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Board Bits

Archived Board Bits

Board Bits

Welcome to Board Bits! This newsletter serves as a summary of the topics discussed at our Board of Education meetings. Our goal is to provide communication around discussions, actions and current events. Thank you and enjoy.

April 26, 2021 • Board of Education Meeting


  • Student School Board Member, Mr. Sahil Shah shared the latest high school sports report. Spring sports have started! The Boys Baseball Team participated in scrimmage games this weekend against Oak Creek and won both games. Nice work! • The Menomonee Falls Dance Team completed their season at State this weekend taking 6th place in the Division 1 Jazz competition and 4th place in the Division 2 Pom Competition. Congratulations to the dance team on their successful season! • The Girls Powderpuff game is scheduled for this Wednesday, April 28, juniors against the seniors. Usually the Powderpuff game is held in the fall, but was rescheduled due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases. The district is pleased to bring back these fun events and wish both teams best of luck!

  • Student School Board Member, Ms. Sara Booher shared the academic and club activity updates from the high school. • We have had some exciting and victorious weeks within our Career and Technical Student Organizations. HOSA (Future Health Professionals) recently held their State Leadership Conference and MFHS have 5 individuals who qualify for the International Leadership Conference. This exceeds our number of qualifiers from recent years – we are so proud of their accomplishments and wish them continued success! • The MFHS Future Business Leaders of America held their State Championship Title… for the 7th consecutive year! 47 MFHS FBLA students qualify for the National Leadership Conference! • The GLSEN Day of Silence took place last week Friday with about 20 student participants. The 20 students were silent all day to show the harmful effects of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ plus students in our community. • Several of our computer science students participated in a recent Marquette University programming competition. Congratulations to the following students for taking 1st place in the Gold Division: Matthew Backman, Jacob Minikel and Zach Lauer. Nice work!

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Melinda McShane shared an update regarding the Ben Franklin / Riverside PTO group and the progress they are making. The new officers are secured and the group is looking forward to the transition. • The 3rd and 4th grade Girl Scout troops worked hard this past weekend to clean up the Riverside Nature Center. The scouts installed new bird feeders, painted benches, planted some plants and added wood chips. • Forward testing is in progress and is going well. Thank you to the team for the great organization to get the fully virtual learners in to do their testing. • Melinda is looking forward to participating in the upcoming interview process for the Valley View Principal. There are a lot of good candidates.

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Cathy Olig shared her participation in the NEA Big Read Author presentations and encourages everyone to check out the library and all they have to offer. • The North Middle School recently held their Instrument Information Session. They did a great presentation and Cathy looks forward to being a Band Mom. • Cathy attended the Booster Club Spring Fling event. It was really well done and we are appreciative of all the community support and generosity. • The Ben Franklin / Riverside PTO meeting went well and it was exciting to see the new leaders and make nominations.

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Keri Duce attended the Booster Club Spring Fling and is happy to report they raised $48,000. We always appreciate the work of the Booster Club. The Falls Summer Academy registration appears to be going well with a very positive response. Participation has resumed and there are wait lists this year! It is nice that we can offer a full summer program for 2021.

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Faith VanderHorst shared that Keith and herself met with Representative Dan Knodl to share our legislative platform. They received detailed and heart-felt feedback as they discussed flexible start dates. • Board table members Cathy Olig, Keith Brightman, Corey Golla and Sara Booher will be testifying virtually with the Joint Finance Committee this week to share our district’s legislative position. We thank them all for this commitment.

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Michele Divelbiss shared her excitement for the MFHS Career and Technical students qualifying for Regional, State or National rankings. We wish them continued success.

  • School Board Member Mr. Eric Pelzer thanked Ms. Booher and Mr. Shah for doing a great job with reporting the high school events and sports. Mark your calendars for the first game of the Boys Varsity Baseball season… tomorrow night, April 27 at 4:30 p.m. at Trenary Field. It is supposed to be warm outside which will make for a beautiful afternoon to watch some baseball and cheer the boys on!

  • SDMF Superintendent, Mr. Corey Golla shared the district’s sadness to learn of the passing of our great friend, Sid Truckenbrod who served the Menomonee Falls School District for 36 years as a teacher, high school principal, middle school principal and director of human resources. In 2014, Sid was inducted into the MFHS Wall of Recognition. In his retirement, Sid started ACT Prep Plus/WI Test Prep, to prepare students for the ACT by providing classes and tutoring to several area school districts. Sid was also an active member of the Menomonee Falls Scholarship Foundation and Optimist Club. Our thoughts are extended to Sid's family. We are grateful for his commitment to our students and the Menomonee Falls community. He will be missed.

  • Mr. Corey Golla stated that the district is currently planning for the 2021-2022 school year. Given the encouraging vaccine roll out and data that supports our safety protocols, we are expecting to see a decrease in interest for the fully-virtual option next year. An email was sent last week with the link to a survey regarding the possibility of a fully-virtual offering for the 2021-2022 school year. If you haven’t already completed the survey, please do so before May 3. Thank you to the 1100 individuals who have taken that survey already, we are receiving a lot of important information to help plan for the upcoming year.

  • Mr. Corey Golla shared that the USDA Food and Nutrition Service has extended free meals to all students through June 30, 2022. This means that all students in the School District can receive both a breakfast and lunch meal every day at no cost. Watch for more information on summer schedule beginning in June, as well as 2021-22 breakfast and lunch schedule information.

  • Mr. Corey Golla mentioned that next week we will be celebrating Staff Appreciation Week. Typically, this is the time of year when we ask Falls Schools parents, community members and colleagues to nominate staff members for an Employee of the Year recognition. This has been a unique year so we are celebrating ALL SDMF staff members for working harder than ever and being so committed to our community. You can celebrate a Falls Schools staff member this year by writing a Champion Cheer message which will be added to a certificate and presented to the staff member next week. Visit and click on the link to send a Cheer. Thank you for helping us celebrate all SDMF staff members!

  • Mr. Corey Golla shared that registration is now open for the Falls Summer Academy, for both the school session and the Community Ed. and Rec. session. Please be sure to login on the CE & Rec pages to register for these programs.

  • Mr. Corey Golla shared that the students and staff at Ben Franklin and Shady Lane participated in a Heart Challenge last week. This was a fun and exciting event where students learned about their heart while raising money for the American Heart Association. The Heart Challenge is a great way to prepare students for success through awareness of physical and emotional well-being.

  • Mr. Corey Golla invited the community to join us on May 7th for a self-guided walk around the Menomonee Falls County Park. This will kick off the 2020-21 Live Well Waukesha County and Menomonee Falls FIT in the Park program. Candles will be available to light the way after dusk and you can come early to enjoy the park’s natural beauty at sunset. Admission to the park is free for all participants. A special thank you to Waukesha County CHIPP Action Team for providing this event. Pre-registration will be required in 30-minute time slots: 7:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (Day of registrations cannot be accepted.) If you cannot make this event, watch for more information on the Fit in the Park program as there are a lot of great opportunities to be active, be connected and stay healthy.

Board Committee Reports

  • Curriculum & Learning Committee Member, Mrs. Casey Blochowiak provided an update from the committee meeting on April 13, 2021. Topics included the discussion of:

-Middle School Guidance Curriculum Request

-Middle School Math Curriculum Recommendation

-High School Schedule Recommendation

-Mental Health Student Services Update

  • Finance & Auxiliary Services Committee Chair, Mrs. Cathy Olig provided an update from the committee meeting on April 22, 2021. Topics included the discussion of:

-Committee Accountability Calendar

-2020-21 COVID-19 Operational Planning, Purchasing and Estimated Budget Impact/Contingencies

-2020-21 Facility Project Status

-2020-21 School and Facility Rental Fees

-Fiscal Year-To-Date Expenditures as of March 31, 2021

-Financial Benchmarking

-2020-21 Budget Planning

-Spring Student Event Planning

-Field/Facility Memorial

-2021-24 Busing Contract

-Policy Review of Policy 481: Pupil Transportation

-Policy Review of Policy 481.1: Transportation

  • Personnel Committee Chair, Mrs. Michele Divelbiss provided an update from the committee meeting on April 15, 2021. Topics included the discussion of:

-Waiver Request from the Department of Public Instruction for Evaluations for Certified Staff

-Staffing and Substitute Fill Rate Overview

-Review of Draft 2020-21 District Employee Handbook

  • Communication Committee Chair, Mrs. Keri Duce provided an update from the committee meeting on April 14, 2021. Topics included the discussion of:

-Weekly Communication

-Google Analytics with Technology

-Champion Employee of the Year Celebrations

-Digital Handbook

-Earned Media

-COVID Communication

-North Middle School Logo

-Year End Communication

-Open Records Update

-Board Communications – Hot Topics

-Website Audit

Legislative Items

  • Board Vice-President, Mrs. Keri Duce updated the Board on the following Legislative Items:

- Three of the four scheduled Joint Finance Committee Hearings have taken place this month. The last hearing will be conducted virtually later this week. We have speakers registered to represent our district and you can also submit your comments to the JFC via email or on their website.

- The Assembly Education Committee meets tomorrow, April 27 to discuss school funding as it relates to student counts.

- Governor Evers announced the state has received $175 million to support COVID-19 testing in the schools.

- Last week there was a Hearing about Senate Bill 182 to discuss giving local control to school boards to determine their start dates.

- At the SWSA meeting on April 20, our partners with Children’s Hospital shared their current stats regarding COVID-19. They estimate an 80-85% vaccination rate for teachers in the area. There has been an increase in cases in Southeastern Wisconsin in comparison to other areas in the state, they are seeing more cases in children, and the variant cases are increasing. There were a lot of questions regarding boosters for children and if there will be long term effects. There is not enough data to provide answers at this time. Their recommendation is to keep mitigations in place for next fall.

- There appears to be a lot of confusion regarding the Federal funding coming in to assist students and the State funding that might be needed. SWSA guest speaker Luther Olsen gave helpful tips on how to advocate for your schools and push the issues that are most important to you.

Discussion Items

  • SDMF Superintendent, Mr. Corey Golla discussed our COVID-19 Response Plan based on our current school status report of positive case rates among students and staff, quarantine levels and an analysis of local and internal spread. We continue to be in a strong position with our data and our burden rates remain consistently low. Given our continued health and understanding of COVID-19 in schools we continue to discuss scaling back mitigation efforts. We plan to do this thoughtfully to stay in alignment with our guiding principles, our partners in community health, and the decision model and applicable policy approved by the school board.

  • Director of Human Resources, Leia Scoptur shared the District Employee Handbook with recommendations from the division to make updates and changes. A revised handbook was circulated for review and will be brought forward as a discussion item to the next Board Meeting for further discussion.

  • SDMF Board President Mrs. Faith VanderHorst shared the 2021-22 draft Board Meeting calendar and discussed meeting dates and scheduling modifications for the upcoming school year.

Notice of Public Hearing

  • The Board held a public hearing pursuant to Wisconsin Statute 118.38 (1)(b). Comments from the public were requested pertaining to the request of a Waiver from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for Evaluations for Certified Staff.

Action Items

  • Motion was approved to apply for a waiver with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for Evaluations for Certified Staff.
  • Motion was approved to move the School Board Meeting calendar for 2021-22 with modification as discussed.
  • Motion was approved to proceed with the non-renewal of employee pursuant to WI Stat: 118.22 as presented in Closed Session.
  • Motion was approved to move the 2021-24 Johnson Bus contract.
  • Motion was approved to move with issuing the two final notices of non-renewals, and proceeding with the 2021-22 Final Certified Staffing Plan and School Board Resolution to allow for the issuance of the corresponding Teacher and Administrator contracts.
  • Motion was approved to move Policy 455.1: Student Bicycle Use.
  • Motion was approved to move Policy 455.2: Student Drivers.
  • Motion was approved to move Policy 443: Code of Conduct.
  • Motion was approved to move Policy 443.4 Alcohol and Other Drug Use.
  • Motion was approved to process vouchers payable through April 22, 2021.

Board of Education Oath of Office

  • The Board of Education Oath of Office was given to board elected officials Keri Duce and Jennifer Grant by the SDMF Board of Education Clerk, Michele Divelbiss.

Shout Outs to retiring Board Member, Dave Noshay

  • Congratulations and thank you, David Noshay. I will miss you. You are often my voice of reason. Dave has been such a fellow advocate for Continuous Improvement and he has been a light and guidance to help see it through. It is time for a well-deserved and good rest.

  • Thank you, David Noshay. We are better because you are here. You have left some lasting legacies and have made us a National Leader through the principles you and this Board have supported. Thank you for pushing us and advocating for our community and students. You have been an incredible supporter to our leadership team, teachers and all our employees.

  • Thank you, David Noshay. Dave has been an important sounding board and a transformational leader for the district. For someone to give twelve years to board service is admirable and showcases their willingness as a servant leader. Thank you, Dave. Your counsel and friendship means more to me than you will ever know.

  • Thank you, David Noshay. You bring a lot of great words of wisdom and a good sense of humor. Thank you, we really appreciate your twelve years of service.

  • Thank you, David Noshay. It has been my pleasure to know you and work with you.

  • Thank you, David Noshay. Anyone who volunteers their time to serve their community for one term is an impressive member of the community. To serve four terms is really impressive. I appreciate always feeling heard by you. Leading from your example, I am a better listener and I hear others and their ideas and viewpoints.

  • Thank you, David Noshay. I have always appreciated your demeanor and voice of reason. I know my kids have greatly benefited from all the work you have put in and I am exceptionally grateful. I hope you enjoy your free time.

Shout Outs…

  • Congratulations to Matthew Backman, Zachary Lauer and Jacob Minikel for competing in the Marquette University ACM Programming Competition and taking 1st Place in the Gold Division. Outstanding!

  • Congratulations to our Future Business Leaders of America students for winning the State Championship and representing Menomonee Falls with your exceptional leadership!

Please click here to view a copy of the Board of Education meeting agenda.

Please click here to watch the recording of the Board of Education meeting.

For questions, comments or to reach the Board of Education, please click here:

Upcoming Board of Education meetings:

  • Board of Education Meeting: May 24, 2021 in the MFHS Auditorium
  • Board of Education Meeting: June 14, 2021 in the MF Village Board Room
  • Board of Education Meeting: June 28, 2021 in the MF Village Board Room

Thank you from Board Members:

Faith VanderHorst, President

Keri Duce, Vice-President

Cathy Olig, Treasurer

Michele Divelbiss, Clerk

David Noshay

Melinda McShane

Eric Pelzer