Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mineral Point teacher recognized for ag literacy work

Mineral Point

Wisconsin Agriculturist: Livia Doyle, a fourth-grade teacher at Mineral Point Elementary School in Iowa County, Wis., is the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program.

Each year, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation recognizes a teacher for his or her efforts educating students on the importance of agriculture. Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas, with the exclusion of certified agriculture education instructors, are eligible to apply.

Livia Doyle, a fourth-grade teacher at Mineral Point Elementary School in Iowa County, Wis., is the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program.

Each year, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation recognizes a teacher for his or her efforts educating students on the importance of agriculture. Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas, with the exclusion of certified agriculture education instructors, are eligible to apply.

Read the complete article on Mineral Point teacher receiving agriculture literacy award.

Appleton high school students build Habitat for Humanity home

Appleton Habitat for Humanity

Post-Crescent: An unfinished house has been a classroom for a group of Appleton high school students for the past few months.

But in about a month, a local family in need of a place to live will be moving in.

The house was built by 22 students, mostly juniors and seniors from all three Appleton high schools who worked at the site on South Pierce Avenue for a two-hour, two-credit class this past semester as part of the school district’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Marcus McGuire, a teacher at Appleton West who runs the class, said he was glad students were involved in the project because the experience could help them find careers in construction.

The students took part in the build every step of the way, McGuire said, and worked directly with contractors to do more specialized work, such as plumbing or wiring.

“My goal is to mimic an actual job site as much as possible,” he said.

Read the complete article on student Habitat for Humanity project.

A Wauwatosa elementary school receives Recycling Excellence Award for composting efforts

Tosa compost

Journal Sentinel: Sometimes trash talking is a good thing, and at one Wauwatosa school they not only talk the talk, they follow that up with award-winning action.

Wauwatosa’s McKinley Elementary received the 2017 Recycling Excellence Award for Projects and Initiatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for their work the past two years creating a recycling and composting program.

“The Recycling Excellence Award program is designed to encourage and reward communities and programs for outstanding efforts, innovation, and performance in recycling, while providing examples of how to increase the effectiveness of local recycling programs,” wrote Joseph Van Rossum, the director of the Bureau of Waste and Materials Management with the Department of Natural Resources. “It’s an honor to recognize these programs for their waste diversion achievements.”

Even though the school’s recycling program is innovative and unique, teacher Elizabeth Daily said the kids regard it as “business as usual.”

Read the complete article on McKinley Elementary School’s award.

Student journalists inform public through Pulaski News

Pulaski

NBC26.com: The longest running school newspaper in the country is in Pulaski. Future journalists gather in one classroom to learn the basics.

“We get to share our writing with the entire community,” said Senior Jaclyn Willems.

The Pulaski News newspaper is run by the school but is available to the entire community. Instructor Emily Alger-Feser, a Pulaski High School alum, said it’s great to be back.

“Pulaski is built up of pride and tradition, that’s two words we use a lot. Now being able to help them, this is an awesome group of people. It just kind of feels great to be back here again and doing something not just for the school and district, but for the whole community.”

Read the complete article on the Pulaski student newspaper.

Black River Falls School District working to close special education gap

La Crosse Tribune: The Black River Falls School District was recently notified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that, based on state testing, their special education students were lagging behind the average Wisconsin test scores for special education students.

The district has been working to correct this issue ever since they got a warning last year from DPI.

“The state is changing how they measure special education students. Their literacy is becoming a far heavier weight than it used to be. The previous year we were told that while the new requirements were not firmly in place, they let us know that if all data continued in the way it was going that we were not on track to be making adequate progress. So we kind of had a year warning, and then this year that warning came to fruition,” Severson said.

Dr. Tammy Kielbasa was hired in July as the new director of pupil services and has been working to bring together what has been previously done and make it stronger.

“What they spent time doing last year and this year is that they are really working with the curriculum to make sure that we have a rigorous curriculum not only for our regular education students, but that our curriculum for special education students is just as rigorous as the other students,” Kielbasa said adding that they are also working on providing more professional development and additional resources to make sure the teachers have options to teach all of the students.

Read the complete article on special education improvement efforts in Black River Falls.

Appleton Area School District, city of Appleton share dedicated health clinic

Post-Crescent: It used to be that only very large employers could afford to offer the “perks” of a dedicated employee health clinic. However, programming by Greg Biese of Associated Benefits and Risk Consulting and ThedaCare At Work broke with tradition last fall. They worked together to establish a shared clinic specifically for eligible employees and families of the Appleton Area School District and the City of Appleton.

The near-site clinic, a term that describes a mutually convenient location for partner-employers but is not actually on-site at any one of their workplaces, is housed on the campus of ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Appleton.

The staff at the Connecting Care Clinic, as it is called, includes a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, registered nurse, and two medical assistants. Hours are set to coincide with the schedules of school district and city employees, including two days a week when the clinic opens at 5:30 a.m. for shift and school-day staffers.

Julie King, chief human resources officer for AASD, and Sandy Matz, director of human resources for the City of Appleton, both worked with Biese and ThedaCare At Work to develop the custom clinic format.

Read the complete article on Appleton’s shared clinic.

Oconomowoc High School music teacher Michael Krofta honored as 2017 band master of the year

Krofta

Journal Sentinel: Michael Krofta, a 26-year teacher at Oconomowoc High School, received one of the highest honors in music education for the state of Wisconsin recently.

Krofta, the conductor of the school’s wind symphony, concert band, Jazz Ensemble I and jazz combo, pep band and marching band, and who also teaches lessons at the school, earned the 2017 Wisconsin Phi Beta Mu Band Master of the Year Award, according to a Facebook post from the Oconomowoc Area School District’s Band Aids group.

“I am very humbled that my fellow band directors from the state of Wisconsin, who are all master educators, have selected me as the Phi Beta Mu, 2017 – Wisconsin State Bandmaster of the Year recipient,” Krofta said in an email to Lake Country Now. “I was inducted into Phi Beta Mu in 2003, and I believe this honor is a reflection of the tradition of excellence the Oconomowoc Area School District band program has had for many years. I have had the wonderful opportunity to have taught at Oconomowoc High School for going on 27 years! The students, parents, staff, administrators and community really make this an amazing place to work!! This is an awesome community!!”

The Phi Beta Mu organization is a national bandmasters fraternity that honors outstanding band directors for their paramount dedication and devotion. According to Krofta, the first official meeting was held at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas in February 1939. Almost every state has an active Phi Beta Mu chapter, and each year, every state chapter elects its “Bandmaster of the Year.”

State’s smallest and most isolated school district overcomes its challenges and limitations

Washington Island

Madison.com: There are no plastic trays, pans of lasagna, a salad bar or even crates filled with cartons of chocolate milk.

Most days, students in the Washington Island School District are on their own for lunch. If they want something hot, they bring a Thermos or use one of the eight microwave ovens in the school’s multipurpose room to heat up leftovers or other concoctions from home.

The closest the school comes to a lunch program is once every other Wednesday. That’s when the student council, as a fundraiser, makes a $4 meal that can include homemade spaghetti, pizza or hot dogs.

“It’s a big hit with the parents because that’s the one day they don’t have to put a brown bag together,” Superintendent Mati Palm-Leis said of the Student Council lunches. “One of the things that’s important to me is that we emulate a school experience that’s similar to other schools.”

But with just 72 students, virtually no funding from the state and its isolated location off the tip of the Door County Peninsula, the state’s smallest prekindergarten through 12th grade district is unlike any other in Wisconsin.

The district, with only one regular school bus and an annual budget of $1.5 million, still faces the same challenges as others around the state. The issues include teacher recruitment, health insurance and transportation costs, taxes, funding special-education programs, finding substitute teachers and convincing residents to run for the School Board.

Read the complete article on the Washington Island School District.

Milwaukee Public Schools officials celebrate new culinary lab at Washington High School

MPS culinary arts

Fox6Now.com: Some Milwaukee Public Schools students are serving up some tasty dishes in a brand new culinary arts lab.

MPS celebrated the completion of the new lab at Washington High School Thursday, November 16th.

The lab is equipped with commercial-grade equipment so students can learn on the same type of equipment that chefs use.

The principal said getting the new equipment into the building presented some challenges.

“This beautiful, fully-functioning commercial kitchen was brought up four flights of stairs that many of you just walked up, so you can imagine how hard it was for 25 men who struggled to bring up many of the pieces you see in the kitchen,” Angelena Terry, Washington High School principal said.

Read the complete article.

Wausau barista business giving special needs students independence and job skills

Wausau

WSAW.com: In the halls of Wausau East High School a group of students is gaining independence and job skills while running a business.

“They’re starting to believe in themselves. They’re starting to think ‘Oh, I can do this,” explained teacher Anissa Walter.

She’s the organizer for Jack’s Joe. The mobile coffee business, run by students with special needs, is a play on the name of the school mascot– the Lumberjacks.

Students, like Elizabeth and Sarah are learning how to be a team, manage inventory and handle money. Skills that will prepare them for the real world.

The business was created through a grant from Reach for the Stars. Since last spring, the rolling coffee shop is a favorite of staff and students.

The coffee is donated by Tom Belongia, owner at Biggby Coffee.

He said he was happy to be apart of the project.

“The teachers had seen a video online of a similar program and they were actually at Biggby Coffee and brainstorming and they asked, ‘Is this something you could actually help us out with?’ I though it was such a beautiful wonderful idea and it fit,” Belongia recalled.

Read the complete article.