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 Blue Ribbon Commission on Funding final report, the article on the 11 ways new governors can impact education, the great webinars coming up for Girls Who Code, REAP, School Safety and Promoting Kindergarten Readiness for Dual Language Learners.

Scholarship Reminder
Please remind your Counselors that the WiRSA Scholarship deadline is February 15.

Girls Who Code Webinar
Chelsey from Girls Who Code has scheduled a webinar for Thursday January 17 at 3:30 PM CST to give you more information about the program and to answer questions.

The webinar typically lasts about 30 minutes. Chelsey will leave about 5-10 minutes at the end of the webinar for questions but depending on volume of questions it sometimes goes a little over on time. Chelsey will also provide a recording of the webinar and copy of her slide deck that will be sent to participants following the webinar. She will also have the recording and copy as well to pass along to anyone who wasn’t able to attend.

Here is the registration link for folks in your district to sign up. Each individual/participant will need to register separately.

WiRSA is partnering with the Girls Who Code organization, a national non-profit organization leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip girls with computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Girls Who Code Clubs are FREE programs for 3rd-5th and 6th-12th grade girls to join our sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and use computer science to change the world. Clubs can be hosted in schools, universities, libraries, community centers, faith-based organizations, or other nonprofits.

Legislative Update for the Week of January 14
Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding releases Recommendations Report

11 Ways New Governors Can Lead on Education Through Executive Actions

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
REAP Webinar – Please join the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) for the REAP: What LEAs Need to Know in FY 2019 Webinar on one of the following dates:

Tuesday, January 15, 2018, from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. (EST)
Wednesday, January 16, 2018, from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (EST)
Thursday, January 17, 2018, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (EST)

After attending this webinar, local education agencies (LEAs) will:

• Understand how eligibility for SRSA and RLIS grants is determined
• Understand allowable activities for which SRSA and RLIS grants may be used
• Understand the FY 2019 grant-making timeline
• Know how to apply for the REAP grant(s) for which they are eligible
• Know what to look for when reviewing the REAP eligibility spreadsheet
• Know where to find REAP-related resources and guidance

Please click the appropriate link below to register for the webinar you plan to attend. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the webinar.

• Tuesday, January 15, 2019
• Wednesday, January 16, 2019
• Thursday, January 17, 2019

If you have questions regarding the webinars, please send them to:

From the US Department of Education
In a meeting last month with college presidents and association officials at the American Council of Education, during which she shared her vision for higher education, Secretary DeVos also released two white papers describing the Administration’s priorities on rethinking higher education generally and on accreditation reform specifically. The former features principles for reform under three categories: empowering students, empowering institutions, and empowering innovators. The latter features nine proposals — some of which can be accomplished administratively, others of which will require statutory or regulatory changes.

For the latest information, visit the negotiated rulemaking web page, which will be updated regularly.

Two more states — Georgia and North Carolina — applied during the second round of the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority pilot. The ESSA authorizes up to seven states to test new, innovative assessments in select school districts before taking them statewide. To date, Secretary DeVos has approved two states — Louisiana and New Hampshire — for the flexibility. Meanwhile, in a message sent to Georgia Department of Education officials, the Department made clear that states do not have to pick a single test for the pilot (Georgia created three different consortia that are working on formative assessments) but do have to end up with a single test in the end.

The application period is now open for the 2018 President’s Environmental Youth Award Program. This program recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects by K-12 students, promoting awareness of the nation’s natural resources and encouraging positive community involvement. Winners of this year’s awards will be invited to a ceremony in Washington, D.C., and have their project highlighted on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) web site. EPA will select up to two winners in each of its 10 regions — one winner for grades K-5, and one winner for grades 6-12. Applications are due by February 1.
The Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) is not directly impacted by the current lapse in appropriations and the resulting partial government shutdown. Some of FSA’s systems and processes depend on information from — and actions taken by — other federal agencies, a number of which are currently closed. FSA is evaluating what impact these closures may have on the office, including the impact on database matches conducted by the Central Processing System, and is working to limit the impact on its partners. FSA will issue guidance, as needed, as soon as possible (updates: here and here). In the meantime, offices are open, and all of FSA’s processors, contract centers, and web sites remain operational.

From the DOJ
School Threat Assessment Conference
the Office of School Safety is announcing a School Threat Assessment Conference to be held March 18-19, 2019, at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. There will be no charge for this event. There is a block of hotel rooms available at the state rate of $82.00 per night for Sunday, March 17, and Monday March 18. There are a limited number of seats for this event, so please encourage your partners to register early!

This conference will count toward the Threat Assessment Team Training requirement. All educators, law enforcement and school based behavioral health/social services professionals are encouraged to attend. Please see the attached tentative agenda for more information.

From the NREA
K-12 & Higher Education Classroom Security: Addressing the Issue of Secondary Barricade & Locking Devices

Please join: ASSA ABLOY, Security Today and Campus Security & Life Safety for this complimentary webinar
Topic: K-12 & Higher Education Classroom Security: Addressing the Issue of Secondary Barricade & Locking Devices

Date: Thursday January 31, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM (EST), 11:00 AM (PST)
Register Today

Study examines efforts to boost next generation in rural areas

From IES
REL Webinar: Promoting Kindergarten Readiness for Dual Language Learners
Join the REL Program for a free webinar that will provide evidence-based information on language models and transition strategies that can help young dual language learners succeed in pre-kindergarten (preK) and elementary school.

January 30, 2019
3:00–4:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Director Events from Last Week
January 7 – Meeting with Midwest Council
January 8 – WiRSA Board Meeting
January 10 – Meeting with UW System

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
January 14 – Rural Update presentation in Stevens Point
January 15 – Meeting with WiRSA member on a proposal for possible job fair
January 17 – Girls Who Code Webinar
January 18 – DOJ OSS Advisory Committee Meeting
January 18 – Meeting with UW System

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