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Reedsburg School District is continuing the process of building its new elementary school and starting on the referendum projects.

At its Nov. 21 meeting, the board approved contracts for both Plunkett Raysich Architects and Kraemer Brothers as an architect and contractor for the new elementary school and for the design and construction of elements of the other referendum projects. School Board President Gary Woolever abstained from those actions. At the Oct. 30 special school board meeting, the board unanimously approved to select Plunkett Raysich Architects and Kraemer Brothers for the building of the new elementary school.

Business Manager Pat Ruddy said at a recent meeting with the schools financial firm representative, the school district has a bond rating of “high quality with very low credit risk.” A special school board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the school districts central office to discuss and take action on the first issuance of the $9.8 million bonds for the referendum projects.

“We’re very pleased with the bond rating,” Ruddy said. “It will help us get a lower bond interest rate on the issue that is going to come out in December.”

District Administrator Tom Benson and other members of administration visited three other schools districts in the area with newer buildings to obtain ideas for the elementary school in terms of design, layout and infrastructure.

“We’re getting great ideas from both what we see and what we experience and what we ultimately want and what we ultimately don’t want,” Benson said.

Benson said the district held meetings at Pineview Elementary School where staff members voiced their opinion on what components are needed at the new elementary school. Benson said the staff and the members of the public will be invited to talk with Plunkett Raysich Architects Nov. 28 and 29. The district will also release a survey to staff members to receive input on the new elementary school.

“We have already received some and I’m certain we will continue to receive more information and opinion from anyone who wants to share,” Benson said. “We’re continuing to gather that and sharing that with (Plunkett Raysich Architects).”

School report card

Reedsburg School District has exceeded expectations on their report card for the 2016-2017 school year.

The district received a score of 74.9 in overall accountability ratings from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction’s annual report card, which rates schools based on factors like student achievement, growth and post-secondary success. All seven buildings in the district meet Satisfactory Progress or Met or Exceeded Expectation scores for the 2016-17 school year. Reedsburg Area High School’s score increased from a meeting few expectations score of 58.1 in the 2015-16 school year, to a meet expectations score of 64.5 this school year.

School District Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Linda Bruun said the increase is because the state no longer penalizes schools on their report cards if students do not participate in ACT testing.

“You lost five points if you didn’t have 95 percent of your students participate in testing. That year when we gave the ACT we had less than 95 percent — 93 (percent) I think somewhere in there — and we lost five points,” Bruun said. “If you add those five points back on we would’ve been in meets expectations.”

Overall Bruun is happy with the results of the report card.

“We’re doing well, we’re doing very well,” Bruun said.

Additional information on the state report card is available on the school districts website.

Contact Erica Dynes at 608-393-5346 or on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews.