Larsen Auto Center goes to bat for School District of Webster

image of youth baseball team

Burnett County Sentinel: Larsen Auto Center has partnered with the School District of Webster. Larsen Auto Center has joined forces with the national Chevrolet Youth Baseball program to provide new equipment, invitations to free instructional clinics, and an opportunity for community members to earn donations for their league via a Test Drive fundraiser.

“Playing the game of baseball helps kids develop skills like leadership, cooperation and sportsmanship while bringing families and communities together to show their support. Larsen Auto Center and Chevrolet Youth Baseball are proud to participate in a sport that brings so many smiles to kids and families in Webster.” said Phil Nehring, General Manager for Larsen Auto Center. “Chevrolet believes that in play, there are possibilities and supports the spirit of teamwork that baseball instills in its players.”

2018 marks Chevrolet’s Youth Baseball program’s 13th year, and since its introduction has helped aid local teams, benefiting more than 12.4 million young people in communities where Chevrolet’s customers live, work and play. In 2017, more than 1,500 Chevrolet dealers participated across the country.

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Teachers from China visit Tomah elementary school

image of Chinese educators in Tomah classroom

The Tomah Journal: Lemonweir Elementary School received visitors from the Orient on Monday.

Thirty-six teachers from China observed classes and asked and answered questions about the education systems in the United States and China when they visited Lemonweir as part of the Kingstar Nanjing Foreign Language School Program and XuZhou Kindergarten Teachers College, which partners with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Nicki Pope, Lemonweir principal said the purpose of the trip is to learn best practices for education and how classes are conducted in the United States.

The educators from China visited Lemonweir because of its 45-15 school year. They were curious about everything from how classrooms are set up and designed, how teacher contracts are structured and the daily schedule, Pope said.

“It’s interesting,” she said. “It’s fun to watch the students excited to see and ask them questions. So it’s been a good experience.”

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Oconomowoc school farm grows pollinator habitat, awareness

photo of student working in field

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Oconomowoc High School students are part of a national effort to establish a pollinator habitat.

“This is the real deal,” said Marge Waite, who has taught agricultural and plant science courses in Oconomowoc since the 1980s. “It’s a timely project that people are interested in.”

Thanks to grants from the Sand County Foundation, the Monarch Joint Venture and additional support in Wisconsin from the We Energies Foundation, Oconomowoc was one of 16 Wisconsin and Minnesota school districts that helped grow native prairie plants that sustain endangered insect pollinators and monarch caterpillars, according to a news release from the Sand County Foundation.

Insect pollinators and monarch butterflies are essential for crop pollination and ecological diversity. They are at risk partly due to loss of farmland habitat. The pilot project encourages schools with greenhouses to grow vegetation such as red milkweed, compass plants, rattlesnake master and purple coneflower, and transplant them in rural areas. Oconomowoc High School fit the bill with a commercial greenhouse and a 74-acre school farm.

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Green Bay special education work program offers students real-world job skills

image of students working on car

WBAY.com: A proud day for six Green Bay special education students as they receive certificates for successfully completing a seven-week work experience program.

In a first-of-its-kind for the district, the students worked with employees at Dorsch Ford, learning about auto detailing.

“What I’ve really enjoyed is how they’ve been teaching us how to detail cars, how to do it safely with chemicals, shamming, drying, acid washes,” said Sam Birmingham, a senior at Green Bay East High School.

The work experience program also allows the students to practice real-world employee skills, making it easier to secure a job after graduation.

“The life skills and the soft skills we’re discussing is communication skills, how to interact appropriately in a workplace, how to communicate their wants and needs and how to best be in a team environment- that’s really what we’re teaching here that’s what it’s all about,” said Shane McDonough, work experience coordinator for Green Bay East High School.

Read the complete article (with video).

Community partnership yields solar power at School District of the Menomonie Area

image of district and community leaders

The Dunn County News: In a collaboration, Dunn Energy Cooperative, Water Source Heating and Cooling of Eau Claire, and the School District of the Menomonie Area have successfully completed a project insuring renewable energy for years to come for the district.

Through a grant from the Dunn Energy Cooperative’s Operation Round Up program and the resources of Jesse Green from Water Source Heating and Cooling, the Bjornson Education-Recreation Center — known locally as the Environmental Site — has installed a 3kW photovoltaic array.

This, along with the School District’s participation in the Dunn Energy SunDEC Community Solar array, brings the Environmental Site to a 100 percent renewable status.

“The success of this solar project is a great example of the good that can happen when community partners come together,” said Joe Zydowsky, district administrator for the School District of the Menomonie Area. “We are proud to say that the school district’s environmental site is now 100 percent powered by renewable energy. Not only has this been a wise investment for the School District of the Menomonie Area, but it also has the potential to serve as a good example and learning opportunity for our students and staff.”

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Madison schools deem ‘micro school’ a success, look to options for future

stock image of school hallway

Wisconsin State Journal: Madison school officials say a nine-week “micro school” at the end of the 2017-18 academic year improved attendance, engagement and learning for a small group of at-risk La Follette High School students, but key questions remain about how the model could be implemented in the future.

The Madison School District launched the school April 5 at the Life Center Madison church in the wake of a string of fights and other behavior problems at La Follette, on the city’s East Side. The idea was to try to re-engage a small group of students believed to be responsible for much of the discord, in part by allowing them to have a greater say in what they learn and how they learn it.

Enrollment in the school was voluntary and while the district initially sought to recruit from 15 to 20 students, ultimately 13 — all black or biracial boys — signed up, and 10 of them showed academic, social and other kinds of progress toward graduation.

According to a July 9 report on the program:

  • Ten students had plans in place to transition to a more permanent school placement this coming school year.
  • Attendance for the 13 increased from 72 percent for school year prior to entering the micro school to 84 percent in the micro school.
  • Students earned five partial-day suspensions during the nine-week session, as opposed to 30 during the school year to that point.
  • Nine of the 13 students earned the maximum 3.5 credits available during the nine-week program, one earned three credits and three earned none.

The majority of the students also gave the school high marks.

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Reedsburg teens making a difference to reduce substance abuse

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Reedsburg Times-Press: Sixteen-year-old Kassidy Kleeber said as the next generation of people in this world an example needs to be set when it comes to preventing substance abuse within communities. This is a reason why her and another student, Forrest Eden, are taking action to help educate others about substance abuse.

“It’s kind of up to us on how we’re going to show the younger ones what we need to be doing and how we can keep ourselves healthy,” she said.

Both teens are a part of the newly formed Sauk County Partnership for Prevention and Recovery Coalition, a group formed last November to help identify local issues on substance abuse and how to solve them. Tamara Eden, an adult advisor for the youth with the coalition and alcohol and drug abuse specialist, said meetings are open to anyone. The group meets from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month in the basement of the Sauk County Courthouse at West Square Building, 505 Broadway Baraboo, in room B24.

Kleeber and Forrest Eden were selected to represent the coalition at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Mid-Year Training Institute July 15-19 in Orlando, Florida. At the conference, both teens learned through different training sessions about substance abuse around the nation as well as prevention techniques. It was through those sessions, as well as smaller group sessions, they learned to identify issues regarding substance abuse among youth in Reedsburg, especially with heroin use and underage drinking.

“We started to realize the problem in our community was getting out of hand,” Forrest Eden, 15, said.

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Casimir Pulaski High School obtains International Baccalaureate status

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Fox6News.com: Pulaski High School in Milwaukee graduated to an elite level of education on Thursday, July 19. The school obtained International Baccalaureate status — meaning students can now take classes and earn college credit.

“This is a momentous day for the Milwaukee Public Schools,” said Keith Posley, MPS interim superintendent.

It’s an achievement three years in the making for Pulaski High School.

“And our young people can gain college credits and go off to the universities and may not have to take as many classes when it comes to the freshman year,” said Posley.

Of those students who looks to benefit from being able to take college courses in high school is Jeremiah Baez.

“I want to go to college and study business,” said Baez.

Baez said being able to earn college credit doesn’t just mean getting ahead in school, but also saving a lot money.

“Kids are going to want to go to class. They’re going to want to learn. It’s going to be more difficult on us, but I think we’re all up for the job,” said Baez.

The process of getting accredited has been tedious to say the least, but officials said this level of elite academics will keep Milwaukee Public Schools at the forefront of a quality education.

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Clintonville student-authors finalists in National Book Challenge

The Shawano Leader: A group of Clintonville Middle School students were recently named as finalists in a nationwide challenge hosted by a student publishing company. Stacey Conradt and her sixth-grade class were among the top 50 student-published contestants out of more than 800,000 entries in Studentreasures Publishing’s 2017-18 National Book Challenge.

“I am extremely proud of the hard work and creativity that each student put into this authentic piece of literature,” said Conradt, who will be starting her fifth year of teaching in the Clintonville School District. She said the 16 student-authors in her class worked together to write “The Adventures of Jerky Turkey,” an idea they came up with when thinking about a turkey’s perspective on Thanksgiving. The students worked together to research, write and illustrate the book before sending the completed pages to be published.

“They worked together as a team to come up with the idea and carry out the story’s plot throughout the entire book. Each student shared personal ideas and traditions of their Thanksgiving experiences which, in my opinion, created a very entertaining story line,” Conradt said. “I’m very proud of the Clintonville Middle School student authors and hope they remember this achievement forever.”

The students who contributed to the book include Callie Behnke, Brooklyn Bothe, Haylie Bratz, Beau DeCamp, Alyce Guseck, Victoria Havlik, Lukas Jaensch, Nevaeh Krueger, Lex Lapp, Marlee Mattes, Cash Nulph, Blayk Rosenau, Isaiah Smith, Gavin Steinke, Jaeley Tischer and Paige Wester. The class will receive a $50 gift card, and each student will receive a published author certificate.

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La Crosse Adapted Sports League benefits athletes and future teachers

photo of students playing field hockey

WXOW.com: For the past five years, the La Crosse Adapted Sports League (ASL) provides student athletes with disabilities the chance to represent their schools through sports. Now they have an opportunity to work on their athleticism throughout the summer for the very first time.

On Thursday, students from four area high schools practiced their field hockey skills at the league’s first Summer Developmental Skills Program.

The league is comprised of High School Students at Logan, Central, Onalaska, and Holmen that otherwise would not be able to participate.

Athletes travel to other schools, earn varsity letters and compete just like other high school teams.

For 15-year-old Central High School athlete Jackson Larson, ASL’s skills camp helps prepare him for a full year of competition.

“It’s pretty exciting learning all the skills and stuff,” Larson says.

Though Larson says he loves a lot about competing one aspect is his favorite, “Goals, goals, getting goals man,” Larson describes.

Although, with athletes playing against other schools they can’t score every game. When they lose it only motivates them to prepare for their next match-up, “Using better strategy to actually win, our coaches really help us with the strategy,” Larson explains.

With coaches like Matt Meyers helping athletes see past the losses.

“They understand that there’s a bigger life picture, ASL Coach Matt Meyers elaborates, “sometimes in life you’re going to win and sometimes in life you’re going to lose, but always keeping perspective and having a good head on your shoulder in that regard,” Meyers finishes.

Read more about the La Crosse’s Adapted Sports League.