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Madison ‘micro school’ launches, providing an alternative for some students

Image of Madison student

The Capital Times: As the school year draws to a close, a new experience is just beginning for 13 La Follette High School students.

On Thursday, the start of fourth quarter, the Madison Metropolitan School District opened a “micro school” at the Life Center on Madison’s southeast side. The alternative school site was developed for a small number of students from La Follette who’ve had behavioral challenges this year.

District administrators announced the alternative site in late February following a series of high-profile incidents at La Follette during the second and third quarters of the school year. La Follette parents organized a listening session with MMSD superintendent Jennifer Cheatham and voiced their concerns at Madison School Board meetings.

Alex Fralin, MMSD’s secondary schools chief, said the energy was high following a parent orientation for incoming micro school students on Tuesday.

“Establish(ing) a deep relationship to both the students and their families to take a risk with us was the goal that we set out with Tuesday night, and I think we achieved it,” Fralin said.

Read the complete article on Madison’s alternative school.



Madison East High School will represent Wisconsin in national culinary competition Madison East High School won first place at the Wisconsin ProStart Student Invitational Culinary Competition held in Milwaukee March 13, according to a release.

At the ProStart Invitational, 21 high schools and 112 students from Wisconsin competed in the management and culinary competition.

Madison East High School participated in the culinary competition, where students needed to make a three-course meal. They are judged by food industry professionals and college educators on teamwork, presentation, cooking procedures, knife skills and sanitation.

Read the complete article on Madison East High School’s culinary team.

Sun Prairie music students get a chance to premiere their compositions

photo of Sun Prairie music students

Wisconsin State Journal: The Resonance program not only teaches middle and high school students how to compose music, but also how to recruit musicians and arrange and direct rehearsals to premiere the students’ work before a community audience.

The Resonance 2018 concert on Saturday at the Sun Prairie Performing Arts Center was the final component of the music composition program created and taught by Jon Nelson and William Smith.

“I knew nothing about composing when I walked in the first day. I got all the way to here somehow,” said Ryan Sellek, a freshman at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School, before the concert. “I’ve had a lot of fun building up everything I know from the ground up.”

Sellek premiered his composition, which was a quartet for piano and percussionists. The other students and their compositions were Jacob Couch, junior at Sun Prairie High School, sonata for cello and piano; Hans Fuerst, senior at Waunakee High School, string quartet and tuba; Miles Gleason, sixth-grader at Patrick Marsh Middle School, chorale for brass ensemble performed by Sun Prairie’s music faculty in the district; and Isaac Meyer, sophomore at Sun Prairie High School, brass ensemble with piano.

Read the complete article on the Sun Prairie student music compositions.

Stoughton elementary schools use many tools to teach positive behavior

Stoughton PBIS photo Monday afternoon, Sandhill Elementary School principal Jeff Fimreite was covered nearly head to toe in dripping pink slime his students had dumped all over him.

And he couldn’t have been more pleased.

These weren’t naughty kids gone wild – in fact, they were some of the most well-behaved students in the school. Fimreite was just “taking one for the team” by getting slimed as a reward for kids’ positive behavior so far this year.

And while not all elementary schools have principal-sliming assemblies, they’re finding creative ways to promote the district’s PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) initiative, from handing out colored cards to getting tickets for rewards.

To help teach all students good behavior, Stoughton Area School District staff began using the PBIS framework in 2012 to reinforce positive behavior, rather than focusing on negative ones. While it’s been in place for six years, PBIS continues to evolve.

The students love it, administrators say, and best of all, principals at all three elementaries say, it’s showing positive results in their behavior.

Kegonsa Elementary School principal Erin Conrad said in one year, the schools has cut our “major” behavior referrals by over half, and in some months they are down by 70 percent.

“Our referrals continue to go down,” she said.

Continue reading about the Stoughton Area School District’s PBIS program.

Waunakee students prepare for workforce

Waunakee CTE photo

Waunakee Tribune: If you graduated from high school 20 years ago, it’s likely you were being prepared for college and anticipating choosing a career from there.

But today, emphasis on career preparation begins as early as middle school.

“The shift is, now in high school, even middle school, is when we start thinking about what we’re good at and interested in, and what we might do to make a living, and start looking at adding courses that support that,” said Michelle McGlynn, Waunakee High School’s Career and Technical Education Advisor.

February is Career and Technical Education month, and it’s a time McGlynn feels especially proud. Unlike many school districts, Waunakee is able to offer high school courses in all six areas of career and technical education. They include agriculture education, business and information technology, family and consumer science, health science, marketing education and technical education and engineering.

Several courses are offered under each umbrella of CTE, allowing students to begin thinking along those career pathways, McGlynn said.

Student organizations under each of those umbrellas allow them to use their classroom knowledge in competitive situations both at state and national levels.

Students following an agriculture or animal science career path can participate in FFA; business and information technology students can be active in FBLA.

“We’re pretty unique and lucky that at Waunakee, we offer all six programs under career and technical education and also offer career and technical education student organizations,” McGlynn said.

Continue reading the article on the Waunakee School District.