The Menomonie school district may begin offering a STEM certificate for Menomonie High School students as early as next year.

The Menomonie school board Monday discussed an early list of courses students could choose from to earn the STEM certificate.

Students could earn the certificate — which would focus on science, engineering, technology and mathematics — by completing STEM courses, student activities with a STEM focus and finishing a STEM-related capstone project.

The district plans to start offering the certificate in the 2019-2020 school year, said Director of Instruction Brian Seguin.

Teachers are compiling a list of courses that would qualify a student for a STEM certificate, but that list “continues to evolve,” Seguin said Monday.

“We think we have an opportunity to be out in front of the curve with this,” Seguin said.

Board member David Styer praised the idea: “It’s crazy the amount of engineers companies are employing. I think this is really neat what you guys are doing and very timely.”

Board member Chris Freeman said the proposal could put other students at a disadvantage: “It is concerning that if this is something that’s useful for some students, that it’s not being pursued in a way that allows the same kind of emergence of that desirability and self-understanding for other students as well.”

Styer said the district offers opportunities for students interested in nursing, agriculture and other subjects: “I see this not as a negative but as a way to enhance opportunities for kids, and any time we give kids more opportunities in different things, I think we’re winning.”

Note incident resolved

The Menomonie school district has taken “discipline measures” after law enforcement Friday investigated a note appearing to reference a school shooter, district administrator Joe Zydowsky said Monday.

“It was resolved. It was figured out exactly what was behind that note,” Zydowsky said.

Due to an ongoing investigation, Zydowsky could not confirm that the note, found at the Menomonie Middle School, stemmed from a student.

The Menomonie Police Department investigated the incident Friday morning and stayed at the middle school Friday.

“There is nothing to suggest that there is an immediate or credible threat,” the department wrote on Facebook Friday.

Zydowsky praised school staff and students for working through the incident.

“It’s really troubling to see how much of this there is out there,” he said. “I’m really thankful we had such good follow-up at our school but the consequences are very, very steep.”

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