The Mineral Point School Board began its meeting Monday night by honoring three businesses/organizations named to the 2022 Wisconsin Association of School Boards Business Honor Roll and thanking them for their support of the school district. This is the 8th year the Mineral Point School Board has nominated local businesses/organizations for this honor.

The Democrat Tribune/The Dodgeville Chronicle – The sister newspapers, both still locally owned by the Reilly Brothers, have been a vital communication partner of our district and students’ accomplishments for nearly as long as we’ve had a school. Mineral Point’s newspaper, The Democrat Tribune, began in 1849 and our first school started in 1829. Combing through pages of the archives, you can find a true, and invaluable, history of our district. In the modern day, we are still grateful for their coverage of academics, athletics, performing arts, agriculture and other accomplishments of our young people, as well as school board meetings and referenda. They help us build trust and transparency with our community, as well as tell our story and reach a wider demographic of our population, especially those who may not have internet access to read our news electronically.

Mineral Point Kiwanis – Mineral Point Kiwanis has been serving the children of Mineral Point since 1927. One of their most famous recognitions is the Student of the Month program, which has been an important celebration for approximately 50 years, now having honored multiple generations of Pointers. The Kiwanis is also the parent organization of our high school Key Club and the groups team up on fundraisers and other activities including a Halloween costume contest and Easter egg hunt. Our annual National Honor Society Banquet is sponsored by Kiwanis and the club selects a distinguished alumni speaker for the program. Another fun event is the Kiwanis Read-In Campaign where the club purchases books and reads them to elementary classrooms. In town, Kiwanis is famous for their homemade pies, holding several sales a year, including a Pi Day at school in March — the club donates proceeds to scholarships for graduating seniors.

Mineral Point Public Library – Along with schools, public libraries are the heart of many communities, and Mineral Point is no exception. With our public library within walking distance of our elementary school, visits are easily accessible. On Wednesdays, Mineral Point Schools dismiss at 2 pm for collaborative time between staff. The public library has hosted Wednesday afternoon programming over the years to help students stay productive during these hours; they also host a robust summer program and our summer school classes visit the library as well. The public library has been part of two grants our school has received called “Building Belonging with Books” from the American Library Association last school year. The grant focused on building empathy and increasing a sense of belonging in our community through reflective conversations centered around shared texts. Community members, including school staff, engaged in book studies and shared their thoughts in small group discussions.

(This begins the meeting video):

Other business:

— The Board heard an update from Superintendent Mitch Wainwright regarding student enrollment trends. (Go to the 13 minute mark)

The last few years of students in the district are as follows:

2019-20: 763 students; 2020-21: 760 students; 2021-22: 762 students; 2022-23: 776 students.

The district has more open enrolled students in this year than last year, and less open enrolled students out.

— The Board heard a Finance Committee meeting report. (Go to the 45 minute, 45 second mark)

Since most districts in the state have an equalized valuation increase this year, mill rates will drop. Due to this, there is an opportunity for the district to levy more to pay down debt from the elementary referendum project while still creating a mill rate decrease. Superintendent Wainwright explained this more in his recent column:

— The Board unanimously approved the 2022-23 budget as presented. The budget presented is balanced. (Go to the 51 minute, 45 second mark)

— The Board unanimously approved adoption of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Special Education Model Policies and Procedures as presented. (Go to the one hour, 10 minute, 45 second mark)

— The Board unanimously approved a purchase over $10,000 for a transportation agreement with Options in Education. (Go to the one hour, 12 minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board unanimously approved the posting for a part time Instructional Assistant. There will be no impact on the budget as funding will come from a federal grant this year. (Go to the one hour, 15 minute, 15 second mark)

— The Board discussed student representation at Board meetings. (Go to the 28 minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board shared updates from its Board Retreat meetings. (Go to the 9 minute mark)

— The Board unanimously approved the credit card statement and bills payable. (Go to the one hour, 24 minute, 15 second mark)

— The next meeting of the Board will be to certify the levy on Monday, October 24 at 6 pm. The next regular meeting will be Monday, November 14 at 6 pm.