School District of Howards Grove
Parents & Guardians Newsletter October 2023
Update from the Superintendent
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope this newsletter finds you well. This communication is packed with very important information for parents, guardians, and tax paying residents of our community. In addition to emailing these newsletters to all parents & guardians, I also post them on our district facebook page and on our website. If your neighbors or friends are asking questions or wondering about things happening in the district, please help us by directing them to those places or feel free to forward the emails you get. I strive to keep everyone informed through my monthly communication. I am open to feedback, so please reach out if you have any suggestions for improvement.
Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership as we strive to make the School District of Howards Grove the destination district of choice!
Shannon L. Kilton
Superintendent of Schools
School District of Howards Grove
2024-2025 Calendar Update
As you know, we are in the process of building a new school along with various updates to the high school, Northview, and our athletic facilities. Keep reading this newsletter for specific updates on the referendum project. In order to give CD Smith Construction as much time as possible to do this important work, the Board approved a recommendation to start the 2024-2025 school year PRIOR to September 1st. The goal of this calendar change is to lengthen the summer of 2025 to allow the heavy construction to take place without students and staff in the buildings. This Board approval has been submitted to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), who is the agency that can authorize this change. As soon as I receive approval from DPI, a draft calendar will be presented to the Board for final approval. To prepare our families for this change, I wanted to let you know ASAP about our intent to start school later in August of 2024 and end the year by Memorial Day of 2025. Pending DPI's approval, the goal is to have a calendar approved at the November 20th Board Meeting.
Information on the Tax Levy
The Annual Meeting and Budget Hearing for the School District of Howards Grove was held this past Monday, October 16th. At this meeting a budget presentation was given along with key initiatives and highlights for the school district. The action taken at this meeting by the Board and community members that were present impacts all taxpayers in our district. As a result, here is a summary of the news that was shared as it relates to the local tax levy.
State General Equalization Aid:
The District is set to receive an additional $689,914 in State General Equalization Aid compared to the previous year. This boost in aid helps relieve the financial burden on our district's taxpayers.
WPCP Private School Vouchers:
The Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) allows eligible students to attend participating private schools from four-year-old kindergarten (JK) to 12th grade. It's important to note that the District is obligated to cover the voucher amounts for qualifying students, without the authority to verify these students. The district's taxpayers are now responsible for $383,541 to fund students participating in the WPCP, marking an increase of $139,001 from the previous year.
Local Property Taxes:
While the local operating tax levy was expected to decrease from the prior year due to the rise in State General Equalization Aid, the increased WPCP obligation offsets this decrease, resulting in a net increase of $66,811 for the operating tax levy. Notably, the WPCP contributes $0.53 to our operating tax levy. Thanks to the support of our community, the district successfully passed a referendum to construct a new middle school and other projects. The cost of the middle school is covered using the debt levy, which will receive tax revenue to meet the debt payments. The debt service levy has increased by $902,705 from the previous year to support the new middle school and other referendum projects. As a result of the increased WPCP obligations and the growth of the debt service fund, the tax levy has risen from $8.70 in the previous year to $8.96 this year.
The School District of Howards Grove is facing a significant budget deficit for the 2023-2024 school year. This is NOT related to the budget for the referendum projects passed by the community in November of 2022. That money is part of a separate budget that must be used on those specific approved projects. The budget being referenced is the operational budget to fund the educational programs for the school district, which includes staff, programs, all activities being funded by the school district budget. There are many factors that play a role in this deficit, which are detailed fully in the Budget Hearing Presentation linked below. Please note: the budget presentation varies slightly from the actual numbers because we didn't receive final numbers from the state until after the budget was published.
The district office administration, in conjunction with the School Board, is tasked with fixing this budget deficit moving forward as it is not fiscally responsible to run the business of the district with a deficit budget. This means we will be taking a close look at every dollar that is spent to find ways to reduce our expenditures.
If any residents have questions about the budget or would like more information about public school funding please contact us in the district office.
Shannon Kilton- Superintendent. email@example.com
David Ziegelbauer- Business Manager. firstname.lastname@example.org
Referendum Project Update
We continue to work with PRA and CD Smith to get our site plans and designs ready for construction. We will be breaking ground as soon as weather permits this April 2024. Due to the location of the new middle school, our spring soccer and softball teams will be relocated to new spaces. We are collaborating with Millersville Recreation and Lakeland University to find adequate spaces for our athletic programs. Check out the latest renderings, floor plans, and site plans to see our updates. The next formal presentation on the entire project will take place at the School Board Meeting on Monday, February 19th.
Continue to follow us on the district website referendum page for ongoing updates.
Updated Middle School
This is the view of the school from Audubon Road. The right side of the building will also house the district office personnel.
High School Safe & Secure Entrance
Visitors will now enter a secure vestibule and buzzed into the office before entering the commons. The structure to the right is the new high school office.
Side View of the Middle School
The large building in the middle of this picture is the new Middle School Gym. The structure way to the right is the side of the current Performing Arts Center.
Floor Plan- 1st Floor
The rooms in yellow are the new middle school. The blue section is the current district office, which will become the new special education space. The white box in the center is the courtyard between the two buildings. Both buildings will have access to the courtyard, which will be used as an outdoor learning space. This space is NOT a green space and will not require lawn maintenance.
Floor Plan- 2nd Floor
The rooms in yellow are the second floor of the new middle school. The rooms in blue indicate spaces in the current high school that are being renovated to accomodate for the shared spaces for middle and high school students, such as the library, music rooms, tech ed storage, agriculture classroom, and family and consumer science space.
The yellow space on the top right corner, is the new high school office.
This image is an overhead view of the entire site. The dark blue is the middle school, light blue is the high school, and the light green shows new athletic spaces. Softball and Soccer are down near the bottom, with the middle school soccer field to the left. The tennis courts are staying in their current location, but will be completely resurfaced.
Digital Citizenship Q&A
October is Keeping Kids Safe Online Month, so the HGSD Wellness Committee wanted to host a little Q&A series! Do you have questions about your child's online safety or worried about how they utilize their tech platforms? Here is your chance to anonymously ask your tech and online safety questions! The questions will be answered to the best of our knowledge as educators and school professionals, providing resources as necessary. Do you want insight from students the same age as your kids? We will field appropriate questions to our students and have them share their perspectives!
CLICK HERE to take the anonymous survey~
A message from the PTO
- Family Food Night - Thank you to everyone who came out to support the PTO at the last Family Food Night at Culver's. It was a huge success, all thanks to you. With your support, the PTO was able to raise $1000. This was Culver's best Family Food Night to date. Thank you again for your continued interest and support in our Family Food Nights.
- Howards Grove Tigers Apparel Sale - Thank you to those that purchased new Tiger apparel through our online store front. With your support, the PTO was able to raise over $1100! Just a reminder that clothing will be sent to the school you selected in the online order form 2-3 weeks within the close of the sale (October 9th). Stay tuned and we will alert you once it has arrived.
Save the Date
- Friday, October 27th- Fall Festival for our Northview Elementary students. More information will be coming shortly.
- Wednesday, November 8th at 5pm in the Northview Library- Monthly PTO Meeting. Everyone is welcome to join. Free babysitting is provided if requested within 72 hours of the meeting. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Questions or ideas for the PTO? Don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Note from Nurse Lydia
Healthy Smiles LLC has visited our district for their fall sealant and fluoride treatment clinic. We had 123 students participate in the program, which has more than doubled from Spring of 2023. Their services provided $29,243.74 worth of preventative dental care for our students! They detected 27 students with dental needs (some urgent) and were referred to their dental home or a provider who has agreed to take referrals from our school-based program. If you are interested in signing your child up for this service for next Spring, please follow this pdf link to find the active consent form that is good for two years:English Spanish Fall 2022 (2).pdf
At their next visit, Healthy Smiles LLC will be offering the service of placing silver diamine fluoride on children who are presenting with untreated decay (cavities). It is non-invasive, painless, and an immediate way to arrest cavities. For any parents/guardians interested, they will be providing a separate consent form for this service. Please watch for future information after January 1st on this new service offered.
Thank you to parents and guardians who have utilized this wonderful school-based health service, and thank you to the School District of Howards Grove staff for supporting our students' health and wellbeing!
Please let me know if you have any questions at LPomeroy@hgsd.k12.wi.us
In best health,
Lydia Pomeroy RN BSN
District School Nurse
Student Family Assistance Program
The Student and Family Assistance Program (SFAP) provides short-term counseling via in person, video or telephonic sessions to the students and families in your school district. A parent or legal guardian must call to access these services for a minor child. In addition to counseling services families also have access to legal, financial, child care and elder care consultations and resources at no cost.
Each school district has a dedicated Account Executive who can assist with student referrals, providing communication pieces to the school district, or answering any other questions that may arise.
One Phone Number to access all the above: 800.236.3231.Families can register for single presentations OR the entire series! These webinars will not be recorded.
Your AAH Student and Family Assistance Program is proud to present a free 4-part webinar series that highlights current trends of school-aged children that impact both their academic and home-life.
Please Note: All presentations will be on Tuesdays, offered at both 12:00pm – 12:30pm and 6:30pm – 7:00pm. You can register for single presentations OR the entire series! These webinars will not be recorded.
Let Me Do It By Myself.
I Need Help!
Presented by She’Leah Fisher, MS, NCC, LPC
Description: This presentation will focus on the developmental stages of children. Knowing these stages can help families understand when to allow age-appropriate independence and when to offer support.
My Phone is My Life.
It’s Driving Me Crazy!
Co-Presented by Evoanna Vargas, MSW, LCSW & She’Leah Fisher, MS, NCC, LPC
Description: This presentation will focus on fostering strong family relationships through communication, consistency, and compromise in a digital world.
I Need Sleep.
There is No Time!
Presented by Lynn O’Brien, LCSW, LMFT
Description: Research shows that a good night’s sleep is vital for maintaining the health and wellbeing of children. This presentation will focus on these health benefits and offer tips for
parents to help ensure that their children are getting enough sleep.
Life is Hard.
But I Can Do Hard Things!
Presented by Lynn O’Brien, LCSW, LMFT
Description: This presentation will focus on the importance of helping children develop resilience in the face of a fast-changing world. In addition, parents will learn tips for helping their children manage stress and deal with intense