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West De Pere Intermediate School offerings discussed

By Murray Gleffe

DE PERE – The West De Pere school board went over renderings by Bray Architects and Miron Construction of what the new 5-6 intermediate school could look like along with courses for the school when the board met Monday, March 11, at the West De Pere District Office.

Teacher feedback was at nearly 60 percent on what should be kept the same and potentially be changed for the curriculum involving fifth- through eighth-graders once the intermediate school opens.

For fifth and sixth grade, there was no dissent about world language, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), art and physical education.

The elimination of family and consumer science, current technology education and life skills classes was met with some dismay, primarily from the teachers in those subjects.

In addition, blocked time for math instruction and more time for science and social studies at the new school was viewed as a positive.

It was noted that there is a need to continue a dedicated reading intervention time.

One subject not met in agreement was in the music department, which voiced frustrations over a student choice at the fifth-grade level.

Teachers voiced their worries/concerns about the possibility of teacher assignments to grade levels, buildings and subject areas.

The upper grades could require a delayed shift based on finances as they move forward.

Recommendations for the next steps include: having Director of Curriculum Amy LaPierre lead the process to develop the grades 5-6 STEM curriculum to more clearly define what it will include; having LaPierre, Director of Student Services Amy Schuh and Middle School Principal Jim Finley lead a process for further study and development of the special education delivery model; and having the administration make recommendations to the architect for minor changes to building plans based on programming.

No changes to subject content were suggested at the 7-8 grade levels, which were well-received.

An open house will dive deeper into the detail of the new school with parent/staff questions offered with a tentative date set as April 8.

Budget Update

Gov. Tony Evers has proposed school funding changes.

In addition, he is proposing suspending charter school expansion, freezing enrollment at voucher schools and more resources for children with disabilities, with the state having a surplus.

In other action:

• Christine Plamann and Lisa Lemirand were added as substitute aides, Newton Smercheck as a substitute teacher and Kelsey Vander Bloomen as a student activities secretary.

• Westwood and middle school classes will be held at the high school this summer with the upgrades and construction taking place.

• Lithuanian foreign-exchange student Laura Oleksenko was admitted to West De Pere High School for the remainder of the 2018-19 school term. She is part of the 4-H International Organization and will be staying with John and Ellie Reich.

• The 4K program site contracts will stay at one year with no new changes.

• The 2019-20 CESA 10 Service Contract was approved.

• Evan Frisque and Jake Hendricks were recognized for their achievement on the wrestling mat at the WIAA State Individual Tournament.

• New heart-rate monitors will be offered to middle and high school students in physical education classes. There will be a three-light program that displays slow, good and high levels of intensity workout.
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