Test scores, band uniforms discussed by school board
"I read the results of the WKCE test scores in the County Post East in the April 18 newspaper article," said Mike Krueger. "As a parent, taxpayer and business person it made me very concerned for our school system and community. I am concerned with the low test scores and the future of the students not being prepared for life beyond high school. These low test scores can also hinder anyone wanting to move into the school district.
"Would you as a parent or businessman looking for a place to locate choose the Clintonville School District area with the low test scores?" asked Krueger. "Publicity like this affects all families, businesses, churches and public entities.
"I was told this issue will be brought up at to the public at the annual meeting; which last year was held in August. I do not believe it is in the best interest of the public to wait until the annual meeting," stated Krueger. "I, as a business owner and parent want Clintonville to be one of the best places to live. I would like to see the board discuss and react to these test score results at a regular board meeting, communicate the plan of action to the public and not wait until the annual meeting.
"We do not want a repeat of the low test scores in 2012-13," concluded Krueger. "I am not putting blame on anyone but would like to hear from the board on how they will oversee the plan to correct this serious issue. Could you please put this on the next school board meeting agenda for an in depth discussion and inform the public on this issue?"
The board and members of the administration discussed the topic for several minutes.
"We do need to try to fix this problem," said board member Dirk Weber. "I'm not sure what we need to do, and there is no guarantee that whatever we do try will work."
Curriculum Director Chris Van Hoof reported to the board that MAPS test results would be available in June. She stated that the MAPS tests measure students at the beginning, middle and end of the school year, which could provide a more accurate picture of how much progress students are making. Board member Pat Schley agreed with Van Hoof's statements, stating that in her opinion, the MAPS tests are a better measuring tool.
Van Hoof also reminded the board that Clintonville has an incredibly high poverty rate compared to other districts in the area and around the state. Middle school Principal Tom Dechant also told the board that the district had won an award three years ago for the highest growth by students in a high poverty district.
The board plans to discuss both the WKCE and MAPS test scores once all scores are available. This discussion may take place as early as the June 11 meeting.
In other business, high school Band Director Dan Schmidt spoke to the board about new uniforms for the band.
"Our current uniforms were designed in 1989 and first used in 1991, which makes them 21 years old," Schmidt said. "The uniforms have been very well maintained over the years, but they are very uncomfortable to wear and move in. We also have dry cleaning costs to think about every year. We've been looking at new uniforms that are more breathable and fully washable.
"When considering new uniforms, we want to focus on our identity and create an ensemble that will make for a much better parade band," said Schmidt. "We're working hard to improve the overall band product, and I think our performances are less than what were capable of due to uniform limitations.
"We began the dialog to begin the design process about mid-August," he continued. "A questionnaire that began the design process was filled out by myself. It asked questions about the program, the community, music played, and the overall vision for the program.
"The design company we are working with is Fred J. Miller (FJM) and the designer is Michael Cesario. Cesario has designed uniforms for many DCI Corps including The Blue Devils, Carolina Crown, Phantom Regiment, and The Cavaliers," commented Schmidt.
"Our hope is to have the finalized design by the end of our current school year so that a fundraising schedule can be created and a prototype uniform can be created," concluded Schmidt. "This will allow community members to see the new uniform and find out how they can help. Ultimately, we want to move our band forward and give students a better feel for what outstanding marching can truly be. This is one step in that process."
The board went on to approve the following:
• A quote in the amount of $5,481 from Millennium Technology Partners of Green Bay to provide materials for the district's fiber optic cable installation project;
• Food service, paraprofessional and teaching staff hires for summer school 2012 (the vote was 6-0-1, with Ben Huber abstaining);
• The second reading of the district's Indoor air quality plan;
• An early graduation request for a student who is currently in the class of 2013;
• WIAA membership for the 2012-13 school year (with a cost of $50 per sport);
• The first reading of Part I of the new Employee Handbook for 2012-13.
The board went into closed session to discuss personnel and staffing matters for 2012-13, a CEA resignation effective at the end of this school year, and a CEA hire, effective at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.
According to Superintendent Tom O'Toole, no action was taken on staffing matters for 2012-13, as the item was tabled. A CEA resignation from Doreen Davis was accepted, and Lindsay Davis, who was a new hire in the district at the middle of this school year, was approved for hire full-time at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.
The board also noted that Friday, June 1 will be the last day of school for seniors. Thursday, June 7, will be the last day for all students, and is an early release day. Graduation is at 7 p.m. Friday, June 8, in the Field House.
The next school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, in the middle school IMC. The board voted to move the meeting to Tuesday because of the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 28.
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