High-quality microscopes donated to EL-G school district

by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE—A dozen high-quality microscopes have been donated to the school system by a donor who prefers not to be recognized.

The school board routinely hears of donations, usually monetary, as part of the treasurer’s report at each monthly board meeting. On Monday evening, District Superintendent Dr. Ann Buechel Haack told the board of this special, non-monetary donation.

The Olympus microscopes are “the kind you find in a lot of colleges,” Buechel Haack told the board, with an original price of about $3600 each. She added that the high school Science teacher was very excited by the donation.

Buechel Haack reviewed the proposed 2015-16 budget for the school system with the board. She discussed various factors affecting revenue for the school. The board unanimously approved the tax levy amount of $5,401,168, an increase of $187,589 over the previous year. It was noted that almost forty percent of the increase was due to decreased aid from the state, which then is made up for by the local taxpayer. However, this budget and the resulting tax levy closely reflect the information presented in the spring referendum materials.

The budget will be presented to the electorate for final approval at the annual meeting and budget hearing on September 14, 2015.

The board viewed several thirty-second video segments that are part of the My Public School Experience project, which were sponsored by CESA 7. EL-G student Hunter Schoenborn appears on one video segment. He described his participation in the Youth Apprenticeship Program. The other two videos highlighted the District’s JK-grade 6 Junior Amigos Spanish Exposure program and the 5th grade incorporation of Biz Town in their curriculum.

The videos will air on TV in the fall. They can soon be viewed on the school district’s web site.

The board unanimously approved a request, submitted by Band instructor Jodi Voss, for an out-of-state field trip for the band. The proposed trip is tentatively scheduled for the end of March, 2016, when about forty students will go to New York City. The band will perform at several tourist destinations in the city. Buechel Haack said the band goes on a trip every other year.

High School Principal Jim Brown reviewed several revisions to the High School Student Handbook. Among the changes, which were mostly cases of increased precision in wording, were requests for changes to the Code of Conduct for the National Honors Society (NHS). Brown said this request came from student members of NHS, who thought the standards for membership should be raised.

Elementary Principal Deb Hammann gave activity highlights from the JK through 8th Grades. Brown reported on activities at the High School level.

Buechel Haack gave an update on construction and repair projects in the system.

Addressing other business, the board unanimously approved:

• Two new textbooks, one in Sociology, the other in Environmental Science.

• The 2015-16 schedule of School Board meetings.

• An agreement with the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah Education Association for negotiations on base wages. Because of the complexity of this issue, board member Scott Heinig abstained from this vote. Buechel Haack assured Heinig that with the changes resulting from recent legislation, he was not the only one who found the nature of the negotiations to be confusing.

• The resignation of Kindergarten instructor Dana Dunton. Buechel Haack and several board members made it known that she would be missed.

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