The Clintonville School District is exploring the idea of developing department chairs to lead departments.
At the Clintonville School Board meeting, Monday, Nov. 10, Amy Bindas, director of teaching and learning for the Clintonville School District, told the board the district has been discussing for a few months, bringing back department chairs and how to implement that.
She said the district would do it for language arts, literacy pre-K through grade six, literacy grades 7 through 12, math pre-K through grade six, and math grades 7 through 12.
She suggested using a pilot program in the spring semester that would include the four mentioned areas, as well as science K through grade 12, social studies K through grade 12, and possibly one additional extracurricular activity.
She said department chairs would possibly receive an additional stipend. The amount is still being researched.
Board President Dirk Weber asked if the goal of having department chairs was to coordinate curriculum throughout the district.
“Absolutely,” Bindas said. “… We need to coordinate social studies very badly.”
Board member Jim Schultz said he liked the idea, and thought that it was important, but he wondered how the district would go about choosing the department chairs.
“It would be an interview process,” Bindas said.
She added that there is a job description in the proposal.
Tom O’Toole, superintendent for the School District of Clintonville, said the idea was being presented to the board before the district presented it to the teachers.
At the Oct. 27 school board meeting, an athletic official spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting to express his displeasure with the new payment system the district has implemented. His complaint consisted of not being paid at each sporting event officiated. Officials are now mailed a check from the district.
At the Nov. 10 meeting, Lance Bagstad, Clintonville High School principal, said the new system was implemented because the district was voiding a lot of checks. This had to be done because events were cancelled, especially in the spring, or the officials scheduled to officiate changed at the last minute.
He said the district’s “voucher system” was created to combat that. The vouchers are taken to the athletic event and the officials sign it. A check is then mailed to them.
Early in the season, some officials asked why the new system was implemented, but Bagstad said most were OK with it when the reason for it was explained.
Bagstad acknowledged that there was some delay in getting the checks out early under the new system, but the district worked to alleviate that. The business office now cuts checks twice a week to speed the delivery time.
“We have not had officials to a great extent emailing about it, complaining about it,” Bagstad said.
Bagstad added that Eric Ward, athletic director for Clintonville School District, sent a survey to athletic directors throughout the state and the district found it is the only district that cuts checks twice a week. He said some districts pay officials once a month.
Ward said the district received around 300 surveys back and found that around 25 percent of the districts in the state are currently using a voucher system.
Ward said he wasn’t worried about not being able to find officials for games in the future because of the voucher system.
The board unanimously approved a middle school Wrestling Cooperative Agreement with the Marion School District. Marion students will pay the appropriate activity fees to the Clintonville Public School District.
Bagstad said this could possibly lead to a coop at the high school level. If that happens, he said it would be presented to the school board around February because coops for next year have to be submitted by April.
“The foundation piece of the middle school makes sense if that is something we are going to pursue down the road to try to combine the two smaller programs into a program that can really fill all the weight classes,” Bagstad said.
Ward said it was the responsibility of the Marion middle school students to travel to Clintonville for the events and bus rides to events.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Megan Meyers, co-director of the recently held student musical at Clintonville High School, thanked the school board and all those in the community who supported the school musical, Nov. 7-9.
“We had just under 250 people at every show,” Meyers said. “These students have not received a standing ovation in many years, and they received a standing ovation every single night for their hard work. The tears in their eyes, the smiles on their faces showed us instantly they were proud of themselves.”
She added that everyone involved with the production had a great time.
The students are eager to put on a school play in the spring, and start the process in choosing next year’s musical, Meyers said.
“They got the musical fever,” Meyers said.
Becky Schoenike, special education teacher for the School District of Clintonville, and two of her students made a presentation to the board about the 18-21 Year Old Program, which is new to the district this year.
O’Toole said a group from the Department of Public Instruction recently audited the school system and they thought “extremely highly” of the program.
For more information about the program, see the Thursday, Nov. 13 issue of the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette.
• The board unanimously approved the reduction of Dawn Klein’s assignment to 19 hours per week as Para II at only the elementary school and middle school. This was per her request and would be effective Monday, Nov. 3. Board member Jim Dins was excused from the meeting.
• The board unanimously approved the 2014-15 budget calendar.
• The principal from each school building in the district presented the “Good News” from their buildings.
• Jessica Petruzates and Allison Johnson were recognized by the board for their participation in the cross country state competition in Wisconsin Rapids, Nov. 1.
• The board was provided a presentation about the German class trip to Germany this past summer.