Sauk Trail's Dahlk updates Board

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Principal Chris Dahlk updated the Board of Education at its regular meeting on Monday, June 25 on academic efforts at Sauk Trail as part of the requirements for the achievement gap reduction grant the school receives.

Sauk Trail set a goal for 2017-18 to increase the number of students with free or reduced status in the proficient or advanced range by 10 percent from fall to spring.

Students in kindergarten, first and third grades showed improvement from 11 to 22 percent on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) math testing from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2018. Those same three grades also showed improvement on the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) or Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) literacy testing.

Dahlk noted that students in second grade dropped 2 percent from fall to spring on the literacy test and 17 percent on the math test, while fourth-graders dropped 14 percent on the math test and 9 percent on the literacy test.

She noted Sauk Trail received the spring data just before school got out so her team hasn't had a chance to meet and discuss why the numbers decreased in those grades. She noted one challenge is some students may have had very low scores in the fall and shown improvement but not made it to proficiency yet. She also shared that some students who remained in the lowest levels were new to the school this year.

Sample sizes also played a role. In one grade seven weren't at the proficient or advanced level with three of those being new to the school. In the other grade, nine weren't proficient or advanced with three also new. It was also noted that second grade is the first time students take MAP testing so that may have played a role.

Dahlk said she is very excited about a data summit the District will hold in August and hopes to see what other schools are doing and dig deeper into the numbers.

Dahlk also said Sauk Trail will see a reduction in federal Title funds it receives in 2018-19 so staff will need to be even more creative.

In other news from Monday's meeting:

* The Board approved six financial institutions/investment entities to serve as official depositories for District funds and investments for 2018-19.

The six are State Bank of Cross Plains (primary depository), Wisconsin Investment Series Cooperative (cash flow management and reinvestment of bond proceeds), Bank of Montreal-Harris Bank (purchasing card program), Morgan Stanley (Wisconsin OPEB Trust), Kinetic Leasing (lease purchase financing escrow) and American Deposit Management (local investment fund for funds needed on a more short-term basis).

* The Board approved budget changes for 2017-18. Twice a year, in February and June, the Board a approves routine accounting procedure to utilize budget transfers to balance accounts. The majority of the current budget transfers result from the reallocation of grant funds and unanticipated staff changes.

* The Board approved recreation department agreements with the City of Middleton and Village of Cross Plains. The current 5-year agreement expires on June 30. The new one will run through June 30, 2023. The most significant change is the pricing structure for recreation department facility use as both will be identified as Group 2 organizations. Those groups don't pay facility use charges, but may incur expenses for custodial services, field preparation, technology support or kitchen/shop/lab supervision.

* The Board approved athletic tournaments as fundraisers in Fund 96. MHS hosts a number of athletic tournaments each year. The District uses Fund 96 to account for the revenues and expenditures related to those tournaments or competitions. The profits for these events can be be accounted for in Fund 21, which can be carried over from year-to-year. The proceeds are typically used toward capital expenditures than enhance facilities used to host the tournaments.  

* The Board approved a resolution authorizing the negotiation, execution and delivery of a master lease purchase agreement for $981,393.30 between Kinetic Leasing and MCPASD. The District enters into a 5-year lease purchase agreement annually for equipment and vehicles with a life span of more than 5 years. The District received bids in June for 2018-19 lease/purchase financing for school buses and technology equipment and Kinetic Leading had the low bid with an interest rate of 2.79 percent.