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Rib Lake looks to employers for tech ed help

Rib Lake looks to employers for tech ed help Rib Lake looks to employers for tech ed help

The Rib Lake school district is looking to industry to be a partner in helping students graduate high school ready to enter the workforce.

The Rib Lake School Board on January 9 gave their blessing to technology education teacher Doug Eichman to seek out corporate and business partners among regional employers to help identify the needs and improvements within the tech ed department.

Eichman came to the board with the proposal to seek help from industry after learning about similar programs in other parts of the state. He noted that some of the equipment in the tech ed area is unusable and is looking at ways they can upgrade the department to train students on the equipment and tools used in modern workplaces.

“We have room for improvement,” Eichman said. He envisions creating a committee that could partner with the school and potentially help with access to equipment, plant tours and even school to work opportunities.

For now, the first step is to reach out to the businesses and see what is available.

One of the areas that Eichman said, he felt there was a lot of opportunity for partnership, is in the metals area. The district has a strong welding program that has grown to include several different types of welding. He said that thanks to a donation of block and other materials from Huotari Construction, the students in the program will be constructing new welding booths that will make things safer for the students. Work on that project will take place this coming semester.

Eichman raised concerns about the exhaust system in the shop area, noting that it has been “cobbled together” over the years and is in need of updating.

District administrator Rick Cardey said the budget this year included additional funding for the tech ed department to upgrade equipment. He was optimistic about the idea of working with industry in order to identify needs and possibly get donations or use of equipment to improve the educational offerings to students in the district.

In other business, board members:

_ Discussed the proposed resolutions for the upcoming Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) convention. Board president Steve Martin drew attention to proposals from the WASB to support legislation that would eliminate Native American school mascots. He objected to the top-down approach and said he feels it should be from the community if there are objections to the logos and mascots. He said he planned on voting against that resolution at the state convention. The WASB resolutions serve as a way to let state legislators know about the issues and concerns of local school boards.

_ Regretfully accepted the retirement of Neva Boxx. She will continue to work through the school year. Cardey said that last year they knew her retirement was coming and have been working to have someone trained in-house in order to replace her.

_ Approved a request from Tannery Creek to allow a replacement shed to be built on the baseball field. While the field is owned by the school district, it is maintained and operated in partnership with the Tannery Creek group. The group will pay for the shed, which will be built in panels by the tech ed students and put together on site.

_ Approved the 2020-21 school calendar. School will begin on Tuesday, Sept 1 and is scheduled to end on Friday, May 28. The calendar includes 177 teaching days as well as two possible inclement weather days. Board member Roxanne Mohr questioned the possibility of having a spring break. Cardey explained this would require the district to either go into June or increase the length of the school day. Cardey said he would not support increasing the school day particularly at the elementary school level at this time.

_ Received invitation to attend the Rib Lake School District Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m. at Rib Lake High School.