New Holstein’s Board of Education accepted several donations at their monthly meeting Monday evening including two gifts of $5,000 each.

Amerequip made another donation of $5,000 toward the Teaming for a Brighter Tomorrow program which is operated in both the New Holstein and Kiel school districts. The program provides a wide range of mental health programs for students and families in both school districts, thanks primarily to numerous donations from local businesses and organizations.

The NHHS football program received a donation of $5,000 from Glenn Wendel. High School Principal Doug Olig said the school’s football coaches have several planned uses for the donation.

The former Connections Community Church which recently ceased operating in the community donated $2,000 toward student needs. The church had been meeting on Sundays in the Elementary School.

Donations of $150 each were received from the Wisconsin Beef Council for the High School’s Family and Consumer Sciences Department, and from Kim and Anthony Camomilli for the annual Menagerie creative writing/poetry program.

During the public input portion of Monday’s meeting, special education paraprofessional Sara Wipperman addressed the board and encouraged the board’s continued support for special education programs in the district. Wipperman said some great things go in in the program which sometimes can be overlooked.

She reported on a project this year in which she took an unused classroom and converted it into a sensory room for all students. She said about 25 freshmen have been hanging out in the room every morning and upperclassmen are now stopping in as well.

Wipperman said she understands the budgeting challenges faced by the board but encouraged increased funding for special education needs. She said the student/teacher ratio for most special education teachers is 15:1 but that a New Holstein special education teacher has a case load of about 25 students. She also said paraprofessionals in the district are among the lowest paid in the area and encouraged the board to address that going forward.

During the Academic Spotlight portion of Monday’s meeting, Middle School teacher Sara Rupp was joined by three students who talked about the Crime Scene Investigation exploratory class which is held at the school. Rupp said this is one of the most popular exploratory classes offered at the school, so much so that a CSI-2 class is now offered as well. The pass/fail class had 27 students in it this past quarter and was full.

Rupp said she has a personal interest and passion in CSI as her father was a police officer and she has a brother who is a detective/lead investigator in law enforcement. She said children learn about the science behind CSI as well as using critical thinking skills. “It’s not just the blood and gore,” she said.

The three students talked about why they signed up for the class and the various aspects of it. Police officers also have visited the class and have shown the students many of the tools they use in law enforcement. Asked by a board member if any of the students now have an interest in going into law enforcement, all three nodded affirmatively.

In approving the consent portion of the agenda, the board OK’d a quote from Hudl after some discussion. Hudl is a video analysis program used by multiple athletic programs within the district.

In action items, the board approved an Academic and Career Planning Program Outline and also approved the 2023-24 open enrollment caps.

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