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Despite a late start date due to flooding, the School District of Reedsburg will not have to makeup lost time.

District Administrator Tom Benson said, at the Sept. 17 board meeting, there isn’t a concern on making up the time because the legal requirements is set by hours of instruction, not on a minimum of days. The district started school Sept. 10, six days past its original start date.

He said the first day isn’t counted at the high school because it was only a freshman orientation day and the first Friday was an early dismissal day. He said the original calendar had 181 days scheduled for students — leaving some extra time built into the schedule.

“I think we are in a reasonably solid position,” Benson said. “I don’t think we are in a position to have significant concern about lost hours of instruction.”

He said that could change in cases of inclement weather, especially during the winter time. He said the district will continue to monitor any additional lost time due to weather.

Benson acknowledged the “incredible work” of the students, staff and community members who stepped up to help the area in a time of need. The parking lot of the school district served as an area for volunteers to fill sandbags, with the district even canceling some of its in service activities to provide an opportunity for staff to help their families and community. Director of Data Analysis & Staff Development Mark Olson said all but one of the inservice activities had been made up by the time of the meeting and it would be rescheduled for a later date.

Business Manager Pat Ruddy said Buildings and Grounds Director Randy Johnson did a good job with helping clean the districts buildings that had water.

Johnson said he worked with emergency management and Kraemer Brothers to receive pumps to keep the flow of water down at South Elementary School. He said crews cleaned out damaged storage items and disinfected the affected areas. The city building inspector completed evaluating the buildings before school started.

Book grant

The School District of Reedsburg received a three year grant to help its students with their reading skills.

The Kids Read Now grant would help provide books to children “who wouldn’t have a lot of reading materials in their homes” said Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Linda Bruun. She added the program is aimed to target 150 students in grades kindergarten through third grade and is scheduled to start next summer. The money she said would help offset the program costs with the rest coming from Every Student Succeeds Act Title I allocation money.

In addition, Bruun shared the district received $54,450 in emergency impact aid to help with students who enrolled due displacement during last year’s natural disasters of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria or California wildfires. She also said Title IV allocation funding for Every Student Succeeds Act totaled $32,625, an increase from $10,000 received the year before. She said a minimum of twenty percent would need to be directed in each of those areas and district is figuring out how to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment on core instruction, technology integration, and safe and healthy schools to figure out where the money would best be spent.

Referendum projects

Benson shared the district would hold a contest to suggest names for the new elementary school on the east side of the city. The school board would have the official decision in naming the school, which is expected to open in the 2018-19 school year.

In his reports Ruddy said the district is still waiting on steel delivery for the transportation facility, which is scheduled for Oct. 25. He said the office area of the building is expected to be completed by the middle of November. Benson said he believes the transportation facility will completed construction at the end of the year.

Other business

The board approved to change its salary adjustments to the extra-curricular compensation schedule for program leaders for athletic and non-athletic activities to include elementary intramural coaches. The compensation will be about $800 a coach, less than previously. The board approved salary adjustments for middle and high school program leaders at its August board meeting.

With the final count of students expected Sept. 20, Benson said enrollment “looked good.” He said the unofficial count is 2,817 students in the district.

The board approved to move its October 15 regular board meeting to Oct. 22.

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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