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Peshtigo School Board To Allow Band Trip To Nashville

Issue Date: March 11, 2022

Peshtigo School Board members heard a presentation from the Music Department at their meeting held on Wednesday, March 2.

There was some exciting news from the Music Department when Deanna Fried, District Band Director and Jacob Hickey, Middle/ High School Choir Teacher announced they are interested in taking the High School students to Nashville over the 2023 March Spring Break from March 11 through March 15, 2023. The plan is to take two motor coaches and spend five days and four nights. The plans include visiting the Zoo, the Grand Old Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame and the African American Music Museum. The cost for each student will be $999 with a plan for the expense to be funded by various fundraisers, parent donations and PTO donations. There will be 10 chaperones with six to seven students per chaperone, which is based on 65 students that are anticipated will be going. Some meals will be provided, a few dinners included and a few breakfasts at the hotel along with a pizza party. The students were excited to hear that they will also get a chance to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. The board moved to approve going forward with the trip.

Superintendent Patrick Rau discussed Fund 73 which needed two motions for the authorization of the adoption of the Wisconsin open trust custody agreement creating a benefit trust and the second motion for the Advisory portion of the funding. Rau said, "The Fund 73 would allow us to fund the local district retirement benefits. It acts similar to Fund 46, so if there are surplus dollars we would be able to transfer them to Fund 73 while we collect aid during that school year. It is a great benefit to help retain our employees, especially from mid to late career. It is a line item budget which comes strictly off our operating budget and this would help offset that cost. Going into the future, as our enrollment declines and less funding and less revenue is available, this would help. Both motions were made and approved by the board.

Rau then announced that the last round of pandemic Federal funding, Esser III, with total funding of just over one million dollars is available and we have until Sept. 1, 2024 to use those funds. We are looking to fund four teaching positions over the next two school years. The caveat is that 20% of that money has to be spent on the implementation of evidence based instructional strategies and we are currently right now budgeting 40% of that and is being funded through the interventionist and lead specialists teachers that we have that we are going to use there. We have a remaining amount of about $240,000 left but we will be holding that for additional curriculum materials, technology and safety features including such things as touchless controls in the bathrooms. That leaves 75% that is already budgeted and will be approved after the full budget is approved.

Other items that may possibly fall under the funding is new asphalt, and computer storage with area network options for the District; Housing of all virtual services and also EXI (Expansion Interface) which expand the computers capabilities.

Buildings and Ground Committee Chairperson Josh Seefeldt stated, "The two largest items in the 10 year capital improvement plan include blacktop replacement and computer storage for the District. Seefeldt let Technology Director Larry Schultz speak in reference to storage. Schultz said, "We are looking at a storage area network that houses all of our virtual servers. That device is coming up on five years old, we tried applying for a grant through E-Rate, which is a Federal program that provides schools, libraries, and consortia funding for two types of categories of services: Category I (Internet Access) and Category II (Internal Connections, Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections and MIBS) but we did not qualify. We received pricing from them at that time and it came in at $30,000 below suggested retail. The network is at its extended life time and this runs the Skyward program and provides us the ability to go out to the network. One of the EXI's was replaced in the Fall of 2021 and another one will be budgeted for the Fall of 2022".

Board Member Gary Larsen asked, "Are you looking at updating the host"? Schultz replied, "We are looking at getting quotes on a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) system to consolidate into one. With new technology it sends a command to shut down the system in a controlled environment versus a hard shutdown which is taking the chance of losing everything".

The other item discussed was the blacktop, from the shed to the big portion of the blacktop playground. It is more than just a blacktop replacement of the playground because there is an overhead electrical line that runs through there and the plow front end loader just barley clears the power lines now. We would like to make that line underground and blacktop that area. Two separate motions were made including to improve the revisions to the 10 year capital revision plan and then to approve that the storage server is part of that 10 year plan and that gives them the ability to use Fund 46 dollars for that. It was then approved for the purchase of the storage area network solution along with the revised capital improvement plan.

In his Buildings and Grounds report, Seefeldt added "The Science Lab had a water issue. A plumber came out and went through everything and we did check for gas leaks. There was an obstruction down stream but we can't get the camera close enough to see what it is. Should it back up again before the end of the school year, there is a trap door in that room that we can hopefully access the area where the obstruction is, to see what the problem is and figure out how to address it".

Donations received were $368.97 from the Eagle Express Spirit Pump and $400 from Michael and Bridget Paquette to be used for Skills USA. Another donation received, not of monetary value, but, a pallet of wood from Aacer Flooring valued at $10,000 of various hardwoods including maple, walnut and birch. The Industrial Arts Department will be utilizing these boards for projects such as cutting boards, plaques and for laser engraving.

The only resignation was from Tim Wargula as Assistant Soccer Coach. Hirings since the last meeting were Derek Smith as Varsity Boys Track Head Coach, Glenn Berry as JV Baseball Coach and Laura Finger as Middle High School Reading Teacher.

Jenni Schwittay stated that they went over the language of the policies and discussed the goals. The first readings of the policies will be read at the April meeting.

In his Administrator report, Rau announced the Career Expo, which is sponsored by the Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce, will be held on Wednesday, March 9 from 12:30 p.m. until 3 pm.


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