The Mineral Point School Board met Monday, November 14 for its regular monthly meeting and learned of positive academic achievement results by the district. (Keep scrolling for more text following the video)

Superintendent Luke Francois shared with the Board that Mineral Point led the SWAL Conference and Iowa County with assessment results, according to an interactive map compiled by the USA Today Network.

The map assigns colors to public school districts based on the rate in which students scored well on 2016 state exams in language, math, science, and social studies.

Green marks a district with cumulatively high marks. Lower performing districts are shown in declining order of yellow, orange, and reds.

The map can be viewed here:

When looking at the ACT results, Mineral Point ranks 4th out of 30 schools measured in CESA #3 with a 21.3 composite score. Benton and Platteville tied for 1st with a 21.9, followed by Cassville with 21.6.

Francois stated he is extremely proud of the staff and the leadership of the administrative team. “Hard work is paying off,” he said and he expects the soon-to-be released state report cards to reflect the same positive trend. (Go to the 36 minute, 10 second mark of the video for this discussion.)

Other business:

–The Board honored head wrestling coach Scott Schmitz for his recent induction into the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association George Martin Hall of Fame. Schmitz, in his typical humble fashion, put all the credit for the award back on the kids and the community, stating he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. (The video begins with this recognition.)

–The Board discussed the upcoming Community Open House around obtaining feedback for the Long-Term Facilities Plan. The event will be held Wednesday, November 16 from 6:30-8 pm in the elementary gym. Guests are invited to drop by anytime for as little or as long as they would like to learn more. (Go to the 52 minute, 13 second mark of the video)

–In his Superintendent’s Report, Francois updated the Board on the approaching election timeline for spring school board elections to be held April 4, 2017.

There are two seats up for election, currently held by incumbents Jeff Basting and Glenn Kinch. If Basting and/or Kinch choose to not re-run, they must file a Declaration of Non-Candidacy by 5 pm December 23.

For all candidates, a Campaign Finance Statement, and a Declaration of Candidacy, must be filed no later than 5 pm January 3.

If a primary election is necessary, it would be held on February 21, 2017.

Any interested candidates can obtain more information in the District Office by calling 987-0740.

(Go to the one hour, 30 minute mark of the video for the Superintendent’s Report)

–Aaron Rittenhouse from Johnson Controls was on hand to share measured and verified data under the current energy efficiency performance contract.

On May 3, 2012 the district entered into a performance contract with JCI. The contract included two change orders and had a final cost to JCI of $208,494 with a first year expected energy savings of $29,963, which Rittenhouse stated has been met through utility cost avoidance.

If you are interested in digging deeper into the report, it is available for viewing here:

(Go to the six minute, 25 second mark of the video)

–Amanda Heisner, Alternative Program Director, addressed the Board to provide an update on the new Alternative Program this school year.

She stated the focus of their work includes: Credit recovery for students deficient in graduation requirements; Individual goal setting related to coursework completion; Community experiences; Post-secondary transition planning; Career readiness; and Individual and group recognition of success.

Academic progress includes: First quarter, 13 students from five school districts were served; Second quarter, we are set to have 16 students from 6 school districts; Each school district has different graduation requirements; At the end of First Quarter, 13 students completed 38.0 credits; Students are averaging 1.5 credits per month.

In looking to build on the current success, Heisner stated: “As we continue to grow, an additional staff person would allow for more individual/small group instruction and transition planning.” She would also like to expand business and community partnerships  The current classroom space is at max capacity when all students are attending class (which is currently about two mornings/week). In addition, the current facility does not have kitchen/laundry space to allow for independent living skills curriculum.

Francois stated he is excited about the progress Heisner has made with students and that word is spreading to districts about the good things that are happening for students in the program, which could lead to the possible outgrowing of the site they are in, stating they are exploring other possible location options. (Go to the 19 minute, 45 second mark of the video)

–The Board approved the credit card statement and bills payable with Andy Busch, Larry Dolphin, Lisa Hay, Julie Stephenson, and Larry Steffes voting yes. Glenn Kinch abstained. Jeff Basting was absent. (Go to the 32 minute, 30 second mark of the video)

–The Board again held discussion around the formation of their annual goals, with the main focus on an effort to streamline meetings. It was suggested to try out possible time limits for each topic on the agenda. (Go to the one hour, six minute mark of the video)

–There was discussion around the use of time cards vs. time sheets for hourly employees. Francois stated that, upon his arrival to the district, a punch clock system was in each building’s copy room area, but he believed that to have a very cold feel, much like a factory, so he made the decision to replace the punch cards with time sheets, which are then verified and signed by the individual’s supervisor. Some discussion occurred around which system would be more honest and ethical. (Go to the one hour, 21 minute, 15 second mark of the video)

–The Board will meet Wednesday, November 30 to discuss Long-Term Facility Planning with the next regular monthly meeting set for Monday, December 12.