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News & Notes: April 3

April 3, 2012

Franklin Public Schools switch health care providers

Franklin - The Franklin Public School Board unanimously approved switching district health and dental providers, which will save the district about $1.2 million dollars over the next 18 months as well as decrease premiums for employees.

The district hired Horton Benefit Solutions earlier in the year to research the district's current insurance plans and seek competitive bids from several health and dental insurance providers. After evaluating the bids, the consultants recommended moving the district's health and dental insurance to Humana.

Over the next three months, the district will work to provide a smooth transition between providers. The new health and dental insurance plans will begin on July 1.

Schutte resigns from Greendale School Board

Greendale - Jim Schutte, a member of the Greendale School Board for seven years, resigned his position effective April 2.

He cited a change in residency to outside of Greendale and wanting to spend more time with his family as reasons for his resignation.

Schutte was first elected in 2005 and re-elected 2008 and 2011. During his tenure on the board, Schutte co-led two referendum efforts in the district and served as a community leader with many organizations, including the Greendale Lions Club, Education Foundation of Greendale and the Greendale Park and Recreation Department.

"Jim Schutte has worked hard in every organization he has served as a leader," said Superintendent William Hughes. "I know Greendale has been very fortunate to have Jim serving the electors and residents of our village."

The Greendale School Board has begun the search for his replacement. Applicants will be reviewed and interviewed by the board. The appointee will serve until the next election in 2013. Applicants may send letters of interest to the superintendent's office, 5900 S. 51st St., Greendale, WI 53129.

Greendale students outdo state in WKCE

Greendale - Greendale School District students performed above state averages in the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recently released the 2011-12 WKCE scores for all Wisconsin public school districts. Student performance on these state assessments is reported in proficiency categories and used to determine the adequate yearly progress of students at the school, district and state levels.

The WKCE was administered to students in third through eighth and 10th grades in November. Third-, fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-grade students were tested in reading and math. Students in fourth, eighth and 10th grade were tested in reading, language arts, writing, math, science and social studies.

In Greendale, scores for third- through 10th-grade math and reading range from 85 to 96 percent proficient and advanced across all grade levels.

Kim Amidzich, director of assessment and learning, attributed gains in reading scores to the focus on personalizing reading instruction, which have been in place since 2006, in the middle and elementary schools. Gains in math scores, she said, are due to the continuous efforts to personalized pacing of math instruction at the elementary level.

Hughes named to UWM advisory board

Greendale - The Greendale School District announced that Superintendent William Hughes will serve on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education's Board of Visitors.

The Board of Visitors is an advisory body to the dean of the school. The group's purpose is to provide counsel and to foster equity, diversity and excellence in the School of Education.

Comprised of 21 members, the board provides input on how programmatic changes impact the larger community, such as teacher education programs and their impact on the workforce.

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