Tag Archives: Region 6

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.

Foundation helps high-tech Holmen kids

Holmen foundation

La Crosse Tribune: A demonstration by students enrolled in a Holmen High School’s robotics class showed Holmen Area Foundation supporters how their donations are helping to prepare Holmen students for the future.

The foundation held a reception Oct. 26 at Drugan’s Castle Mound Supper Club and Golf Course to showcase how supporters’ contributions are used and to recognize their generosity.

Holmen High School Robotics I students Trent Davig-Huesmann and Jake Hawes demonstrated the model automated drill press they constructed from a kit the class was able to purchase through funds awarded by the foundation. Their tech ed teacher, Ryan Ziegler, teaches Robotics I and Robotic II classes. A $1,050 grant he received from the foundation made it possible for him to purchase the robotics kit for his students.

The foundation began in 1996 to support Holmen’s school district by awarding grants to support educational projects at the district’s schools.

In addition to the robotics kit, grants awarded to applicants from the school district this past year included funds for a document camera for the English as a Second Language classroom as well as support to allow high school and middle school students to participate in an agri-science and technical education career event.

The foundation also serves as a vehicle for awarding scholarships to Holmen graduates. In addition to scholarships sponsored by the board and the school district’s alumni, the foundation administers various memorial scholarships.

Read the complete article.

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.”

Read the complete article.

Sammie the Service Dog to Work at a La Crosse elementary school

Sammie

WXOW.com: A La Crosse school is one of the first in the area to have a specialized dog to assist students.

As you know, service dogs are used in everything from search and rescue to pushing the button of an elevator for someone with a disability.

At Northwoods Elementary students are quick to pay attention to the man at the front of the room and his dog. Scott Dewey is from Retrieving Freedom, a service dog training program. Many of his canines, like Max, work with veterans with PTSD.

“These dogs do nightmare interruption.  They help get you into public.  They actually sit in front of you, behind you and not guard you but they work to give you a buffer zone,” said Dewey.

Dewey also trained Sammie.

“She can help kids that are having bad days  and help mitigate melt downs and assist with transition zones,” said Dewey.

Read the complete article.

La Crosse middle school students help clean-up neighborhood

La CrosseNews8000.com: Hundreds of La Crosse students were out before school Friday morning… making a positive impact on their community.

The entire student body of the Lincoln, SOTA II, Coulee Montessori Middle School were picking up trash in La Crosse’s Washburn neighborhood.

Students were separated into groups with designated blocks to walk through, picking up debris and loose trash along the way.

The project is a part of the school’s Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports program which aims to teach and reinforce respect, responsibility, and relationship building.

“It was something we developed as a PBIS team and thought, ‘This is a great way to get the kids out there and let them see that what they do can make a difference.’ And we decided that it would also be a great way to kick off the school year,” said PBIS Tier 1 Coach Mandi Hundt.

The students were out until nine Friday morning.

Afterwards, students attended an assembly to further expand on those PBIS values.

Read the complete article.

La Crosse Employees Come Together to Benefit Students

La Crosse

News8000.com: The shelves of a local food pantry are filling up thanks to the efforts of employees of a local business.

Tammy Huntington, an employee of McLoone Metal Graphics of La Crosse, decided to start a fundraiser to benefit local students during the summer. Through donations from fellow employees, the business was able to collect about $450 worth of food for the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse.

Huntington says her donation drive is an example of how easy it is to help those in need.

“It’s no fault of their own that they don’t have the food that they need to survive and I just think it’s sad with where we live and how easy it is to reach into your pocket and donate just a little bit,” said Huntington.

Read more.

Logan High School students design and build industrial exo arm

Logan High School students design and build industrial exo arm

Students in Logan High School’s Project Lead the Way digital electronics class demonstrated their finished exo arm on Thursday. The arm, funded by a number of local partnerships and grants, including $1,750 from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, is designed to help workers operate a metal grinding tool by reducing the amount of force and stress on the body as well as increasing productivity.

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La Crosse Logan High School opens food pantry

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News8000.com: Another school in the area is hoping to help the hungry here at home.

Logan High School recently opened ‘The Logan Table,’ a pantry set up for students and families who may have trouble having enough food at home.

The pantry is maintained by staff members at Logan and is stocked with items provided by the Hunger Task Force.

They held a curbside event outside the high school Thursday to make sure everyone had enough food to last through the upcoming spring break.

Teachers say about 48% of students at Logan qualify for free or reduced cost meals at the school and they didn’t want to see anyone go hungry.

“We worried that ‘how can you focus on learning when you don’t have food at home to eat?’ So we started the pantry at school so that the students could access it, because often you have to be 18 years old or you have to have a car to get to a food pantry,” said Logan H.S. Special Education Teacher Tricia Gibbons.

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Portage culinary arts team low on members – not grit

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Portage Daily Register: Smoke the meat right — just right — or it’s over. All over.

The Portage High School culinary arts team prepared this week for Wisconsin ProStart competition knowing exactly what they’ll need to do to perform well. They know the competition, slated for March 14 in Milwaukee, will feature bigger teams from bigger schools.

They won’t be intimidated.

 “You have to get the smoke flavor from the smoked chips with the beef — and you have to make sure the bacon stays wrapped around the beef, because it tends to fall off,” said senior Joseph Clemmons. “But we make it work.”
The team will prepare an entrée of bacon-wrapped, smoked top-butt sirloin of beef with a black raspberry glaze. They’ll start the meal off with an appetizer of lake perch, seasoned in a Parmesan egg batter and set on coleslaw with tangy relish. For dessert, they’ll prepare wild berry “clafoutis brulee,” a sweet and tart berry trio in warm custard with a crunchy sugar crust.
Clemmons, the team’s leader, is the only member who competed in ProStart last year. Challenges are many, he admitted, especially since the team is down to three members. “When we had five we had somebody keeping us on time, and another person helping us prepare and cook the dishes. With three, we do it all by ourselves.”

Outdoor classroom brings new lessons in Manitowoc

manitowoc_outdoor

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter: Learning math and science don’t have to be done behind a desk in a classroom with four walls.

Rather, little ones can complete their lessons in science through collecting leaves, and math skills through building a “stick” house.

That’s the idea behind a new outdoor classroom started this school year at Riverview Kindergarten and Early Learning Center in the Manitowoc School District.

The Learning Adventure Land sits behind the school and includes large tree pieces for climbing, a building area, an outdoor “kitchen,” a mud area, sorting tables, a dry riverbed, and barrels for water play. Organizers planted 16 trees around the area to eventually give it a woodsy feel, and a future prairie patch behind the classroom was seeded.

The area is available to preschoolers, kindergartners and elementary school-aged students throughout Manitowoc, as well as other community members.

The district purchased an outdoor classroom curriculum so teachers could host classes from math to art to music and reading in the outdoors if they wanted to, said early childhood coordinator Lori Brandt. A donor also provided a shed that holds tools and other items, such as magnifying glasses, boots and “mud buddy” suits to keep little ones clean in sloppy conditions.

Most teachers spend about an hour in the outdoor space with children, and the area is used just about every day that weather allows.

“The Manitowoc district has a strong belief in environmental education,” said Kelly Vorron, the Manitowoc district forest coordinator. “Teachers understand how nature can be great in education. It gets kids active and interested in something outside. There’s really a big push for it in early childhood learning.”

Read more.