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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Green Bay Press Gazette: A new partnership between Green Bay schools and local colleges aims to get students thinking about and preparing sooner for higher education.
Michelle Langenfeld, superintendent of schools and learning, said the collaboration works at introducing the idea of college in elementary and middle schools and then incorporating more college-level courses in high schools. The goal is that, by 2023, all students graduating from the district will leave high school with a minimum of 15 college credits.
The initiative, Turbocharge with College Credit, involves Green Bay Area Public School District, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Representatives from the institutions announced the program Thursday during an assembly at Washington Middle School.
Jeff Rafn, president of NWTC, proposed the idea in 2015. He said there are more than 100 opportunities to earn college credit while still working toward high school graduation.
“There truly is a variety of classes,” he said. “Some we (NWTC or UWGB instructors) will come into the schools to teach, or the schools will have a teacher of their own, who’s certified, teach our curriculum.”
Fox11News: Chilton Schools are using this week as an opportunity to connect singing with learning.
Professionals showed students and staff how it’s done.
Small rhythms… coming together to form something much bigger.
That’s what students in the Chilton School District got to experience Thursday.
Caleb Kopecky, a junior at Chilton High School, said, “I’ve had a lot of fun with it. I feel like it offers a lot of different aspects to what we can do with singing.”
The district-wide workshop was directed by Paul Smith. He’s a vocal educator from the British music group “VOCES8”
Paul Smith, head of participation for VOCES8, said, “Being in Wisconsin is just fantastic. It’s really nice to be back in an area where singing is so supported, there’s a great teaching staff and great excitement about making music.”
While the workshop has a big focus on music and fun, the school district also hopes this experience will impact the students’ learning.
Melissa Ebert, ArtsCore coach for the Chilton Public School District, said, “We believe it allows our students to grasp onto subjects easier, whether it be math or social studies.”
WEAREGREENBAY.com:Students at De Pere Middle School need your help to win a national competition.
They have created the concept for an app that could curb bullying and reward kids for helping out.
“We had like 5 good ideas but we were still looking for that one great idea so we decided to do the Pass It On app” explains student Annika kennerhed.
The app idea allows students to report bullying or good deeds with a few simple clicks.
“Really as a middle school it is time for them to take accountability for their own actions, but compliment and reward others for what they are doing” says Heather Wright, Computer Literacy Teacher for De Pere Middle School.
Students say the app is a great way to report without being labeled a tattle tale. “If someone overheard you talking to an adult or whatever they would think you are a bad person, you tell on everyone” says student Amelia Sment.
The Pass It On app was created by a team of seven De Pere Middle School students. They submitted it to the Verizon innovative app challenge.
“Best in state got us $5.000 for stem to be used at the school. Each kid got a Verizon 10 tablet, so they were mostly excited about that” Wright explains.
After winning best in region, the students are now competing against schools across the nation to become the fan favorite. Sment says “I was really overwhelmed because I did not know we would get this far”.
Wausau Daily Herald: It’s been more than a year and a half since Jonathan Wesener died, but the emotions are still raw.
“When something like this happens,” said Edgar school Superintendent Cari Guden, “we all feel as if we’ve lost a child.”
After Jonathan’s suicide in May 2015, his parents and other family members spoke out. They believed the 16-year-old was a victim of bullying that likely triggered his choice to end his life.
A community in the midst of grief and loss also found itself grappling with ways to prevent future bullying and future tragedies. Steven and Angela Wesener pushed for stronger anti-bullying policies in the Edgar School District after their son’s death, and the district upgraded the way it treats bullying complaints. Students and parents can make complaints using an online form posted on the district’s website, and there is a more formal procedure for investigating the allegations.
Meanwhile, amid the tragedy of a second suicide in the district, Edgar continues to develop more steps to address mental health issues facing students.
Wausau Daily Herald: Paula Hase thought she was attending an anti-bullying assembly Tuesday morning with fellow teachers, staff members and students in the gym of Wausau East High School.
But instead, the school’s librarian was handed an over-sized check for $100,000. Hase was one of six teachers across the country who won an online contest sponsored by Farmers Insurance called Thank America’s Teachers Dream Big Challenge. The money will be used to significantly upgrade the schools broadcasting lab. Right now, the lab uses analog video equipment, and the cash will allow the school to purchase state-of-the-art video cameras, computers and editing equipment.
“I think this is one of those defining moments,” Hase said immediately after announcement was made, fighting back tears. “This is the highlight of my career. … This broadcasting lab will put us, really central Wisconsin, at an advantage point in direct competition (with the rest of the country.) So these are exciting times and we’re looking forward to developing this.”
John Muir Middle School teacher Patricia (Patty) Zemke was named Health Education Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin Health and Physical Education (WHPE) Association. Zemke received her award at the WHPE Association’s annual convention in Wisconsin Dells.
Zemke was recognized for her significant contributions to the profession in the areas of teaching, research, creative activities, and service. She engages her students to participate in authentic community involvement relative to health and healthy living. Her students have ‘bagged the butts’ in a local park, worked with third graders using “I Love Not Smoking” coloring books, and developed and distributed positive health messages for “brown bags” and “movie messages.” They have also implemented and continue to participate in the “grab and go” breakfast program.
John Muir Principal Larry Mancl said, “Patty is a champion advocate for students. Her vigilance in developing and implementing a comprehensive and relevant health curriculum for our district middle school students is highly recognized! She has provided staff with best and promising practices to maintain student attention and focus by providing brain breaks and physical movement.”
Zemke began teaching in the Wausau School District in 1996 and holds a Masters in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Green Bay Press-Gazette: Andrew Ferron doesn’t pick up a pencil or boot up a computer for most of his school day. Rather, he grabs a torch and puts on a welding helmet.
The West De Pere High School senior is one of 11 students enrolled in an apprenticeship program launched this school year, called the Trades Career Academy, offered by the West De Pere and De Pere school districts for kids who are interested in a skilled trade after graduation. The students spend two hours in “school” and the remainder of their day working in one of six De Pere businesses, doing machining, welding, engineering or other similar duties.
“I like working with my hands,” said Ferron, who works at Robinson Metal in De Pere. “I get to do a little bit of everything.”
School administrators throughout the state see the benefit of finding a high school fit for students such as Ferron, who do not plan to attend a four-year college but will need training for their future jobs in trades. And businesses, in need of qualified workers, increasingly are willing to partner with schools to prepare students. The Green Bay Area Chamber also coordinates the youth apprenticeship programs. Students earn high school credit and a paycheck as part of the deal, and some will be hired by the companies they work for full-time after high school. Others may use the experience as stepping stone to a technical college associate or certificate program.
Oconto County Times Herald: Members of the Gillett School Board broke from their monthly meeting Thursday night to visit the garden behind the elementary school. Seeds 2 Service created the garden, where students learn about growing and harvesting their own food, plus how to cook the food and plan healthy meals.
The program got its start in 2013, buoyed by $70,000 in grant funding. In the first years of the program, students made raised beds from kits, hauled dirt and mulch, and planted the seeds.
“They worked really hard on it. I think they’re pretty proud of it,” said coordinator Sara Peterson.
About 50 students were enrolled in the program, which met after school during the school year. This prevents some students from going home to an empty house, Peterson said.
During the summer, five or six summer school classes are offered, enrolling about 20 students per class.
“We talk about healthy eating, whole grains, and we try different foods with the kids,” Peterson said.
Fox 11 News: Students at Ashwaubenon High School showcased the work they’ve done to transform technical education.
It was all part of the kickoff of the school’s Beaux Mettler Innovation Center who’s mission is to be the premier technology and engineering education program to develop innovative and skilled leaders of tomorrow.
The center is a collaboration with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, the N-E-W Manufacturing Alliance and the Beaux Mettler Foundation.