Monday, December 10, 2012
Those who spoke were allowed to speak because of a new policy adopted recently by the Board that allows participants 2 minutes to address the board on a non-agenda item. The Board cannot respond but listens to the concerns of citizens.
Forty percent of West Bend high school graduates do not attend college. This new partnership gives students opportunities to learn a trade and acquire job skills that will help them become employed after graduation. This seems like a good thing.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
5:30 pm, Fishbowl Conference Room
Agenda Item Details
Rationale (General Purpose): Mr. Pauli, Chief Academic Officer, will share the results of the survey with the Committee and determine next steps in the process.
The survey was sent to all families of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. 482 responses to the survey were collected. Of those responses 63.5% indicated that they would prefer that students be separated by gender for instruction on specific topics and 36.5% indicated that they preferred students receive the instruction in co-ed classes.
Recommended Next Steps: Based on the feedback from parents, and input from members of the Board of Education we will start to gender separate students for instruction on the topics of: The Reproductive System, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Birth Control Methods, beginning with the current 8th grade students.
The survey was sent to all families if they have a 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student. 482 responses to the
survey were collected. There are about 1,450 middle school families with about 33% of the families
responding to the survey.
Of those responding 63.5% indicated that they would prefer that students be separated by gender for
instruction on specific topics and 36.5% indicated that they preferred students receive the instruction in
As a parent of a current or upcoming 8th grade student would you prefer that concepts about: 1)
The Reproductive System, 2) Sexually Transmitted Infections, and 3) Birth Control Methods be
taught in gender separated classes or as they are now in co‐ed classes.
Parent Survey Results: (worth reading)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The four Board members who liked this idea were VP Williams, Clerk Weigand, Pheng, and Treasurer Parks. President Marquardt said very little and seemed on the fence, and Miller and Seitzer were very much opposed.
Some of the reasons the members gave for wanting gender separation were:
*Better discussions will be generated. It will be less stifling with boys and girls separated during these discussions.
*It is an innovative way to support better schools.
*Protection of children, especially the most shy and easily embarrassed
*Keeps the dignity and modesty intact, especially girls
*It is very doable with minimal changes to current way course is taught
*Some in community are shocked this isn't already being done
*It will allow kids the most comfortable setting to ask questions
*Why not try it, we might be surprised at how well it works!
By state statute, the school board must make the decision about whether or not to separate kids by gender for all or part of this course. Here is where I am totally confused. Why would a district administrator(s) fight this?
The director of curriculum, who makes well over $100,000.00 annually with salary and benefits, was red-faced as she chastised the board toward the end of the meeting.
One job of the board is to carry out mandatory laws of the state, which they were doing by deciding about this issue. They are also to determine policies to guide the administrators. They also approve the employment of all personnel with whom contracts are required (that is, they are the bosses of the administration)
It was a shocking event to see a red-faced administrator badgering the Board about their decision.
It leads me to ask again, "What is this really all about?"
Let's put this into context. This is just a couple of days from the school year. No curriculum changes were requested from any board member. The board members who liked this idea gave very good reasons why they wished to see this implemented. By law, it is their decision. The Board knew the administration was not recommending this change, but 4 members liked the idea. Finally, after sufficient badgering from the administration, it was decided to send out a survey asking parents if they are aware the class is not separated by gender in 8th and 10th grade, and if they would prefer that it is. Amazing, for 2 or 3 days of instruction, a survey is sent out! Weigand requested the Board have input into the survey. Neitzke commented, "It's your right."
Again, why would an administrator get so emotional and chastise the board for "mandating" this and taking away "choice"? Why would the Superintendent sit back and allow this? What is this really all about? I don't get it.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
The WBSD administration is recommending that the Human Growth and Development Unit continue to be taught to heterogeneous groups of students in the Health I and II courses.
5:45 pm, Fishbowl Conference Room
According to Wisconsin State Statute 118.33, at least a half [0.5] credit of health education is required for high school graduation. This credit must be successfully completed sometime between grades 7-12.
Currently in the West Bend School District the half credit of health education is divided into two courses: Health I (offered in 8th grade for ¼ credit) and Health II (offered in 10th grade for ¼ credit). The instructional delivery model for these courses is as follows:
- Health I (Grade 8; ¼ credit): One semester every other day. Large group “traditional” classroom instruction.
- Health II (Grade 10; ¼ credit): One quarter every day. Large group “traditional” classroom instruction.
Duration of Unit
|Health I||Human Growth and Development||
|Health II||Human Relationships and Sexuality||
Separated by Gender
|Human Growth and Development||
Separated by Gender
|Human Growth and Development||
Under Wisconsin State Statute 118.019, section 2, subjects:
Historically, the WBSD Human Growth and Development curriculum is reviewed every three years by an advisory committee. The last review of the health curriculum was conducted in April, 2012. The advisory committee reviewed the curriculum against the Wisconsin State Statute 118.019 (of 2010) and used any information that was available in draft form for the new Wisconsin State Statute 118.019 (2012) to ensure that the Human Growth and Development Units are in compliance with State Statute 118.019.
The WBSD administration is recommending that the Human Growth and Development Unit continue to be taught to heterogeneous groups of students in the Health I and II courses. Currently, the WBSD families and students have the option to opt-out of any or all of the Human Growth and Development topics in Health I and II. The following opt-out process is in place for family choice:
will be notified multiple times about their right to request that their
child not participate in instruction in Human Growth and Development
(HGD). This notification will also inform parents of their right to
review the complete curriculum and instructional materials.
- Parents will be notified at the beginning of the year in the school handbook.
- Parents will be notified approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the HGD curriculum being taught by mail.
- Parents will be notified approximately 1 week prior to the HGD curriculum being taught by email.
- Parents will have the option to opt their child out of the entire HGD curriculum or from selective parts of the curriculum.
The purpose for this committee meeting is for the full board to have a discussion regarding gender separation of students during any or all topics in the Human Growth and Development unit.
Budget: No additional funds will be needed.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
If I could apologize to the kids, girls especially, in the WBSD on behalf of Neitzke’s administration and Board, I would. I would say I’m sorry we don’t care about your innocence and discomfort during discussions of intimate sexual issues and condom demos in mixed company. I understand most of you probably want to hide under your seat, wishing you could have an open discussion with girls and a teacher of your own sex. The decision has been made by us; we know what’s best for you. I’m sorry for the tearing away of your natural inhibitions and modesty during sex ed with 13 year-old boys. I am sorry no one cares enough to bring these discussions into gender separate classes, which easily could be done. And boys, I am sorry you can’t have a man class and talk about what makes a real man.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
1. Are you in agreement with the $28.1 million cost of construction for Silverbrook and Greentree? (this includes only construction costs, but the taxpayers be voting on the final amount which will include more than $15 million in interest added to the $28.1 million for a total of more than $40 million.)
2. How much money from the existing funds should be put toward the project? (downpayment money)
3. What would the timeline be to ask the community to support these projects via referendum?
With the execption of Dave Weigand and Bart Williams, the Board agreed to the November 2012 timeline for a referendum question. The Board is scheduled to officially vote on this at the meeting August 20th.
Dave Weigand requested a downpayment of 20% on any construction costs, Bart Williams asked for $2 million, Randy Marquardt requested $1.6 million, Rick Parks also requested a large downpayment, and the remaining Board members requested no downpayment so the referendum would be for the total construction costs.
There is a potential of savings of $870,000 annually with the closing of Barton in a few years.
Reasons why Weigand and Williams would not support a fall referendum include: division of Board and community, local economy not fully recovered, 2 of the 3 previous referendum failed, this exact plan and cost has not been presented to the general public- very limited buy-ins, limited meetings of Superintendent with select community groups, rush of process, unnecessary at present as there is current space available for students.
My questions are: Is this a good time to ask the community for more money? The cost of the Badger Referendum payback is still going up since the payments were scheduled to increase yearly before leveling off. Will there be another Tax to the Max this fall as proposed by Ted Neitzke?
Board Work Session
Education Service Center
735 S. Main Street
West Bend WI 53095
July 25, 2012
1. Call to Order
2. Facilities Planning
3. 2013-2014 Budget Planning
4. Curriculum & Instruction Strategic Planning
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Specifics: Agenda Item Detail Apr 30, 2012 -
Board Work Session
There will be 60-minute work session to finalize the results of the last board work session in which board members narrowed options for the long range facilities plan to Options 2 and 2a.
Topic and Background:
At a previous work session, the board was presented with four different options for a 25-year long range facilities plan. Each board member rated the options after a short presentation by the administration.
Option scores were tallied, presented and reviewed at the April 16th work session. Discussion led to the board selecting Option 2 and creating a hybrid option that is being called Option 2a which has all the elements of Option 2 but adds a four classroom and gymnasium addition on to Green Tree Elementary and redistributes attendance areas.
The District requires a long range facilities plan in order to effectively and efficiently manage its capital assets.
The only dollar amounts available now are for Greentree below. The remainder of the cost for Silverbrook, etc. is now unknown or not yet made known.
Monday, June 11, 2012
The local taxpayers have a large tax increase on the horizon. The Board seems to have no concept of enacting cost saving measures. This administration must be very happy with the Board they now have.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Proposed premium changes are:
Education Service Center
735 S. Main Street
West Bend WI 53095 June 11, 2012
Board Member contact information
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The Green Tree School addition is being proposed to offset future need from the proposed closing of Barton Elementary School. Silverbrook Middle School will change to 5-6 grades and Badger Middle School will become a 7-8 grade school.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Neitzke admitted they have not yet looked at sick days for teachers but are waiting to look at that component next year in coordination with other local school districts.
The only good news is that the district will plan to set aside $250,000-$275,000 for Fund 41, which will begin to save for the 25 Year Strategic Building Plan. This plan includes additions to Silverbrook School and Greentree Elementary School, restructuring of grades and redistricting of school lines.
Mr. Neitzke, in speaking to funding the future building plans, spoke of Act 32, which would allow "7 people to make a decision" about levying beyond the capacity. In other words, the Board would not need to ask the community for a referendum on extra funding for building; they can decide themselves. Mr. Neitzke's staff is seeking clarification on how Act 32 can be used. He seemed genuinely excited about it's prospect for funding.
After tonight, when the Board unanimously passed a preliminary budget that might end up being a 6.6% tax levy increase, and is for certain a "tax to the max", I will have difficulty trusting the Board with the authority Act 32 grants them.
Again, stay tuned...
Monday, April 23, 2012
The School District proposed a 1.64% increase in pay, which is the maximum allowable to bargain for by law, spread equally across the board for teachers using the base wage rule calculations.
The Union's proposal was also a 1.64% increase, but they requested to have that amount spread out equally in dollar amount to all teaching staff and not a percent of their current wage. The negotiations team agreed to consider this request. The only exceptions to this proposed increase, according to Chief Operations Officer, Valley Elliehausen, would be those not being offered renewal of their contract (4) and those on another term of improvement plan (4).
The union reps had a prepared statement read that included citations to the poliltical environment in Wisconsin and "challenges" to teachers due to Act 10 in 2011-2012. Of concern to the union reps was the work load of teachers and frozen steps in pay increases. They stated they were "hopeful" that their goals were similar to the district's goals and acknowledged that they were, "seriously affected by Act 10, the administration and the Board's decisions. The union reps also stated they are opposed to merit pay because it "would decrease collaboration among teachers".
The Union asked the intent for the 2012-2013 school year. Randy Marquardt stated that only preliminary discussions have been made and the "whole system would not be thrown out". He further stated the structure would not be drastically different from what we have now.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Friday April 20th is the day a homosexual activist group, GLSEN, takes over our public schools. Kids often come to class with duct tape over their mouth and refuse to speak during the day-yes, during class time. The West Bend School District has, in the past, made it clear that students may remain silent in class if it does not, "create a disruption". My own students have told me that this does indeed create a disruption in the classroom, and teachers tell kids they do not need to speak, while only calling on those not participating in the "day of silence". Two school board members have spoken out to see that this does not happen during instruction time, but the district administration has ignored them. Attempts have been made to find out how this will be handled this year, but no answer has been given. Below is an email from 2010 sent to staff from the two high school principals. Will this again be done? Clearly it is a violation of the student code of conduct to come to school with the mindset to not participate in class.
Often a non-school sponsored student group will choose to recognize the Day of Silence, and they generally share their plans with administration. It appears that today is the Day of Silence that students have chosen to recognize, but no one did meet with administration prior. Students may choose not to speak on this day. This is acceptable, if it does not create a disruption. Please continue with regular curriculum. If there is a disruption created, then please refer the student to administration for follow up. If you have any other questions about the day, please let us know and we will be happy to provide any additional information.
Pat and Cassandra
When this type of activism takes over our classrooms, even for one day, I wonder at the brazenness of those who allow it, asking us for more of our hard-earned dollars for "education"
Even the ultra-liberal ACLU knows students have no right to interrupt class time.
"You DO have a right to participate in Day of Silence and other expressions of your opinion at a public school during non-instructional time: the breaks between classes, before and after the school day, lunchtime, and any other free times during your day.
"You do NOT have a right to remain silent during class time if a teacher asks you to speak."
Parents must actively oppose this hijacking of the classroom for political purposes. Please join the national effort to reclaim a proper understanding of the role, and limits of public education. Help de-politicize the learning environment by calling your child out of school if your child's school allows students and/or teachers to refuse to speak during instructional time on the Day of Silence.
Monday, April 16, 2012
The cost of this has not yet been finalized and put forth. Ted Neitzke, at the urging of the Board, said he will be setting aside $170-240,000 from this years budget for future building needs. Mr. Neitzke joked about not wanting to use the "R" word, referendum.
The Board will meet again April 30th for further discussion. Bart Williams and Dave Weigand would like to see improvements to Green Tree School to take care of the needs of students in the Barton School area.
The plans include redistricting of students in some schools.
All agreed that cost is unknown as well as financing the projects. The Board and Superintendent are looking for community feedback.
I give accolades to the Board and their direction to Mr. Neitzke to set aside money for future building needs.
Now is the time to let your voice be heard. More information will be coming.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
West Bend School Bd Member
Number of Precincts 16
Precincts Reporting 16 100.0 %
Times Counted 11932/30746 38.8 %
Total Votes 18059
Vinney Pheng 5307 29.39%
Therese M. Sizer 4777 26.45%
Kris Beaver 4708 26.07%
Carl W. Knepel 3189 17.66%
Write-in Votes 78 0.43%
Friday, March 23, 2012
If ever we had more proof that more money does not equal a better education, this is it.
Press Releae: MacIver Issues Grades to 50 Largest Wisc. School Districts
[Madison, Wisc…] The state’s 50-largest school districts received report cards today from the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy. The Madison-based think tank ranked the district on a variety of areas, taking into account student performance, graduation rates, minority student achievement, advanced placement offerings and more.
“We believe in standards and benchmarks and if letter grades can be given to students, the school districts themselves should also face a rigorous examination,” said Brett Healy, President of the MacIver Institute. “Obviously some districts are going to react negatively to the grades we’ve assigned, which is nothing unusual when it comes to report cards.”
The goal behind these rankings was to create a basic, but wide-ranging, program to gauge the performance of Wisconsin’s public school districts. The hope is that by creating a level playing field in district-to-district comparisons across the state, parents and policymakers will be able to use these rankings to demand more of their school districts. Several metrics were used to create an aggregate rating system. This includes:
- Global Report Card performance (math and reading)
- WSAS (WKCE) performance – 4th grade reading
- WSAS (WKCE) performance – 8th grade mathematics
- ACT scores and participation
- AP scores and participation
- Four-year graduation rate
- District attendance
- Concentration of students from economically disadvantaged families
- Concentration of students with limited English proficiency (LEP)
In our first year of data collection, Elmbrook School District led the pack of the 50 largest school districts in the state. Marshfield, New Berlin, and Verona joined the Elmbrook at by earning “A” grades. Racine and Milwaukee were the only districts to earn failing grades.
“The rankings are fair and our findings are significant,” Healy said. “Contrary to the proclamations from nearly every administrator in Wisconsin, we see that there is no correlation between per pupil spending and student performance.”
A chart of the districts and their grades is below. The full report can be found online here.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for parents who now, thanks to a dramatic expansion of Wisconsin’s open enrollment law, have unprecedented public school options for their children,” Healy said. “We provide parents with the ability to rank the 50 largest districts in the state on a variety of metrics and access to more data is a good thing for everyone.”
|2||Marshfield Unified||Wood||4,038||7.8272||A -||$11,719|
|3||New Berlin||Waukesha||4,687||7.8196||A -||$12,706|
|4||Verona Area||Dane||4,889||7.8061||A -||$13,790|
|5||Middleton-Cross Plains Area||Dane||6,104||7.5971||B +||$13,145|
|10||D C Everest Area||Marathon||5,646||7.2016||B -||$11,917|
|11||Kettle Moraine||Waukesha||4,367||7.1764||B -||$12,231|
|12||Hudson||Saint Croix||5,530||7.1609||B -||$10,646|
|13||Sheboygan Area||Sheboygan||10,124||7.0679||B -||$13,254|
|14||Green Bay Area Public||Brown||20,376||7.0528||B -||$12,710|
|15||Madison Metropolitan||Dane||24,806||7.0500||B -||$14,104|
|17||Sun Prairie Area||Dane||6,975||7.0003||C +||$12,623|
|18||West Allis-West Milwaukee||Milwaukee||8,976||6.9340||C +||$12,427|
|19||Oak Creek-Franklin Joint||Milwaukee||6,146||6.9038||C +||$11,144|
|22||Eau Claire Area||Eau Claire||10,914||6.8635||C +||$12,496|
|23||Holmen||La Crosse||3,767||6.8476||C +||$12,946|
|24||La Crosse||La Crosse||6,932||6.8375||C +||$14,620|
|25||Stevens Point Area Public||Portage||7,401||6.8326||C +||$12,595|
|31||Fond du Lac||Fond du Lac||7,365||6.7743||C||$12,540|
|40||Pulaski Community||Brown||3,792||6.6472||C -||$11,654|
|41||Chippewa Falls Area Unified||Chippewa||5,028||6.6038||C -||$11,014|
|42||Wisconsin Rapids||Wood||5,533||6.5599||C -||$12,541|
|43||De Pere||Brown||3,976||6.5275||C -||$12,141|
|48||Watertown Unified||Jefferson||3,951||6.0568||D -||$11,600|