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Menomonie schools to consider address change to Pine Avenue for Wakanda Elementary

Menomonie schools to consider address change to Pine Avenue for Wakanda Elementary

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Wakanda Elementary School could have new address beginning next school year.

The district is considering changing the street address, 1801 Wakanda St. NE., to an address on Pine Avenue, District Administrator Joe Zydowsky said at Monday’s school board meeting.

Zydowsky said the district was contacted by the city of Menomonie to see how a street name change would impact the school.

The city received a request from the Dunn County Historical Society to rename a portion of Wakanda Street that connects 21st Avenue to Game Park Road to John Russell Road in honor of a former president of the historical society.

After speaking with Wakanda Elementary principal Susan Mommsen and the district building and grounds director Kevin Tomaszewski, Zydowsky said concerns about current address location were brought up. The address currently aligns with the street that runs along the back of the building and changing the address to Pine Avenue would align the address with the front of the school.

Zydowsky said the building number wouldn’t significantly change, but the district would wait until the end of the school year to make a change. The decision won’t be impacted by what the city decides, he said.

“Whether or not the street (name) change goes forward, we are going to be recommending that we go ahead and change the physical address for Wakanda Elementary School to Pine Avenue,” Zydowsky said.

Concern regarding changes to address listed on the district’s website and letterhead, and who would be responsible to make sure all necessary address change updates are made, shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance to making the change, Zydowsky said.

“We don’t consider any of those items at this point to be prohibiting this change,” he said.

Staffing plan for 2020-21 school year

The administration is developing its staffing plan for the next year.

After significant additions in the last year, another year of adding considerable staff may not be in the cards. Zydowsky said. He added that he isn’t expecting additional funding from the state to help with staffing costs.

“I am cautioning all the building administrators, all the department leaders, after adding almost 1 million in staffing for this school year and knowing the costs of our staff is going to increase just based on the demographics of our staff, I do think the board should be careful,” Zydowsky said.

With all the new staff being added in the last year, board member Jim Swanson asked Zydowsky to put together a report on the impact the new staff has made on the district.

Board member David Styer said it would be helpful to review the plan developed last year. The board worked on the second steps of the staffing plan to analyze where the district might like to go with staffing if additional funds were available.

Value statement on bullying

The board also spoke about the plans to release a video presenting its value statement on bullying.

The board adopted a value statement in January as part of a response to bullying concerns brought to the board from students at the middle and high schools during public comments at a meeting in October.

Board president Amy Riddle-Swanson recorded a reading of the statement and it will be shared on the district’s website, social media and to all teachers. All students grades K-12 will then view the video in school. The value statement video is expected to be shared and available to the public by the end of the week.

The next board of education meeting is Feb. 24 at the district’s administrative services building.

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