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March 20th Richland School Board Meeting

The Richland School Board met Monday night, March 20th. At the meeting the preliminary staffing plans for the 2017-2018 school year were presented.

While most building administrators recommended maintaining their current staffing levels because of consistent student enrollments, a recommendation to reduce a French teaching position at the high school by 50% was proposed. District Administrator Jarred Burke said that the number of students opting to take French has declined in recent years, particularly in the advanced levels of French. Richland Center High School still offers Spanish as a foreign language, and the number of students looking to that option has increased in recent years. The cut to the French program was introduced for preliminary consideration Monday night. Final approval will be sought at the next meeting in April. In addition to this reduction, Burke said they are also looking at other cost saving measures across the district in order to present a balanced budget to the board in the coming weeks. Mr. Burke said that the administration has considered some options to add staff in certain areas – including a 50% mental health professional shared with the county with grant funding – but because of financial limitations, it was determined those additions would not be financially prudent at this time. Board president Paul Corcoran requested to see a budget with Burke’s added staff members. An initial budget with those positions, as well as one without, will be presented to the board in the coming weeks for their initial consideration.

The Richland School Board approved the 2017-2018 renewal of property and liability insurance in the amount of $137,903 – an increase of just over $1,100, or less than 1% from the previous year.

A 2017-2018 USDA food commodities purveyor contract was approved with Baraboo Sysco. The contract conditions with Sysco are unchanged from the current year.

In other action from the Richland School Board meeting Monday night, the board waived Policy 252 – School Events on Wednesday, Sundays, & Holidays – to allow the RCHS Student Council to attend the annual leadership conference on Sunday, April 23rd. Permission was also granted to the RCHS physics students to attend the national SeaPerch competition in Atlanta Georgia. They will leave on Friday, May 19th and return on Sunday, May 21st. Finally, a donation of $2,500 was approved from the Richland School District Foundation to Jefferson Elementary for the purchase of a digital piano.