Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 8:21 am 

The Board of Education recognized Jen Lohr and Diane Austin at its regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 8.

The meeting was held in-person at Kromrey in Community Room 510. It was the first in-person meeting since March 2020, although some members did attend virtually. The School Board has met virtually the past 10-plus months.

Lohr, an Glacier Creek eighth-grade teacher, has been nominated for the Kohl Educational Foundation teacher fellowship award. She is in her fourth year at Glacier Creek and 11th year overall in teaching. She serves on the school's PBIS Tier 2 team and has trained in EduClimber.   Austin, who works as a personnel specialist in the business and employee services department, recently received a Leader in Excellence Award from Skyward. Only five winners nationwide were selected a year ago. Austin started as a para-educator at Park in 2002 and moved into the employee services department in 2005. She has been a member of the Wisconisn Skyward User Group since 2013, was elected vice president from 2016-18 and president from 2018-20.

In other news from Monday's meeting:   * The Board approved the school safety drills. The drills will need to be approved monthly until the end of the school year.

* The Board approved sale of resolution of providing the sale of approximately $55,940,000 in taxable general obligation refunding bonds, Series 2021A.    The resolution was covered in the Finance Committee meeting on Feb. 8. Assistant Superintendent of Operations Lori Ames noted the District is looking to refinance debt incurred from the successful 2012 referendum. The District anticipates receiving an interest rate of 1.65 or lower, while the current rate is above 3 percent. This could result in a savings of more than $5 million through the life of the debt, which runs through 2032.   The District would go to market for bids in early March, Ames noted, and can always pull back if rates change, although she noted the District's advisers believe rates will still be favorable for a while.  

* Two citizens were scheduled to speak in-person but did not attend. Board president Annette Ashley noted three written communications were received. She indicated who sent the emails and briefly reviewed the topics. Two other emails were shared with the Board and were asked to be read. Board president Annette Ashley noted emails aren't read but will be posted on the District website.

She also noted citizens can either attend and offer in-person comments or do so virtually at future School Board meetings.

The citizen comments from the Feb. 8 meeting and other recent School Board meetings can be found on the District website's Community Announcements page.

* As part of her Superintendent's report, Dana Monogue thanked the Fully Virtual teaching staff for their efforts to welcome new students and families and to be responsive and supportive of all of their students. She also thanked elementary staff in the Universal model who did an exceptional job welcoming students back and created a welcoming and safe environment. She also noted several classrooms are already providing virtual learning opportunities.

She also thanked special education staff, many of whom have been working in buildings for months. She thanked encore staff, who have been creative and flexible while responding to synchronous, asynchronous and in-person instruction. She noted secondary educators are still teaching virtually while preparing for the transition to in-person instruction. She also commended the transportation and nutrition services staffs. 

Monogue noted vaccinations for educators are still set for March 1, although Public Health Madison Dane County has indicated that could change. MCPASD is paired with UW Health and the District has already shared staff information. She also sent a letter along with other area superintendents asking for expedited vaccinations for educators.