN

WiRSA Board Elections were Reopened until Nov. 16 for Regions 3 and 4 School Board Seats

Region 3 and 4 Electors please email me with your vote.

Region 3 School Board Seat (write in)

Valerie Kulesa – Gilman School District

Region 4 School Board Seat (write in)

Gail Saari – Maple School District

Linda Opsahl – Florence School District

WISELearn Survey
Here is a link to a short survey about WISELearn. It should take less than 5 minutes to complete. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated

Legislative Update for the Week of November 5
No hearings on education scheduled this week.

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
Congressional letter on problems with Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. More than 150 Members of Congress wrote a letter to Education Secretary DeVos on October 16 seeking answers to questions about the extremely low rate that the Department of Education (ED) is forgiving student loans under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Last month, ED data showed that of more than 28,000 applications for loan forgiveness under the program, only 96 borrowers had been approved –less than 1% of all applicants. The Government Accountability Office released a report in September identified problems with ED’s outreach to borrowers and information to employers and servicers, and included recommendations for corrections.

From the US Department of Education
To help professionals approach educational technology with English Learners’ needs in mind, the Department developed two toolkits. The toolkit for educators offers five guiding principles to apply in exploring new ways of working with and supporting English Learners through technology. The toolkit for educational technology developers provides guidance on the needs of English Learners and their educators; ways to communicate about products with schools and educators of English Learners to facilitate adoption of products; and the different types of professional development and training activities that educators find most valuable.

The Department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has been running a number of posts from the field on its blog in recognition of October being Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month, Blind Awareness Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Also, OSERS announced the appointment of Laurie VanderPloeg as Director of its Office of Special Education Programs.

The “Section 5005 Final Report on Rural Education,” mandated by Congress as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), outlines the actions the agency will take to meaningfully increase the involvement of rural schools and school districts in helping develop Department policy and regulations.

From the Department of Public Instruction
Hearing scheduled Nov. 16 on open enrollment scope statement
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will conduct a preliminary public hearing from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 16 at DPI headquarters, GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison, on a statement of scope related to alternative applications for open enrollment.
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Enrollments announced for Wisconsin, Racine, and Milwaukee voucher programs
Student enrollment in Wisconsin’s three private school parental choice programs showed a one-year increase of about 8.7 percent. Private School Choice Programs: Data and Reports

From the DOJ
The Office of School Safety has many, free school safety plan resources available on our website.

Just Announced DOJ Training Courses
We have added three School Threat Assessment Training courses and 16 Adolescent Mental Health courses around the state. You can find the complete list here. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

From the NREA
USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Education, Workforce Training and Health Care Opportunities in Rural Communities



DIVERSE POLITICS, ONE INSPIRATION: FARM LIFE MOTIVATES FEMALE CANDIDATES IN KY. Print article In a year noted for a large number of female candidates, four women in the Bluegrass State say the values and work habits they developed through farming have inspired them to seek local and state offices.

From REL Midwest
Here’s a quick roundup of the latest resources available from REL Midwest.
Recent event: A Well-Prepared Teacher: Aligning K–12 and Higher Education Expectations, Oct. 23 in Lansing, MI

Blog posts:
Developing a sustainable training plan to help kindergarten teachers understand and support students’ development
Sharing strategies to increase research-based educational practices
Resource roundup: The transition to kindergarten

Director Events from Last Week
Oct. 28-30 – WiRSA Conference
Nov. 1 – HealthTide Meeting

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Nov. 5 – Conference Call with Keller, Inc
Nov. 5 – Zoom meeting with Colorado Dept. of Ed on S-CAP
Nov. 6 – WASDA Regional Meeting
Nov. 6 – UW-Whitewater Teen Suicide Prevention Research
Nov. 7 – Meeting with Vision Quest 20/20
Nov. 9 – WPEN Meeting

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
2019 WiRSA Conference, Save the Date, October 28-29, 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