Mike Richie, District Administrator
Spirit Article - August 2021
Summer months are very busy around the school district. Students and staff may not be in session or present, but many things are happening as we prepare for the 2021-22 school year.
Our maintenance staff is working very diligently cleaning 240,000 square feet of our school building. They remove all items in each classroom and clean the furniture, wax floors, shampoo carpets and clean every inch of space. In addition, they clean all offices, locker rooms, gyms, hallways, and cafeteria. When they are done, our school is spotless! They do an amazing job.
Another important task that happens over the summer months is the hiring of staff. Each year we have a turnover of approximately 15 school employees. This is due to retirements, resignations or adding new positions and this year is no different, as we have hired 14 new employees.
School districts are required by law to conduct an internal audit each year. This normally happens in July or August. The Tomorrow River School District concluded their preliminary audit in July with the final audit to occur in August. Kerber Rose Certified Public Accountants is performing this task. The audit must include the examination of the basic financial statements by a certified public accountant. The financial statements presented in the auditor’s report shall comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Additionally, Districts must conform to the account structure prescribed under Wis. Stat. § 115.28(13). The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) prescribes the District account structure called the Wisconsin Uniform Financial Accounting Requirements (WUFAR). The auditor expresses an opinion as to whether the auditee’s financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The DPI may require the auditee to correct any deficiencies.
The district office staff is busy preparing the 2021-22 budget. A lot goes into this process as school finance can be extremely complex. All school districts in Wisconsin have revenue caps set by DPI and we cannot exceed those revenue amounts unless the district goes to an operating referendum. The goal is to always balance the district expenditures vs revenues. The School Board then sets the tax levy at the annual meeting in October.
The Tomorrow River School District has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club this summer and there are 30 elementary students/families that are taking advantage of this. This is a great way for our students to participate in different activities which also include enrichment learning activities. The first four week session was housed at school and the final two sessions will be at the Jensen Center.
It is imperative that the focus for the 2021-22 school year be instructional learning and academics. We are all hoping to get back to a more normal school year, when compared to the last two years. We will make every effort possible to accomplish this goal and really focus on student learning!