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Grant promotes collective responsibility for learning

Grant promotes collective responsibility for learning Grant promotes collective responsibility for learning

Cadott School Board

By Julia Wolf

The Cadott School District will have more options when it comes to improving student achievement, after receiving a Research to Practice Inclusive Communities Grant. Melissa Lesik, special education director, talked about the ways the grant will be used during a regular school board meeting Oct. 14.

Lesik says the district was notified that they received the five-year grant last spring. Each of those years, the district will receive $16,000 for professional development and training for staff members on issues like equity, leading PIC work and improving inclusive practices.

“So, the foundational belief of the grant project, is that each and every student will be educated to the maximum extent possible in the general education setting, with the supports and services that they need to be successful,” said Lesik.

Lesik says it also promotes the use of professional learning communities (PLCs) to do action research on what is working in the classroom, what isn’t working and how to enrich students’ understanding if they have already met expectations.

The grant also encourages special education staff and general education staff to work corroboratively to support students to the best of their abilities.

“So, what is the end goal five years from now?” asked Rod Tegels, board president.

Lesik said student achievement is the number one goal. She said they would like to work to close the achievement gap between students with disabilities and those without through collective responsibility.

“This focused on students with disabilities, but all of those supports will benefit all of our learners,” said Lesik.

Board members also saw a preliminary copy of the pro- posed 2020-21 budget, before it is brought to a vote in a meeting of district residents at an annual meeting. In the proposed budget, the mill rate could see a slight decrease, though that does not mean that taxes would necessarily go down, since the tax rate is also based on the equalized value of property.

District administrator Jenny Starck said the board could also talk about keeping the mill rate flat.

“If we left it (mill rate) at the 12.87, what would we do with the additional funds?” asked Mark Schley, board member.

Starck said there are curricular needs, which can be very costly, and facilities work.

“It would help us to try to, I don’t want to say catch up, but at least get some of those projects caught up, that we could be more in a maintenance mode, vs. not having to have as much contingency, as we might worry about other issues,” said Starck.

Brad Sonnentag, board member, asked if a budget keeping the levy the same could be formulated. Starck said that could be plugged into the formula.

In the business portion of the meeting, members approved a donation of a field sound system for the main football field from T& J Con- crete, and installation work by Custom Sound and Video LLC.

“That’s quite an install and upgrade that we got,” said Tegels. “Very nice.”

Members also approved the hire of Judy Dorf, English language interpreter, and Kevin Schroeder, maintenance position. The board also approved the resignation of Lacey Chapek, dance coach.

As a notice to the public, the annual meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m., in the high school auditorium.

Showing what can be done with a little editing, this photo of Cornell’s historic stacker and Mill Yard Park, was taken by Maryann Kwiatkowski. She originally took the photo in color, but decided to make it look like it was from the past, when the city was first started. Adding some texture and changing the tint, created a vintage-looking photo, different from most modern images.

Photo by Maryann Kwiatkowski