Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Band second place in state competition

Accepting the Best Precussion trophy on behalf of the Baldwin-Woodville Marching Blackhawks at the Wisconsin State Marching Band Championships Saturday were, left to right: Jacob Stoffel, Kristin Bauer, Maggie Gadbois and Leann Larson.

The Baldwin-Woodville Marching Band’s performance at the Wisconsin State Music Association’s Marching Band Championships at UW-Whitewater Saturday afternoon was not only “our best show of the year,” said B-W Band Director Adam Bassak. The point total for the band of 76.80 “is the highest point total our program has ever had.”
In addition to finishing second with a great point total, the B-W ensemble was the winner of the Best Percussion section. All the other captions—Best Color Guard, Best Visual Presentation and Best Musical Presentation—went to Cumberland.
And a resounding performance it was. Following the show the crowd in attendance at the beautiful UW-Whitewater stadium cheered vigorously and loudly for a prolonged period.
“That’s the way you want to finish your season,” said Mr. Bassak.
The winner in the Class A competition was Cumberland, an outstanding band with a enviable record. Their point total was 78.85. Cumberland has had such success that for several years it competed up a class, in AA.
Mr. Bassak said there were several things in the B-W Band’s show that “stood out. Our ballad—the slow part, the love story—was a perfect moment in the show with the color guard and two soloists we have performing at the time. And then obviously the percussion winning their fourth straight championship: that’s a testament to all the extra time and dedication to their instrument.”
“I think overall, that as a group this group of kids worked better together as a family and as an ensemble than any other group we’ve had and it showed,” said Mr. Bassak.
Band members this year include:
Drum Majors: Kristin Bauer, Maggie Gadbois, and Jacob Stoffel; Flute: Mallory Custer, Kayla Stone, C'aira Thompson, Stacia Berg, Brittany Bergquist, and Robyn Syverson; Clarinet: Tanya LaFavor, Tapp Chantel, Emalie Tison, Emily Sigafoos, Michael Clausen, Cayla Thompson, and Zyanya Arce; Bass Clarinet: Jennifer Veenendall; Alto Saxophone: Sydney Menkevich, Trevor Zimmerman, Raymond Thomas, and Colton Schmitt; Tenor Saxophone: Nick Herzog, Nick Zillmann, Trevor Plemon, and Tyler Behr: Trumpet: Shauna Basques, Colton Sander, Drew Johnson, Kelsey Lyons, Taylor Kadrlik, Cody Cernohous, Larissa LaFavor, Jake Otis, Anna Dahl, Steven Aune, Chase Wilson, Colten Hoff, Jake Humphrey, and Tyler Dierich: Horn: Abby Gadbois, Marah Kittelson, and Tyler Weyer; Trombone: Jacob Grafenstein. Ali Hilborn, Dustin Carlson, Alex Clausen, and Alyssa Cooper; Tuba: Maximilian Shakal, Anthony Stock, Andrew Ring, and Kevin Yang; Snares: Doug Hanson, Matthew Sparks, and Zach Wagner; Tenor: Bradley McGee; Bass Drums: Jennifer Willert, Brody Jensen, Grey Tison, and Brandon Serier;
Front Ensemble (Pit): Emma Miller, Andrea Cronk, Terra Jansma, Marissa Braymen, Ross Jennings, Catie Hollabaugh, Chris Shakal, Erick Forsberg, Forrester Smith, and Michael McMillan; Guard: Rachael Hanson, Brianna Mortel, Elsie Kersten, LeAnn Larson, Victoria Liston, Mara Hanson, Naomi Hurd, Amanda Myer, Jenna Mortel, Nicole Branstad, Carly Grafenstein, Lauren Russell, and Courtney Behr; Staff Colorguard: Amber Hahn, Kim Ricci, Sarah Bassak, and Afton Polk; Percussion: John Mapes, Nathan Zacharias, Aaron Kittelson, and Ryan Wilson; Winds: Bobbi Geissler and Brianna Hepfler; Directors: Adam Bassak and Eric Becker.

School board designates donated land school forest

A resolution designating the land recently donated to the Baldwin-Woodville Area School district by the Mary Giezendanner estate as school forest will save the district a $98,000 tax penalty, according to attorney Terry Dunst of Bakke Norman SC.
Dunst and fellow attorney Tom Schumacher explained to the board that according to the DNR state office, a public entity may not own land in the Managed Forest program, in which the property is currently enrolled. When land in a program is withdrawn before the enrollment period is expired, the back taxes which have been waived must be repaid, explained Dunst.
“However, if the land is withdrawn and declared a school forest, then we fall under an exemption to the withdrawal tax,” said Dunst. ”School forest rules are quite flexible,” he continued, “and they are ruled by the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, not the DNR.”
Board member Deb Rasmussen commented, “It’s my understanding that a managed forest is a healthy forest,” and asked if managed forest principles could still be applied to a school forest.
“Yes, and UW-Stevens Point would be very helpful with that,” said Dunst.
Supt. Helland added that administrators have been meeting with interested teachers and gathering information about existing school forests for review.
“We recommend you withdraw from the Managed Forest program and designate the land as a school forest. You avoid the tax penalty and give the board a chance to consider its options,” concluded Dunst.
The board approved a resolution designating the property as a school forest unanimously.
In response to district resident Jim Lund’s question whether hunting would be allowed on the land, Dunst said hunting could be allowed by the district under regular hunting laws.
“Our district insurance policy would cover this,” said Supt. Rusty Helland.
The board then discussed allowing hunting on the land. Board president Jeff Campbell spoke in favor of allowing hunting, as did board member Todd Graf. Board member Ann Hilmanowske asked if the district should limit the number of hunters allowed on the property.
The consensus of the hunters present was that hunters will not go there if it looks crowded, “Hunters think of safety first,” commented Supt. Helland.
The board approved allowing hunting on the land if asked for permission by hunters.
District Reading Coordinator Randi Hoffman opened the Balanced Literacy report by introducing five enthusiastic elementary teachers who have received training in the Daily 5 and incorporated the strategies in their classrooms. First grade teachers Denise Corrigan and Kim Thomason, third grade teacher Heather Kittelson, fourth grade teacher Kelly Veenendaal, and Title I director Kelly Bugni explained the components of the Daily 5.
The Daily 5 are part of the Balanced Literacy program. Hoffman explained that the program teaches students reading strategies and focuses on leveled books so each student is able to read at his or her level. Reading is done in small, fluid groups, and independently. Students read aloud to one another and conference individually with the teacher.
“The goal is to get students to read for 30 minutes a day, which has been shown by research to improve learning,” said Hoffman. She said the program steers away from worksheets and workbooks and focuses on reading and writing.
The Daily 5 are the strategies used by teachers to teach students how to improve their reading.
“The first thing we do is build muscle and stamina,” said Kittelson. “We might start out the year just reading a few minutes,” she said, but that improves over time. Kittelson said students are taught to read by themselves and to each other, a just right book for them, in a comfortable place. The goal is for students to become able to work independently so that the teacher can work individually with others.
“We model desirable reading behavior and incorrect behavior to show students how to act,” Kittlelson said.
Teachers stay out of the way while students are practicing reading stamina and students keep individual logs of how many minutes they read at a time.
Read to someone is the next strategy. Reading partners can be of different levels since each has his or her own leveled books to read. Partners are taught how to coach each other if one is having trouble with a word, said Thomason.
Work on writing is next, which includes intense focused daily writing practice said Veenendaal. Students chose what they want to write about and they learn by proofreading and editing their work. These activities help them become better readers and writers, she said.
Word work is learning the weekly spelling words. “All these activities are hands on,” according to Corrigan, “the kids love it.” She explained the students use manipulatives like play dough or blocks or white boards to practice their words.
Listen to reading is the last strategy in which students listen to fluent reading while viewing the text at the same time. They use computers or CD players with headphones to follow along, “This is especially important for English Language Learners,” concluded Corrigan.
Title 1 is following the guided reading approach as well according to Bugni.
The next step following the Daily 5 is called CAFE, said Hoffman. CAFE stands for comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expand vocabulary, she said. Some teachers are starting this program already, but most will begin next year, according to Hoffman.
In other business, district bookkeeper Pam Rose walked the board through the Revenue Limit Worksheet that is finalized now that the enrollment figures are complete. The Third Friday Enrollment figure for 2010 is 1585, up 60 over 2009. That includes only one-third of the new 4K program enrollment because the TFE figures are based on a three year average. Based on this figure the tax levy will be $6,314,079, which is $48,741 or .77 percent less than last year.
Supt. Helland pointed out that the equalized valuation of the district decreased by 6.8 percent this year, following a 6.46 percent decrease last year.
According to the report, state aid for the district totals $10,637,650 and the total budget for 2010-2011 is $19,674,046 which is a .59 percent increase over last year.
Supt. Helland distributed the SchoolFacts10 Middle Border Conference Report prepared by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. The report shows that out of the eight school districts in the conference, B-W ranks fifth in average adjusted gross income and eighth in property value per student.
B-W is seventh in the conference in comparative expenditures per student. Comparative spending is one measure of “education-related” spending, according to the report. Transportation costs and capital expansion are not included here.
Test scores show B-W to be at the top of the conference in fourth grade reading, sixth in eighth grade math, fourth in tenth grade science.
B-W ranks sixth in base teacher salaries, third in maximum salary.

Village board asked for Baldwin Care Center ownership

At the October regular monthly meeting of the Baldwin Village Board, representatives of the Baldwin Care Center [BCC] asked board members to consider the ownership of the facility.
According to Tom Martin of Community Living Solutions, which has been hired to help prepare a master plan for BCC, the trend in nursing homes is “to a more residential-like setting and not the medical model.” He said the more residential type setting provides more privacy for residents and that in turn leads to increased dignity. As part of that trend private rooms with private bathrooms which are wheelchair friendly are becoming the norm.
Martin said that it is becoming increasingly necessary to compete for private pay residents as government funded residents pays a smaller share of total costs. In addition, competing for staff may be an issue in the future.
Baldwin Care Center has prepared a plan to enlarge the present facility with a wing of private rooms and then renovate some of the existing rooms to “Community Based Residential Facility” rooms.
The issue of the ownership of the facility then became an issue. The board was asked whether the village still wants to be the owner of the facility or whether the ownership should be transferred to a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Transferring ownership would relieve the village of any liability if the facility is not able to meet debt payments. It would also result in an interest rate between one-half and one percent higher than if the village guaranteed the debt.
Sean Lentz of Ehlers and Associates, the village’s financial consultant, told the board that at the point of addressing a new project is a good time to address the structure of ownership and finanical. He noted that even if the village was not the owner of the facility and not ultimately responsible for its debt, it could still participate by providing “conduit financing” for tax-exempt purposes. The switch to a 501(c)(1) organization would require a nominal sale price, or the expansion project would not be viable.
After brief consideration of the issue, board members decided they needed more time to reflect on the question and a special meeting was set for Wednesday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m.

BAMC, Greenfield team up for wellness event

Pictured above are some of the organizers of the effort. From left are: Mrs. Peg Helland, physical education instructor at Greenfield; Katie Carstens of BAMC’s Fitness Center; Mrs. Brenda Bergquist, Greenfield school psychologist; Mrs. Carol Lebo, Greenfield school counselor; Mrs. Heather Kittelson, Greenfield second grade teacher; and Mrs. Denise Corrigan, Greenfield first grade teacher.

In an effort to combat the growing problem of obesity, especially childhood obesity, Baldwin Area Medical Center [BAMC] and Greenfield Elementary School have teamed up to present “Be-Well Blackhawk Family Kick-off to Play.”
The event will be held at Greenfield Elementary on Monday, October 25 from 6:3 until 8:00 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria and library. All students and their families are invited to attend.
The problem of childhood obesity is growing, said Carstens, who holds a BS degree in Kinesiology, which is the study of movement.
The problem needs to be approached by providing solid nutrition information to families, said Carstens. She noted that time is an issue for many families along with a lack of knowing how to implement a more active and nutritious lifestyle. “We need to get both parents and kids working with the schools and hospital to get information to families.”
The evening at Greenfield on October 25 will involve providing nutrition information to parents while their children learn activities. That will be followed by a nutritious snack and the chance for parents and their children to share with each other what they’ve learned.
For more information please see the advertisement in this week’s issue.

From the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: At last, the beauty of it was revealed Monday evening. After a very long wait, UW-River Falls’ corpse flower finally bloomed. Tuesday morning the university’s greenhouse manager Dan Waletzko cut a hole in the base of the plant to allow for viewing of the flower’s fruit. The corpse flower, actually called a titan arum plant, typically blooms only once every six years. The corpse flower is one of only 140 that exist worldwide. Until this week the UW-RF plant had not bloomed in nine years. Out of town visitor Victoria Stevens spent hours watching the bloom slowly unfold Monday. However the corpse flower’s bloom was short-lived and began collapsing by noon Tuesday.

HUDSON STAR~OBSERVER: A 51-year-old St. Cloud State University professor was prevented form jumping off the St. Croix River bridge by the Hudson Police Department early Saturday morning. Police received a call just after midnight that a man was straddling a fence along the eastbound side of the I-94 bridge and appeared to be preparing to jump. His car was stopped just east of the bridge with its hazard lights on. According to the police report, Bruce Richard Klemz was shaking, emotional and agitated as officers approached him and he demanded they not come close to him. Taking turns the four officers on the scene tried to convince Klemz to come off the fence. A crying Klemz told officers he “really messed up this time.” He told officers he had tried to buy a gun to “end this swiftly” but was denied. Police transported Klemz to the Hudson Hospital for a possible prescription drug overdose and he was later transferred to United Hospital for additional treatment. Before leaving Hudson, Klemz told police that he had been in divorce mediation that day and was not able to emotionally handle it. After court, he attempted to buy a gun at Fleet Farm in St. Cloud but was unable to, citing a previous felony conviction related to a domestic abuse incident. He said his “plan B” was to take Vicodin and find a tall bridge.