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Plum City School Board okays staff reductions

PLUM CITY--The Plum City School Board approved the following staff reductions early last week in response to the district's attempt to balance its budget for the 2010-11 school year:

--The K-12 Guidance Counselor position was reduced from 100 to 75 percent;

--Hours were reduced for the Assistant Director of Special Education;

--A 10 percent reduction in K-12 Speech Language;

--A 50 percent reduction in the K-12 Library/Media Specialist;

--A 20 percent reduction in the Elementary Physical Education department;

--An elementary teacher position was eliminated;

--The position of longtime music teacher Merlyn Aude, who retired, will not be refilled.

Superintendent Mark Luebker added the District's IT support will be restructured and there was a conditional layoff in the middle school as well. Luebker declined to give the names of those affected.

The school district has an estimated $250-260,000 shortfall for the upcoming year. Luebker said that, with these changes, the district comes close in matching that figure.

In other news, the board:

--Heard a presentation from students Amber and Jenny Blodgett, who were two of the eight members of the forensics team qualifying for the State Meet in Madison on April 16. The pair earned a silver medal for their efforts. Danielle Souster was the only PC student to come home with a gold, while the Blodgetts were joined by Kelsey Wieser and Mary Kane for silver medals. Abbie Hartung, Ashley Longsdorf and Chase Lanz brought home bronzes.

--Heard from High School Principal Paul Churchill, who told the board two foreign exchange students--a boy from Brazil and a boy from Denmark--were interested in attending Plum City next year. That request was approved. Churchill also said the seniors will leave for their annual trip at noon Friday, May 7, and return sometime in the afternoon hours on Saturday, May 15. Headline stops include Washington D.C. and New York City. Finally, he said eighth and 10th grade students tested above the state average in the WCKE testing. Those students were tested in reading, language arts, math, science and social studies.

--Changed the May meeting from Monday, May 17, to Monday, May 10. The reason is a town forum will be held in Durand from 6-9 p.m. May 17. The topic will be on school funding reform. Guests will include State Reps. Chris Danou, Jeff Smith, a representative from State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout's office and Tom Beebe, an expert on school funding. Luebker said board members and citizens are invited to attend. For more information, contact the district office.

--Welcomed new members Shirley Gilles and Gail Fisher, as they were given the oath of office, and thanked departing members Todd Glaus and Jeff Heit. The board's reorganization meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 10 before the regular meeting.

--Heard from Luebker the district will continue Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE), pending legislative allowance of an 18:1 student ratio.

--Approved Kevin Mueller as the assistant baseball coach.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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