2017 Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance Conference

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance Conference

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Please use the following resources from our archives to view past WiRSA Conferences:

2017 WiRSA Conference

WiRSA Conference, Oct 30-31

WiRSA Program

General Session 1

  • Politics of Resentment

General Session 2

  • Rural Education Research Center

 General Session 3

  • Building Strong Support for Strong Schools: Local Level Advocacy Workshop

 General Session 4

General Session 5

  • From Wheelchair to the Lambeau Leap

 Break-Out Session 1

Break-Out Session 2

Break-Out Session 3

Break-Out Session 4

Break-Out Session 5

Break-Out Session 6

Break-Out Session 7

2016 WiRSA Conference

WiRSA Conference, Nov 9-10

General Session 1:
• Funding Private vs Public
Dr. Julie Mead, UW-Madison Educational     Handout

General Session 2:
• Connecting with Rural Schools
Dr. James Henderson, UW System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

General Session 3:
• Connecting with Rural Schools
Ann Westrich, Career Prep Education Director, Wisconsin Technical College System     PowerPoint

General Session 4:
• Where Teachers Want to Teach: Labor Market Dynamics in Rural and Non-Rural School Districts
Peter Goff, Assistant Professor Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, UW-Madison and
Jennifer Seelig, PhD Candidate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at UW-Madison                   Goff PowerPoint      Seelig PowerPoint     

General Session 5:
• Supporting Children and Adolescents by Creating Engaged Connections across
Homes, Schools, and Communities
Dr. Andy Garbacz, Assistant Professor, UW School of Educational Psychology     Handout

General Session 6:
• Informal Science Engagement – Summer Science Camp and the Wisconsin Science Festival
Wes Marner and Dan Murphy, Morgridge Institute for Research

General Session 7:
• ACT 10 Effects on K-12 Schools
Dave Umhoefer, 2015–2016 O’Brien Fellow; investigative reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel      Handout

BREAK OUT SESSION 1:

• Collaborative Engagement: The 3Cs – Communication, Collaboration and Change
Peter Vedro, Baraboo School Board

 • How to Create a True Professional Learning Model (PLC) Using Distributed Leadership
Larry Villard, Laurie Leaf, Missy Anderson and Lisa Sturzl, Bruce     PowerPoint   Handouts

• OPEB Solutions – Using Retiree Only HRAs
Ken Zastrow and Erik Kass, National Insurance Services

• Don’t Wait, Communicate- Why School PR is Invaluable
Luke Francois and Joelle Doye, Mineral Point     PowerPoint

BREAK OUT SESSION 2:

• REACCT – Writing and Critical Thinking Program
Sam Scinta and Laura Veglahn, CESA 4

• Let’s Go Southern Door! How HealthCare and School Partnerships Can Engage Students, Staff, and Community in Health and Wellness
Patti Vickman, Southern Door, Cindy VanAsten, M3, Matt Luders, Door County Medical Center      Handout 1      Handout 2

• Trending: Using Matching/Vesting to Improve Recruitment/Retention
Marty Richards and Kelly Behnke, WEA Member Benefits     Handouts

• Community Engagement: 3 Steps to Leverage Social Media
Andrea Gribble, #SocialSchool4EDU     Handout

BREAK OUT SESSION 3:

• Google Classroom for Educator Effectiveness
Ty Maki, Curriculum Director and Dan Nett, District Administrator, New Holstein     Handouts

• The ‘RITE’ Program – Alternative Pathway to Teacher Licensure
Nancy Jaeger, Coordinator, Educator Licensing & Residency In Teacher Education (RITE)     PowerPoint     Handouts

• Special Education Support with Telepractice
Tyler McCord and David Taggart, Presence Learning WI Rural School Partnership

• Community Engagement — using transparent tools to present data in a clear way to build and strengthen community trust and engagement, Forecast5 Analytics and PMA Securities, Inc.
Scot Ecker, Forecast5, Michele Wiberg, PMA and Jill Underly, District Administrator, Pecatonica

BREAK OUT SESSION 4:

• Building a High School to Teacher Prep Program Pipeline in Rural WI – First Steps
Leah Luke, Teacher and Jim Dillin, Principal, Mauston

• Building Evaluation Capacity at the Local Level in Wisconsin’s Rural Schools: Program Evaluation 101
Dr. Brad Carl, Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), UW-Madison

• Books on the Bus: Where Education Starts the Moment a Student Steps Foot on the Bus     
Missy Bousley, Reading Specialist, Ted Chaudoir Bus Driver, Patti Vickman District Administrator, Southern Door     PowerPoint    

• Building Staff Engagement in Professional Learning
Ty Maki, Curriculum Director and Dan Nett, District Administrator, New Holstein     Handouts

BREAK OUT SESSION 5:

• Moving Away from Class Rank – Does Class Rank Tell the True Story?
Kim Kaukl, Executive Director, WiRSA     PowerPoint

• Math is the Equalizer: Setting the Stage for Success K-12
Diana L. Kasbaum, Math Consultant for Think Through Math

• After All, What Did You Expect?
Dave Moscinski, District Administrator, Stockbridge

• School Raised Pigs
Jon Wendtland, Teacher, Tomorrow River


2016 Conference Program

2015 WiRSA Conference

Rural Schools on the Move Through Innovation and Collaboration

Nov. 11-12, 2015

The seventh annual WiRSA Fall Conference was a resounding success thanks to the excellent presenters and the numerous attendees.

Use of Social Networking as a Strong Communication Tool

Joe Sanfelippo, District Administrator, Fall Creek

Key Stakeholders Developing Grass Roots Initiatives: Grass Roots Panel

Heather DuBois, Bourenane, WPEN; Sandy Whisler, CAPE; Bruce Quinton, Superintendent, Pepin; Jeri McGinley, School Funding Reform for Wisconsin

Standing Up for Rural Schools, Libraries and Communities Awards

Dr. Tony Evers, State Superintendent, DPI

FFA

Sally Albers, FFA State President and Kevin Keith, National FFA Local Program Success Team Leader

Whole Grade Sharing

TBA

Reflecting on the 2015-2017 Biannual State Budget

Todd Berry, Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance and Tom McCarthy, DPI Communications Officer

Fab Lab Education for the Future

George Karling and Steve Yahr, Three Lakes

The Morgridge Institute Summer Science Camps

Wes Marner, Lab and Outreach Coordinator

School Fair-School/Community Collaboration

Sharri Graffunder, River Valley

Teacher Retention

Barb Herzog and Penny Buckley, UW Oshkosh Center for Additional Teacher Listening Other Panel Members TBA

Building Strong Partnerships in Technology Education

Bob Morehead, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser

Learning from this Year’s WiRSA Exit Interview Program

Dave Hammelman, Hammelman Resources and Rick Waski, Adams Friendship

Rural School Collaborating Through Summer School

Brandon Robinson, Kara Holden, Zack Fugate, Unitiy; and Renee Gavinski, Luck

Health Lifestyles-Engaging Students, Staff and Community

Patricia Vickman, Southern Door; Nick Cochart, Algoma; Tony Klaubauf, Denmark, with Kevin Clougherty and Cindy Van Asten, M3 Insurance

2020 Vision Community and Agency Reciprocal Partnerships

Christine Weymouth, Mauston

Fine Arts in Rural Schools

Matt Snow and Rebecca Schinker, River Valley

Building Utilization

NWTC and Florence Partnership, Ben Niehaus, Florence

WEA Members Benefits

Sharon Schmidt, Worksite Benefits Consultant

Sharing Spanish via Technology for Elementary Students

John Eyerly, Westfield and Louie Ferguson, Arcadia

Leadership Forgiveness

Doug Kryder, Crandon

PLCs, A Dynamic Change to Our Small School Setting

Owen-Withee High School PLC Leadership Team

Future Ready Districts with Trusting Partnerships

Josh Robinson, Frederic

Teach 2.0 and other Technology Initiatives

Kevin Kiefer, DPI Assistant Superintendent for Division of Libraries and Technology, with Matt Yeakey and Terry Birk, DOA TEACH Administrators for the Division of Enterprise and Technology


For a complete conference program, click here.

2014 WiRSA Conference
Preparing Rural Students for Their Future

Nov. 12-13, 2014

The sixth annual WiRSA Fall Conference was a resounding success thanks to the excellent presenters and the numerous attendees.

Segregation of Opportunity: Education Funding

Scott Wittkopf, Forward Institute; John Gaier, Neillsville

Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America

Dr. Maria Kefalas, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA

Rural Schools Developing Globally Competent 21st Century Citizens

Gerhard Fisher, DPI; Leah Luke, Mauston; Vince Breunig, Lodi; Mike Richie, Northland Pines

Initiatives to Expand Broadband Across Rural Wisconsin

Don Sidlowski, Northwoods Broadband Development Coalition

Supporting Rural Students in Maximizing the Use of Technology

Caroline Haebig, Apple Distinguished Educator

Central Wisconsin Academics

Laurie Borowitz, NTC; Reed Welsh, Abbotsford; Mike Endreas, Spencer

Invisible Factors Affecting Achievement at Your School

Steve Craker, CESA 10

Personalized Learning Action Network

Karen Wendorf-Heldt, CESA 9; Larry Ouimette, Lac du Flambeau; Barb Anderson, Rib Lake

Woodlands & Northwoods Regional Technical Academics

Brooke Holbook, Vicky Oldham, NWTC; Ben Niehaus, Brandon Jerue, Zach Wedge, Florence/Goodman-Armstrong Creek; Ann Kox, Wausaukee

Eleva-Strum School/Community Business Partnerships

Craig Cegielski, Craig Semingson, Eleva-Strum

Tomorrow River Community Charter School

Chamomile Nusz, Tomorrow River

Building 1 to 1 Programs in Rural Schools

Jim Erickson, LeAnn Christensen, Carissa Kammeyer, Brian Sears, Webster

Life Lessons from a Terrarium

Jessica Meacham, Natural Rural Teacher of the Year, Southern Door School District


For a complete conference program, click here.

2013 WiRSA Conference
Empowering Rural Schools for Tomorrow

Nov. 13-14, 2013

The fifth annual WiRSA Fall Conference was a resounding success thanks to the excellent presenters and the numerous attendees.

Life After Vouchers: Expansion, Accountability and Outcome–Impact for Rural Schools

Jeff Pertl, DPI Policy Analyst

Vouchers in Milwaukee: What Have We Learned…?

Devin Carlson, University of Oklahoma

The Power of Technology in Rural Schools

Katie Morrow, Apple Distinguished Educator, O’Neill, NE

Understanding the Skills Gap

Dan Conroy, VP of Human Resources & Talent Management, Nexen Group; Andy Hennes, Manager of Staffing and Workforce Development, OEM Fabricators

The Future of Rural Public Schools in Wisconsin

Senator Kathleen Vinehout; Jerry Fiene, WiRSA; John Forester, SAA; Dan Rossmiller, WASB

Attracting and Retaining Our High-Performing Educators in Rural School Districts

Helen Ryley, Benchmark One, Denver CO

Whole Grade Sharing in Rural School Districts

Rick Pederson, Summer/Fredericksburg Iowa School District Superintendent

Speaker’s Task Force on Rural Schools

Jerry Fiene, WiRSA Executive Director


For a complete conference program, click here.

2012 WiRSA Conference
Sustainability in a Time of Transition

Nov. 14-15, 2012

The 2012 WiRSA Conference was a resounding success thanks to the excellent presenters and the numerous attendees.

2012-13 WI School Finance Overview & DPI Fair Funding

Jeff Pertl, WI DPI Policy Analyst

Leveraging Technology for Innovation to Sustain Rural Schools

Andy Crozier, Superintendent/Principal, Andrew, Iowa School District

New Resident Recruitment & Retention in Rural Communities

Dr. Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Nebraska Center for Rural Innovation; Will Andresen, UW Extension, Iron County

Improving Morale in the Workplace

Dr. Peter Jonas, Cardinal Stritch University

2011 WiRSA Conference
Spring 2011: 3rd Annual Rural Schools Alliance Conference Recap 

Feb, 17-18, 2011

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Michael Corbett

In his keynote address, he discussed the complexity of place-based education. Dr. Corbett currently serves as a professor at the School of Education at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada following a 19-year career as a public school teacher in Manitoba and Nova Scotia. His research focuses on the dynamic and ambivalent relationship between life in rural communities and the structures and processes of schooling.

Dr. William Draves

In a lively and entertaining presentation, Dr. Draves, futurist, discussed work, life and education in the 21st Century, especially noting trends that will impact rural schools.


Fall 2011: Mending Fences – Collaboration between Rural School Districts in Uncertain Times

Nov. 16-17, 2011

The default solution for struggling districts has been to consolidate with a neighboring district or dissolve and be divided up by contiguous districts.  Neither option is attractive.  Our conference will explore other options.

At this year’s conference we focus on solutions – specifically, ways to collaborate that can simultaneously keep districts viable and retain a high quality education.

Keynote Speakers:

Leah Lechleiter-Luke

English & Spanish Teacher, Mauston High School — Mauston, WI
Classroom Fellow, 2011-2012
U.S. Department of Education

Ms. Luke has been a rural Wisconsin educator for 20 years in the 2010 Wisconsin teacher of the year. Now she has been selected by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to participate in the 2011-2012 Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program of the department. This DOE program was created to give outstanding teachers on opportunity to learn about national policy issues in education and to contribute their expertise to those discussions.

John White

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach
U.S. Department of Education

Mr. White is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach within the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education. Amongst other duties, he represents the Secretary of Education on the White House Rural Council.

2010 WiRSA Conference
Enriching Wisconsin’s Rural Schools and Communities Conference

Feb. 18-19, 2010

Declining enrollment, changing populations, growing technology needs, staff recruitment and tight budgets are just a few of the challenges we face.

The 2010 Enriching Wisconsin’s Rural Schools and Communities Conference, held February 18-19, addressed these issues head on, with speakers focusing on:

  • Emerging rural school trends and issues
  • Implementing best practices in curriculum, technology, licensure and recruitment
  • Giving a voice to rural schools

Speakers

  • Lee Warne, Executive Director, Minnesota Rural Schools Association
  • Dan Clancy, President, Wisconsin Technical College System
  • Frederick L. Yeo, Ed.D, J.D., Dean, College of Education and Human Services, UW Oshkosh

Session Handouts

Conference Materials

2009 WiRSA Conference
Enriching Wisconsin’s Rural Schools and Communities Conference

March 30-31, 2009

UW Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services along with Wisconsin’s Cooperative Educational Services Agencies (CESA) co-hosted the first-ever Enriching Wisconsin’s Rural Schools and Communities Conference on March 30-31, 2009.

The Wisconsin Rural Schools and Communities Conference marked the beginning of a statewide dialogue on education trends and issues in Wisconsin rural settings. Wisconsin has a sizable rural student population, with nearly 40% of its schools located in rural areas and serving more than one-fourth of the state’s students.

The conference also addressed issues such as emerging rural school trends and issues, implementing best practices in curriculum, technology, licensure and recruitment and giving a voice to rural schools.

Speakers

  • Dr. Rachel Tompkins, President, the Rural School and Community Trust
  • Dr. Steve Correia, Professor, St. Norbert College
  • Todd Berry, President, WI Taxpayers Alliance
  • Joe Fahey, Institute for Wisconsin’s Future
  • Genevieve Kirchman, Consultant, CESA 5

Conference Materials