School's Out for Summer

School's Out for Summer
Posted on 06/04/2015

Hello SDMA Families, Staff, and Stakeholders.

Today is the day......the final day of the 2014-2015 school year! Congratulations to our students and staff for a job well done.  We have much to be thankful for and proud of in the Menomonie Area School District. Celebrating student success is the topic for this week's edition of my School Crossings column

Thank you to everyone in the SDMA who has worked so hard to provide such wonderful opportunities for the children in our community.  While we are very excited about the new and returning staff members that have already been hired for next school year, we will miss our teachers and other staff members who are retiring or moving on to new endeavors.  We wish all of you the very best!
As we finish this school year and start to prepare for 2015-2016, please consider the following information and reminders:  

  1. Summer School- The SDMA is offering many learning opportunities this summer.  Whether or not students are attending summer school, it is very important for parents to consider prioritizing continued academic growth during the summer months. If nothing else, reading and writing on a regular basis could have a tremendous impact on the future success of our children.

  2. Summer Meals- The SDMA is participating in a food service program that provides free summer meals (breakfast and lunch) for all children in our community 18 years of age and under. Starting on June 15, free school meals will be available for all children in our summer school program and also available for any other children who wish to eat at one of our summer school sites.  On weekdays during the summer -through August 21- when summer school is not in session, free school meals will still be available at River Heights Elementary School for all children in our community.

  3. Construction at MHS- There is much work to be completed at MHS during the summer.  The school district has made arrangements to allow for the pool, field house, and weight room to be open, but the gym and the rest of the building will be off limits. This is for the safety of our students, staff, and community members.  

  4. Summer Hours- Other than summer school and other scheduled summer activities, school offices will be closed for most of the summer.  The Administrative Service Center (located on Pine Ave.) is open during the summer from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday-Thursday. Appointments for other dates and times may also be arranged as needed.

Finally, please take some time to consider the major policy and funding changes being proposed for public education in Wisconsin. I realize there are many viewpoints when it comes to politics in our state, but here is some analysis to consider for how the School Administrator's Alliance anticipates the current state budget proposal will impact public education. The failure of the state to provide inflationary funding increases for public schools is causing us, in Menomonie, to reduce services for our students and change compensation and benefits for our staff.  While we have been able to make difficult reductions to balance the preliminary budget for the 2015-2016 school year, it is likely that more funding will be needed to maintain programming and meet the expectations set forth by our community in our school district's vision and strategic plan. Unless adequate funding for public schools is added to the proposed state budget for the next two years, another referendum in our school district might need to be considered for more significant reductions to be avoided.
Advocacy certainly is a personal choice, but should anyone wish to advocate for any state budget issue, now is the time.  Advocacy from parents and other stakeholders can go a long way with legislators, and it can be as simple as a phone call or email expressing general thoughts about funding for public schools or some other personal perspective. Contact information for Wisconsin legislators can be found using this interactive map.
No matter what happens in Madison, our school district will continuing working with all community stakeholders to best align our resources with the vision set forth by our community.  We will do our best to continue the commitment toward our shared mission of preparing ALL students to become lifelong learners, caring individuals, and responsible citizens. 
Have an enjoyable, relaxing, and safe summer!

Joe Zydowsky
District Administrator
School District of the Menomonie Area
215 Pine Avenue NE
Menomonie, WI 54751
"The School District of the Menomonie Area, by embracing the unique needs and using the strengths of our diverse community, is dedicated to preparing ALL students to become lifelong learners, caring individuals, and responsible citizens."