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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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.
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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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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.
- 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.
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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