Menomonie School Board President Resigns, board re-organizes officers, mulls school day issue

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Published
February 26, 2019
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Quick Update -- Due to road conditions our staff was unable to attend this meeting - I have filled in some information based on other media reports, primarily from the .

According to the meeting agenda for the Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 special meeting of the Menomonie School Board, board president Dan Paulson has resigned. Paulson apparently resigned on Feb 14. According to district policy, Vice President Amy Riddle-Swanson is now the new board president, and an election will be held at the Monday meeting for a new Vice President.  Paulson has not responded to emails for comment on his resignation.

Dan Paulson did not attend this board meeting. According to board member Amy Riddle-Swanson he was in Costa Rica. The board approved his resignation at the meeting with no further discussion. The board elected David Styer as the new board Vice-President, replacing Riddle-Swanson's prior role on a 5-3 vote. They also elected Tanya Husby as the new board treasurer on a 5-3 vote. 

The board is also grappling with the issue of missed school days due to weather. Monday's class cancellation was the ninth weather day in the district. At the last meeting the board approved extra class days on April 22 and June 7, along with increasing the length of each school day by 10 minutes. This was enough to keep the district within the legal requirements for instructional time, but the prospect of more possible snow days has forced a re-thinking of this. The most likely outcome will be adding additional time to each school day, through there is also one more option of adding an additional day of school on June 10. The board seems likely to add minutes to each day rather than adding one more day of school at the end of the year.

Paulson has been under fire from other board members and particularly Menomonie Cares. Most of this criticism revolved around a letter sent from Menomonie Cares about the board's decision to fund expansions to the Menomonie High School sports complex. At the meeting board member Burstad attempted to have the board have a new election of board officers, but the board did not take action on her proposal.

Paulson was also criticized at the by citizen Glenda Jones who felt that Paulson should make a stronger statement about a kerfuffle on social media involving her family. 

The presidency of the school board has been fraught with drama for several years now. President Jay Fahl resigned in Jan. 2018 and was charged with a misdemeanor count of prostitution shortly thereafter. Former president Colleen Davis resigned in 2015 after being charged with theft at her job at UW-Stout. 

Agenda for Monday's board meeting:

MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATIONOF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE MENOMONIE AREAREGULAR BOARD MEETINGADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE CENTER215 PINE AVENUE NEMENOMONIE, WI 547515:30 P.M.~This agenda is also posted in the following locations: Menomonie Middle School, Menomonie High School, and all Menomonie Elementary School Sites when in session. Also posted at the School District Administrative Service Center and the Menomonie Public Library.1. OPENING ITEMSSubject A. Call To OrderMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 1. OPENING ITEMS Type ProceduralSubject B. Roll Call and QuorumMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 1. OPENING ITEMS Type ProceduralSubject C. Agenda Order and Approval/RevisionMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 1. OPENING ITEMS Type Information, ProceduralFile AttachmentsSubject D. Recommendations and CommendationsMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 1. OPENING ITEMS Type InformationSubject E. Highlight on YouthMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 1. OPENING ITEMS Type 

Menomonie High School FFA students will present the board with an update of activities, club highlights, and events.

File AttachmentsSubject F. Community CommunicationsMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 1. OPENING ITEMS Type Communications, Procedural

The comments of the people in the School District of the Menomonie Area are encouraged and appreciated by the board and administrators. Education is a partnership, with the schools, parents, and taxpayers all being important participants. 

 

Approximately 15-20 minutes will be devoted to community communications at each regular school board meeting. 

 

Please come to the board table and state your name and address. Each individual wishing to speak will have about three minutes to voice his/her opinion on their topic(s) or concern(s). Please do not repeat the same concerns as the people who have appeared before you, except if you wish to state that you agree with what a person said. 

 

This is a time to air concerns and express your opinion on issues. There should be no negative personal attacks against any individuals, including staff, board members, or administrators. Any person who may do so will be asked to stop, and the chair will go on to the next person.

 

Please indicate if you would like the board president to direct a member of the administration to respond to your concerns.

 

Associated Policies

 

Board Member and District Administrator Email Addresses:

Joe Zydowsky -

Penny Burstad -

Tanya Husby -

Heather Klanderman -

Dan Paulson -

John Sobota -

Amy Riddle-Swanson -

Dave Styer -

Jim Swanson -

Tricia Thompson -

 

 

Subject G. Board Member/Superintendent CommunicationsMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 1. OPENING ITEMS Type Communications, Procedural

The school district places great value on communicating well with school district stakeholders through a variety of media.  In addition to face-to-face discussions at the classroom, building, and district level, teachers and other school officials utilize the district email system, social media, and written correspondence to communicate with students, parents, community members, and many others. A School Crossings column is also published in the Dunn County News.

 

The district's Twitter account () now has 1,048 followers.  This is up from just 25 followers in 2014.

 

The district's Facebook account, which was created in 2016, is "friended" by 1,079 people and followed by 197.

 

In a study of recent school district social media activity, it was noted that over the past several months nearly 1000 posts on the  Twitter account included information with the following breakdown:

 

25%- Classroom Activities

24%- Co-curriculuar and Fine Arts

22%- Athletics

17%- School-wide Information/Activities

12%- District-wide/Community Information/Activities

 

 

2. PERSONNEL CONSENT AGENDASubject A. Action to Approve Personnel ActionsMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 2. PERSONNEL CONSENT AGENDA Type Action Recommended Action Motion to approve personnel actions, as present.

This is a standing agenda item for the first regular board meeting of each month. Items placed on the personnel consent agenda are anticipated to be approved with little/no discussion and no objection, but any individual Board member may request to move an item from the consent agenda if so desired.

 

Recommendations for the Special Board Meeting on February 25, 2019:

 

A.   Action to Approve Personnel Actions

 

      Motion to approve the following personnel actions, as presented:      

      1. Request to hire River Heights Principal, beginning July 1, 2019. 

 

 

 

3. ACTION AGENDASubject A. Approval of Updated 2018-2019 District CalendarMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 3. ACTION AGENDA Type Action Recommended Action Action to approve the updated 2018-2019 district calendar, as presented.

Due to the number of snow days in the SDMA, two days of school will be made up on April 22 and June 7, 2019.

 

An update calendar will be presented for Board approval.

Subject B. Resignation of Dan Paulson from the Office of SDMA Board PresidentMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 3. ACTION AGENDA Type Action Recommended Action Action to approve the resignation of Dan Paulson from the office of SDMA Board President, as presented.

On Wednesday, February 14, 2019, Dan Paulson submitted his resignation from his position as President of the School Board effective immediately.

 

According to , the vice president shall serve as president in the event that the office of president becomes vacant.  Therefore, Amy Riddle-Swanson is now the president of the SDMA Board of Education.

Subject C. Nominate and Elect New Board Officers as NeededMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 3. ACTION AGENDA Type Action Recommended Action Action to nominate and elect new board officers as needed.

With Amy Riddle-Swanson becoming the president of the school board, the vice president position is now vacant.

 

According to , a vacancy in the office of president shall be filled by the vice president. Vacancies in other offices of the board shall be filled by oral nomination and secret ballot for the remainder of the one-year term.

Subject D. Summer School Staffing PlansMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 3. ACTION AGENDA Type Action Recommended Action Action to approve summer school staffing plans, as presented.4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEWSubject A. Review 2019-2020 MHS Course RecommendationsMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Discussion, Information

Annually the Board reviews the MHS administration's recommendations for courses not to run and courses to run with enrollments of less than 15 students. Initial recommendations for the 19-20 school year will be shared with the school board. Please note numbers are more preliminary this year than in past years due to challenges with the registration process due to recent school cancelations over the past three weeks due to the cold and snow. Final updated numbers will be shared with the Board at the next meeting and it is expected that the Board will take action on March 11, 2019.  

 

The timeline and action plan for developing course offerings and the 2019-2020 staffing plan is attached for reference. -Brian Seguin

Subject B. Discuss 2019-2020 Preliminary Budget EstimateMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Subject C. Discuss E-Learning Digital Snow Day Make-Up OptionMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Discussion, Information

With eight cancelations due to weather this year initial discussions have taken place regarding alternatives for future years to make up instructional time lost due to school closings.  The WI State administrative rule, which governs school district standards (PI 8), was modified a few years ago to recognize new and emerging methods of delivering instructional programming. Specifically, PI 8 now recognizes innovative instructional design. This could be interpreted at a local board level to include the use of virtual education in the form of E-Learning Days for this purpose. While there is much to consider in making this decision, should the board wish to direct the administration to consider the steps needed to move forward with developing E-Learning Days in the SDMA a Virtual E-Learning Learning Day(s) Planning & Considerations document has been developed for the boards consideration. - Brian Seguin

Subject D. CESA 10 Shared Services Contract for 2019-2020Meeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Discussion, InformationSubject E. CESA 11 Shared Services Contract for 2019-2020Meeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Discussion, InformationSubject F. Review Policy 225, District Administrator Evaluation (First Reading)Meeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Discussion, InformationSubject G. Review Exhibit 225, District Administrator Evaluation Template (First Reading)Meeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Discussion, InformationSubject H. Strategic Planning UpdateMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Discussion, InformationSubject I. Review Extracurricular Staff Contract RequestsMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type Discussion, InformationSubject J. Review Items Related to Next Meeting Dates, Board Committees, and ReportsMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 4. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW Type DiscussionPublic Content

 

DISTRICT & SCHOOL EVENTS

 

 

 

MARCH

 

11 REGULAR SCHOOL BOARD MEETING, 5:30 P.M., ASC

25 SPRING BREAK (NO MEETING)

 

APRIL

 

02 SPRING ELECTION

08 REGULAR SCHOOL BOARD MEETING, 5:30 P.M., ASC

22 SPECIAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETING, 5;30 P.M., ASC

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. CLOSED SESSIONSubject A. Action to move to closed session for the purpose of considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility, pursuant to Section 19.85(1)(c), and for the purpose of deliberating concerning a case which was the subject of any judicial or quasi-judicial trial or hearing before that governmental body, pursuant to Section 19.85(1)(a), Wisconsin StatutesMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 5. CLOSED SESSION Type InformationSubject B. Action to Approved Minutes of Closed Session on February 11, 2019Meeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 5. CLOSED SESSION Type Subject C. Review District Administrator Summative Evaluation ReportMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 5. CLOSED SESSION Type Discussion, Report6. ADJOURNMENTSubject A. Action to AdjournMeeting Feb 25, 2019 - Special Board Meeting Category 6. ADJOURNMENT Type Action Recommended Action Motion

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