Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wauwatosa teacher to speak at international conference on music software Now he’ll be speaking about it internationally

Wauwatosa teacher

Journal Sentinel: Wauwatosa East High School orchestra teacher Mike Hayden is heading to Germany in November to speak on integrating modern music technology in the classroom, a passion he’s developed in his 11 years of teaching.

Hayden will speak at the Ableton Loop Festival to attendees who are either teaching music production formally, in an after-school program or looking to start a music program.

Although he’s a regular presenter at state music education conferences, this is the first time he will travel to speak internationally.

Hayden has been using the Ableton Live software throughout his teaching career, which has included teaching a variety of music courses, including orchestra ensemble, a rock band class and digital music.

Although another teacher is in charge of the digital music classes at Wauwatosa East, Hayden helped create some of the curriculum for that class, and he still finds ways to integrate the software into his orchestra classes.

“I’m still able to do a lot more composition and improvisation activities in orchestra,” Hayden said. “We record and listen, we’ll use trap beats sometimes instead of our traditional metronome … I show kids that it’s OK to have fun and incorporate the stuff you like to listen to with what you play.”

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Sheboygan Falls teacher named finalist for Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Teaching Prize

A Sheboygan Falls High School construction and technology education teacher was named today one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which will award more than $500,000 to outstanding skilled trades teachers and programs in American public high schools. As a finalist, the school and teacher will receive at least $30,000 and up to $100,000 if they win the top prize.

Drawn from across the country and representing skilled trades like construction, automotive, architecture, woodworking, manufacturing and marine systems technology, the 10 finalists are in the running for three first-place prizes of $100,000, with $70,000 going to the high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the winning program. The seven second-place winners will each be awarded $30,000, with $20,000 going to the high school program and $10,000 to the teacher/team. The winners will be announced on Oct. 26.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was designed to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools that inspires students to learn a trade that prepares them for a career after high school.

“We created this prize out of huge respect for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands to create, build and repair,” said Eric Smidt, founder of the prize and founder, owner and CEO of the national retailer Harbor Freight Tools. “We’re proud to honor the important leadership of these skilled trades teachers, who are working so hard to equip their students with the know-how and skill to land good jobs, pursue bright futures, and become part of a workforce our country needs.”

Sheboygan Falls High School’s Ed Hughes was recognized for his work teaching construction, computer-aided design, STEM and other trades. He guides his students through trades pathways, a robust internship program and robotics competitions. Hughes helped spearhead the creation of his school’s Innovation Design Center, a modern learning space dedicated to the trades and technology.

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Freedom High School students restore truck to be featured in Las Vegas convention

WBAY.com:  A truck at Freedom High School is getting a lot of attention.

Student working on truck in shop class
A student works on a truck in Freedom High School’s automotive class on October 12, 2017 (WBAY photo)

It’s been completely refurbished by a group of students and will soon go on display at a Las Vegas convention.

It’s a project that’s been underway for about six months.

Students at Freedom High School say the changes have been dramatic to a 1985 Toyota 4Runner after the vehicle was donated to the school last spring as part of a project to raise money for the school’s automotive program.

Freedom High School automotive instructor Jay Abitz said, “It’s a complete transformation from a rusty stock to a four runner to something that’s completely custom built with a lift kit and a bunch of handcrafted metal fabrication and $20,000 in donated aftermarket parts. It’s a real rock crawler now.”

The vehicle was donated to the school by the Northeast Wisconsin Motorama in exchange for the students providing assistance at the show.

The project has provided the students with hands-on experience many are grateful for.

Automotive student Brian Vander Heiden said, “It is very nice. I’ve learned so many things, how to shape metal, how to paint correctly, and all these little tips and tricks I never knew before.”

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Verona class gives students behind-the-scenes look at health care field

Verona CNA

Madison.com: Lidia Velasco signed up for the certified nursing assistant class at Verona High School because it was a deal she couldn’t pass up.

“It’s a really good opportunity because as long as you pass, Verona High School pays for this class,” said the high school junior.

In addition, the school pays for the test students need to take to become certified as a CNA, she said. The school does not pay if students have to retake the exam.

The class is taught by Madison Area Technical College instructors who expect the same from high school students as they do older students. Students must apply for the class and meet certain requirements that include background checks and immunizations, said Amy Moschkau, school-to-career coordinator at Verona High School.

Verona students not only get high school credit, but also get three credits from Madison Area Technical College. Typically the class would cost a student about $500.

Verona is one of four high schools in Dane County to offer the class in their buildings although two other schools send their students to a neighboring district’s program. The class is offered each semester in Verona to a maximum of 16 students.

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Farm to School gains momentum in greater Green Bay

Green Bay Farm to School

Green Bay Press-Gazette: October is a month that celebrates transformation, including leaves changing the landscape into a picturesque masterpiece and temperatures cooling from their summer peaks.

October also marks a celebration of a community transformation unfolding within our children’s schools — Farm to School.

Farm to School is a national movement that connects schools with local farmers to develop impactful relationships, contribute to a strong local economy and provide a greater sense of connection from farm to fork. When we teach our children where their food comes from, we shift the culture around food. Research shows this can have a profound effect on everything from academic success to mental well-being to the development of healthy, lifelong eating habits.

Live54218’s role in Farm to School began in 2012, when we convened a task force with nine school districts in Brown County. One of the first large-scale projects was the implementation of classroom lessons, with nutrition educators taking farm to school lessons into local schools. Along with classroom lessons, came a focus on school gardens and the involvement of Food Service staff in not only preparing produce grown in school gardens, but actively working on how to purchase and serve food grown by local farmers on school lunch trays.

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Osseo-Fairchild foster Grandparent Program brings together generations

Osseo Fairchild

WQOW.com: They say age is meant to bring us wisdom, but students at Osseo-Fairchild Elementary School are growing wise with a little help.

Millie “Grandma Millie” Polinske might not look like a typical first grader, but what she lacks in youth, her spirit surpasses.

“I always thought if I could help with one student it would be worth it,” said Polinske.

Polinske has volunteered as a Foster Grandparent for 24 years, all spent at Osseo-Fairchld Elementary.

“It does just as much for me as it does for the student,” Polinske said.

The program partners grandparents and pupils as they help students over learning hurdles, after already gone over their own.

“The one on one relationship that develops with the older adult is so important to them, someone who notices when they have a haircut or new shoes,” said Mary Jo Hanson, Director of the Foster Grandparents Program.

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Greenfield School District’s new workplace clinic will keep employees healthier

Greenfield clinic

Journal Sentinel: The School District of Greenfield opened its new workplace clinic Monday, Sept. 25, and will now be able to provide a variety of medical services to employees within the district.

Thanks to a partnership with Froedert and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Greenfield’s teachers, staff, and others on the Greenfield health plan can simply stop by the free clinic at the high school for a variety of medical needs instead of taking time to go to a doctor’s office.

“Making things convenient and attractive to our employees was our main goal,” said Superintendent Lisa Elliott.

Though other school districts in the area offer similar clinics, Greenfield is the first district Froedert and MCW has partnered with.

Plans for the workplace clinic were originally announced in March, targeting a fall opening. The board was able to afford to put the clinic on the capital plan thanks to cost-savings in other projects that same plan. The cost to build the clinic was approximately $200,000.

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Lodi Kindergarteners to be ‘Nurtured in Nature’

Lodi outdoor kindergarten

Lodi Enterprise:  The Lodi School Board approved Nurtured in Nature, a learning initiative that encourages kindergarteners to play, be outside and just be kids at its regular meeting Sept. 11.

Kids are under greater pressure to achieve high standards, and most are so overscheduled they don’t have time to simply be children, Lodi Elementary Guidance Counselor Val Bilkey said. Bilkey introduced the unanimously-approved program to the board via PowerPoint presentation.

Research also shows that young children who engage in some form of unstructured play have better language and social skills, the ability to empathize with their peers and achieve higher levels of thinking, she said during her presentation. Being out in nature reaps many benefits of their own, she said, including reduced anxiety and improved cognition.

“We are already noticing a difference in our students when they are engaged in free play versus when they are in a classroom setting or even outside at recess,” Bilkey wrote in an email. “They communicate, problem-solve, work together and are better able to naturally self-regulate.”

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Beloit class hopes to help inspire the educators of tomorrow

Beloit teacher class

Beloit Daily News: Twenty-two Turner High School students spent their Thursday afternoon class designing their ideal school. This is one of many assignments in a class meant to help prepare students who are interested in becoming educators for a possible career.

Social Studies teacher Matt Bright co-teaches an Introduction to Education class with Liz Langer, school technology integrator. This is the first time the class has been offered.

“We thought that high school education would be the place to start and get a point program going,” Bright said on Thursday. “I know we’re only two weeks into the class, but it’s really fun.”

Superintendent Dennis McCarthy said the district has been working through a Academic and Career Planning curriculum for the school, and pathways for students was a focus of the discussion.

“One challenge we have been discussing, along with a good share of the state and nation, is a severe shortage in teacher candidates,” McCarthy said. “As we began to discuss this issue we came to the reality of saying…we have all of these career pathways, but which one should we have the best knowledge of?”

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Viroqua High School initiative encourages students to put down their phones

Viroqua

Vernon County Broadcaster: This school year Viroqua High School students are being encouraged to put their phones or devices away during the school day and “hang out” with one another between classes, during lunch, and before and after school.

Black and orange wristbands with the phrase “Viroqua High School…Hang Up & Hang Out” were handed out to students Sept. 7 (seniors received theirs Sept. 18) as a reminder to put down the phone and socialize.

Principal Kathy Klos got the idea from her son who runs track in college. She said as she was watching a meet, she noticed the athletes did not have their phones or devices.

“I asked him, ‘Why don’t you have your phones?’ ‘What is the rule?’,” she said. “He said, ‘We don’t have a rule, we agreed as a team to hang up and hang out.’ I thought that’s kind of cool that they agreed to it as a team and were not told to do it.”

Klos said she wants to have VHS students consider putting away their phones or devices at lunch or other times of the day and talk to the person next to them.

“Dean of Students Eric Anderson and I monitor the halls, and last year we wondered why it was so quiet,” she said. “There was less interaction with one another (because students were on their phones). I am not saying it’s gone away completely.”

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