Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIAA Release: Board of Control Meeting

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Board of Control reviewed and approved several recommendations impacting the season regulations in a number of fall sports at its January meeting today.

The most notable of the four changes impacting soccer was the Board’s approval of a four division format for the State Tournament Series in the fall of 2013. Four schools will represent each division in the State Tournament.

Other soccer items passed by the Board include allowing an individual to play 48 halves during a season when applying player participation limits; mandating game start times at 4 p.m. for fields with no lights and 7 p.m. for those with lights; and requiring only white tape to be placed on socks of teams wearing white jerseys and socks, while permitting only dark tape on socks of teams wearing dark jerseys and socks.

A number of tennis recommendations were approved in order to be compliant with United States Tennis Association regulations. Beginning this spring, singles players must be offered a one-hour rest period between matches in all formats with two exceptions. A two-hour rest period must be offered when the best-of-three-sets format is used at outdoor venues and for indoor matches lasting more than 120 minutes using the best-of-three-sets format. For doubles, a 30-minute rest period between matches must be offered.

Furthermore, singles players in Flight 1 for Divisions 1 and 2 at the sectional level must play a super tiebreak instead of a final third set to be in compliance with new USTA regulations. The change in regulations also prompted the approval to move the Friday morning Division 1 singles matches at the State Individual Tournament to Thursday evening, which requires moving the start of the first-round matches Thursday to 10:30 a.m.

The fourth tennis recommendation approved by the Board places the top 16 seeds in Division 1 and the top eight seeds in Division 2 in the bracket versus the appropriate draw with the only stipulation being teammates will not play each other in the first round. All other former criteria will be removed.

Football had a number of recommendations approved to be implemented next season. With the regular-season reverting back to the nine-games schedule, the Board approved the coaches’ recommendation to issue equipment on Monday, Aug. 5 and practice to begin on Tuesday, Aug. 6, which will allow the first game to be played on Aug. 22.

Two of the football changes relate to playoff scheduling. The first declares Friday as the the default day for games at Levels 1, 2 and 3 unless travel is more than 120 miles between opponents. By mutual agreement of the schools, the game may be played Saturday. The second establishes a 1 p.m. start time on Saturday for a game moved to a neutral site because of excessive travel--as determined by the WIAA. If schools mutually agree, the game may be played at an alternate time on Saturday.

An adjustment to the traditional “mercy rule” was also ratified. A running clock will continue in the fourth quarter even if the score differential goes below 35 points.

In addition, the Board approved language detailing the interpretation of the forfeiture policy when programs voluntarily abandon a conference without conference or WIAA approval and when programs eliminate their varsity schedule once the season has begun.

In other football-related action, the Board approved a $5 increase for the Thursday all-day ticket ($20) and the two-day tickets ($30). Prices for the Friday all-day ticket ($15) and a single game admission ($8) will not change.

In volleyball, a measure was passed requiring schools to vote to either retain the sectional half-bracket or revert to the regional groupings. The sectionals will be split into two regional groupings unless a majority of schools in the sectional half-bracket vote to retain the sectional half-bracket.

The lone swimming and diving coaches recommendation was approved. It requires individuals to compete in four meets throughout the regular season to be eligible for the WIAA State Tournament Series beginning next fall. In addition, a staff recommendation to increase the admission price to $4 for swimming and diving sectional meets next fall was approved by the Board.

Adoption of one recommendation in golf will allow electronic communication devices to be used by coaches to follow live scoring and for coach-to-coach text communication during competition. However, verbally communicating on electronic devices remains prohibited on the course. Implementation of the rule will begin this spring.

Through Board action, schools hosting sectional cross country meets this fall will be permitted to charge an entry fee of $25 per team and $5 per individual for incomplete teams. The measure is intended to offset the escalating expense to conduct the meets. In addition, a long-standing cross country coaches’ advisory committee recommendation to increase the number of medals awarded at the State Meet was granted. The top 10 individual places in each race will receive medals. The top six individual finishers have historically received medals.

A hearing for the Board’s first consideration of a conference realignment proposal involving the Coulee, Mississippi Valley and Southwest Wisconsin Conferences was postponed until the April 23 Board meeting.

The Board heard staff reports on the possibility of increasing tournament payments to officials, efforts to declare sport officials independent contractors, concerns with the number of checking from behind game disqualifications in hockey, items of interest from National Federation of State High School Associations and the progress of on-line ticketing.

No School in PdC 1/30/2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Union Dues Deductions

I was asked if the recent court rulings have changed anything as far as union dues deductions;  I believe that the short answer is no.

For a longer answer, it is my understanding that our district payroll deduction process, that has been in place since last summer, fits the standards as set under the law and will not need to be changed. Click here to refer back to the August Blog post which explains this in detail.

Skyward will be down

From Stacy Hendrix, PdC Public Schools S.I.S. Manager

Please contact her if you have any questions: Skyward will be unavailable beginning Friday, February 8th at 6:00 pm and continuing until 6:00 pm Saturday, February 9th.

Epic Proportions EXPO

Thank you to all the Students, Parents, and Staff for working together to put on a great Epic Proportions Science show. It lived up to the name - great job to all! The student presentations were very professional and informative.

Click here to go the Nestingen Herald website to see more about the Science Fair

Monday, January 28, 2013

WWEC on Friday, February 15

This is posted as a courtesy; there is no direct, or implied, endorsement:

You won't want to miss the Western Wisconsin Education Conference (WWEC) on Friday, February 15, 2013. Doors open at 7:30 at the North Entrance of the La Crosse Center in downtown La Crosse. The WWEC is a one-day conference for educators and students studying in the education fields. All areas of study, preK-12 should plan to attend, including classroom teachers, art and music, physical education, school psychology and counseling, teaching assistants and early childhood education. This year's theme is "Educating the Whole Child." The morning keynote is a nationally known speaker from Safe & Civil Schools of Eugene, OR. There are over 35 breakout sessions to choose from. For a complete description of all the breakout sessions, keynote addresses and the schedule of events, please visit the WWEC's Web site at

Also available to all attendees is a large exhibit area. Explore educational resources, fundraising ideas, field trip options, services beyond the classrooms and even personal services such as wellness and financial planning all in one area. Many venders offer cash and carry items, samples and prize drawings.

The cost to attend is only $15 for professors/instructors and $10 for students. Please go to the WWEC web site at: to down load a registration form and get the address for mailing. No online registration is available. All registrations must be postmarked by February 8. The cost for the conference will go up after that date.

For questions, please email Stephanie at or call 608-796-0355.


From Robert Moses, Executive Director, Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce

Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit (SMRT) has started service. The SMRT Bus provides daily (Monday - Friday) public transportation to southwest Wisconsin. The bus serves Crawford, Vernon and La Crosse Counties and has stops in Prairie du Chien, Viroqua, La Crosse, Eastman, Seneca, Mt. Sterling, Gays Mills, Soldiers Grove, Readstown, Westby, Coon Valley, Stoddard and Genoa.

Visit the SMRT website at for information on bus schedules & stops locations. ANYONE CAN RIDE THE SMRT BUS

Other than "Transit Week" a one way fare is just $3.00. Just pay the driver as you board the bus. Discounted punch cards and monthly passes are available saving riders up to a $1 on each fare.

Free internet access on board. Buses are handicapped accessible

The SMRT Bus is great to use to get to work, medical appointments, technical school/college classes, shopping, or just sightseeing. The SMRT bus has daily scheduled stops at hospitals/clinics, shopping centers, large employers, and technical colleges/universities. SMRT Buses operate on three routes five days a week.

If you have any questions about the routes, please call toll free: 877-444-6543.

Please visit

The SMRT Bus is funded through grants from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, contributions from cities, villages and counties and business sponsors including Gundersen Lutheran, Organic Valley, Vernon Memorial Healthcare, Walmart, and Dairyland Power.

PdC Schools; update no school today

Due to the icy roads on Monday January 28, 2013 there will be a late start no school. Stay tuned as there is even a potential of a full canceling of the day. Eastman Township is not sending out plow/sanding trucks until daylight.

There was a clearance from the townships, but when the buses went out they could not safely travel, we called them back and cancelled for the day.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Annual Physical Form

As we have rolled into the new year, it is time for the annual reminder to schedule your annual physical. This is simply a good practice to get a yearly checkup. In addition, for employees covered under the District Health Insurance, a physical each calendar year is a requirement to receive the full HRA amount. Contact Patti to get the simple form for your doctor to sign, or Click here to access the form.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Vision photo-screening

The Lion's Club will be visiting BV on Monday, Jan. 28 at 9:30 to perform vision photo-screening with the 4th graders and other students with vision questions from previous testing or teacher's recommendation. If parents would like to bring young children 6 months to age 3 in, they may do so. Any questions, call Karen Reilly at 326-3780.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Help in completing the FAFSA

From DPI: College Goal Wisconsin: Feb. 23-24

Parents and students can get free help in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) this February, at 31 locations around the state.

The FAFSA is the form all colleges and universities require of students to be considered for federal and state financial aid.

At College Goal Wisconsin, held either Saturday, February 23, or Sunday, February 24, depending on the venue, a quick overview of what financial aid is precedes computer lab time where applicants actually begin filling out the FAFSA. If they bring the necessary paperwork, they can complete the form that day and submit it. The events all start at 2 p.m.

Also, students planning to enter college in Fall 2013 can enter a drawing for scholarships of $250 to $1,000. At each of the 31 locations, one student will win.

College Goal Wisconsin is staffed by volunteers from postsecondary education, high school counselors, and community members.

The event is asking schools and educators to help spread the word to students, by linking to the College Goal Wisconsinwebsite or making use of their postcard, PowerPoint slides, orother materials.

DPI’s Read Wisconsin Literacy Webinars

Below is the schedule for upcoming webinars around various literacy-related topics.
Topics include:
• Disciplinary Literacy (January 24th)
• Text Complexity (February 12th)
• Family Literacy in a Modern World (February 21st)
• The New SLD Rule and District Reading Specialists (March 14th)
• Culturally Responsive Literacy (March 21st)
• Early Literacy and Language Development (April 4th)
• Literacy (un)Conference (April 15th-17th)
• Using the Community to Support Literacy Development (May 9th)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bluff View Middle and Junior High Spirit Week

From Christina Mezera:
Spirit Week for the 5-8th grade will be Feb. 11-15. Student Council will be meeting this week so more information will follow--just want to give a heads up!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare health note about New Year’s Resolutions

During the first days of a New Year's Resolution, you will probably feel confident and highly motivated to reach your goal. Because you haven't really faced any discomfort or temptation associated with changing your behavior, making this change might seem all too easy. After dealing with the reality of dragging yourself to the gym at 6 A.M. or gritting your teeth through headaches brought on by nicotine withdrawal, your motivation to keep your New Year's Resolution will probably start to dwindle. When you face such moments, remind yourself of exactly why you are doing this. What do you have to gain by achieving your goal? Find sources of inspiration that will keep you going when times get tough.

From: Carissa Wiersma; Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mayo Clinic Health System’s Health Note on Stress

Surround yourself with positive people

Take an inventory of the people you spend the most time with. Do they add quality to your life or drain you emotionally? Do you laugh out loud together? Do you feel better after being with them? Can you count on them in a bind?

While we can’t pick our family or co-workers, we can choose our friends. Remember that one goal of friendships is to reduce your stress level, not add to it. Use these tips to evaluate your relationships:

• Avoid a sense of duty. The best support systems have no strings attached.

• Depend on them. A friend should both celebrate your accomplishments and help you through hard times.

• Laugh at your shortcomings. Is your friend confident and secure enough to admit his or her imperfections? That can give you freedom to admit your own faults and laugh about them.

• Beware of codependents. Don’t get dragged down by someone engaged in unhealthy behaviors.

The value of a good friendship is priceless. Invest in one today.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Compass to be down from Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. CST to Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. CST

Message from the Compass Learning Support Team:

We are pleased to announce that Compass Learning will be performing a major upgrade on its Odyssey hosted network infrastructure over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend. In our efforts to continuously improve and serve you better, we are making these improvements to achieve even higher performance levels and ensure even greater availability.

The Odyssey website will not be available during the time we are making these changes. Odyssey will be unavailable starting Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. Central Time. While we expect that the upgrade will be complete by Sunday morning, the downtime may continue until Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. This will provide us a window of time to ensure that once the system is back-up we have checked and double-checked the system to ensure you have the best experience.

Professional Development Opportunities from LEAF (these are not endorsed but posted as a courtesy)

Essential Concepts of Sustainability

Registration Costs Recently Reduced; NRES 340/540 - 1 Graduate Credit

The registration costs for the course Essential Concepts in Sustainability has recently been reduced due to recently securing financial support. This one credit course will explore the concept of sustainability by uncovering the many interrelationships among economic, society, and ecology. It will then apply specific habits of mind essential for thinking sustainably. As a result participants will be able to build an understanding of sustainability, feel confident about their basic knowledge of the subject, and learn how concepts can be applied in a school or classroom. Reserve your stop TODAY. Space is limited. Registration deadline – January 9th. Send the course registration form to Susan Schuller at to reserve your spot in the course. Please indicate if you wish to take the course for undergraduate or graduate credit.
Location: Online
Dates: February 3 – March 16, 2013
Instructor: Buchholz
Registration Flyer
Registration Deadline: January 9, 2013

Greening Your Math Program

LEAF and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve are hosting this hands-on teaching workshop for math teachers. The workshop focuses on outdoor application of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. In addition to inspiring ideas, you’ll also get mathematics-related lesson materials to take back to your classroom.
Location: Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge, Wisconsin
Dates & Times: Sat., April 6 - Sun. April 7
Instructor: Dr. Roger Jones
Program Overview
Program Specifics
Registration Flyer

Online Graduate Courses

UWSP College of Natural Resources & Continuing Education offer the following:
NRES 510: Envir. Teaching Methods for pK-12 Teachers | Feb 4 - March 15
NRES 530: Environmental Health | Feb 18 - March 15
NRES 540: Essential Concepts of Sustainability | Jan 30 - March 17
NRES 612: Ecological Basis for Environmental Education | Feb 6 – March 8
NRES 701: Environmental Education Theory & Practice | Jan 24 – April 21
NRES 704: Ecological Lifestyles | March 18 – April 12
NRES 743: Human Influence on Wisconsin’s Forests | April 8 - May 3
NRES 751: Applied EE Program Evaluation | Jan 24 – April 26

Visit their website to view Course Descriptions & Registration Information.

Deadline: January 5, 2013 or 3 weeks before the course start date.

Fiscal Cliff Act changes for employees

The details are coming forward as to what was passed. From current information, the following three changes seem to be the provisions with the greatest impact on staff. These are excerpted from a Davis and Kuelthau alert:

1. A patch for the alternative minimum tax ("AMT") for 2012, with additional changes to permanently index the AMT exemption and other AMT amounts to inflation to avoid future annual patches. For 2012, the AMT exemption amounts increased to $50,600 (single filing status) and $78,750 (married couples filing jointly).

2. Increase in employee Social Security withholding tax to 6.2% (up from 2012 level of 4.2%) for both employers and their employees. The two-year old 2% cut expired at the end of 2012, with reversion back to the prior rate.

3. Extension of certain tax credits and deductions for individuals, including the education tax credit, child tax credit and dependent care credit, relief from cancellation of debt income for principal residences, deduction for mortgage insurance premiums as interest and deduction for state and local general sales taxes.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

WIAA plan to have PdC to Stay in SWC with crossover with Coulee.

PdC and, it is anticipated that, the other SWC schools will fully support this plan. This plan makes sense for various reasons. We thank Deb Hauser for leading this process. We hope that the Board of Control will accept this plan and we can get moving on scheduling and other issues. 

From WIAA:

TO: District Administrators, Principals and Athletic Directors of Selected Member Schools
FROM: Debra Hauser, Associate Director
DATE: January 3, 2013
SUBJECT: Conference Realignment Plan

Attached to this email is a proposed conference realignment plan that effects your school district. The plan is the result of many, many meetings and conversations that have been conducted between the members of the Coulee Conference, Mississippi Valley Conference and Southwest Wisconsin Conference the most recent which occurred prior to the Christmas break that resulted in no movement or compromising between any of the involved parties. Thus, the ultimate decision on how to move forward has come down to the plan I am presenting to you in this attachment. The plan is dated for implementation in the fall of 2014.

We have placed this realignment plan on the Wednesday, January 30 Board of Control agenda for first consideration. The hearing will begin sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at our office in Stevens Point. We will notify you of the exact starting time for the hearing once the Board of Control agenda is finalized. Everyone is invited to attend this meeting to voice their support or nonsupport for this plan. At the January 30 meeting, the Board of Control has three options: 1) approve the plan as presented; 2) reject the plan as presented, or 3) modify the plan. You can review the realignment procedures on pages 42-43 of the WIAA Handbook.

If approved or modified, a 40-day appeal window goes into effect. Second consideration by the Board of Control would occur at their April 23 meeting. At that meeting, the Board has only two options:
1) approve the plan or 2) reject the plan. At that point we will have a decision.

See the proposed plan