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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 12, 2021 • Board of Education Meeting


The Finest

  • Menomonee Falls Scholarship & Educational Foundation President, Ms. Lynn Zindl shared exciting news, as they are very pleased to be planning the 2021 Scholarship Night, in-person. A generous donation of $100,000 was received from a Menomonee Falls retired accountant and mother of a past Menomonee Falls graduate. The scholarship donation will be gifted to five MFHS seniors pursuing a Business Degree, preferably in the accounting field. The Scholarship Night is scheduled for Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in the gym following the CDC health and safety guidelines. This year there are over 65 scholarships to be awarded. The Scholarship Foundation is happy to report they have raised over $65,000 through fundraising efforts. A huge thank you to all the donors who believe in education and believe in the students of Menomonee Falls!

  • NMS Instructional Coach, Ms. Sue Lee introduced, Immanuel Goveas, a Menomonee Falls Finest for achieving the State Title of Co-Champion in the 2020-2021 Badger Spelling Bee. Immanuel will be competing at the Scripp National Spelling Bee this summer, representing the State of Wisconsin. Immanuel is an 8th grade student at North Middle School who is very dedicated, humble, and strives to improve himself. Immanuel’s excellence is due to his own hard work and persistence. Today we celebrate his accomplishments, we wish him well, and encourage him to enjoy the journey.

  • MFHS Principal, Mr. Bob Vitale introduced MFHS English Teacher Ms. Mary Davidson, the recipient of the 2020 State and National WCTE Teacher of Excellence Awards. Ms. Davidson plays an important role with the mentoring program and the student teaching program at the high school. The WCTE (Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English) is an organization made up of secondary English Teachers. Congratulations to Ms. Davidson for earning both the State and National Recognition Awards! Your dedication and hard work is evident and appreciated by all!

Reports

  • Student School Board Member, Mr. Sahil Shah shared the latest high school sports report. • Currently we are in a transitional period, in between the end of the winter sports and the start of the spring sports. • Tennis has started. Softball, Girls Soccer and Boys Golf have started with contact days. Contact days are the unofficial practices with the coach before the season starts in May. • Menomonee Falls is looking forward to an exciting spring season of sports and ready to cheer our teams on.
  • Student School Board Member, Ms. Sara Booher shared the academic and club activity updates at the high school. • HOSA started their State Leadership Competition yesterday (April 11) and FBLA started their State Leadership Conference today (April 12). The final results from these competitions will be reported at the next Board meeting. • The National Honor Society is hosting a food drive at the MFHS through April 23, 2021. All proceeds will be donated to the Menomonee Falls Food Pantry – thank you for your support! • The Fifth Annual Spring Fling will take place this Saturday, April 17 at 7 p.m. The in-person tickets are sold out, however, you can still join virtually to support the athletic and academic endeavors. To register for the event virtually, please send an email to mfhsboosterclub@gmail.com to receive participation details. • Peers for Peers is made up of a group of students in the high school who have been trained in ways to listen and help peers find resources in issues surrounding mental health. Peers 4 Peers posters are hanging up throughout the high school. Students can scan the QR codes and they will be set up with a peer listener to talk to. Our dedicated peers are relatable, trustworthy and will serve as a resource for the student body. • The Junior Optimist Club collected 1,227 books at their recent book drive - amazing! The club did a great job setting up and running this event. • The March Youth Art Month has come to a close, however you can still view student artwork on the Instagram page for Menomonee Falls High School Art: #mfhsart. Every day they post something new and it is fun to see the work that is being highlighted.

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Melinda McShane shared the PTO merger update. Ben Franklin and Riverside are very close to completing the transition, thanks to everyone who helped make this happen this year. The next meeting is April 22, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. We will be taking nominations for officers and hope you can join us!

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Cathy Olig recognized the CE&Rec for putting together a fantastic activity guide with a variety of activities for people of all ages. Registration for summer school starts Sunday, April 19th at 9 p.m. Parents are encouraged to check it out. Cathy also shared her experience in the “Be Active Wisconsin” Community Fitness Challenge for Team Menomonee Falls. Participants tracked their fitness minutes throughout the month of March - Menomonee Falls placed 14th statewide. On a final note, Cathy watched a scrimmage game on new soccer turf; the field and fencing looked great! It is nice to hear that the spring sports teams - softball and baseball - are able to use turf to practice when normal fields are too wet. The Falls Kickers teams have been using it for practices, as well. It is nice to know the entire community is getting use of the new turf.

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Michele Divelbiss participated in Board of Canvassers meeting last week Friday. The purpose of the meeting was to certify the election results and make sure everything was tallied correctly. This is a standard protocol following each election. Due to the increased volume of early voters, there was a central count for each ward in addition to the individual ward counts. Once this process was clarified, the numbers corresponded perfectly.

  • School Board Member, Mrs. Faith VanderHorst shared her experience with the staff luncheons last week during the Teacher In-Service Day Sessions. It was a great experience to see the teachers’ in-person and thank them for the work they do. Faith stated how much she misses being in the buildings, saying hello and listening to the concerns and praises. Thank you to the teachers and to the administration staff for working so diligently to put the luncheon event together.

  • SDMF Superintendent, Mr. Corey Golla reflected on our districts use of Continuous Improvement mindsets and skillsets and shared that we made the cover story for the April edition of the School Administrator Magazine. Our district is featured in an article about how the SDMF overcame the “wicked challenges” during COVID-19 to boost student engagement and learning outcomes. The full article can be found on our social media pages, or visit the Falls News blog on the website, https://fallsschools.wordpress.com.

  • Mr. Corey Golla shared the Falls Summer Academy registration will open, Sunday April 18, 2021 online beginning at 9 p.m. In-person/drop box registration opens Monday, April 19. More details can be found on the SDMF website or the CE&Rec website.

  • Mr. Corey Golla shared the district’s obligation and need to discuss a fully virtual option for next year. Please know a decision has not been made for the 2021-2022 school-year. Families presently accessing the virtual option should stay tuned for a scheduled conversation to discuss options, interests and needs for next year. We will follow with a survey once we better understand the needs of our families and the numbers of people with those needs.

  • Mr. Corey Golla shared the progression of the Valley View principal transition. As was announced, Tina Posnanski will be transitioning from Valley View Elementary School to Ben Franklin Elementary School next year, and we are very excited to have Ms. Posnanski lead the Early Literacy work. We have screened over 60 quality applicants with a lot of interest both internally and externally. We are hoping to make an announcement in early May.

Board Committee Reports

  • Personnel Committee Chair, Mrs. Michele Divelbiss provided an update from the committee meeting on March 18, 2021. Topics included the discussion of:

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

-Staffing and Substitute Fill Rate Overview

-Review of the Draft 2021-22 District Employee Handbook

-Moved into a Closed Session to Discuss Individual Contracts


  • Policy Committee Member, Mr. Eric Pelzer provided an update from the committee meeting on March 25, 2021. Topics included the discussion of:

-Policy 455.1 Student Bicycle Use

-Policy 455.2 Student Drivers

-Policy 443 Code of Conduct

-Policy 443.4 Student Alcohol and Other Drug

-Potential Changes to Board Self-Evaluation


Legislative Items

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

-The Joint Finance Committee began their first hearing last Friday, April 9, 2021 in Whitewater. Eight WASB Members attended and testified in front of the Joint Finance Committee. The next hearing will be virtual on April 28, 2021. The virtual hearing registration opens on April 19 and will allow 200 people to attend. You are welcome to submit your comments through the JFC website, email, or US Mail.

-The Education Committee in the State of Wisconsin did a hearing about Federal Funding Usage for the K12 audience last week. There was a discussion around broadband possibly being part of a Federal Infrastructure Package.

-Newly elected Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jill Underly, will assume office July 5, 2021.

-Interesting fact: 60% of the proposed school referendums on the ballot were passed this election.

-SWSA meets next week Tuesday, April 20, 2021.


Discussion Items

  • MFSD 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. Locally our burden rate has been stable at a moderately low risk level. Our student and employee health is good. We are continuing to stress the importance of our mitigation efforts across the system and the community. Our school teams are creatively planning for end-of-year activities to continue protecting our health while offering some celebrations and rituals that feel familiar to us. We all should feel proud of where we are at.

  • Mr. Corey Golla congratulated Keri Duce and Jennifer Grant who were elected into the two available Board of Education seats during the April 6 Spring Election. The election results have been certified by the Board of Canvassers last Friday. Both members will be sworn in at the April 26 Board of Education meeting. On April 26 we will be celebrating departing Board Member, Mr. David Noshay for his exceptional leadership and service over the years.

  • Director of Finance and Operations, Mr. Keith Brightman shared information about the 2021-24 busing contract. The current transportation contract with Johnson Bus expires at the end of the school year. The District has negotiated contract renewal terms with Johnson Bus for a new three-year term. The Finance Committee and outside legal counsel have both been part of the contract review process and it was moved to the full Board for review.

  • Mr. Keith Brightman reviewed Policy 455.1 Student Bicycle Use. This policy was reviewed at both the Finance and Policy Committee meetings. There are no changes to the current policy language.

  • Mr. Keith Brightman shared Policy 455.2 Student Drivers. This policy was reviewed and updated at both the Finance and Policy Committee meetings and was moved to the full Board for review.

  • Director of Pupil Services, Mrs. Stacy Klemm shared Policy 443, Code of Conduct. This policy was reviewed and updated with each Building Principal and was moved to the full Board for review.

  • Mrs. Stacy Klemm shared Policy 443.4, Alcohol and Other Drug Use. This policy was reviewed and updated with the Pupil Service Team, the Building Principals and the Policy Committee and was moved to the full Board for review.

Action Items

  • Motion was approved to process vouchers payable through April 8, 2021.

Shout Outs…

  • Congratulations to Immanuel Goveas, Co-Champion State Title in the 2020 Badger Spelling Bee. He represents himself, his family and school district so incredibly well. We wish Immanuel good luck at the national competition this summer!

  • Congratulations to Ms. Mary Davidson for earning the WCTE State and National Teacher of Excellence Award! Everything you do matters and what you bring to our English Department is phenomenal! These awards are well deserved!

  • Thank you to Mr. Keith Brightman for your diligent work in negotiating our service contracts for the district. It is a long and involved process and he does a GREAT job! Mr. Brightman is truly an asset to the district and to the tax payers of the community. You are appreciated!

  • Thank you to Mr. Jason Husslein and the Community Education and Recreation Staff for your dedication and efforts in providing summer activities for our students, and summer employment for our staff. This is a positive note from where we were last year. Also, thank you for putting together a fantastic activity guide. There is an impressive variety of activities for people of all ages.
  • Thank you to Ms. Lynn Zindl and Ms. Cathy Hazzard for your amazing work with the Menomonee Falls Scholarship Foundation. We appreciate your time and commitment you have put forward to help support our scholars.



  • Thank you to the many generous donors who have helped fund the Menomonee Falls Scholarship & Educational Foundation and helped support the graduating students of 2021. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

  • Thank you to the staff of SDMF, our true Champions. Your resilience is remarkable and so much appreciated by our families, district, and community. It is so inspiring to see the great things we can accomplish as a team… Thank you!

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:

board@sdmfschools.org


Upcoming Board of Education meetings:

  • Board Public Hearing: April 26, 2021 at 6 p.m. in the Village Board Room.
  • Board of Education Meeting: April 26, 2021 immediately following the Hearing in the 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