Updates and Notes from the March School Board Meeting
March 30, 2023
An array of different topics were covered at the school board meeting on Wednesday, March 27th. After the completion of the routine items such as approving the minutes from last month and receiving updates from the principals and library director the board moved on to reviewing some of the school policies. These policies included but were not limited to, use of tobacco or nicotine on school property or by students, facility security, handling of pandemics and epidemics, and religious activity and observances just to name a few. After clearing some confusion on whether students could express their religious beliefs while at school or school events the board unanimously agreed on the policies.
The board then moved to updates regarding the in progress concession stand remodeling and the band and choir room addition. The band and choir rooms now have their interior walls finished but not painted yet. The lighting and ductwork still needs to be installed, but the project is still on schedule to have students move in before the end of the school year. As for the concession stand, the demolition is complete and the area was found to exceed expectations. The electricity has been installed, but plumbing has not. The new soda cooler has arrived and fits perfectly into the space with only an inch and a half on each side. The concession stand is also still on track for its completion.
After all that the board discussed a bid they received to resurface some spaces in the district, their ten year capital improvement plan, and approval of their summer school programs. Then they approved the formation of a revised gymnastics co-op that includes Westby in it. The plan is also expecting Westby to be the new host school after Viroqua decided to hand over the responsibility. This is expected to be of benefit to Cashton students as they will no longer have to drive quite as far for gymnastics practice.
The next noteworthy item on the agenda was the discussion regarding a contract with Scenic Bluffs over improving school counseling services. Superintendent Ryan Alderson stated, “The purpose of the program is to provide students with social and emotional support to promote academic success in the classroom.” While the school district already offers support through the two counselors, Greg Stritchko and Jess Lepak, and the school psychologist, Lynn Maas, the contract will offer additional support through licensed counselors. These counselors will not be acting as therapists nor will the program include direct therapy, but it will offer coping skills and tools to students struggling with anxiety, depression, or peer conflicts, as well as stabilizing conversations to help students thrive academically, it can connect high-risk students to community services and provide referrals, and will be able to assist in professional development in support of parental education and community outreach.
To close out the meeting, the board considered the purchase of a few parcels of land and was notified of a retirement and a few resignations before setting the next meeting date as April 19th and then going into executive session to discuss private matters.