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West De Pere school board talks strategic plan

By Lea Kopke
Staff Writer

DE PERE – The West De Pere school board listened to the 2020-21 report from the finance committee at its meeting last month.

Board treasurer Scott Borley said the district has a surplus of about $800,000 for the 2020-21 school year.

The board has to decide if it wants to put some of the money into Fund 46, which holds money for large facilities projects.

He said the board must decide by July.

Business Manager Dawn Laboy will attend the next board meeting to discuss options.

Moving on to the state budget, Borley said the Joint Finance Committee increased special education funding a little but kept everything else flat in its proposed budget, as of June 16.

He also discussed the political discourse surrounding federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, and how Wisconsin could lose $2.3 billion without more funding from the state.

Middle school teacher Stephanie Pingel, planning committee member Brad LaPierre and Westwood Elementary Principal Jason Lau presented on the district’s strategic plan.

Lau said using community input, the committee put together a list of district priorities with several indicators to measure them.

The indicators are:

• Monitor community and enrollment growth for future planning.

• Provide resources to meet the changing needs of students in the community.

• Continue to practice fiscal responsibility.

• Utilize communication practices that enhance connections.

The committee put the indicators into a W-shaped graphic, which will be shared throughout the district.

“You can’t do this strategic plan and have it sit on a shelf and say, ‘Oh we did this,’ and then we forget about this…” Lau said. “I think now you have to think about how to create the streamwork to present this to the community.”

Twice a year, the school board will receive reports assessing the district’s adherence to these priorities.

Representatives from each school also presented 2020-21 building goals, which focused on improving ACT and Forward testing scores and reassessing how to best meet the needs of students.

In other business, the board voted to:

• Purchase a new dishwasher for roughly $54,000 for West De Pere Middle School.

• Hire a full-time speech pathologist and part-time educational interpreter.

• Alter the pay structure for district food nutrition services, a decision made after closed session.

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