The Oconto Falls School Board last week approved a 2013-14 school year calendar.
The board made a few changes in a calendar drafted by the Oconto Falls Education Association.
Board members were concerned about having two workshop days and two in-service days before the start of the school year, with no other full day in-services once the school year started.
The board modified the schedule to have one in-service day before the start of the school year and that Oct. 25, which was proposed as a vacation day, would become a teacher workshop day.
As part of this process, the Board also set the 2014 graduation for Sunday, June 1.
Final details on the proposed calendar would be worked out with the OFEA.
In other business, the board
? heard a presentation from Joe Kobussen from Kobussen Buses. The board has been considering the option of going to an outside contractor for transportation services. There was a wide array of services that could be provided. Transportation Supervisor Gloria Schindel was on hand to provide the board an update and noted that the District's cost per mile was the lowest in the area based on statistics compiled by a neighboring district.
? heard from Curriculum Director Candie Lehto, who discussed a recent scheduling seminar that she and a several other district representatives attended. Serious consideration is being given to revising schedules at all schools because of factors suggesting districts should move away from traditional schedules. Scheduling alternatives will be developed over the rest of the school year.
? received an update on activities related to the civil rights audit from Lehto, who reported that the District was in full compliance.
? approved a new AP European History course.
? approved the High School Course Description Booklet, which includes a number of new courses and a much stronger linkage to the new common core standards.
? learned that attendance statistics for deer season and Thanksgiving week showed an improvement in the attendance rate compared to last year, although student absences are still higher than usual, given all of the activities during that week.
? received the District's audit report, compiled by Schenk & Associates. In recent years, Auditor LeRoy Matuzsak been on hand to answer any questions and would be willing to do so again, although it was noted there were no significant changes from previous years.
? learned about health insurance options available for employees beginning on Jan. 1 from Superintendent Dave Polashek. A small number of eligible employees were sticking with the traditional plan and a similar number going with a new health savings account option. The vast majority were switching to modified traditional plan that was a lower cost and with slightly different benefits. Overall, the projected health insurance costs for the District would be about 2 percent less than it had been in the prior fiscal year.
? noted it will consider an insurance consultant contract with the consultant that had been working with the District on a number of insurance options. Previously, the consultant received a commission from the insurance companies, however this time around the District had requested that the quotes be provided without the commission fee, and instead contract directly for the consulting services.
? heard from Pupil Services Director Judy Johannes, who discussed the required Seclusion and Restraint Policy mandated by Wisconsin Legislative Act 125. She updated the board on incidents from the past year in which seclusion and restraint was required. The board approved the first reading of the new policy.
? approved an Indoor Environmental Quality Plan, which was recently mandated by the state for all schools. The proposed plan was drafted by McNeil Environmental, which has been working with the District on a number of compliance issues.