The Lake Mills Area School District Board of Education has received 22 applications for the district administrator vacancy the board reported at its regular meeting Dec. 9.
“We’ve completed a leadership profile based on seven community input sessions,” said Dr. Richard Mason, board president.
The complete form is available on the district’s website, but some of the key characteristics the community is looking for in the next district administrator include someone who lives in town and is visible in the community, has a good relationship with other city officials, they should have a clear vision for the future, is a student supporter and someone who understands the values and traditions of Lake Mills are among the qualities mentioned. There were 33 traits desired in a district administrator.
The input session also asked teachers, staff and citizens what areas the district needs to improve on and its strengths.
“Mental health continues to be a concern for everybody,” Mason said.
The application window is not closed for the district administrator position.
Robert Dimperio, board vice president updated the board on the addition and renovation at the high school.
“We are pretty confident it will be ready for our students in mid-January,” he said. “Furniture is expected in a week and a half.”
Camden Schultz was sworn in as the student board representative.
District officials addressed the recent talk around town about the increase some people in the city saw in their taxes.
“It’s really hard to give one cut and dry answer for how much taxes should go up because there are other factors that affect it,” said Wendy Brockert, district business manager.
The referendum was lower than the district anticipated it would be during the referendum information sessions. The district anticipated $65 per $100,000 of assessed value, but because of the district’s low bond rating and other factors, it was only $52 per $100,000 of property value.
“There has been talk in the community about how some people saw very large increases in their taxes and assumed it was because of the referendum and it’s really much more complicated than that,” said Pam Streich, district administrator. “When you are reassessed the base number, those taxes are calculated on increases as well.”
Officials pointed out the increase in taxes is not simple math and it differs from property to property.
“It’s not all related to the referendum,” she said.
“The school is just one part of a larger package,” commented Dr. Dawn Delaney, board member.
Board members heard a report on the recently released school report card by Amanda Thompson. The district received and exceeds expectations rating.
The areas reported on are student achievement, district and school growth, closing gaps and on track and post-secondary readiness. The report card is calculated using the Forward, Aspire and ACT exams.
“We did really well. We exceed expectations,” Thompson said. “The district growth, we have increased in that area 5.7 points.”
At the middle school closing gaps increased 4.5 points. At the high school there was a 10.3-point increase as well as other increases.
Lake Mills is 57th on the list of 419 schools that received a district report card. In CESA 2 the district is third out of 45. Schools with similar enrollment Lake Mills is in the top 7%.
“The school report card is just one measure of the great work we do,” Streich said. “There is a lot of work that goes into it.”
“Congratulations to the entire staff for a job well done,” Mason said.
In other business the board:
— The board approved the Wisconsin School Consulting withdrawal from the district administrator search.
— A consent agenda including resignations, letters of assignment and an early graduation request.
— Approved professional staff resignations of Cam Dary, high school science teacher and Katie Burton, elementary school special education teacher.
— Approval of professional staff contracts.
— Accepted $1,425 in gifts to the district.