by rsullivan | Mar 19, 2018 | Stand Up for Public Education Blog
WeAreGreenBay.com: This week, students in the choir and orchestra programs at the Oshkosh Area School District have been working to put together an “electrifying” concert.
It’s a part of the “Electrify your Strings and Choir” program that has been helping students open up through music for almost 20 years.
Mark Wood is a founding member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and says that the program is meant to stir things up for young musicians.
“We come in to sort of traditional choir and music programs and we rattle the cages and let the kids stretch a little bit,” he said.
Read the complete article on the Oshkosh Area School District concert.
by rsullivan | Dec 4, 2017 | Stand Up for Public Education Blog
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.
by rsullivan | Nov 6, 2017 | Stand Up for Public Education Blog
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.
by rsullivan | Sep 25, 2017 | Stand Up for Public Education Blog
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.
by rsullivan | Sep 15, 2017 | Stand Up for Public Education Blog
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.