Lily Peters, one of the student representatives on the Rice Lake Board of Education, shared at its virtual meeting Jan. 11 that the senior class has ordered T-shirts that say, “Stay Positive, Test Negative.” The saying goes right along with two points District Administrator Randy Drost made as the school year reaches the end of the second term on Jan. 22.

He said, “It doesn’t matter what your role ... it’s just been a harder year this year. Everyone deserves a pat on the back. Recognize that and give a little grace.”

He also was happy to report that the number of COVID active cases and quarantines is the lowest it has been in a long time. Visit ricelake.k12.wi.us/parents/c_o_v_i_d-19_information_from_the_school_district for more information.

The district administrator said the number of full-time distance learners at this time is 337, comparable to the 341 students in that option in September. He said those wishing to change from distance learning to in-person or vice versa can elect to do so at the end of each term.

Looking beyond this school year, he added that virtual education will continue in the future for resident students, but out-of-district students who open enroll will need to enroll in a virtual charter school to do that. He added that there are 230 charter schools in Wisconsin and 52 of them are virtual.

High school principal Curt Pacholke reported that all juniors will have ACT testing as in other years — March 9 is the test date this year — but it will look different with juniors for both distance learners and in-person as they will be disbursed throughout the building and there will be double the number of proctors than in the past. He said the test make-up date is April 13.

In actions taken, the Board of Education:

• Accepted the resignations of Kiresten Vetsch, world language/French teacher at Rice Lake Middle School, effective Jan. 22; and Patty Dykstra, Title 1 aide at Hilltop Elementary School, effective Jan. 15.

• Thanked its crossing guards during Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week. They include regulars Eddie Apfel, James Hagen, Larry Stowell and Tanya Triplett and substitutes Carol Andrea, Judy Boettcher, Valerie Leair and Howard Thompson. Because they are not being treated to a breakfast as in years past, board member Bert Richard asked that they at least have a coffee and doughnut delivered to them at their posts.

• Said there will be no open enrollment space for special education students during the 2021-2022 school year.

• Approved school calendars for the next two school years. They can be viewed on the district website.

• Changed the March board meeting from March 22 to March 29 so it doesn’t interfere with spring break.

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