Monday, December 10, 2012

Board Meeting Packed with Support for Coach

There was standing room only at tonight's board meeting. Parents and students were at the meeting in support of what was reported as a fired wresting coach. An unnamed female student said he was fired for reprimanding a student. Several spoke in support of the coach, stating that he was a coach who, "straightened out students who needed it", and "he worked hard to ensure students become decent citizens".
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.

Contract approved with Spiros Industries, Inc.

Tonight the West Bend School Board approved a 3 year contract with Spiros Industries, Inc, a company that manufactures springs. Spiros donated a manufacturing machine to the district and will begin a manufacturing course that will teach the manufacturing business to students. They will learn the process of this business beginning with taking orders to production and shipping. According to the staff at Spiros, this partnership will give students real-life manufacturing experiences with real production in the real world.
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

Gender separation for sensitive sexual topics on agenda Monday night

Location: Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend
5:30 pm, Fishbowl Conference Room

Agenda Item Details

Oct 08, 2012 - Committee of the Whole
Gender-based Human Growth & Development instruction

Topic and Background:  A survey was developed that gave parents of students currently in grades 6-7-8 information about the 8th grade Human Growth and Development curriculum.  The survey then asked parents to share their feedback about gender separation for specific topics in the HGD Health curriculum.

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.
Budget: None

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
co‐ed classes.
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)$file/HGD%20Survey%20Comments.pdf$file/HGD%20Survey%20Results.pdf

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Administrator Smaks Down Board

Someone, please tell me, what is this really all about? Some Board members asked to discuss separating by gender the middle and high school kids for certain portions of Sex Ed. You know, the talk on, as one board member put it, "Part A goes into part B and produces the phenomena of C and produces X and Y". Of course, real terms are used, but you get the graphic picture. Also included in the  proposed gender separation, was the condom, etc. demos and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. All in all, this takes about 2 or 3 days of the Human Growth and Development course. The Board members asked for a very small thing in the scheme of the school year, and it would only encompass 8th and 10th grades (grades 4 and 5 already separate by gender).
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

Surprise, Surprise! The administration speaks...

The administration of the West Bend School District recommends keeping mixed company in sex ed class, even during condom demos, discussions about sexually transmitted diseases and very, very intimate details, among kids as young as 12 years old:

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.
This will be discussed Monday night:
Committee of the Whole
Monday, September 10, 2012
Location: Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend
5:45 pm, Fishbowl Conference Room

Sep 10, 2012 - Committee of the Whole
Gender-based Human Growth & Development instruction

Public Content

Topic and Background: 
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.
Wisconsin State Statute 118.019 references the Human Growth and Development instruction administered within the health education course(s).  The West Bend School District health courses contain one unit on Human Growth and Development. The design of these units is as follows:
Course Name
Unit Title
Duration of Unit
Health I Human Growth and Development
14 Days
  • Abstinence
  • Systems of the body/endocrine puberty and hygiene
  • Development of the Fetus
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Birth Control
  • Media/Technology
  • Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships (dating)
  • Marriage
Health II Human Relationships and Sexuality
9 Days
  • Choosing Abstinence and Relationships
  • The Reproductive System
  • Marriage
  • Date and Acquaintance Rape
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s)
  • Birth Control Methods
Grade 4
Separated by Gender
Human Growth and Development
3 Days
  • Personal Health Habits
  • Puberty Information
  • Disease Prevention
Grade 5
Separated by Gender
Human Growth and Development
3 Days
  • Personal Health Habits
  • Puberty Information for Girls
  • Puberty Information for Boys]
  • Respect
  • How Life Begins
  • Disease Prevention and AIDS

Under Wisconsin State Statute 118.019, section 2, subjects:
A school board may provide an instructional program in human growth and development in grades kindergarten to 12.  If the school board elects to provide an instructional program under this section, when the school board establishes the curriculum for the instructional program, the school board shall make determinations as to whether and, if so, for what subjects covered in the curriculum the pupils shall be separated by gender.  If an instructional program is provided, the following instructional program is recommended:
Rationale (General Purpose):
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:

  1. Parents 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. 
    1. Parents will be notified at the beginning of the year in the school handbook.
    2. Parents will be notified approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the HGD curriculum being taught by mail.
    3. Parents will be notified approximately 1 week prior to the HGD curriculum being taught by email.
  2. Parents will have the option to opt their child out of the entire HGD curriculum or from selective parts of the curriculum.
Furthermore, if the WBSD moves forward with the redesign of the health course (see attachments), students and families may choose to take health education on-line in the privacy of their own homes (with the choice to opt out of any or all topics of the Human Growth and Development unit).

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

Apology to School Kids

   As was published today in the West Bend Daily News:   

     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.
     I would apologize to parents for not allowing them parental permission for teaching condoms to their pre or barely teen child. I realize that the state neither recommends nor mandates teaching condoms and the pill, but we know what is best. I’m sorry we can’t allow you parents to make decisions for your child when it comes to condoms in the classroom, but we can ask parental permission for your child to watch an R rated movie during school. If you didn’t opt-out your child, they will be enrolled. We don’t believe in actual parental permission for this.
     What we really want from you parents and kids is your money. Just as your modesty is falling apart, so are our buildings. Paying for a referendum will be a burden around your neck, but it must be done. The schools are bankrupt. We want your modesty and your money. We don’t care what you say.
Mary P. Weigand

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 to 2029 Referendum Debt Levy with both 25 Year Plan and Badger Included

The "borrowing amount" below is for the referendum question that will be on the November 6th ballot. The graph below shows the annual debt levy with Badger (just begun to pay for that referendum) and the potential new referendum. As of June 30, 2012 the principle is $21,575,000 and the interest is $7,729,401.00. If the Nov. referendum passes, the debt will be increased by more than $31 million, principle and interest.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Board consensus is referendum this fall

 Members of the West Bend School Board were asked 3 questions tonight at the Board meeting. The questions were in regards to phase 1 of the 25 year plan.

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 to discuss financial issues tonight

Board Work Session
Education Service Center
735 S. Main Street
West Bend WI 53095
Board Room
July 25, 2012
5:00 pm
1. Call to Order
2. Facilities Planning
3. 2013-2014 Budget Planning
4. Curriculum & Instruction Strategic Planning
5. Adjourn

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Feedback Needed about funding twenty-five year strategic plan

How would you like to fund the twenty-five year strategic plan?

Write feedback here or give feedback to Ted Neitzke.

Ted Neitzke
262 335-5435
Part of the Plan

Specifics:   Agenda Item Detail  Apr 30, 2012 - 

Board Work Session

A. Review of 25-year Facility Strategic Plan option and addendum
Type   Discussion
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. 

Green Tree: Four Classroom and Gymnasium Addition Estimate

Gym Addition:
 Gym Size: 5,000 sf.
Circulation Factor: 40%
Cost of Construction: $200/sf.

Calculation:     5,000 sf. X 1.4 = 7,000 sf.
                        7,000 sf. X $200/sf. = $1.4 million
Classroom Addition:
 Classroom Size: 900 sf. each.
Circulation Factor: 60%
Cost of Construction: $200/sf.

Calculation:     3,600 sf. X 1.6 = 5,760 sf.
                        5,760 sf. X $200/sf. = $1.15 million

Total Project Cost: $2.55 million

Monday, June 11, 2012

School Board refuses to ask employees to contribute to long term disability and life insurance

By a 6-1 vote, the West Bend School Board renewed the long term disability and life insurance policy for the district's employees while changing carriers. The cost to the local folks is $200,000 annually. Dave Weigand made a motion to have the employees pay 50% of the cost, citing the overwhelming support for Gov. Walker and his reforms. There was no second among the board members, several of whom tout "conservatism". "This administration will never spend a dime less than they do, unless they are forced to, i.e. last year with the reforms and decrease in state funding", stated Weigand.
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

Could the West Bend School District give more Tax Relief by using More of Governor Walker's Tools?

 Despite a resounding victory for Governor Walker and his reforms, the West Bend School District is poised to vote to continue funding the benefits of life insurance and long term disability insurance for its employees. Calling this a savings of 25% due to the potential to change from WEA to another provider, it will still cost the local taxpayers $200,000.00 annually. This is part of the tax to the max budget that is currently proposed, which is projected to be a 6.6% levy increase. One morsel of hope for a less than tax to the max increase would be the Board rejecting this offer as it will be presented by the administration at the meeting Monday June 11, 2012.

Proposed premium changes are: 
Life insurance $114,000.00  from $146,773.00
Long term disability  $86,177.00 from $120,000.00

This proposal passed out of the Finance and Personal Committee on May 21, 2012. Bart Williams, Rick Parks, and newly elected Vinney Pheng are members of that committee. 

 The approximate time for the final vote is at 7:55 pm Monday night. Public participation is held at the beginning of the meeting which begins at 6:30pm.

Regular Board of Education Meeting
Education Service Center
735 S. Main Street
West Bend WI 53095 June 11, 2012
6:30 p.m.
Board Docs for meeting information

Meeting Agenda

Board Member contact information

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

$211,500 for 8 Year Olds to Have Choice of Two Entrees

The Board Committe of a Whole discussed the Green Tree Elementary School addition proposals Monday, April 30, 2012 in the Fish Bowl meeting room. Besides four  new classrooms, which will increase the school's student capacity to 660, the board saw the proposed cost for a gym addition, and a cafeteria and kitchen addition. A new gymnasium is proposed to cost $1.4 million, while the cafeteria addition is at $1.01 million. A new kitchen addition will add and extra $211,500 to that. The reason the kitchen addition is needed, as reported by Dave Ross, is because the current kitchen does not have the capacity to offer two entrees as Mclane Elementary School has. "That's the rub, the need for more space to offer two entrees," Ross noted.  It was implied that if the students' lunch choices remained at one there would be no need for the additional cost of over $200,000.
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

2012/2013 Board Leadership

President: Randy Marquardt
Vice-president: Bart Williams
Clerk: Dave Weigand
Treasurer: Rick Parks

6.6% Tax Levy Increase Approved by West Bend School Board

Superintendent Ted Neitzke presented his proposed 2012-13 budget to the Board tonight and was granted unanimous approval to increase the tax levy 6.6%. While proposed spending will be down by 5.1%, thanks in full to Governor Scott Walker's Act 10, the West Bend School District is planning on taxing to the full amount allowed by law. The budget is speculation, based on their idea of state funding. Firmer numbers will be available in the near future.
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

2011-2012 West Bend Schools Teacher Negotiation Meeting

By looking at the bumper stickers in the parking lot, it was obvious that two different perspectives would be brought forth at tonight's opening session of teacher negotiations at the ESC in West Bend. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange initial bargaining proposals. Governor Scott Walker had the support of a board member, shown by the bumper sticker on his car, while two cars of union reps sported, "Solidarity" and "Kathleen Falk for Governor", and "Recall Walker". Inside, the meeting was more cordial that not.
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.
Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Will Friday be the Day a Silent Protest Interrupts Your Child's Education?

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.

Good Morning,

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.
Below is a statement issued by the ACLU, emphasizing the limits of political activism during instructional 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."

**This site, sponsored by pro-family groups listed below, is for the sole purpose of giving parents the tools needed to oppose the GLSEN-sponsored Day of Silence.
The Day of Silence, which is sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), fast approaches. This year it will take place in most public schools on April 20, 2012. On this day, thousands of public high schools and increasing numbers of middle schools will allow students to remain silent throughout an entire day – even during instructional time – to promote GLSEN's socio-political goals and its controversial, unproven, and destructive theories on the nature and morality of homosexuality.

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

25 Year Facilities Plans

The West Bend School Board and Administration are moving forward in their decision on a 25 year facilities plan. Monday night, April 16, the Board narrowed the options from 4 to 2 plans. Superintendent Ted Neitzke will continue working on 2 of the plans, which include closing Barton Elementary School, changing the elementary schools to K-4th grade, Silverbrook Middle School will be 5-6 grades with remodeling, Badger Middle School will be 7-8th grades, and a new Jackson Elementary School will be built with planning beginning in the next 3-5 years.
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

Election results

Vinney Pheng and Therese Sizer were victorious in Tuesday's election. Incumbent Kris Beaver, a Recall Walker petition signer, was heartily defeated by Mr. Pheng.

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

School Board Election April 3

Thank you to Eagle Forum of Washington County for surveying the 4 candidates. You can vote for 1 or 2 candidates.

Kudos to West Bend...

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.”

District County Students Score Grade Funding/ Student
Elmbrook Waukesha 7,212 8.0355 A $14,409
Marshfield Unified Wood 4,038 7.8272 A - $11,719
New Berlin Waukesha 4,687 7.8196 A - $12,706
Verona Area Dane 4,889 7.8061 A - $13,790
Middleton-Cross Plains Area Dane 6,104 7.5971 B + $13,145
West Bend Washington 6,963 7.3506 B $11,005
Kimberly Area Outagamie 4,641 7.3136 B $11,516
Germantown Washington 4,034 7.2758 B $12,351
Hamilton Waukesha 4,600 7.2475 B - $11,940
D C Everest Area Marathon 5,646 7.2016 B - $11,917
Kettle Moraine Waukesha 4,367 7.1764 B - $12,231
Hudson Saint Croix 5,530 7.1609 B - $10,646
Sheboygan Area Sheboygan 10,124 7.0679 B - $13,254
Green Bay Area Public Brown 20,376 7.0528 B - $12,710
Madison Metropolitan Dane 24,806 7.0500 B - $14,104
Wausau Marathon 8,546 7.0064 C + $13,201
Sun Prairie Area Dane 6,975 7.0003 C + $12,623
West Allis-West Milwaukee Milwaukee 8,976 6.9340 C + $12,427
Oak Creek-Franklin Joint Milwaukee 6,146 6.9038 C + $11,144
Wauwatosa Milwaukee 7,208 6.8926 C + $11,463
Howard-Suamico Brown 5,745 6.8636 C + $11,024
Eau Claire Area Eau Claire 10,914 6.8635 C + $12,496
Holmen La Crosse 3,767 6.8476 C + $12,946
La Crosse La Crosse 6,932 6.8375 C + $14,620
Stevens Point Area Public Portage 7,401 6.8326 C + $12,595
Appleton Area Outagamie 15,194 6.8148 C $12,221
Neenah Joint Winnebago 6,345 6.8016 C $11,639
Franklin Public Milwaukee 4,300 6.7874 C $13,183
Muskego-Norway Waukesha 5,068 6.7846 C $12,375
Beloit Rock 6,891 6.7795 C $12,342
Fond du Lac Fond du Lac 7,365 6.7743 C $12,540
Oshkosh Area Winnebago 10,111 6.7717 C $11,533
Janesville Rock 10,339 6.7708 C $12,017
Mukwonago Waukesha 4,955 6.7434 C $11,682
Greenfield Milwaukee 3,723 6.7385 C $13,081
Waukesha Waukesha 13,796 6.7335 C $11,880
Oconomowoc Area Waukesha 5,044 6.7274 C $12,143
Kenosha Kenosha 22,986 6.6995 C $12,452
Menomonee Falls Waukesha 4,411 6.6788 C $13,843
Pulaski Community Brown 3,792 6.6472 C - $11,654
Chippewa Falls Area Unified Chippewa 5,028 6.6038 C - $11,014
Wisconsin Rapids Wood 5,533 6.5599 C - $12,541
De Pere Brown 3,976 6.5275 C - $12,141
Oregon Dane 3,725 6.4482 D + $13,449
Manitowoc Manitowoc 5,452 6.2882 D + $11,599
Kaukauna Area Outagamie 3,959 6.1574 D $11,250
Superior Douglas 4,858 6.1465 D $12,495
Watertown Unified Jefferson 3,951 6.0568 D - $11,600
Racine Unified Racine 21,100 5.6641 F $12,221
Milwaukee Milwaukee 80,934 5.5429 F $14,863