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

Good Morning,

This week I encourage you to take a close look at the USDA Broadband Grant Program and the SRSA Application Extension. I also encourage you to nominate someone in your district for a WiRSA Rural Award and submit a proposal promoting a great program in your district for the upcoming conference.

WiRSA Conference call for proposals now open
The conference planning committee is now accepting proposals to present at the annual conference October 28-29 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center. We are looking for presentations that promote the great programs being offered by our rural schools. This year’s theme is around diversity. To submit a proposal, complete the proposal form by June 21. (See attached flyer to post.)

WiRSA Rural Awards – New Category added for Principals
WiRSA is now taking applications for the 2019 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 13. Click here for more information.

WiRSA Conference Vendor Booth and Sponsorship Registration is Open
Information for securing one of the 26 vendor booths for the 2019 WiRSA Conference is now available. Please see attached flyer for more details. Priority will be given to our Business Partners, formerly known as Associate Members, then vendors from last year, followed by new requests.

We will be using a new registration process this year, so please read all information carefully. Vendor/Sponsor Registration Form.

Girls Who Code has officially launched their Girls Who Code Clubs 2019-20 Application!
As an international non-profit, we are so proud to work alongside Community Partners like yourself to close the gender gap in technology. Now in our 7th year, we have reached 185,000 girls supporting their passion to code!

This is an exciting time to join our movement — we received 6,500 Clubs applications for just the 2018-19 year alone — and we’re hoping that you will join us! To learn more, please read our Clubs 2019-20 flyer.

Interesting Rural/Urban Article
The Best Way to Rejuvenate Rural America? Invest in Cities

Legislative Update for the Week of April 29
No education related bills on the docket and the time of this printing.

National Level Legislative Update From NREAC/CEF
USDA Opens Application Portal for New ReConnect Rural Broadband Infrastructure Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting online applications for funding through the new ReConnect Rural Broadband Pilot Program. These funds will enable the federal government to partner with the private sector and rural communities to build modern broadband infrastructure in areas with insufficient internet service. Insufficient service is defined as connection speeds of less than 10 megabits per second download and 1 megabit per second upload. Beginning today, ReConnect funding applications can be submitted at

In this first round of funding, USDA is making available at least $600 million in rural broadband projects, through $200 million in grants, $200 million in loan and grant combinations, and $200 million in low-interest loans. The application deadlines for each of these funding packages are as follows:

• May 31, 2019, for projects seeking federal funds from the grants-only package;
• June 21, 2019, for projects seeking a combination of federal loans and grants; and
• July 12, 2019, for projects seeking low-interest federal loans.

From US Department of Education
IMPORTANT: Extension of the FY 2019 SRSA Application Period
The application deadline for the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) grant program has been extended until Friday, May 10, 2019, at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

All other information in the original notice of application published in the Federal Register (84 FR 8846) on March 12, 2019, including application submission instructions and requirements, remains the same.

To access the SRSA application package, type the words rural education into the SEARCH field in the top right-hand corner of the homepage at Click on the SRSA grant funding opportunity (ED-GRANTS-022019-001) to access the SRSA application.

Again, the new closing date for the FY 2019 SRSA Application is Friday, May 10, 2019 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. If you have questions, contact the REAP Team via email at

From the DOJ
Update Trainings Added
Upcoming trainings were recently added to OSS website:

One additional Threat Assessment Team Course to be delivered at the Deforest Public Library on May 3, 2019 from 9am to 5pm.

Digital Threat Assessment Training: The Digital Threat Assessment training is provided by ‘Safer Schools Together’, it was developed through the need to keep pace with the ever-evolving technology challenges that face our students currently. These challenges have entered the education domain with force and have overwhelmed school district staff throughout the world. The goal is to give attendees a stronger understanding of the current social media world, tools to be able to proactively identify student safety concerns and provide strategies for dealing with online situations as they arise. All aspects of school safety and threats to schools now involve a social media or online component and we need to be prepared.

July 22, 2019 Waukesha Technical College
July 23, 2019 Fox Valley Technical College
July 24, 2019 Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
July 25, 2019 Blackhawk Technical College
July 26, 2019 Chippewa Valley Technical College

From the NREA
Check out the latest Rural Educator: Vol 40 No (2019)

From IES
New Information on States’ Quality Rating Systems for Early Learning Programs. View the briefs and report.

REL Webinar: Scaffolding Emergent Reading, Oral Language, and Writing for Dual Language Learners/English Learners in PreK–1st Grade
May 15, 2019, 1:30–3:00 p.m. CT   Register here

Director Events from Last Week
April 22 – Conference call with Board member on conference planning
April 22 – Interview regarding RERIC
April 22 – Weekly Stakeholder conference call
April 22 – Conference call with WEMTA
April 22 – Conference call with RERIC
April 23 – RCN monthly meeting
April 23 – Prep for WASBO presentation
April 24 – DPI Rural Advisory Council in Chetek
April 25 – All-State Budget Briefing

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
April 29 – Weekly Stakeholder conference call
April 29 – Meeting with UW-P School of Education and Chancellor, followed by rural education symposium
May 1 – Woodland Regional Learning Center STEAM Fair

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• Save the Date: 2019 WiRSA Conference, October 28-29, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells.


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