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Hurley School District gets good report card


November 19, 2019

Tom LaVenture/Daily Globe

Jaci Matusewic, left, treasurer of the Hurley Education Foundation, presents school board president Joe Simonich with a $10,000 grant check from Associated Bank at the Hurley K-12 Board of Education meeting Monday. The grant was awarded to purchase equipment for the school's Northwoods Manufacturing program. Matusewic wrote the grant application for the school.


Ironwood - Hurley School District is getting good marks from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction but it's just a snapshot report and the work is to constantly improve, according to reports at the Hurley Public School Board meeting on Monday.

"The results are overall and the scores don't fluctuate much, but the report card helps us with the goal of constantly looking for ways to improve," said Kevin Genisot, school district administrator.

In his report, Steve Lombardo, pre-kindergarden to fifth-grade principal, said Hurley placed 262 out of 419 school districts statewide. More importantly, the data has helped staff to see where changes will better meet the needs of all students.

"Mrs. Oja and I have been in discussions and implementing strategies which we know will help improve our scores for next school year," he said.

Grades 6-12 Principal Melissa Oja was not present at the meeting, noting in her written report that she is on maternity leave. She said the Wisconsin DPI district report card of 71.8 out of a hundred puts the school in the "meets expectations" category.

On the middle and high school side, the school received a 69.6, still meeting expectations, while the elementary score of 73.7 shows the school exceeding expectations.

"As our administrative team has shared in the past, these tests are one indicator of student success," Oja said in her report. "With multiple factors playing a role in student success, we focus on understanding why our scores are what they are and then decide as a team if changes are needed. Our team continues to discuss strategies to prepare our students academically, socially, and emotionally."

Genisot said two new math teachers are likely going to improve the programs but it will take a couple of years before those results will show, he said. Another change based on past report cards was to add a school certified math teacher as an after school tutor that students are using, he said.

In the district administrator's report, Genisot said that new items are now in place at the Northwoods Manufacturing program that will incorporate the school arts division in creating commercial products such as signage, textile printing and embroidery. The computerized machinery will offer another career track opportunity for students while also producing valuable products to support the program.

Jaci Matusewic, treasurer of the Hurley Education Foundation, was present at the meeting to answer questions about the grant application she wrote that was awarded $10,000 from Associated Bank Foundation for the purchase of the new machinery.

In the finance officer's written report, Breanne Lombardo said that notarized tax levy certifications were sent municipalities of the school district. The total $2.9 million levy include municipality payments from Hurley, $465,189; Montreal, $273,537; Anderson, $123,699; Carey, $174,190; Gurney, $111,893; Kimball, $344,926; Knight, $177,750; Oma, $897,433; Pence, $146,839, and Saxon, $204,920.

The board approved a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contract to Jamar Specialty Contractors of Duluth. Todd Yrjanainen, senior project manager, was present and said the contract includes testing fire alarms and air quality alarms.

The board approved ARS of Duluth as the new video security system contractor. Cody Privette project manager, was present at the meeting.

The decision was in part to move away from the limitations of propitiatory equipment that was becoming costlier while not allowing the same level of access to cameras as ARS, Genisot said.

Steve Lombardo, who is also the athletic director, said the school's first fall athletic banquet held Nov. 13, attracted 140 guests in the school commons for an opportunity to recognize the achievements of fall athletes and coaches.

Following an executive session, the school board approved a retroactive payment to a coach, the hire of Donna Matusewic as a substitute teacher, and volunteer coaches Jefferey Haapoja and Kevin Zanella.

In other business, the school board approved:

-A revised policy 6320 to authorize the school administrator to seek price quotations on certain items and construction bids without board approval.

-Authorizing the school administrator to look into an offer to reduce the $1,800 monthly phone bill.

-Directing the school administrator to add the link to school board reports on the official minutes and board meeting notices.

-Authorizing the school administrator to hire part time workers and approve volunteers and substitutes without board approval.

-Requiring a background check for any individual who would work with children on school property, to include the sports and after school programs that are not under direct oversight of the school.


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