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Crivitz School Board OKs Change To "Laude" Honors

Issue Date: March 11, 2020

Seniors to be honored as speakers at graduation ceremonies for the Crivitz High School graduating class of 2025 will be selected by a new "Laude" system, rather than the current salutatorian and valedictorian system based on class GPA rank.

Decision to put the new system into effect starting with next year's incoming Freshman class was made by unanimous vote of the Crivitz School Board at its meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 19, and came after considerable discussion and detailed explanations

Superintendent Patrick Mans noted there is still time this spring for incoming Freshmen to consider the Laude point system when they select their class schedules for next fall. Mans and board members praised the plan as "very well put together, very well done."

At the start of the Laude discussion, High School Principal Jeff Baumann noted he and his staff had been directed by the board at the end of last year to come up with a plan that includes factors other than strictly the GPA, since that sometimes leads students to avoid the more difficult classes that could lower their GPAs.

Under the new system, graduation speakers in 2025 will be the senior class president, the senior with the highest Laude score, and a senior from the highest Laude score group will be selected by the faculty based on scholarship, leadership, service and character. Ranks will be Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude. To qualify for Laude considerations students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher.

Baumann explained how he, Guidance Counselor Mrs. Grace and seven other committee members had developed the plan. One of the first steps had been sending questionnaires to teachers for their input. Baumann had then put together a rough draft of what the system could look like and brought it to the other committee members for consideration.

Students can earn .5, 1.0 or 1.5 points for various classes, and points are given for certain extra curricular activities. Baumann explained that future classes may be altered or added to add point opportunities. He said the new system makes it more possible for students with special talents and interests in the arts, music, and such to compete for honors with students in strictly academic classes.

Mans said it is no secret that he is not a fan of weighted grade points, but said he likes this plan. He described it as, "...a very nice compromise," and added, "It allows kids in all different areas of the high school who apply themselves in their area... This is a very nicely put together system, a nice compromise."

Baumann said for their own information, the committee had applied the new system to the current highest ranking GPA students and it did impact standings greatly in some cases, although all remained in the highest ranks.

In response to board member questions, Baumann explained college admissions will most likely not be affected, nor will scholarship awards. He believes the GPA will still be on the student transcripts, but class rank in terms of GPA will not.

At the start of the meeting Mans relayed a request from Nurse Cindy Kubicek to relay thanks to Mr. Hoyer, a former Crivitz teacher, and to Crivitz Lions Club for the vision screening program. There were 422 students screened and 44 of them with vision issues were referred for follow-up vision care.

Mans also expressed a big "thank you" to Julie Bushmaker, who made and individually wrapped 24 dozen Valentine's cookies as well as putting together a fund raiser for the Bintz family at the Crivitz-Coleman boy's basketball game on Valentine's Day.

He also thanked Kudick Automotive and Dama Plumbing Coleman location, who each donated $250, Wolverine Sports Boosters who donated $300, and Van De Walle Farms who donated a quarter steer to be raffled with Pelkins Smokey Meats donating the processing He commented the Van De Walle family actually won the quarter steer and donated it back to the Bintz family, and Julie Bushmaker won the night's 50/50 raffle of $492 and donated it back to the Bintz family.

A total of $3,337 was raised for the Bintz family to assist in mom Amy Bintz's struggle with a rare form of cancer. "This was a great example of two communities coming together in the spirit of athletics to support a local family in need," Mans declared.

Baumann congratulated the Quiz Bowl Team, which qualified for to compete in the small traditional public schools division at the national championship tournament, and two team members - Jacob Berendt and Liam Roman - who qualified for individual national championship Quiz Bowl competition.

In his administrator's report, Mans noted Crivitz has only lost one full day of classes and had two 2-hour start delays due to weather this year. He said by this time last year they already had lost 10 full days and had one late start due to weather. He noted it is much due to the weather pattern and timing of storms. He expressed thanks to Maintenance Director Tom White and his staff for always having the parking lots, driveways and walkways cleaned and ready for students and staff for the start of the school day.

On a state level, Mans said Gov. Tony Evers has proposed using some of the state tax surplus to expand sparsity aid by $100 per students for school districts the size of Crivitz, with 745 to 1,000 students. This is a compromise which also would include property tax cuts sought by Republicans, Mans said.

As part of his Student Council report, Liam Roman said the Science Club is looking at getting a microscope.

Baumann reported seven or eight students are taking driver's education classes. They pay for the class, but can take it during their resource period during the school day, which saves families trips to town and back.

Elementary/Middle School Principal Kelly Robinson reported that on Friday, April 17 the Elementary School will host a literacy night with Green Bay authors Miranda and Baptiste Paul as guest speakers. She reported on parent teacher conferences, and explained how Middle School students also meet with their parents at the conferences to discuss how they are doing and what they could do better.

Jolene Huc reported on Community Education activities, including tumbling and soccer. She said they will hold health and wellness classes once a month, and are assisting with a health and wellness conference on Saturday, April 4. The spring craft show is being planned. Their next meeting will include a discussion on crossing guards for the elementary school.

After a brief discussion, Mans and the board agreed there is no need for a special work session for the board. Mans said in his experience those are generally needed when a board is struggling to function together, and declared, "This is one of the strongest and most well-functioning boards I've worked with in Crivitz and the District's equally strong educational and financial data is proof of this." He said if a board member does want a work session, for example, if an issue is too complex to be dealt with at a regular board meeting, all it takes is for one member to request it.

On Mans' recommendation the board approved a contract with CESA-8 for educational services for next year for a total of $409,970. Largest amount of that - $393,268, is for Special Education student services programs and services. Mans noted the contract makes it possible for the district to provide services they otherwise could not afford. "We're sharing people with other districts - it's a big value for the money," Mans declared. He added this allows them to be flexible with year to year changes inn dealing with special education needs. The contract cost is about 3 percent above last year, and includes an increased cost for insurance coverage. He noted the district pays only for the actual cost of services they use.

Mans reported the official student count on the second Friday in January showed the district has two students in pre-school special education, 47 students in 4K classes, 52 students in half-day, every day kindergarten, and 677 students in grades 1 through 12, for a total of 776 students.

The board okayed hiring Ashley Schwartz as a Community Education tumbling instructor and approved a $250 stipend for the Quiz Bowl coordinator. In discussion it was noted their practices are held during the regular school day. The stipend is for work done to plan and supervise the participants during matches.

They also approved a long list of volunteers/chaperones including Brian Thoreson, Doug Morrison, Robyn Radtke, Katie Wuensch, Kate Mattison, Jenny Sueferer David Oginski, Christine Beier, Shane Gyger, Dawn Ducaine, Christine (Chrissy) Krause, Brandy Lassanske, Melissa Scheuerman, Kristi Thoreson, Irene Bauer, Don and Mary Levy, Joseph M. Foutch, Michael Kahles, Laurie Nelsen, Chassie Olson and Natasha Tadisch.

Minutes approved at the start of the meeting included special closed session meetings on Jan. 29 for student expulsion hearings. Each of the two closed sessions lasted approximately half an hour, and no public action was taken.

Also approved at an open meeting segment on Jan. 29 was hiring Eric Heroux as a technology assistant and approving an auto shop class out-of-state trip for Mr. Taylor and seven students.


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