Delavan-Darien School Board Recap

The Delavan-Darien School District held a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night.

The district says that homecoming week was a success and the parade was well attended. The Boys and Girls Club then gave a presentation. Heather Hopwell and Jake Robinson from the Club spoke to the board about the growth of the program at Phoenix Middle and in the district. The Club has a local volunteer board that helps out in the community, and the Club serves any resident but also has a focus on residents at 200% of the poverty level. The program holds 45-60 minute meetings where they work on homework, mental health and confidence building, and more. There are currently 18 students enrolled of the 25 allotted. There is currently enrollment at the high school that is open. The club works with a number of in school programs and with the students in their programs. The club is looking to expand across Walworth County. They are currently working on a meals to go program for the holidays. This is a new partnership between the district and the club, and the club is proud of how far they’ve come in a year.

The board then received an update on the High School Music Department trip. The Department has decided to combine the three trips into a big trip, where the students will go to Washington, DC from Wednesday, March 30 to Sunday, April 3. The students will drive to Cleveland and then visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as a dinner. Then, they will finish the trip to Washington, DC and each group will work with separate clinicians. Students would attend an orchestra concert and sightseeing various DC sights. The last day of the trip is a festival put on by the tour operator. Then the group will travel straight back to Delavan to prepare for Monday classes. There are more than 60 students and 7 chaperones who have committed to the trip but if the numbers of students rises so too could the number of chaperones. The directors of the trip go on the trip for free, and the spouses only have to pay $100. The cost per kid is under $800. The department said if this works they may try and go on a trip every two years, which could help with recruiting and would give each student two trips in high school.

The fundraising efforts for Phoenix Middle School was then discussed. There is currently no fundraising deadlines set due to the pandemic, and if things come up, the board will need to discuss it. There is some money for the end of the year trip, but there is not enough for the annual Brewers game trip. A motion was approved.

The board then received the monthly financial report. The district is currently in the black. Fund 10, the General Fund, spending is currently higher year over year at $4,08,11.01 due to some projects in July and August. Fund 27, Special Education, revenues are also higher at $131,692.86 due to the same transfer. Fund 50, Food Service, is higher aat $592,941.40 due to federal reimbursement and equipment purchases. The district has $5,183,007.08 on hand. The board approved the financial statement.

The board then heard approval possibilities of insurances. The district is hoping for stability. Whitewater and Clinton have not seen growth over the 5 year period. The district was asked to approve no longer going with WEA, but the Dean health plan. This would mean changing the language of the handbook. There would be a service disruption but if the district doesn’t switch there will be disruptions every 2-3 years. The district has incurred 31% in the last few years, and it was described as unsustainable. The district says if they choose Mercyhealth, they cannot exceed 4.5%. PPO wouldn’t create a competition but HMO would. The board then was asked to approve the three health plans. There was a motion to approve the health plan. Two board members obstained from voting, and the board approved the motion.

The board then discussed the dental insurance renewal. The board approved. Life insurance, as well as Long Term and Short Term is the exact same coverage and exact same price. Long Term Disability and Life is paid for, while Short Term is voluntary, it was approved.

The Parent Transportation Contracts for 2021-2022 was approved by the board. The board then approved a member to send to the Region 13 Virtual Meeting.

The board then delved into a discussion about its First Reading of the new NEOLA Board Policies. NEOLA is a company that works to partner in excellent education, and each policy is meant to secure teaching and learning quality and give the school district direction. There were 52 new policies that the board needed to read. One discussion centered around Interscholastic Athletics. There was concern as to what the policy decrees, and if the district isn’t allowed to cut athletes from the rosters. Jill Sorbie says the policy is revised to allow districts to choose the options. If the board wants a language change, they would have to take it to NEOLA, who would then take it to the lawyer. The policy centered around whether players have a right to be cut from the team. It is not up to the board to determine the policy. There was confusion over if athletes can join a team and not play, or if there are limits to who can make the team. There was a motion to approve the first reading, and it was.

The next meetings are scheduled for October 28 at 6 PM and then on November 8 at 6 PM in the Phoenix Middle School Cafeteria.

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