Richland County School Board November 5th Meeting

The Richland School District received a healthy financial report from Johnson & Block at its board meeting November 5th. According to the 2017-2018 audit report, the district has around $2.8 million in reserve funds and 79% debt limit remaining.

A public hearing was held on the Grade Level School vs Attendance Area School. District Administrator Jarrod Burke began the hearing by correcting the Forward Exam State Test results for Jefferson’s English language arts three year average proficiency and advancement score which should have been 32.9%. The math score of 29.6% was correct. The scores for Doudna remained at 32.3% for English language arts and 40% in math. Burke also reiterated that staff would not be lost due to the reconfiguration. The idea is to use what staff the district has in the best way possible.

School Board Member, Paul Corcoran, stated he would hate to see buildings being closed under the guise of a better education. Since there didn’t seem to be an interest from the public at last night’s meeting, he stated he would not vote for it.

Board President, Bennie Green, says he is going through this process with an open mind. He and board members have been listening to staff. It is not a done deal and the board is still listening to staff and the public.

Rita Bauer with Head Start, requested for Head Start to be included in the plan. Burke stated that where they would be would depend if they went with a three or four school plan. But, no matter what, he said there would be room for Head Start.

Many who were at the meeting from the public felt that it was not made clear that the public hearing would be held during a board meeting. It was felt that a separate public hearing should have been held. The board agreed and will make a decision at the next meeting to schedule a separate public hearing. The board did note that if any changes are made following staff meetings and public hearings, they will not effect next year.

In action items on last night’s agenda at the Richland School Board meeting the board approved: a Memorandum of Understanding for the 2018-2019 school year between the Richland Community Food Pantry and the Richland School District for the Snack Packs for Backpacks Program at the Richland Middle School; and the specs for snow plowing needs for the 2018-19 school year.

The board also approved the gift of: a Circuit Cutter for the Richland Middle School students use from J.W. Ewing and Cornerstone Service of Richland Center; a monetary gift of $200 from Community First Bank to the Richland Middle School for needed items in the sensory room; a monetary gift of $500 from the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials to help offset the Richland Center High School Band’s travel expenses to the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee to perform for the 2019 Wisconsin State Education Convention in January; the donation of school supplies from Edward Jones to Jefferson Elementary; and the donation of pumpkins from Walmart to Doudna Elementary School.