The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) awarded a grant to the Clintonville Public School District (CPSD) to operate 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CLC) during the 2010-11 school year.
The $200,000 award funds Rexford-Longfellow Elementary and Clintonville Middle Schools and allows the centers to continue program operations for the third consecutive year under the state-administered CLC program.
According to a review conducted by the DPI, Clintonville’s CLC program sets a high standard and is a positive addition to quality education in the district.
The department selected 13 sites to receive monitoring visits during October and November, 2010. Districts were selected for review based upon a variety of factors, including maturity of the program, geographical distribution, and uniqueness of program services.
Currently, Clintonville’s program operates under the direction of Tere Masiarchin and Chris Van Hoof. Principals Kris Strauman and Tom Dechant actively encourage connections to the day school programs.
In 2009-10, regular attendees numbered 94 at the elementary school and 39 at the middle school, using the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. There is a strong recruitment strategy in which students that have been identified as in need of additional academic assistance (via teacher referrals and performance data) are sent a letter prior to school registration followed by personal contact with the family. These students are given two weeks to respond. At that point, registration is open to all students.
A typical program schedule is as follows:
• Upon school dismissal, students check in with the after-school program leaders and are given a snack.
• After snack time, students are divided into several groups and rotate through guided homework assistance and diversified math or literacy enrichment activities.
• Following the academic activities, students participate in a 15 minute recreation period.
• After the recreation break, students are given the choice to participate in various youth development activities.
• Upon school dismissal, students check in with after-school program leaders and are given a snack.
• Following the snack time, students have one hour to complete homework.
• After the homework completion period, students participate in a 15-minute recreation period.
• After recreation, students choose from a variety of enrichment activities.
The program employs a combination of certified teachers, community members, and high school support staff. Program partners are numerous and include the Waupaca County 4-H, UW-Extension, Clintonville Public Library, and the elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).
The DPI review contains an extensive list of program strengths, praising district officials and volunteers for their efforts.
“The program has strong leadership, staff, and connection to the day-school. Tere Masiarchin is well organized, creative, and has a clear vision for the program. She is supported by an actively involved director, Chris Van Hoof, and Principals Kris Strauman and Tom Dechant,” stated Brenda Jennings and Alison Wineberg, who conducted the DPI review. “Masiarchin is actively involved in school staff meetings and professional development opportunities. The day-school staff and administration share resources, data, and materials with the after-school program and staff.
“Program line-staff are qualified, and the program has a record of staff retention,” continued Jennings and Wineberg. “There is a well-developed program plan that addresses needs-based programming and continuous improvement. The program operates with a student/staff ratio of 5:1 in all academic activities. During the academic period, there is at least one certified teacher working with the group.
“As a result of an identified need, Masiarchin and Van Hoof developed a teen advisory board and uses their suggestions to make program improvements. Their efforts have resulted in an increase in participation and engagement at the middle school program,” the review continued. “There is an active CLC advisory board which includes representation from community partners, school administration, the mayor, and parents. The family events are very well-attended, and Masiarchin and Van Hoof collaborate with other family events sponsored by the schools. Transportation is well-coordinated and is not a barrier to participation. You can be proud of the accomplishments to date.”
The review was concluded with comments recognizing the effort and enthusiasm being put into the program. Superintendent Tom O’Toole and the school board thanked Masiarchin and Van Hoof for their efforts and encouraged them to keep up the good work.
Students selected to participate in the Eastern Valley Conference Honors Band and Choir were also recognized for their achievements. Conference Honors Band and Choir will be held Clintonville High School on Jan. 29.
The board went on to approve the following:
• Extra-curricular resignations of John Young (Middle school football) and Katie Ripley (Varsity volleyball);
• Teacher resignation of Heidi Gallatin from her high school Special Education position, effective Jan. 5;
• Teacher hires of Julie Hungerford (high school) and Rebecca Roehl (Rexford/Longfellow Elementary);
• Out-of-state travel request for the eighth grade band and choir to attend the Chanhassen Dinner Theater in Chanhassen, Minn., May 11;
• Out-of-state teacher training for Elisha Writt to attend a Service Learning Curriculum Writing Institute Feb. 2-3 in Chicago; and
• Verification of declarations of candidacy for Tom Neely and Ben Huber, both of whom are seeking 3-year terms on the school board for two vacancies in the April 5 election.
The next school board meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the middle school IMC.