EL-G School Board approves referendum

by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE.Voters in the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District will be able to reply “Yes” or “No” to the following referendum on their April 7 ballots:

“Shall the School District of Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin for the 2015-2016 school year through the 2018-2019 school year be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $725,000 a year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational and maintenance expenses?”

At its monthly meeting on Monday, the EL-G School Board of Education went through a two-step process to approve the referendum. It first voted to authorize the school district to exceed the revenue limit by the amount specified in the referendum; it then voted to present the referendum to the electorate.

Both steps were approved unanimously. (Board member Keith Ruh, not present at the meeting, had provided Board President Jim Henschel with a written statement indicating his support for the referendum.)

This coming March, the school will have paid off a previous referendum of $575,00 per year, spanning the 2012-13 to 2014-15 school years. Buechel Haack provided a breakdown of how money from that referendum was used for improvements in safety, facility maintenance, technology, and curricular enhancements. Replacement of most of the district building’s roofs was completed under this referendum.

The proposed new referendum has two main purposes.

First would be completion of facility projects identified by the previous (2012- 15) referendum. Renovation of the high school and elementary HVAC tops this list. It is estimated that over half the referendum money would be used for this renovation.

The second purpose would be to provide revenue flexibility, adjusting for decreased revenue resulting from enrollment changes. Other tentative goals would be to secure the high school front entrance; add wireless access points; add security cameras; provide asbestos abatement; expand the 1-to-1 initiative; replace an aging school van; add staffing for higher-need special education students.

Buechel Haack shared with the board notes she had prepared, and six pages of spreadsheets and graphs prepared by Robert W. Baird Co. for the school.

In the weeks ahead, detailed information on the referendum will be made available to the EL-G public. Buechel Haack will write an article for the school district newsletter. She said the board is allowed to spend funds to inform the public about the referendum and encourage residents to vote, but those funds cannot be used to try to influence a decision on the referendum, whether yes or no.

Youth Apprenticeship presentation

High School Principal Jim Brown introduced Michaela Wallace, who is part of the school’s Youth Apprenticeship program. Wallace’s parents were in the audience as she told the board of her work experience as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) at the Waterford in Plymouth. She worked 51 hours there in her first two-week schedule.

Her job, she said, includes putting residents to bed, taking care of their personal hygiene, helping with activities and meals, and assisting nurses in many ways.

Brown asked her questions about how she became involved with and benefitted from the program. He pointed out to the board that not only does she put in many hours at her workplace, but she also carries a challenging schedule of classes. “She’s also a very good student,” Brown told the board. Wallace said she is able to balance her school work with her apprenticeship work by putting in long days.

Other board topics

The board viewed a three-minute video prepared by Melody Leung, which summarized the Wisconsin Global Education Achievement Certificate. (The video can be viewed at youtube.com/ watch?v=QifArrV9FOQ). The board also received a handout describing the program in detail. The certificate is earned through required coursework; cultural literacy and reading; co-curricular activities; and community service, all four of which emphasize global citizenship.

The board unanimously approved submission of the GEAC program.

Also unanimously approved were the Guidelines/Rules for the 2014-15 Technical Excellence Higher Education Scholarship.

Among the donations listed by Buechel Haack was a U. S. Revolutionary War uniform and accouterments, donated by Mary Welti, whose husband Don Welti taught Social Studies for many years.

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