The highlighted links will take you to BoardDocs, the SMDF online portal for Board of Education meetings. Learn more about the agenda item and watch the video of the selected item as it was presented by clicking on the “View the recorded presentation” in the text below.
Presentation by Faith VanderHorst, SDMF Board President
Each year our junior and senior high school students have the opportunity to apply for a student position on the Board of Education where they can experience the functions of local government. These are not ‘voting positions’ as students are not electors of Menomonee Falls. We are very excited to welcome our new 2020-2021 Student School Board Members to the table to share their valuable insight from a student’s perspective. Congratulations to Sara Booher and Sahil Shah.
Sara Booher is a senior, and is serving her second term as a Student School Board Member. Sara is the Co-founder and President of Model United Nations, a member of the basketball and tennis teams, a Future Business Leaders of America State Parliamentarian, a senior class officer, an umpire for the Little League organization and is involved in many, many more school activities.
Sahil Shah is a junior at the high school and is an active member of the Future Business Leaders of America, a member of the soccer and tennis teams, on the Teen Court and is in the Business Academy.
We look forward to working with these two inspiring young adults who are very eager to share their perspectives and high school experiences.
Presentation by Leia Scoptur, Director of Human Resources
Welcome to our new 2020 staff members; we are so happy to have you join us and become a part of the School District of Menomonee Falls family. We hope this new journey brings you comfort, happiness and a new sense of belonging. A special thank you to our new staff members Erin Isaacson and Emily Leonard for joining us at the board meeting and sharing a little something extra about yourself. We are delighted to have you on our team and we look forward to working with you!
Presentation by Megan Schulz, sophomore at MFHS
We are extremely proud to have Megan Schulz, a sophomore at Menomonee Falls High School, join us to share her experiences in working to achieve the Girl Scout Gold Award. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors can earn. Megan is committed to helping her community learn more about the importance of giving to those in need and is compelled to help families who are struggling because of financial issues. Meagan created eight community food pantry / school supply cupboards that can be found throughout the village. The cupboards serve as an opportunity for community members to give back. Megan has received news coverage and is here today to share her story. To learn more about Megan’s project and how you can help support this program, please visit her website at https://communitygivingcupboards.weebly.com.
Presentation by Corey Golla, SDMF Superintendent
This week is National School Lunch Week. The national lunch program serves nearly 30 million children every school day. President John F. Kennedy created National School Lunch Week in 1962 to promote the importance of a healthy school lunch in a child’s life and the impact it has both inside and outside of the classroom. The COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt shown just how incredibly important school meals are for students and their families. A special thank you to all our school nutrition staff members. And a shout out to Sue Kirchstein, Director of Food and Nutrition who is now a community Board Member for the Falls Food Pantry. Thank you ALL for your extra efforts in providing a safe and healthy lunch experience for our students and staff.
Thank you to Jaskowiak Chiropractic and FedEx Distribution Center in Germantown for their generous donation of school supplies, clothing and other essential supplies for our Resource Reach-Out Room. The Resource Reach-Out Room is located in Ben Franklin Elementary School and is available to all families within our district.
Congratulations to MFHS seniors Sirtaij Arora, Veronica Goveas and Daniel Otchere who each earned a spot as a National Merit Semifinalists. These academically talented high school seniors will have the opportunity to compete for 7,600 Merit Scholarship awards this spring worth more than $31 million. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship ® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Congratulations and continued success to each of you!
I invite you to check out the premier episode of Focus on the Falls, a monthly production to showcase all of the great things happening in the Falls Schools. Focus on the Falls is hosted by John Mercure of WTMJ Radio and myself in partnership with Falls Cable Access. The first episode aired on 10/9/20 and features the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view the October recording. Future episodes will be available to watch on the Falls Cable Access webpage and will be linked to our school district webpage.
Last week was Wisconsin School Board Recognition Week. Thank you to our Board Members for having the courage to lead and for making the sacrifice to serve. We so much appreciate your service every year and we know we have leaned on you especially hard this year. Thank you for your time and energy. You do a remarkable job and we appreciate everything you do for the district!
Reports by SDMF Board of Education Members
Shout out to:
The Facilities Team for all of our really wonderful and well maintained athletic fields in the district. And we love the new soccer turf!
The PTO organizers at Riverside and Ben Franklin. Thank you for your leadership and meeting coordination.
The Band Bunch Metals Drive for an event well done.
The fully virtual teachers for making things as painless as possible for parents. You are all dong a great job!
The teachers working in two models every day. You amaze us!
Riverside for putting together the amazing fully virtual student library.
Ben Franklin fully virtual picture day organizers for a well ran event that was very easy for families.
A friendly reminder to get your flu shot and have your children get a flu shot. Be safe and be well.
October 12th was Indigenous People’s Day. It is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American people, their memories, history and culture. We are proud of our history here in Menomonee Falls.
Reports by Student Board Members
Shout out to:
The Leadership Teams for creating the awesome block hybrid distance learning model for the middle and high school students. We are off to a great start!
The study groups participants for being available and super helpful. This is a great way for students and teachers to connect.
The hybrid and virtual homecoming spirit week participants. Students were able to send pictures to the Student Council Instagram page and prizes were awarded.
The sophomore and senior powder puff kickball team participants. Great job sophomore’s on your victory. It was a great time, the students raised awareness and collected donations for the food pantry.
The newly elected class officers who have been hard at work finding ways to connect with their classes.
The Career and Technical Student Organizations for all you do. We are grateful to have great representation at the high school.
The Writing Center for working hard to assist students with college essays.
Mrs. Gonyer, a MFHS Art Teacher and her students for their community presence. Their artwork will be featured on the walls at our local Fiddleheads Coffee Shop.
The National Merit Semifinalists: Sirtaij Arora, Veronica Goveas and Daniel Otchere and the two honorable mentions students: Brynn Mitchell and Anna Wattenbach. Congratulations!
The Phoenix mascot designers, Davis Corazzari (2020 grad) and Isabel Atkinson (2018 grad) for their incredible design work. We are excited to bring the mascot designs to the student body for voting soon.
Girls Tennis double partners, Deanna Hebbring and Brittney Boreson for making it to sectionals.
The Girls Golf team member Lily Pietz for advancing to Sectionals.
The Boys Cross Country team for placing fourth at Conference
The Boys Volleyball team for the start of their first official season and also for winning their match against West Allis Central.
The Boys Varsity Soccer team for their win against Germantown.
The Football team for their huge victory to Catholic Memorial. Menomonee Falls now ranks third in the state.
Discussion around Procedure 547: Grievance Procedure.
Discussion around Performance Pay.
Discussion around Staff Survey Results
A shout out to Amy Swanson Kieser for the coordination of media coverage for the following topics: Bipolar Ionization Installation, Hybrid Decision Making and the Student Led Community Cupboard Program. Our stories were featured by WTMJ News, Fox News, Wisconsin Education News, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Waukesha Freeman and The Express News. The Menomonee Falls Schools continue to draw positive attention by local viewers.
The social media communication continues to show growth by our viewers. Facebook posts have reached an estimated 20,238 viewers. Twitter averages three new followers per day. Instagram is up to 795 followers, with men and women ages 35-54 as our top audience. LinkedIn now has 304 total followers. Families are able to receive school communication through a wide variety of outlets.
Discussion around COVID-19 communications and key messages.
Discussion around publication of the fall newsletter.
Discussion around Native Heritage Month planning.
Discussion around Veterans Wall class project to be complete end of year.
Discussion around brand guide – new mascot designed by alumni students will be voted on soon.
Report by Keri Duce, SDMF Board Vice-President
The Southeastern Wisconsin School Alliance’s next meeting is October 13th. The members of this team advocate for policies and practices that benefit the students, teachers and communities of Wisconsin. The Children’s Hospital will be joining the meeting and providing an update.
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards is busy looking into substitute teaching licensing flexibility in an effort to get more qualified teachers licensed and in the building during the pandemic.
During a SWSA school group meeting last week, one of the discussions centered on the difficulty all districts are experiencing in filling the vacant educational assistant positions. It seems to be a common problem within all districts and the group is looking into ideas to improve the hiring pool.
In our legislative update, there has been a lot of discussion around liability legislation for K-12 and other state wide agencies. They are looking to alleviate transmission litigation and monetary liability for school districts.
The Donovan group did a presentation on Board communication and one key take-away was that the School District of Menomonee Falls does a nice job keeping in touch with the community by sending out emails and keeping current on social media. Nice work everyone!
Discussion Item – Survey Results
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 30-day pulse checks. The survey included parents, staff and students in grades 6-12. We had a very high response rate and gained a lot of valuable information that allows us to note the things that are working well, take action in areas for improvement and understand the key themes that people are experiencing. We are committed to listening and responding to your experiences as parents, guardians, students and employees in our school system. Thank you for your time and commitment to help us stay connected.
Last week we announced our intention to all families that we would like to bring back our 4K- 2nd grader full time to Shady Lane and Ben Franklin. In preparation for our next step, we have referenced our metrics, our experience with COVID-19 and looked at all the information we have learned. Our goal, as initially shared over the summer, has always clearly stated that our intension is to maximize face to face instruction. With that, we have maintained a commitment to balancing our obligations to community health with our obligations to student learning. We are faced with two very important questions: How do we balance between community health and our obligations to student learning? And how pandemic resilient is our system?
The enrollment numbers came in pretty close to what we were expecting and very similar to last year. The overall impact to our revenue is minimal. Each school year, a student count is completed based on the attendance on the Third Friday of September. Once compiled, the data is submitted to the Department of Public Instruction. For district purposes, the ‘student count’ is used to determine membership from which revenue is based and ‘student enrollment’ is used to factor in the number of students the district is responsible for educating.
Upcoming Board of Education meetings:
October 26, 2020 at 6 p.m. in the Village Board Room
November 9, 2020 at 6 p.m. in the Village Board Room
November 23, 2020 at 6 p.m. in the Village Board Room