At its regular monthly meeting Monday, the School Board unanimously approved administration’s recommendation to make Tuesday, March 3 a Virtual Learning Day for 6-10th grade students. Bus routes will run as normal for all other grades.
Following last year’s excessive inclement weather days, districts began to explore alternative educational opportunities to make-up missed instructional time that would help reduce the need to add extra days to the end of the school year.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction allows districts to hold Virtual Learning Days, which several districts, including locally, have taken advantage of.
During a Virtual Learning Day, students do not report to school. Students will be expected to log into Google Classroom remotely and work on lessons uploaded by teachers. Staff will be expected to upload their lessons and be available for online “office hours” during the day, in case students email them with questions.
Currently, our high school students each have their own school-provided MacBook. Middle school students who don’t have access to a device at home will be allowed to check out a Chromebook. The district also has mobile hotspots available for checkout to students who do not have reliable internet at home. If a student experiences technical difficulties, flexibility would be given to complete assignments.
Administration recently solicited feedback from districts about their Virtual Learning Days and it was strongly recommended to conduct a practice day before needing one.
This Virtual Learning Day March 3 is planned only for 6th-10th graders for the following reasons:
- 11th graders are scheduled to take the ACT Exam
- 12th graders have a scheduled field trip
- Elementary students have less required instructional minutes by the state, so the odds of them needing to participate in a Virtual Learning Day are slim. Also, there is not a one-to-one electronic device ratio for our elementary learners.
Please note–in the future, not every snow day will automatically be a Virtual Learning Day. If the snow day is designated as such, that information will come in the same message families receive regarding the school cancellation notice via Skylert.
If in fact we do have an actual inclement weather day March 3, we will not use it as a Virtual Learning Day because we have not practiced.
(Go to the 19 minute mark)
— Tim Ruppert of HSR provided the latest update regarding the elementary building renovation project.
The state currently has the drawings of the project for final review. HSR is planning to release documents for bidding this Thursday, February 13. A pre-bid contractor walkthrough is scheduled for February 20 with the anticipated public bid opening set for March 10.
As always, you can find the latest floor plans and more here: https://mineralpointschools.org/elementary-renovation/
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— The Board unanimously accepted the retirement notices of Judy Benish (3rd Grade Teacher) and Paige Grimm (4th Grade Teacher) as well as the job postings for two elementary teachers to fill the vacancies. Current staff have until Friday this week to express interest in moving to either grade level. Following those discussions, postings will be shared externally. (Go to the one hour, 43 minute, 15 second mark)
— The Board had discussion about the possibility of adding a staff member to provide additional English Language Arts and Reading support to middle and high school students.
The middle school (7th & 8th grade) sections are looking to be very large for the upcoming school year. The district is exploring the addition of an English Language Arts teacher (7-12 grades) to help offset the number of students in the middle school and provide additional support for high school students.
This item will be brought back for a vote at a future meeting.
(Go to the 45 minute mark)
— The Board approved by a 6-1 vote (with Lindsey voting no) to remove the agenda item regarding track program approval from the agenda. (Go to the one hour, five minute mark)
— The Board approved by a 5-2 vote (with Steffes and Sullivan voting no) to approve lights for the gravel parking lot at the middle/high school at a cost of not to exceed $16,000. The lights will be paid for out of Fund 46, the Capital Maintenance Fund. (Go to the one hour, 11 minute mark)
— Recognized Nick DuBois for winning the State VFW Essay Contest. He will head to nationals in Washington DC later this month. (This begins the meeting video)
— The Board unanimously approved a resolution to attach parcels to the Mineral Point Unified School District from the Iowa-Grant School District. The transfer was initiated by the Baker family. Iowa-Grant’s School Board would also need to approve the transfer in order for it to be effective. (Go to the one hour, 24 minute mark)
— The Board unanimously approved a request for special education technology needs to be paid for with flow through money, which is federal grant money given to the district that it must use or else lose. (Go to the one hour, 32 minute, 30 second mark)
— The Board approved the credit card statement and bills payable by a 6-0-1 vote with Basting abstaining. (Go to the one hour, 50 minute mark)
— The next regular meeting will be held Monday, March 9 at 6:30 pm. The annual School Board Candidate Forum will take place Wednesday, March 4 at 7 pm in the middle/high school library.