Description of Break Out Session, with Materials and Handouts!
Breakout Session A
A1 School Funding 101: Get the Facts
Dee Pettack and Bob Soldner, Department of Public Instruction
What do people mean when they say the funding formula is broken? How do private school vouchers impact public school budgets? What’s the difference between “instrumentality” and “non-instrumentality” charter schools? What are revenue caps, anyway? How can we simplify these complex issues when communicating with our communities? The experts from DPI will answer all your questions, and unpack the issues at the center of the next biennial budget conversation. Novices & wonks welcome!
A2 Working Effectively with Elected Officials
Patricia Schmidt, WEAC Retired Region 10, Advocacy Trainer
Advocacy is very important to communicate with elected officials what goes on in our schools every day. In order for them to understand our concerns they need to observe them first hand. This session will explain how to host school site visits for elected officials and highlight successful visits that have occurred.
A3 Joy in the Ordinary
Heather Quackenboss, UW Madison Extension – La Crosse County Human Development and Relationships Educator
Research indicates that positivity, gratitude, connection, authenticity, and empowerment foster our wellbeing and happiness. And, when we are positive, we are more productive, perform better on tests and tasks, and solve problems faster. This session will help to incorporate simple, realistic, and easy methods into our lives as professionals as well as how to infuse these techniques into our families, classrooms, offices, and organizations. You will learn the most effective, researched techniques to improve wellbeing as well as how to apply it into your everyday life, personally and professionally.
A4 Addressing Racial Disparities in Education in Wisconsin: Should Schools Be Colorblind?
Laurie Cooper Stoll, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the School District of La Crosse, Professor of Sociology and Board President
Wisconsin has been identified as the worst state in the nation for Black children when it comes to several measures, a number of which are related to education including racial disparities in graduation rates, test scores, and school discipline. At the same time, we live in an era of post-racial politics where many believe the best way to address racial inequalities in schooling is to take a colorblind approach. But is this the best way? This session addresses many of our preconceived notions about race, identifies examples of colorblind racism in schools today, and offers suggestions for how to engage in antiracism in education for people coming to this work from multiple entry points.
A5 Referenda: What works and what doesn’t? What Else Could We Have Done?
A panel of leaders from districts that recently faced tough or losing referenda efforts: Jordon Sinz (Wisconsin Heights); Timm Johnson, Jane Maki and Bob Wright (Osceola); Michelle Orcutt and Cyndie Rasmussen (River Valley); and Tara LeRoy and Sue Fischer (Palmyra-Eagle).
Reductions in state funding over the last several budget cycles have forced many public school districts to go to referendum just to maintain current operations and programs. While the majority of districts have been successful, others have struggled and are facing difficult decisions, including whether or not to dissolve. No matter the success or failure, these community discussions can be very divisive. In this session, four school districts with varying degrees of success will briefly present their experiences, followed by an extended question and answer period with the audience.
- Power Point Presentation
- District Newsletter
- Letter to the Editor
- Wisconsin Heights District Referendum Plan
- Referendum Flyer
- Referendum Postcard
- Referendum Ballot
- Message to Parents
A6 (229) How Community Schools create transformational change for students, families and neighborhoods
Gavin Luter, Aronn Peterson, and Sarah Smith; Wisconsin Coalition for Community Schools
Join us for a panel on active community schools from across Wisconsin. Hear about how they got started, the impact they’re making and how you can bring this to your district.
A7 (230) Education Behind Bars: Their Only Hope
Darlene Machtan, Nicolet College, Rhinelander, Academic Success Adjunct/Oneida County Jail HSED/GED instructor
During my 42 years of teaching, I have been drawn to at-risk and incarcerated students. Social, economic, cultural, and racial factors put otherwise talented people at a tremendous educational disadvantage in a playing field that is anything but level. Often this leads to them giving up on school/school giving up on them. Ultimately this is likely to land them in the prison system. Lack of education is a leading factor leading to incarceration; 1 out of 3 males and 1 out of 4 females in Wisconsin prisons and jails are high school dropouts. Despite the recidivism rate being 5% lower overall among inmates who receive a GED while in jail and 14% lower among inmates under the age of 21, insufficient time and funding is dedicated to prison education. In this session I will share how in my current role as the Oneida County Jail HSED instructor, I fight an uphill battle to increase effective inmate educational opportunities, which for most of these prisoners, is their only hope.
Break Out Session B
B1 Benefits of Coalition Building
Sandy Whisler & Pam Streich, CAPE & Lake Mills Area School District, CAPE President/LMASD Superintendent; Stacy Racine Lynch & Eric Jessup-Anger, SOS Wauwatosa and Wauwatosa School Board; Jim Bowman & Leah Olson, Fox Cities Advocates 4 Public Education and Appleton School Board.
From forming a local advocacy team to building coalitions, this session will feature a panel of advocates from Lake Mills, Wauwatosa, and the Fox Cities who will share their successes and challenges in developing effective teams and strong community relationships. A tool that can be used in coalition building will be presented and time will be provided to develop an action plan for your community.
- Coalition Building Between your Advocacy group and your School District Handout
- Coalition Building Diagram
- Notes from the session
B2 Student-Centered Discipline
Ben Burns, School District of La Crosse, Principal
How we talk with students and parents about behavior and discipline has a huge impact on relationships, engagement, and future behavior.
B3 Kids Count: Education & the 2020 Census
Matt Dannenberg, Census Director at WI Voices
Why participation in the 2020 Census is imperative, how the census impacts education, and what YOU can do to ensure Wisconsin keeps its number 1 spot in census participation!
B4 Strategies for Creating Equity and Doing Social Justice Work in K-12 Schools
Laurie Cooper Stoll, School District of La Crosse Board President; Melissa Murray, Principal, School District of La Crosse; Elizabeth Digby-Britten, Former Ho-Chunk Home-School Coordinator; Danya Day, Cultural Liaison, School District of La Crosse; Bridget Todd-Robbins, Social Worker, La Crosse County. Moderator: Joshua Wolcott, La Crosse educator.
This panel includes educators who engage in equity work in schooling from multiple entry points. Panelists will discuss challenges and opportunities they have encountered in creating inclusive and welcoming learning environments, especially for students from historically marginalized groups.
B5 How School Privatization Opens the Door for Discrimination
Julie Mead, UW-Madison Professor
Recent reports on discrimination in private schools have led some observers to decry the fact that private and charter schools receiving public tax dollars selectively exclude some populations from both employment and enrollment; others, however, note that in these and similar instances the schools have broken no laws. Both may be right. How can this be? To answer that question, Dr. Mead will share research that analyzes discrimination in an era of education privatization. As she will describe, a review of relevant laws reveals that voucher and charter school programs open the door to discrimination because of three phenomena. First, federal law defines discrimination differently in public and private spaces. Second, state legislatures have largely neglected issues of discrimination while constructing voucher laws; charter laws are better, but they fail to comprehensively address these issues. Third, because private and charter schools are free to determine what programs to offer, they can attract some populations while excluding others. This presentation will discuss each of these phenomena and suggest recommendations for policymakers.
B6 Wisconsin’s Student Loan Debt: Changing the Landscape
John Wedge, Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt Executive Board Member; Hallie Lienhardt; Langston Evans
After K-12 education in our public schools, students in Wisconsin face an uphill struggle in financing their further education. This session examines the resources, options, opportunities and emerging initiatives that could help us change the landscape of student debt in our state.
B7 Hunger in Schools: why food pantries aren’t the answer
Bard Meier, Hunger Task Force; Natalie Czarkowski, Hunger Relief Federation of WI, and Lexi Starosta, UW-La Crosse Advocacy Intern.
Panel discussion regarding programs available to help schools feed more kids, help teachers spend less on snacks for kids and make sure kids are set to learn at school.
B8 The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be
David Moscinski, Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education (FV4PE)
When Revenue Limits were put into place in the early 1990’s, 80% of Wisconsin School Districts were growing. Nearly 30 year later, 80% of the districts are now shrinking. This is true on both the public and private school sectors. What are the implications for declining enrollments 30 years from now?
Break Out Session C
C1 School Funding – The Conversation Continues
Pete Ross and Tony Klaubauf, Wisconsin Association for Equity in Funding Co-Directors; and Scott Wittkopf.
A comprehensive discussion of public school funding.
C2 Examining White Privilege
Ben Burns, School District of La Crosse, Principal
Exploring the work of Robin DiAngelo (2018) on White Privilege. What is it, how does it present in schools, and why we need to understand it so we can finally talk about race in a way that will yield more equitable outcomes for students of color.
C3 Excellence with Equity: A Talent Development Perspective on Gifted Education
Deb Kucek, Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted (WATG), Advocacy Co-Chair; Jackie Drummer
Wisconsin’s achievement gaps and other educational inequities are well documented. One glaring, and often overlooked, achievement gap exists in the system’s failure to identity and develop talent (academic, creative, leadership) in students from diverse backgrounds. Wisconsin is currently addressing this “excellence gap” aggressively, using federal Javits Grants funding, grant projects funded by the WI Department of Public Instruction, and local initiatives in model districts. This session will explore the “state of the state” with respect to gifted education, talent development, and diversity. It will also include a brief review of related statutes, regulations, policy, and funding.
C4 What can be done to increase voucher transparency? Shannon A Stansil-Powell, City of Racine Communications Director; Angelina Cruz, Racine Educators United (REU) President; Chris Hambuch-Boyle, Eau Claire; Christopher Thiel, Legislative Policy Manager, Milwaukee Public Schools
While state level action has been proposed to increase voucher transparency, the current make up of the legislature makes it unlikely that any state level action will be taken. Locally, however, there is a lot than can be done. In addition to traditional methods of organizing to create public awareness, some City governments have created inserts in their property tax bill to highlight how much public money is being spent on vouchers. This session is intended to discuss local efforts to increase transparency, the methods and messaging used, and how to respond to voucher advocates reactions to local efforts.
C5 Collaboration between teacher unions and school districts
John E Havlicek, La Crosse Education Association President and Spanish teacher; Randy Nelson, Superintendent of the La Crosse School District
This session explores how districts and unions can successfully collaborate.
C6 Be the G.O.A.T. Learn About Your Vote
Chris Haskell, League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area, Driftless Voter Coalition, Voter Services Committee member; Amy Dummer, Chair Driftless Voter Coalition; Jim Jorstad, Social Media Strategist
The acronym G.O.A.T. (Greatest-of-All-Time) is used in this session to encourage citizens and students, not yet registered to vote, to understand the importance of voting, and to become a registered voter.
This highly interactive session will showcase an innovative and engaging program which explains the importance and impact of voting and concludes by successfully registering students to vote. The session makes use of dynamic video, LIVE polling, and informative and interactive discussion. Participants will walk away with a new energy understanding the importance of voting and become an active participant in the voting process. You too can be the Greatest of All Time by being informed and engaged in the voting process.
C7 How to Stop the Teacher “X”odus
Timothy Slekar, Edgewood College, Dean, School of Education; Joanna Rizzotto. Teacher and member of DPI Professional Standards Committee
What’s best for kids? Permanent, long-term, professional teachers who stay in the profession are best for kids. The problem. Teachers are leaving the classroom at an alarming rate. Why? And how do we stop the “X”odus? After surveying a sample of teachers, Dr. Slekar found that a large majority of these teacher have thought about leaving or have already left teaching. The reasons are revealing and point towards a radical policy solution that continues to stay outside of the current proposed solutions such as “pathways” and “alt pipelines” into classrooms. This session will look at the reasons teachers are leaving the classroom, critique current policies, and suggest a brave policy solution born out of the survey data.