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Wauzeka reviews Code of Conduct, school remodel

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By Steve Van Kooten

 

On the night of Sept. 18, Wauzeka-Steuben’s school board convened inthe school library for their monthly meeting. 

Wauzeka was still in the middle of putting itself back together from a summer of road work and construction, and the road crews still had streets cordoned off as the project steadily headed toward completion. On the highway into town, fresh pavement was still naked, waiting as trucks slowly trudged toward town to paint the dividing lines down its middle.

It was still early in the school year and more than one school official mentioned “general housekeeping” as part of their report to the school board. 

Administrators in attendance were Tiffany Dums, Principal; Jeff Mara, Business Office; and Kevin Kilburg, Director of Special Education. Board President Nikki Asleson; Ken Buck, Vice President; Thomas Martin, Clerk; Jessica Bird; and Mara Hird were in attendance to hear the reports.

 

Code of Conduct Policy

The board reviewed the district’s Code of Conduct policy. Dums stated the policy, which was only “a few pages long,” was present in the student handbook along with Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association language. The policy was updated to extricate old, dated policies and the broaden the Code of Conduct Appeals Board.

Interim Administrator Gary Albrecht was not in attendance for the meeting but provided details on the Code of Conduct’s Appeals Board. Albrecht stated broadening the Appeals Board would bring in “some people with specific coaching experience to weigh in if there was a code issue.”

The board unanimously (5-0) approved the first reading of the policy with a final read for approval tentatively set for Oct. 9.

 

Remodel

Albrecht said the construction included replacing the roof, windows and weatherproofing to preserve the building’s structure. Wauzeka-Steuben has worked with The Garland Company and Aluspec to assess bids for exterior work projects for the school. Bids are expected to open on Oct. 6 and be presented to the board on Oct. 9.

“As of next year, we’ll have $1.4 million to draw out of Fund 46.  This state fund that was established in 2019 for building projects requires that all money saved stay in the account for the first five years before being drawn out,” Albrecht said. “We were able to do that free of any referendum money.”

Albrecht also said the public had an opportunity to voice their preference on the exterior look of the building online. The school provided a tin colored option and a darker charcoal look. The Charcoal siding with gray trim accrued support from the public, and the school adopted the color scheme.

 

Other News:

-The board tabled considerations for an update to Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) documents. The cost to update was, according to Martin, $3,000 per chapter. While the board favored committing to updates, Asleson said, “I would like time to take a look at the budget first.” Martin also said, “That 3,000 per chapter isn’t a bad idea.”

-Mara reviewed progress on the school’s audit. “I’m surprised it wasn’t a bigger headache.” Mara said the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) was “flooded” and didn’t expect any documentation or results from DPI until November or later. Mara also said he expected to have more information on a preliminary budget for the district in future meetings.

-The Administrator’s report, presented by Dums, noted the Crosswalk Project was still “up to 12 months before completion.” Albrecht’s statement noted he had completed training modules.

-Albrecht’s report noted the school was re-evaluating paraprofessional support resources in the school, and an ad had been purchased to fill a full-time position. The report also noted a “possibility for 1:1 down the road,” in regards to student support.

-Bids for snow removal services were scheduled to open on Oct. 6 with results and follow up to be presented by Albrecht at the Oct. 9 meeting.

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