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Jennifer Leverentz, a fourth grade teacher at Columbus Middle School, conducts a lesson on biographies in her classroom Jan. 3. Leverentz was named December's Top Notch Teacher by WISC-TV in Madison.

Columbus School District is planning another community meeting to move forward with its Launch initiatives.

Launching Forward will take place Monday, July 16, 6:30 p.m., at the high school gymnasium. During the July 9 school board meeting at city hall, Superintendent Annette Deuman said the meeting will help provide more community engagement regarding the district’s Launch program, which began in the fall of 2016.

The district held its last Launch meeting in mid-June. At that meeting, the district released results of a recent survey which gauged feedback about the district from the community. Those who attended the June meeting broke into small groups and discussed some of the pressing issues facing Columbus schools, including facility upgrades, security and more extra-curricular opportunities.

Deuman said the goal of Monday’s meeting will be to form study groups examining some of those key issues and determining future steps.

“Quite a few people have responded to us saying they want to be on a committee and we gave them until July 9 to confirm that to us,” Deuman said. “We’re then going to finalize our committees with the criteria we put together and will be sending out emails to those final committees for each of the study teams.”

Deuman said the district is looking forward to the July 16 meeting and continuing Launch initiatives.

“We want to move forward with the next process and will be keeping the board up-to-date on that,” she said.

Leverentz resigns

Jennifer Leverentz, a popular teacher at Columbus Middle School, is resigning from her fourth-grade teaching position.

The board accepted Leverentz’s resignation at the July 9 meeting. Deuman said Leverentz accepted a teaching position where her children attend school.

“She’s very excited about that,” Deuman said.

In December, Leverentz was named a Top Notch Teacher by WISC-TV, a Madison television station. She was recommended by Columbus parents to receive the honor.

In addition, Jennifer Walker, a first-grade teacher, is also resigning. Deuman said both Leverentz and Walker taught in the district for several years and will be missed.

“Both of the teachers wrote a really nice resignation letter thanking the district for everything they learned here and are excited about their next steps,” Deuman said.

The district also accepted the employment of Sara Brunleib, a physical education/health teacher and Angela Wiemer, an instructional literacy coach. Wiemer previously worked at CESA 5 in Portage and has experience with the Units of Study teaching model, which the district began using last fall.

“She has been trained on the Units of Study right from the Teachers’ College in New York,” Deuman said.

July 23 meeting cancelled

The board decided to cancel its next meeting, July 23, and will meet again the first Monday in August. Deuman will be on vacation through July 23 and the board doesn’t expect to approve any hires in the next few weeks.

Follow Kevin Damask on Twitter @kdamask or contact him at 608-963-7323.