La Crosse Schools superintendent, Dr. Aaron Engel, in studio, as we discussed potentially closing two elementary schools, how the transition to standards based grading is going and what to do as truancy is at an all-time high.
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Began the show, though, just talking about how kids are hopped up on Halloween candy this time of year, and also asked Engel — a Battalion Commander in the National Guard — how and the unit he commands are feeling with the continued situation in Ukraine and the escalation of war in Israel.
In the first segment, we talked about truancy and why it’s continued to be at an all-time high in La Crosse at over 40 percent of students chronically absent — missed 10% of days. This is a trend that’s continued from last school year to now.
After that, we talked about challenges for students, parents and teachers with standards based grading, which was implemented for the first time this year at the high school level.
Wrapped up the conversation with school consolidation. The district’s Facilities Advisory Committee will hold its last of eight open-to-the-public meetings. The committee has talked of potentially closing two elementary schools — either North Woods, Spence, Emerson or Hintgen. We discussed the challenges with closing each but why it needs to be done.
The committee will submit its final report to the district on Nov. 2. There will be two public comment sessions on that report Nov. 27 and Nov. 29. In between that, Engel said he will discuss the report Nov. 16 on La Crosse Talk PM.