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 new WiRSA Board Members, information on the NDD Letter, ESSA Update/Webinar, the Ed Week State Highlights Report and the Midwest REL Kindergarten Documentary.

WiRSA Office Closed
The WiRSA office will be closed January 28-February 1. There will be no Update on January 28.

Scholarship Reminder
Please remind your Counselors that the WiRSA Scholarship deadline is February 15. Please note that schools must be in good standing to be eligible.

WiRSA Announces New Executive Board and new Board Members
At the January 8 WiRSA Board Meeting the 2019 Executive Board was selected and four new members were introduced.
Executive Board
President, Ben Niehaus, Florence County School District
President Elect, Chuck Keller, Weston School District/CESA 3
Secretary, Diana Bohman, Tomorrow River School District/Public Library
Treasurer, Jerry Walters, CESA 11
Past President, Robert Smudde, Prairie du Chein School District

New Members
Gail Saari, Maple School District School Board, Region 4
Valorie Kulesa, Gilman School District School Board, Region 3
Kay McLain, Florence County School District Teacher, Region 4
Dr. Jennifer Collins, UW-Platteville School of Education, IHE Position

Legislative Update for the Week of January 21
No hearings are scheduled for this week.

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
WiRSA signed on to the NDD letter to increase non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending caps. NDD United is circulating a sign-on letter urging Congress to quickly negotiate a new budget agreement to avert the deep cut to non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending that would occur under the existing discretionary spending caps in fiscal year (FY) 2020. The deadline for signing on is January 31.
Below is the information on the letter; your organization can sign on here.

Thanks to your support NDD United has been successful in securing partial and temporary sequestration relief for discretionary programs in fiscal years 2014-2019. In fact, our work and partnership with the Aerospace Industries Association’s “Second to None” campaign was named one of the top 10 lobbying victories of 2013 by The Hill, and baseball hats from our #RaiseTheCaps campaigns can still be found on display in lawmakers’ offices across Capitol Hill.

Now sequestration is upon us again as the temporary and partial relief of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 expires at the end of FY 2019. In the 116th Congress, our unity will be more important than ever as threats to nondefense discretionary programs face a steep, $55 billion funding cliff that would reverse many of the funding gains we’ve made. Our best chance to prevent further cuts and increased funding for these programs is to speak with one voice.

ESSA: The biggest thing to watch in ESSA remains the ESSA fiscal transparency requirements that are in effect for this school year, and which will likely be included in the next round of state and local report cards. Outside of that, we expect the new Congress to invite Sec DeVos to the hill to testify about a variety of topics, including ESSA implementation/oversight. We do not have a read on what topic the House Committee may lead with, but ESSA oversight is a top contender.

Webinar: The Ins-&-Outs of ESSA Reporting & More
Be a part of the webinar discussion on February 6 as Dr. Kecia Ray, Principal of K20 Connect discusses the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the strict guidelines around use of those funds, and how to ensure accurate reporting.

What: ESSA Personnel Reporting: No Time to Waste
When: Wednesday, 02/06 @ 2 PM ET // 11:00 AM PT
Register Now

Student Privacy and the Law of Unintended Consequences: A new article from the Future of Privacy Forum looked at student data and privacy laws and lessons that can be learned about implementation and unintended consequences. Two big takeaways:

• As state legislatures contemplate new student or child privacy laws, they should carefully consider all possible outcomes — and take the time to anticipate and avoid unintended consequences. Having people on-the-ground — teachers, administrators, parents, students, and ed tech companies — involved can help keep well-intentioned laws from limiting important uses of data and technology in the classroom.

• More laws won’t make a difference without enforcement and training. 39 states and DC have passed more than 120 new laws protecting student privacy since 2013. But in many states, there has never been an enforcement action over student privacy. Policymakers should fund training so that every person who interacts with student data knows how to protect it, and the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Trade Commission, and state law enforcers should commit more resources to investigating and prosecuting violations of existing student privacy laws.

Check out the full article.

From the DOJ
School Threat Assessment Conference/ Second Date Added
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 and April 1-2 at UW- River Falls. There will be no charge for this event. There is a block of hotel rooms available at the state rate of $82 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
Micro Schools’ Could Be New Competition for Private K-12
Teachers Want Education Research. The Feds Spend Millions on It. So Why Can’t It Get to the Classroom?
Students in Rural America Ask, ‘What Is a University Without a History Major?’
What Rural America Can Teach Us About Civil Society

From Ed Week: State Highlights Reports
The Quality Counts 2019 Highlights Reports capture the key data you need to assess your state’s performance. Snapshots from each state’s report can be accessed using the drop-down menu below.

State Highlights Reports are available for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and compare individual state data to national data. The National Highlights Report includes the national average and data for the top and bottom states. State Highlights Report

From Midwest REL
The new REL Midwest documentary: Kindergarten: Where Play and Learning Can Meet is now posted to our REL website. Here is a short description of the program: What can kindergarteners gain from play-based learning? This documentary explores the advantages associated with a play-based approach in kindergarten. The documentary also includes scientific findings about the cognitive and social-emotional benefits of play from experts Dr. Roberta Golinkoff (University of Delaware), Dr. Christina Weiland (University of Michigan), and Dr. Eboni Howard (American Institutes for Research).

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 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

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
January 21 – Ed Issues Conference Call
January 22 – RCN Monthly Meeting
January 22 Redefining Ready Meeting
January 23-24 – WASB Convention
January 28-Feb 1 – WiRSA Office Closed

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