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Lake Geneva Joint 1 School Board Meeting

The Lake Geneva Joint 1 School Board met on Tuesday night at the District office, after having to move last month’s meeting to the Badger High School auditorium because of very large crowds.

The various principals of the district gave their reports of what has happened in the district in the last month. The 4th and 5th grade cross country meet is set for Wednesday at Big Foot Beach State Park with Star Center. Staff have been busy getting back into curriculum mode and the district has restarted field trips. The 3rd graders from all over the area are set to go to Badger High School for agriculture presentations. About 90 kindergarten to third graders participated in a cross country exhibition meet with the high schoolers. The district is also celebrating a local author named Erin Peterson who is a parent in the district. She came to the schools and read her new short story. The Rotary Club is partnering with Central Dennison on a fundraising program, and the PTO held parking for Oktoberfest and said there was a great turnout. The first round of MAPS Testing has wrapped up for the fall. Fall sports had high numbers, and winter sports begin next week. 72 students will be recognized next week for the Above and Beyond program in a ceremony that will be held before school. There is now an online learning guide option at Maple Park and there is a monthly meeting regarding that online learning. Enrollment is going up at Maple Park. Online options are an exclusive option for middle school students, while 5K-5 have a partnership with the Wisconsin Virtual System pilot, and there is just a small group of students, only 4, who are partaking in the program.Staff are paying attention, especially in special education, with how students are adapting to the return to in-person learning and in a social and emotional setting, students are behind schedule because of the pandemic. Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training will happen again for a third time in October to catch new hires up with the standards. There are plans to bring a counseling service from Williams Bay in to discuss any options if necessary regarding another provider for students.

The Director of Student Services gave his report on the Third Friday Count and the district continues to see less students. 44 students have left the district since last September. On Open Enrollment, Badger High has positive open enrollment, with 161 students coming in and 90 going out. In the past there has been more open enrollment out than in, but right now Joint 1 is showing positive growth. These numbers include students at Maple Park. Badger School Board has set their Tax Levy meeting for Monday, October 25 at 5 PM. Joint 1 discussed having the meeting immediately following Badger’s and scheduled it for 5:30 PM on the same day.

The Director of Technology Dan Schmidt said that all new equipment is now in place and the project to renovate technology should be completed by January 3. The SMART touch panels remain delayed and there are plans to fit in to the schedule for training. The previous training was cancelled due to the delays, and the new training would likely be virtual and offsite so teacher’s can go back if they are unable to attend. There is funding in place to refresh all of the Chromebooks in the district, nearly 4,000 of them will be ordered, one for every student.

$1 million was awarded to the district, according to Superintendent Gottinger, which alleviates the district having to budget for the new Chromebooks. Gottinger said during his report that the virtual option last year was not effective and had a negative impact on students’ learning. While there is positive news regarding the pandemic numbers, the strain that mental health has had on students remains unknown and concerning. Gottinger said the implications of Third Fridays are positive and the district is in good shape, but enrollment is dropping and there is hope it levels off. The Maple Park Charter School have asserted themselves as an alternate education, but that was not the intended goal and there hasn’t been that much success in bringing new people into the charter schools from outside the district. The County has informed that the rate of infection is down 33% in a week, but Walworth remains in a high transmission rate for now. If that drop sustains they would fall out of high risk. There are 4 active cases in both school districts for a total of 8, and the numbers are going down. There was one class in the last month that had to be quarantined out of precautions. Regarding the light at Bloomfield Road and Highway 120, the project is scheduled to be completed by March but Gottinger stated his skepticism that it would be done by that time. He stated it is only a matter of time that Townline and 120 also gets renovated after a fatal crash there last week. Gottinger said there was a lot of support from the City on these projects but the State has been a little less helpful aside from the local politicians. The district hasn’t paid a penny yet on the project, but did agree to fund it partially, previously.

The board then discussed new personnel in the district and the new hires. The majority of the positions are in special education. The board approved the new hires.

The board then approved the COVID Sick Leave policy without discussion and then adjourned into closed session

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