The days of a superintendent are full of interesting and unique interactions. Questions about, or requests for information regarding vouchers, surveys, diversity, leadership, mentoring, handbooks, equity, budgets, sports, retirement and collaboration have crossed my desk over the past two weeks. I am almost one third of a year into my new position and I am enjoying every day. There may be people who have a better job than mine but I can’t think of anyone.
Good news on the financial front – the Board of Education gave final approval to the 2011-2012 budget changes on Monday. Although the levy when up about 3%, an increase was predicted as a result of the February referendum. We were able to keep our mill rate at 9.31 – the rate we projected it would be back in February. Other good news is that people want their children to attend our district. Through Open Enrollment this year, we enrolled 31 additional students over last year. The total Open Enrollment net to our district was around $360,000.
This week 17 school and community representatives met as part of our Village Partnership Committee. Village Partnership is the district’s immune system. We meet monthly to ask the questions: How are we doing as the school district of Onalaska? What is going well? What is not? and What do we need to know? This year we have taken Village Partnership on the road – meeting at the Onalaska Public Library in October and November and in other non-school (soon to be announced) locations the rest of the year. I believe that if we meet in public areas, we just might entice others to stop in to give their input.
Kudos to Diane Eickmeier, teacher at the Onalaska Kindergarten Center, for being recognized as the “Teacher of the Year” by the Wisconsin Early Childhood Council! Also, congratulations to our co-curricular groups in their season and post-season successes. These students, coaches and directors know what it means when we say that we are all in this together. Fran Finco