HORICON — The Horicon School Board focused on upcoming changes resulting from its referendum project during its meeting Monday night.
The new school year will see the elementary, middle and high schools combined to form one campus.
Attention was given as Jr./Sr. High School Principal Teresa Graven and Director of Special Education/Student Learning Katie Schwartz presented the 2020-21 middle and high school schedules.
Graven and Schwartz said in developing the schedules, school visits were made to Markesan, Lomira and Winneconne, teachers were surveyed and non-negotiables were established.
Non-negotiables included common planning time for middle school staff, collaboration time for high school staff, a 90-minute English Language Arts block for middle school, and an intervention/enrichment time for all grades.
Wisconsin State Law requires school districts to schedule 63,000 minutes of instruction for elementary and 68,220 minutes of instruction for middle/high school students.
The middle and high school students will both begin the school day at 7:47 a.m. The high school will dismiss at 3:15 p.m. and the middle school will let out at 3:17 p.m.
An eighth hour homeroom time will be set for grades 6, 7 and 8 for a homework check and planning for any evening work that may be needed from each student. The homeroom will also be used for career education and some physical education time for musically-inclined students.
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Graven and Schwartz said the schedule is an evolving process as the new campus is uncharted territory.
The board decided to close open-enrollment next year for all special education areas, including speech and language.
Schwartz said the current special education case load size is significantly above what the state- recommended average is and that the staff is feeling the crunch.
“I hate to do it, but we have to make sure we can accommodate the students we have,” she said.
The board also decided to use the $375,000 of contingency funds available to update all of the current classrooms.
Superintendent Rich Appel said the sale of Van Brunt Elementary School provides the opportunity to renovate the internal workings of the Jr./Sr. High School. All classrooms will be painted and outfitted with new desks.
“We’ll put the proceeds to good use and clean up this building as well so that we really have set the school district facilities up for generations and decades to come,” he said.
Appel said the construction project is going smoothly and is ahead of the timeline. About 250 people turned out for last month’s open house.
With board approval, Appel said he’s engaged in initial conversations with Horicon Police Chief Adamson about the possibility of adding a future school resource officer as the school becomes a unified campus.