By Thomas J. McKillen
The School District of Menomonee Falls will create a committee to examine the structure of the district music department, School Board member Faith VanderHorst said during the April 22 board meeting.
Summarizing the recent activity of the Curriculum and Learning Committee, VanderHorst said the committee — which will be formed by the curriculum office — will create recommendations about the structure of the music program for the Curriculum and Learning Committee.
As part of the committee’s work, VanderHorst said Director of Curriculum and Learning Gary Kiltz will share information on the structure of music programs in other districts and how they are evaluated. VanderHorst said the first meeting of music work group committee will be held at 5:30 p.m. May 29 in room 3345 of the Village Hall.
VanderHorst emphasized that the orchestra program will remain in place next year.
“However, the whole structure of the whole music department will be discussed at this meeting, which would include orchestra, choir and band,” VanderHorst said.
Committee reviewing elementary math material
A School District of Menomonee Falls committee will be examining new materials for elementary math instruction, VanderHorst said.
VanderHorst said a committee is being organized to select new elementary math resources for the district. The committee will be comprised of faculty with knowledge of the content area, reading specialists and library media specialists.
VanderHorst said the committee will conduct a needs survey to create a scoring grid to judge the materials that are being presented. She said publishers will be invited to make presentations to staff, and the committee will make a recommendation to the Curriculum and Learning Committee in February 2014.
VanderHorst said the new materials will replace the current Everyday Math materials.
FBLA second at state
VanderHorst summarized recent activities within the district from a list provided by student representative Emma Brose, who was unable to attend the meeting.
Among recent events, the high school Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter took second place in the state competition the previous weekend while getting third place for community service. There will be 12 members of the Falls FBLA club who will advance to national competition this summer in Anaheim, Calif.
New summer school courses
There will be 14 new courses for the summer school program offered by the School District of Menomonee Falls, VanderHorst said. VanderHorst said the goal of the program is to have a 5 percent increase in summer school enrollment. Summer school registration opened April 15.
Taking the oath
VanderHorst took the oath of office for another term on School Board. VanderHorst, who is the board clerk, then participated in the oath ceremony for returning board member Scott Ternes and new board member Michele Divelbiss.
•The laptop fee for students will be reduced from $35 to $30 while the high school lunch fee will be increased from $2.20 to $2.25, according to recommendations that were brought before the Finance and Auxiliary Services Committee, Ternes said. Director of Business Services Jeff Gross said the school lunch increase is being made at the request of the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), which is asking districts to get closer to federal reimbursement rates.
•The Academic Decathlon program, which had been a class at the high school, will now become a co-curricular activity.
In Academic Decathlon, each high school enters a team of nine students: three "A" or honor students, three "B" or scholastic students, and three "C" or varsity students. All members take written exams in art, economic, language and literature, math, music and social science. State competition includes all members giving a prepared speech, impromptu speech and interview.