The Sun Prairie School Board officially welcomed Sarah Chaja-Clardy as Director of Secondary Teaching, Learning and Equity (TLE) during its Monday, March 10 meeting at Token Springs Elementary School.

Chaja-Clardy, who is certified or licensed as a district administrator/superintendent of schools in Wisconsin and works as a middle school principal in the Madison Metropolitan School District, will join the district effective July 1.

She is also certified or licensed as a principal and teacher in Wisconsin and as a Principal and Teacher Grades 1-8 in Structured English Immersion, according to her resume.

Chaja-Clardy received her doctorate in educational leadership from Edgewood College in 2017, but earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in science from UW-Madison in 2004.

She has a 2007 master’s degree in educational leadership and school leadership from Northern Arizona University and a 2009 graduate certificate in bilingual-bicultural education and English as a second language-Spanish fluent from Edgewood. She has a 2019 school management and leadership certificate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Chaja-Clardy replaces Andrea Daniels, who resigned from the Sun Prairie Area School District (SPASD).

Other board action

Applications approved. Based on a recommendation from the District Administrative Team, the board approved applications for the Early College Credit Program and Start College Now Program.

A staff report from Nick Reichhoff, Director of Student Policy and School Operations said board policy ECCP allows any high school pupil in a public or private high school in the state to enroll in an institution within the University of Wisconsin System; a tribally controlled college or a private, nonprofit institution of higher education (IHE) located in Wisconsin, to take one or more nonsectarian courses, for which the pupil may earn high school credit, postsecondary credit, or both.

As part of the policy, the SPASD allows a student to earn up to 18 college/postsecondary semester credits (total) for approved ECCP coursework unless otherwise stipulated by the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Equity/designee.

Policy IGCF, relating to the Start College Now Program (Technical College Course Program), allows public high school juniors and seniors who meet certain requirements to take courses at a Wisconsin technical college for high school and technical college credit.

State law specifies that a pupil who intends to enroll in an institution of higher education shall notify the school board of that intention no later than Oct. 1 if the pupil intends to enroll in the spring semester and no later than March 1 if the pupil intends to enroll in the fall semester. The board/designee will then notify the pupil of its determination(s), in writing, before the beginning of the semester in which the pupil will be enrolled.

Applications for either program are processed through the student’s high school counselor. The district is billed for the tuition once the student registers and begins the course.

The tuition fees and textbooks are budgeted within the 2020-21 Secondary Teaching, Learning and Equity Department’s budget.

Because this is the third year for the Early College Credit and Start College Now programs, budgeting has been based on past estimates. The district will continue to monitor student interest and costs associated with both programs. Applications have increased substantially for the upcoming fall semester.

The Start College Now Funding Practice allows the board to pay to the technical college in two installments payable upon initial enrollment and at the end of the semester, for those courses taken for high school credit, the cost of tuition, course fees, and books for approved courses.

The board is not responsible for payment for any course that is comparable to courses offered in the SPASD.

The pupil/family are responsible for paying incidental costs associated with approved coursework (i.e. parking permit); the cost of required equipment, tools, supplies, and consumables (i.e. notebooks, workbooks, uniforms); and, if the pupil receives a failing grade for a course or withdraws from the course, the pupil/family shall reimburse the district the amount paid on the pupil’s behalf.

If the district is not reimbursed as requested, the pupil will be ineligible for any further participation in the program.

Board workshop. The board participated in a workshop regarding the SPASD’s 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) program.

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