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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Kenosha News: In addition to offering internships, Aurora has formed a partnership with the Kenosha Unified School District as well as Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to introduce students to the health care field.
Another large employer, UnitedHealthcare, has taken it a step further. The UnitedHealthcare Foundation has created a $2.3 million matching grant program with Milwaukee Area Technical College to double the size of its registered nursing program over the next three years.
Some colleges have also expanded their curricula to accommodate more students looking to health-care professions.
Carthage College recently established a four-year nursing program, a first for the school. Frank Hicks, director of the nursing department, said the curriculum would fill a critical need for more nurses.
Gateway has expanded its nursing program to include simulation laboratories and classroom space.
“We’re doing what we can to prepare people for the workforce,” said Gateway’s Anne Wilkinson, interim dean of nursing. “We have a very robust student support system.”
Kenosha News: A manufacturing and marketing company made up of 19 middle school students will bring its product to Harbor Market the next two Saturdays. They hope to show off their business acumen — and make a return for their investors.
The summer program is a cooperative effort of Junior Achievement, Leeward Business Advisors and the Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum, or KTEC. Like businesses in the real world, the students had to conceive of a product they could create themselves, raise capital, manufacture it and, come this weekend, bring it to market. Literally.
“The goal is to get youths of Kenosha exposed to what entrepreneurial spirit looks like,” said Michael Polzin, chief executive of Leeward Business Advisors. “And, to generate some understanding on what operating a business looks like. We want them to have that front of mind as they progress through their careers, so they know that they have that ability.”
“This is something that our teachers wouldn’t necessarily have the time or the expertise to teach,” said Kristen Krief, who works in media and community relations for Kenosha Unified School District. “Having Junior Achievement finance it, in partnership with companies like Leeward, gives a real world experience to the kids. And, it’s something we wouldn’t be able to provide on our own.”
Beloit Daily News: For the third time in four years, the Delavan-Darien School District has received the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
Delavan-Darien is one of four percent of districts across the nation receiving the award in 2017. It is one of 23 districts in Wisconsin to receive the honor, given to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. The district earned the award in 2014, 2016 and 2017. It did not apply for the award in 2015.
Delavan-Darien offers general music for all elementary school grades, string instrument instruction starting in fourth grade, band and percussion instrument instruction, and a variety of choir, orchestra and band courses for middle and high school students.
Madison.com: A Sun Prairie band director who was named Wisconsin’s middle school Teacher of the Year in September is now one of four finalists for the overall national honor.
Chris Gleason, 43, an instrumental music teacher and band director at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, will compete for the 2017 National Teacher of the Year Award with finalists from California, Maryland and Massachusetts.
The Council of Chief State School Officers, which runs the contest, announced the finalists Monday.
“I’m astonished, grateful, humbled,” Gleason said from his classroom.
He said he’s been told he will be flown to Washington, D.C., in March for two days of intense interviewing by the selection committee. The national winner is to be announced in late spring.
If he were to win, Gleason would be only the second Wisconsin teacher in history to do so, according to the state Department of Public Instruction.
The first national winner from Wisconsin was Helen “Missy” Adams, a kindergarten teacher in the Cumberland School District, in 1961.
It has been 50 years since the last Wisconsin finalist. That honor goes to Paul D. Plantico of Green Bay West High School in 1967.
Beloit Daily News: After spending years behind bars and seeing lives destroyed by the drugs they once sold, the Buchanan men say they are ready to turn their lives around.
That’s part of the reason the Buchanans and other men with a criminal past have joined Community Action’s Fatherhood Initiative. In addition to gaining job and parenting skills in the program, they are performing community service work on Fridays. They visited Hackett and Merrill elementary schools — the two lowest academic performers in the district — to read to children on Dec. 16. The men also intend to give presentations to intermediate and high school students in the School District of Beloit as well as return visits to the elementary schools.
“Our objective is to let the kids know that reading is cool,” said Fatherhood Initiative case manager Michael Bell.
Capitol Times: Lisette Venegas’ second-grade class sat on a multicolored patchwork carpet and gathered around a smartboard. Moana, the title character from the latest Disney film, was on the screen with a mission for Venegas’ students: “Ayúdame a crear una línea.”
As Venegas asked her class who wanted to help Moana make her line, the excitement was palpable. The students listened intently to the teacher’s question, fighting the urge to raise their hands until she was done speaking.
Venegas teaches the two-way immersion (TWI) class at Verona’s Sugar Creek Elementary School. Students enrolled in TWI learn half of the day’s lessons in English and the other half in Spanish.
On Friday, they participated in the Hour of Code, a worldwide program designed to introduce people of all ages to computer science and coding. Each year, Hour of Code content reaches tens of millions of people in over 180 countries in 50 languages.
This is Venegas’ third year leading her students through Hour of Code activities at Sugar Creek. Venegas thinks it is important to expose her students to coding, especially in Spanish.
WiscNews.com: It was a day of celebration and remembrance at Lodi High School for school leaders from Thailand who on Thursday mourned the loss of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
“It’s a sad moment for the entire country,” said Supannachaht Plangngoen, or “Mr. Chaht” as he’s known by his friends in Lodi.
Supannachaht was one of 10 Thai educators who traveled to the school this week to extend a Memorandum of Understanding between Sa-nguan Ying School in Suphanburi, Thailand and Lodi High School. It’s a partnership that began with an exchange program in 2008 and was enhanced in 2011 to include distance-learning classes for both schools, a dual arrangement unlike any other in the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
The Thai educators spent the day visiting several classrooms before celebrating the partnership in a ceremony that featured national anthems from both countries — a fitting display of unity in the opinion of Principal Vince Breunig.
“We really find the similarities between our two cultures,” Breunig said of the partnership. Breunig signed the MOU in Thailand two years ago.
“We really see teenagers are teenagers, whether they’re here or in Thailand.
“In the news, in politics, we spend so much time focusing on how we’re different and not so much on how we’re the same. This shows how similar people are in most things.”
The distance-learning partnership between the schools is “very, very unique” for Thailand, as well, Supannachaht said, giving the Thailand school of 2,500 students a chance to “study abroad without leaving your country.”
The Journal Times: Twenty-five Racine Unified School District high school students achieved 2016 AP Scholar status. The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program provides students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school and to earn college credit, advanced placement or both for successful performance on the AP Exams.
The following students achieved AP Scholar designation. These students have completed three or more AP Exams with scores of three or higher:
Horlick High School: Hailey Burmeister, Katherine Bydalek, Simeon Cannalte, Andrew Gilbertson, Cassandra Gillen, Nicole Shields, Isabella Smetana, Thomas Stublaski, Milan Tomic, Joshua Topel and Alexander Wiggins.
Park High School: Ryan Cartwright, Neil Monson, Regina Scott, Sophie Torostan and Emma Czosnek.
Walden High School: Michael Christensen.
The following students achieved AP Scholars with Honor. These students earned an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and scores of three or higher on four or more of these exams:
Horlick High School: Ali Batayneh, Michael Coey and Margaret Ford.
Park High School: Eryn Benner, Giorgi Miller and Jenna Rosinski.
The Journal Times: After a nationwide search, AASA, the School Superintendents Association, has chosen Racine Unified School District Chief Academic Officer Rosalie Daca as one of 20 accomplished women leaders from school districts across the country to participate in the first AASA Aspiring Women Leaders Program, according to a Racine Unified School District news release.
Daca was selected to participate in the AASA Women In School Leadership initiative called “More Than a Power Lunch: Building Networks to Support and Advance Women in School Leadership.” The initiative was launched to help ease the impact of social barriers women face in ascending to the top leadership positions within school systems, and to significantly increase the number of women seeking and becoming CEOs and superintendents of schools.