Sunday, October 21, 2018

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Menomonie school board wants staff to ID threats accurately

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MENOMONIE — The Menomonie school board Monday had a first reading on a policy that would require staff to report threats of school violence right away and to train them to identify violent threats accurately.

According to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, state law requires that anyone, including school employees, immediately report serious and imminent threats of school violence to a local law enforcement agency.

Schools Superintendent Joe Zydowsky said the policy has to do with some of the violent activity occurring on school campuses over the last few years. If this is approved, it would be included in the school district’s employee handbook.

“Having a really clear policy will be good for the future,” he said.

Board member Jim Swanson said the district will need to train staff to properly identify a threat.

“How do we know that?” he said. “How does the staff recognize that?”

Other board members agreed school staff needs to know what is considered a threat to the school and what isn’t once this policy is rolled out, if approved.

Zydowsky previously said there is a common understanding in the school district that if there is a threat of school violence that it should be relayed to the Police Department.

There is already a similar to a policy in place for reporting child abuse and neglect in the school district.

No action was taken on the policy.

In other news:

• The board unanimously approved creating girls and boys tennis teams at Menomonie Middle School. Board members were concerned about overcrowding the tennis courts.

• The bid to fix drainage and the front apron at the middle school came in over early estimates. Zydowsky said the final bid with Pember Cos. came in at more than $200,000. The work was originally estimated at around $100,000. The board decided to move ahead with the project out of concern bids would come in much higher if it waited another year.

• New compensation and contracts for the 2018-2019 school year for school staff were approved. The board agenda states this would result in increasing pay for step movements for a teacher’s salary scale by $500 to $1,500 plus adding $215 to each step on the scale.

Contact: 715-830-5840,, @BenRueter on Twitter

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