‘It’s a potential of $400,000 that we’re throwing away,’ says board president
By Bert Lehman
The after-school program for elementary school students in the Clintonville School District received plenty of discussion at the Aug. 10 school board meeting.
District Superintendent Tom O’ Toole said elementary school staff members were asked if they were interested in participating in the after-school program. There was a short turnaround time to receive the responses, and eight members said they were interested.
No teachers were interested in following the CLC after-school program guidelines, which require 10 hours per week.
Board President Ben Huber told the board he contacted the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and spoke with the person who coordinates the CLC grant program.
Huber said he was told the CLC grant for Clintonville this year would be $50,000. It will also be guaranteed at $50,000 for the next two school years, for a total of three school years.
“Basically, if we stay within the rules, we’ll get three more years of $50,000, including this year,” Huber said. “And then at the end of that, there’s another third term which would be five more years at $50,000 each. So it’s a potential of $400,000 that we’re throwing away.”
Huber said the representative confirmed that the program required 10 hours per week, with the average school district’s program being 15 hours per week. Huber said the minimum number of days the program has to run is 115, with the average being 150 days.
Other requirements for the program were also shared with the board by Huber.
There are limitations to the program, but not as bad as first thought, Huber said.
“I think it really makes sense to continue the program and modify it,” Huber said.
O’Toole brought up the idea of having the Longfellow Running Club be part of the CLC program. He said not all program activities have to be after school.
Members of the board and administration discussed how each is receiving different information from different people at DPI.
The after-school program will continue to be discussed at future board meetings. In the meantime, the administration will continue to recruit teachers for the after-school program.
The administration recommended the district withdraw from the ERVING Network membership.
O’Toole said ERVING is a distance learning network that the district has not been effectively using. There are nine districts that participate in ERVING. The other districts who participate are all smaller than the Clintonville School District.
“We have not been a sender or receiver for the most part over the last several years,” O’Toole said.
He said the ERVING membership fee is $11,000 per year.
“We feel we can put that $11,000 to better use,” O’Toole said.
Clintonville was an initial member in the network.
“A lot of that was to get Internet acces,” O’Toole said. “Now, Internet access comes from elsewhere.”
Board member Jim Schultz asked what impact this would have on the summer STEM program.
O’Toole said that would have to change, but it wouldn’t prevent the district from running its own program.
Board member Dirk Weber asked if the other schools will be surprised by the district not renewing.
O’Toole said they probably will be surprised, and their ERVING costs will increase to make up for the loss of Clintonville.
The district does own the hardware it used for the network, O’Toole said.
The board voted 4-1 to withdraw from the ERVING network. Board member Tom Neely voted no. Board members Judy Magee and Clyde Tellock were excused from the meeting.