Schools

Thu
27
Aug

Visioning 2.0: OSD teachers, administrators, community members look to future


Photo by Scott De Laruelle. Oregon School Board member Steve Zach holds up a book he’s referencing during his talk at Thursday’s Oregon School District visioning session on the role of the board’s position papers.

Mid-August is generally a busy time for Oregon School District teachers and administrators as they get ready to take on the new school year. 

This year was a bit different, as they were joined by dozens of community members, who spent two days in meetings and workshops last week trying to outline goals for the next 10 school years. Those included expanding personalized learning, mentoring opportunities and business/community partnerships. 

Around 120 district residents attended a two-day “Visioning 2.0” session, held Aug. 12-13 at Rome Corners Intermediate School. It’s a follow-up of sorts to the district’s previous 

“Vision 20/20” conference held in the summer of 2007. OSD superintendent Brian Busler said attendees came from several areas. 

Tue
18
Aug

Board debates ‘trivial’ handbook changes

Two weeks can make a big difference.

Or at least a trio of school board members thought so when they tried to delay approval of wording changes to the district’s employee handbook Monday night. 

Nonetheless, the board passed the changes – many of which amounted to clarifying existing policies and practices – on a 4-3 vote after more than an hour of discussion.

The discussion mostly centered on what board members, Rae Voegler, Gwen Maitzen and Charles Uphoff said was a lack of time to review the changes. They also said there was a lack of understanding about the motion by board member Steve Zach to approve other minor wording changes at the meeting. 

Fri
14
Aug

Board prefers no liquor at ice arena

The Oregon School Board is concerned an alcohol license for the Oregon Ice Arena could expose some students to harmful imagery.

The board’s primary concern – discussed at a meeting Monday night – was for its OASIS students. The OASIS alternative education program is housed at the ice arena Monday through Friday during school hours.

The Oregon Village Board has been considering the proposed liquor license for the past month after ice arena manager Ben Cowan requested it. The license is related to an agreement to host Wisconsin Whalers hockey games at the ice arena.

Alcohol would be sold only during those games, according to the most recent license proposal the Village Board discussed. Cowan told the board the ice area could go out of business without the ability to sell alcohol.

Wed
12
Aug

Traffic changes improve safety at middle school

The Village Board adopted an ordinance Monday that is designed to make safer traffic conditions for kids and others at Oregon Middle School.

The new ordinance restricts parking at Oregon Middle School on days when school is in session. The ordinance, which was unanimously approved, also prohibits left turns from Pleasant Oak Drive onto OMS property during specific hours Monday-Friday.

A representative from Public Health Madison and Dane County, Lisa Bullard-Cawthorne, who also represents the Safe Kids Coalition, met with the Village Board on July 27 to recommend and explain changes in traffic safety at OMS.

Some of the changes she suggested – creating a safer crosswalk at the school and installing new signs – can be done by the school district.

But the traffic pattern improvements, which are temporary until a larger scale plan can be created, required the village to adopt the new ordinance.

Tue
21
Jul

Committee talk still divisive

After a year in which some Oregon School Board members felt their committee structure caused some problems, they remain divided about how to fix the perceived issues. 

Board members reopened discussion on committees Monday night and ended up deadlocked 3-3 in a vote to decrease the responsibility of the Human Assets Committee (HAC). That failed vote was likely the first move in a series of possible changes to the committees’ roles. 

Board president Dan Krause initially brought the subject up in March on behalf of district administrators, citing two main problems with the committee system. He said administrators have “too many bosses” because they have recently had to deal with committee chairs and committee members, and he cited the danger of a committee “going rogue” and doing something that could possibly be illegal. 

Fri
10
Jul

State aid drops to OSD

With state funding to the district continuing to drop, the word “referendum” may soon be resonating in the offices of Oregon School District administrators and in the school board meeting room. 

OSD is expected to get around $18.2 million in state funding next school year, nearly a half-million fewer dollars from the state than last year. According to numbers released last week by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Oregon will receive $491,083 less in state aid for the 2015-16 school year, a decrease of more than 2.5 percent from last year.  

Mon
06
Jul

New principals put cap on staff changes

As the Oregon School District’s calendar turned to a new year July 1, the main pieces are in place after a few months of shuffling some top building administrators. 

The selection of two new building principals and the shift of an assistant from the high school to the middle school complete “phase three” of the district’s staffing plan, OSD superintendent Brian Busler said in a news release last week.

Chris Kluck was hired as new Netherwood Knoll Elementary School principal, succeeding Dan Rikli, who is moving to OHS to serve as a building administrator. 

According to the release, Kluck’s background includes 19 years as a math teacher and school administrator. He was a lead principal at three schools in the Waukesha School District, including the Waukesha STEM Academy, where he was principal for the past four years. 

Sat
04
Jul

Charter school expansion a concern

The Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee is proposing to expand the state’s authority to open independent charter schools across the state, a plan that has Wisconsin’s top educator and Oregon’s schools superintendent concerned. 

In a news release earlier this month, state superintendent Tony Evers said the change – made without any public hearings – could affect 177 public school districts, including Oregon, by taking away local control over establishing charter schools. 

The new rule would allow from some colleges and universities to establish independent charter schools.

Tue
30
Jun

Final touches on 2015-16 staff

As the Oregon School District’s calendar turns to a new year July 1, the main pieces are in place after a few months of shuffling some top building administrators. 

OSD superintendent Brian Busler said in a news release last week that “phase three” of the district’s staffing plan is complete after selecting two new building principals and shifting an assistant from the high school to the middle school.

Chris Kluck was hired as new Netherwood Knoll Elementary School principal, succeeding Dan Rikli, who is moving to OHS to serve as a building administrator. According to the release, Kluck’s background includes 19 years as a math teacher and school administrator. He was a lead principal at three schools in the Waukesha School District, including the Waukesha STEM Academy, where he was principal for the past four years. 

Fri
26
Jun

OHS students to attend ‘Business World’

A group of nine Oregon High School students are among more than 250 Wisconsin high school students who will participate in “Business World” programs this month. 

Alanna Phillips and Autumn Rogers of Brooklyn will be joined by Morgan Hanson, Zach Hanson, Serenity Johnson, Cheyenne Marks, Ellen Martin, Calvin Schneider and Alex Verhagen of Oregon at one of two events – held at St. Norbert College in De Pere June earlier this week and Edgewood College from June 28 through July 1. 

According to a press release from Wisconsin Business World, the sessions provide hands-on business experience for students and teach them about the challenges facing business. The program has educated nearly 14,000 high school students from across the state.

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