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home : education February 26, 2015

New teachers in program
Director of learning and instruction Barb Sparish informed the Rice Lake Board of Education at its meeting Monday of the Effective Educator Process now in progress in the district.
It is one of two models mandated by the Department of Public Instruction to observe, evaluate and guide new teachers in their first 3 years.
Sparish said the district is using the CESA 6 model that uses six standards to evaluate effective teachers-professional knowledge, planning, delivery, assessment, learning environment and professionalism.
Not only does the process involve formal and informal teacher observations, it requires a documentation log, with at least two artifacts for each of the six standards; two surveys, in the fall and winter, to collect student input; and professional goal-setting using the data they have gathered.
Another component, the Student Learning Objective, requires a goal, review and refocus of the goal, evaluation and an end of the school year score.
Sparish said it will be the responsibility of site administrators and/or building principals to ensure that the teacher evaluation system is executed effectively, provide meaningful and timely feedback and supervise and monitor data collection.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


UW-BC staff, students thank county for support
The dean, a professor and students from UW-Barron County thanked Barron County supervisors for their support of the Rice Lake campus Monday and asked that it continue as the state budget process unfolds.
"We need your support now more than ever as we face the budgetary crisis that looms before us," said Mary Hoeft, professor of French/Communications & Theatre Arts. The statewide UW system is facing a proposed 13%, $300 million cut. It's estimated that UW-Barron County's budget will be cut at least $165,000 per year if the system cut occurs.
The supervisors were holding their regular session at the campus for this month at the invitation of Dr. Dean Yohnk, dean of the campus. They customarily meet at the Veterans' Memorial Auditorium in the Government Center in Barron.
Yohnk was eager to show the supervisors the newly remodeled student center and to thank them for phase one of the $5 million heating, ventilation and air conditioning renovation project now underway. He said, partly because of the county's support, the UW Board of Regents recently approved a companion $490,500 Energy Savings Project.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Rice Lake teachers concerned about time-off changes
About 50 teachers in the Rice Lake Area School District attended Monday's meeting of the Rice Lake Board of Education with concerns about a proposed change in their compensation benefits.
Negotiations Committee chair Steve Bowman said the committee has received a Paid Time Off model used by the Cumberland School District and has a draft that mimics the Cumberland model. He said the Chetek-Weyerhauser School District has a PTO model in use as well.
He foresees that a change in time off benefits could work in favor of teachers and students alike.
"We want you in front of our kids," Bowman said. "At the same time, you need to make a choice."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
School leaders urge watchfulness of education bills
The superintendents of five local school districts issued an unprecedented joint statement Monday urging the public to pay close attention to the state Legislature's initiatives on education.
The five-Larry Brown of Rice Lake, Craig Broeren of Barron, Mark Johnson of Chetek-Weyerhaeuser, Barry Rose of Cumberland and Patrick Olson of Prairie Farm-said that many pieces of legislation regarding education are expected to be introduced during this session of the Legislature.
They note that some "troubling bills" were introduced during the last session and said that "perhaps even more troubling legislation" is possible this time.
They encourage the public to stay informed, and invite the public to contact them should people have questions about these emerging bills.
The following is their statement in full:
"It is fairly uncommon to see school superintendents publicly come together in a collective, collaborative, and cohesive fashion on issues; typically, we deal with our individual districts and our district tax-payers. We are, however, at a very important point in our state's newly forming history and we collectively feel that a call to action in a concerted sense is necessary to avoid further devaluation of our public schools.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Old schoolhouse land could be sold
At Monday night's meeting, Cameron School Board members discussed sale of a piece of land.
The Cameron district owns 2 1/2 acres on Creamery Road.
"It's just a pine stand. Some of the trees need trimming and some are dying," said district superintendent Joe Leschisin.
The land does not get much use from students in the district. At one time, there was a one-room school house on the land called Riverview School #4.
Board member Gene Phillips suggested that an appraisal be made before taking steps towards selling it. Board members agreed and Leschisin will call realtors. The issue will be brought back at a future meeting.
In other business, Sharon Nelsen, director of education, and teacher Jeff Ladd wrote a grant proposal for a Perkins Mini-Grant at $900 and were selected. Ladd will be using the grant money to get a hydroponics system for his agriculture classes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
School shells out 228K for reading curriculum
The Rice Lake Board of Education approved the purchase of Journeys Common Core, a K-4 reading curriculum, at a cost of $228,190 at its regular meeting Monday. It also approved two new courses at the high school, vet science and natural resources, that will count as science credits.
At the board meeting to explain the need for a new reading curriculum and recommend Journeys were elementary principals Steve Sirek and Randy Drost, literacy coach Melissa Fiamoncini and teachers Melanie Herring and Dawn Schmitz.
Herring, a second-grade teacher at Jefferson who is in her fifth year of teaching, said the Literacy Collaborative framework it was using lacked scope and sequence making it difficult to teach rigorous content. She said it was overwhelming to piece it all together and not easy for student teachers to follow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Cameron schools may take on North Star financial leadership
There may be a change in who handles funds for the North Star Academy in Cameron. Cameron School Board members listened to a discussion presented by Chris Crowe, administrator of North Star Academy, at a meeting Dec. 9.
Crowe spoke about the possibility of NSA changing its fiscal agent from CESA II to the Cameron School District.
Joe Leschisin, Cameron School superintendent, said, "It makes sense. The building that the students use is here in Cameron, our technicians serve NSA, and they also use our food service."
NSA serves at-risk students from the school districts of Barron, Cameron, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser and Turtle Lake. The school provides nontraditional learners, working teens, teen parents and teens receiving day treatment and other support services with flexible options for completing academic coursework. NSA helps at-risk youths not only earn a high school diploma, but to also transition from high school to work experiences or post-secondary programs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
CHS girls spread holiday cheer
For the 17th year, Cameron High School girls basketball team worked to make Christmas a little merrier for families that needed a little cheer this year. They participated in the Spirit of Christmas for needy families in Barron County and is run by the Barron County Health Department and is organized by Sherry Shipman in Rice Lake.
"We adopt as many families as the money we raise allows," said coach Tom Moon. "In the first year, 1998, we sponsored two families. I am proud to say that this year we will sponsor 21 families.
"Our players are asked to raise $150 each by asking for donations and then we have them make 200 free throws on the Saturday after Thanksgiving," he said.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


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