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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Wausaukee’s NWTC Nursing Program Now Admits Adults

Wausaukee - Innovations in the Wausaukee School District, particularly the new Distance Learning Lab and the partnership with Crivitz, Pembine and NWTC, continue to generate statewide interest.

The board voted without dissent to admit adults to the NWTC Licensed Practical Nurse Courses at the school where students earn college and high school credits at the same time, briefly discussed the January Wisconsin Association of School Boards WASB) Conference in January where Wausaukee’s collaborative effort with NWTC will be part of the program, and learned that Randy Smith, NWTC Dean of Business and Information Technology and Associate Dean Mike Vander Heiden had visited the school on Monday, Nov. 12.

This year at their Northwoods Learning Lab in the Wausaukee school NWTC offers first and second year courses in Licensed Practical Nursing, Welding, Blueprint Reading and Metal Fabrication; Automotive, and Electro-Mechanical and Engineering Technology. Courses and classroom and lab areas are being developed for Business and Information Technology to be offered in the spring semester and a Digital Photography will also be offered. Students from Crivitz and Pembine school districts share in the collaborative partnership.

District Administrator Jan Dooley told School Board members during their meeting Wednesday, Nov. 14 that State Superintendent Tony Evers and some members of his staff will visit the school on Wednesday, Nov. 28 to participate in the Distance Learning Lab for on-line blended learning that was instituted this year with some new equipment and many eager students.

“Just share from your heart and tell them what’s enabling your success,” she urged Virtual Learning Coordinator Margie Popp, Media Specialist Suzie Schlies and some of the students who had just given the board a brief presentation on the program that opened this year.

One of the students commented that last year, in the old distance learning lab, “The technology was so bad that we couldn’t even tell colors.” She said the new equipment this year makes things easier.

Some new “white noise” devices are to be installed between the TRITON Distance Learning area and the other half of the On-Line Learning Lab to reduce student distractions.

Counselor Misty Betts, along with teachers Lisa Delfosse, Ryane Deschane, and Jennifer Klimek gave a presentation on the School Report Cards recently released by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Betts provided board members with copies of the district’s report cards for High School, Middle School and Elementary School, explaining that they are not graded by percentage, but are “snapshots” of composite student scores on tests administered several times during the school year.

Wausaukee’s scores were not outstanding, but they weren’t bad, either. “All three met expectations, but scores are kind of in the middle of the path,” Betts said. “We’re celebrating that we’re not in the red or the yellow.” Red is for districts that fail to meet expectations, with scores of zero to 52.9, and yellow is for those that meet few expectations, with scores of 53 to 62.9. “In some things we’re doing very, very well, in others not so much,” Betts added. She explained that some scores will not be available until the next report card, because they measure the rate of improvement and student growth in several areas and these are the first report cards, so there is nothing ot compare them to.

The overall median “Meets Expectations” score was 63 to 72.9 points of a possible hundred. Overall score for Wausaukee high school was 67.8, for the Junior High School it was 63,8, and for the Elementary School it was 68.2.

In the areas of graduation rate and ACT participation and performance, Wausaukee High School scored 89.9 of a possible 100 points. The state average is 82.3 points. Attendance rate was 76.9 of a possible 80.

Scores for Student Achievement and Student Growth are extremely important for high achievers, Betts said, since they measure not their average scores, but their improvement since the last tests. The High School growth numbers will be available next time. Student achievement showed Wausaukee High School students scoring 29.5 of a possible 50 points for reading, slightly lower than the state average of 32, and 30.9 of a possible 50 points for math, also slightly below the state average of 34.5.

Wausaukee School District overall showed good test participation (95 percent or higher), low absenteeism rate below the goal of 13 percent), and low dropout rate (below 6 percent.)

At the Junior High level in Wausaukee the score for reading growth was above the state average, with 28.8 of a possible 50, compared with the state average of 26.9, but the mathematics growth was slightly below average, with 23.7 of a possible 50 compared with 28.1 for the state as a whole.

The Elementary school was at or very near the state average in all areas except math, where the score was 34.0 in mathematics achievement, compared with 37.9, and mathematics achievement gaps, which scored 32 compared with the 33.1 state average.

Betts set some improvement goals for the next report cards, and explained some of the strategies to bring the district’s grades up, among them testing in extremely small groups, avoiding distractions when tests are being administered, and having teachers stress to students the importance of doing well on the tests.

“Ideally, we want to move into the ‘significantly exceeds expectations’ area, and I believe we have the ability to do that,” Dooley declared.

That comment led to a discussion on “Response to Intervention” (RTI) programming, which Dooley said will lead to the best teaching practices for all students. She said they look at how the student learns, “and if a child cannot learn the way we teach, maybe we need to change, and teach the way they learn.”Betts said some best practices might include having the students work in very small groups, and perhaps meet with a one on one teacher three or so times a week.

There is to be more collaboration between staff members, and time set aside daily for students to get whatever extra help they need. High achievers also need more help because they need more challenges and work offered to them should be more and more intensive.

Deschane said teachers have data notebooks on all their students, and each child has a data notebook of its own to help them get more involved in their own test outcomes and growth levels.

“Today’s learners are not the same as the learners when you and I were in school,” Dooley told the board.

Klimek said teachers who attended the data retreat last summer “really had our eyes opened,” and now they are using data to drive their instruction.

“Is there something to be done that we’re not doing to make data collection better?” asked Board President Dave Kipp. “If there is anything we as a board can do, just let Jan or I know,” he urged, adding, “It’s important to us!”

“We’re not only interested in improving the learning of our students,” Kipp went on,”We’re interested in improving the teaching of our teachers!” He said kids should be coming to school because they want to, because they want to learn.

“I commend you guys, you’re on the right track,” Dooley told the teaching team. “You’re focused on the needs of individual kids”

Board Member Mary Marquis commented at some point parents need to get involved. Kipp said when his children were young, “What did you learn today?” was a nightly question at their family dinner table.

Kipp repeated his earlier offer, “If you need something to help our students learn better, or to help our teachers teach better, just let us know!”

Next on the agenda was discussion on admitting adults to the Onsite NWTC nursing courses. Dooley described the courses as “a high quality, rigorous program,” for which high school students can earn both high school and college credits toward CNA or LPN degrees, and the credits are transferrable to other degrees with medical training requirements. She said the three Wausaukee students enrolled in an on-line program for a pharmacology degree really should take the onsite NWTC LPN program for the credits they can gain.

Board members were all in favor. One commented having adults in a program is often a good thing. Kipp said the NWTC campus in Marinette closed its nurse’s training program and moved everything to Wausaukee.

“What’s the question?” asked board member Dennis Taylor. “I think we can only benefit from this.” Vote in favor of admitting adults was unanimous.

In her administrator’s report to the board, Dooley said while the NWTC visitors were in the school on Monday, Nov. 10 they viewed the area that is being converted for the Digital Photography program. There are three empty classrooms there, she said, and one will be used for the Digital Photography studio. They visited the welding lab also, and saw the garden art students have been producing, and talked about the garden-related projects going on in the school’s greenhouse.

“It’s interesting how one thing builds to another,” Dooley declared. They are now discussing the possibility of an entrepreneurship program involving the business program and setting up a student store in one of the classrooms where the garden art, digital photographs, and perhaps garden produce could be sold.

“Students could learn to run their own businesses,” she declared. “This is what can develop!”

She has been meeting with superintendents from Crivitz, Pembine, Niagara and Goodman to “brainstorm” ways in which they can expand collaborations and partnerships to continue their existence as separate school districts while offering the best for their students.

Principal Jared Deschane reported that the entire school honored Veterans on Monday, Nov. 12 with a Veterans Day Program. He offered special thanks to longtime teacher Mary Meaney for coordinating the program. He said the excellent program featured Jerry Schmidt and Judge James Morrison as guest speakers, and expressed thanks to them as well as to the American legion, Student Council, High School Band and Junior and Senior High School Choirs for their participation in the program.

Deschane thanked Bank North for coming in to present a session on banking to high school juniors and seniors, and said he had heard nothing but good about it.

The entire student body of the junior and senior high schools had watched a video on bullying and followed it up with breakout sessions to discuss it. On that too he had received only positive feedback.

Deschane and Building and Grounds Supervisor Jim Keyzers had joined Dooley and the NWTC visitors on Monday to view the Learning lab facilities, including the new Photo Class area.

Again this year the school had an admirable athletic record.

The Boys Varsity and JV basketball team had started their seasons with victories on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Girls Basketball varsity and JV started practice on Monday, Nov. 12.

A number of Wausaukee students were recognized as All Conference players in the fall sports program.

They were:

*For Volleyball:

Sara Wickman for First Team, Kaylor DeLaet for Second Team, and Stevie Oldenberg, Honorable Mention.

*For High School Football:

Ryan Nystrom as First team receiver, Beau DeLaet as First team defensive back, Aaron Schlies as First team punter, Mike Wojnicki, second team defensive lineman and linebacker; Dillon Meyers as second team defensive line, and Cole Lewandowski as second team running back. Pete Krause and Wyatt Tilkens both won honorable mention for their lineman performance.

Deschane reported that in the elementary school :

*Child Development Days will take place on Thursday, Dec. 6;

*The Kindergarten class was to host its Harvest Dinner on Friday, Nov. 16;

*Earlier on Wednesday the first and second grades held a friendship gathering in conjunction with their social studies unit on the Plymouth Colonies.

*Through Title I they had distributed 43 “Kindle Fires” for students in upper elementary grades to promote reading, along with the TAZ Kids and MyOn Reader programs that together provide students with over 3,000 leveled books that they can access at school or at home, if they have Internet access. Both programs allow teachers to gather data on reading progress and habits, which they can then use to guide instruction and monitor individual learning, Deschane said.

*The Sixth Grade class and the Junior High art students will be going on a field trip to the Da Vinci Exhibit Appleton, which features elements of physical science coupled with art. The trip was organized by Cheri Leiphart and was primarily funded through donations from various community organizations including the American Legion, Lions Club and the PTO;

*The PTO will offer Santa’s Secret Workshop again this year, from Tuesday, Dec. 4 through Thursday, Dec. 6, with a preview day on Monday, Dec. 3; and

*Community Day are set for Saturday, March 23.








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