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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wrap-Around Care in the New Elementary School

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There has been quite a bit of conversation lately on the status of the wrap-around care program in the new elementary school. So in light of the conversations, I thought it would be helpful to jot down some of the facts related to this topic.   The Board of Education has always been very supportive of the wrap-around care services that have been provided by Jerri’s Kidz. This support was evident during the pre-referendum discussions about whether or not to provide a space to a...

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Elementary School - Interior Design

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Last week, we started the interior design process for the new elementary school. This is definitely not one of my areas of specialty. If these decisions were left up to me all of the walls would be painted white and all of the flooring would be a neutral color like brown. However, I recognize that color and textures do play an important part in creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Knowing my shortcomings, helps me to overcome them by bringing in other voices that can provide different...

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wisconsin Association of School Boards 2015 Convention

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This next week school board members and administrators from across Wisconsin will come together at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  This annual conference is held in partnership with the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA) and the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO).  The convention starts on Wednesday, January 21, at 8:00 a.m. and goes through Friday, January 23, until noon. ...

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Construction Update

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As I look outside the weather is certainly unpredictable - one day snow, then rain and recently almost always fog. As I promised earlier, I will try to keep you updated on the status of the design and construction of the new elementary school each week. This week you may have noticed boring equipment on site. Over the next few weeks, the district will have a number of test borings done on the site. The equipment that is now on site belongs to PSI who will be digging seventeen (17) test borings...

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Music - Lighting our Hearts and Bringing Joy to our Spirits

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One of the things that I like best about this time of the year is the music. Carols fills the airwaves and the hallways. Last night, my wife and I were able to watch the band performance of our students in grades 5-12 and I just got back from watching our youngest students do their music concert for a packed house of parents, grandparents and friends. Watching the concerts brought me back to the days of when my children (now grown) were in the school concerts. The students were full of life, energy...

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Design and Construction Update

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On Monday, December 1, a meeting was held between the Board of Education, Administration, representatives from Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) and representatives from Scherrer Construction. The purpose of this meeting was to plan out the next steps in the building design process for the new elementary school and discuss construction timelines. As part of the design process, architects from EUA will be meeting with elementary and junior high staff in December. The first meeting is scheduled for...

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

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This is the time of year when we look back over the past year and give thanks for its many blessings. As I look back over the past year, I am grateful for many things. First and foremost is to be part of such a wonderful and supportive school district and community. I truly enjoy being a part of the Williams Bay School District. Each day I get the opportunity to work with a fine staff that wants the best for all of our students. They do whatever they can to make students feel that they are a part...

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To Have School or Not to Have School (because of weather) that is the Question?

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Well, even though I hate to admit it, I think winter is here to stay. This past weekend, I watched the snowflakes fall and create a beautiful white blanket in my yard and driveway. I got up early Sunday morning and started shoveling the drive so that the sun could dry it out later that day. As I was shoveling I remembered that this snow was probably just the first of many and that I needed to prepare for possible snow/ice emergencies. Last year was a record breaker for my career, our first inclement...

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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Gratitude and Next Steps

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First and foremost, I want to say “thank you” for everyone who voted on November 4. The voter turnout was higher than many people expected and was one of the best turnouts in recent history. As I watched the results come in over the news channels, I was humbled and grateful that so many people had given the district permission to start with the construction of a new elementary school. It is now my goal, and the goal of the entire Board of Education, to build a school that will be a...

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Elementary School Referendum: Community Input Every Step of the Way

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It is said that every journey starts with taking the first steps; I think that this saying is a great summary statement for describing the current elementary school referendum process. On November 4, the citizens of the Williams Bay School District will get to vote on whether or not to construct a new elementary school on to the existing Junior/Senior High School. This will be the final step of a journey that started many years ago. In 1994, the Board of Education bought eighty (80) acres of...

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Voting - An American Privilege and An American Right

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On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, citizens from across the United States will be given an opportunity to vote. An opportunity to let your voice be heard on who will represent you on the local, state and national level. Citizens of the Williams Bay School District will also have the opportunity to vote on the referendum question of whether or not to build a new elementary school that will be attached to the current Junior/Senior High School. The right to vote is something that should not be taken...

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Please Vote on November 4!

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Tuesday, November 4, is just around the corner. On that day, you are being asked to vote on a referendum to build a new elementary school. The new elementary school will take the place of our current elementary school, which is located on Congress Street. This building has served the Williams Bay School District well over the past 100 years, but it is now time to retire this structure and create a new building that can meet the instructional, technological, and safety needs of today’s students. The...

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Do You Have All Your Referendum Questions Answered?

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The referendum for the new elementary school is now less than three weeks away. Do you have all of your questions answered? Is there something about the new elementary school or the current Elementary School that you still want to know? You still have plenty of time to get all of your questions answered prior to November 4. The Board of Education is continuing to have Board Drop-In times at the Elementary School on Tuesday mornings from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and on Thursday evenings from...

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Cost of Doing Nothing

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What is the cost of doing nothing? In four weeks, individuals will go to the polls and vote on the upcoming school referendum. If the referendum passes, then the Board of Education will start the process of building a new elementary school attached to the current Junior/Senior High School. The cost for this entire project is $19,900,000 and the tax impact will be $119 per $100,000 of equalized property value. This is the maximum cost of designing, building and furnishing a new elementary school,...

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Monday, October 06, 2014

Homecoming Week

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Today is the beginning of Homecoming Week, a week full of festivities and fun for the students, staff and the community. Homecoming has a long tradition of being that day or week when people return to their educational roots and cheer for the hometown teams. Though originally most Homecomings were centered on the home football game, we now recognize the students that participate in a myriad of co-curricular events. One of the activities that both staff and students participate in during the week...

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tax Rate Comparison

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One of the frequent questions that I get about the upcoming referendum is how the referendum will impact property taxes. The referendum amount being asked for on November 4 is $19,900,000 to pay the cost of constructing a new elementary school addition onto the existing Junior/Senior High School. This cost includes all new construction, limited renovations to the existing Junior/Senior High School, site work, furnishings, fixtures, equipment, professional service fees, required permits and the...

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Elementary School Building Tours

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How long has it been since you have visited the Elementary School? Maybe you have never been inside the building or maybe you graduated from the Williams Bay Elementary School when it served all of our district students in grades K-12. No matter when the last time you had the opportunity to visit, you will have an opportunity to see the Elementary School during regular school hours on Friday, October 3, 2014. The Williams Bay School District will be conducting building tours on that day starting...

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Is Consolidation the Answer?

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During the past year, one question that has come up is whether or not the Williams Bay School District should consolidate with one of the neighboring school districts. Is consolidation the answer? The answer to that question is different for every community. Sometimes school districts consolidate because on their own they are not able to offer the students in their community the type of education they need and deserve. The Williams Bay School District has a long history of providing a high quality...

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Zoning - Elementary School

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One common question that I have received from numerous people is, “What will happen to the Elementary School once the referendum passes and a new school is built?” The simple answer to this question is that the Board of Education will attempt to sell the Elementary School, if no suitable buyer can be found for the building; the Board of Education will then demolish the building and create a “clean site” on the property. The cost of demolishing the current Elementary School,...

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Newsweek Ranking on High Schools

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This past week, the Williams Bay School District had fantastic news. Newsweek Magazine ranked high schools throughout the nation and ranked Williams Bay High School as the 131st best high school in the nation and the 3rd best high school in Wisconsin, behind Wausau Engineering and Global Leadership Academy (#34) and Waukesha Engineering Preparatory Academy (#48).  We were the highest rated non-charter public high school in the state.  This is a great honor for the students, staff...

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