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Fall 2015 Review

Design Thinking Personalized Learning Project Based Learning

g n i n r a e L r o f n o i s i V w e AN

Discover your passions

HUHS District Newsletter

January 2016

Join us for our HUHS SHOWCASE on February 3

Administration at


District Administrator 262.670.3200 x209

Welcome to the winter issue of the HUHS district newsletter. This issue captures highlights and successes of our 2015-16 fall semester. In addition to being proud of the accomplishments of the students and staff at HUHS, I am also grateful for the continued opportunity to serve the communities of HUHS as the district administrator. Each and every day I am amazed how much the teachers and staff care about our students and focus on improvements to meet the needs of each student. Regardless of the challenges they encounter, they persevere and put students first. As we are in Year 4 of our HUHS Future Plan, it is exciting to see the impact of the initiatives of personalizing learning, transforming teaching, and evolving structures. Starting February 1st, please visit our website for a link to our community survey to help us plan next steps in our HUHS Future Plan. I welcome you to become involved in District acvitivies and to provide feedback to our staff. We hope to see you at our annual Showcase event on February 3rd so you can see what engaged learning looks like!


Dan Dobner

Principal 262.670.3200 x206

Mike Williamson

Jon Duhr

Director of Business Services 262.670.3200 x717

Director of Teaching & Learning 262.670.3200 x299

Teresa Redmond TC Motzkus

Director of Teaching & Learning 262.670.3200 x227

Chad Ellefson

Director of Pupil Services 262.670.3200 x373

School Psychologist 262.670.3200 x222

Nathan Mielke

Director of Technology Services 262.670.3200 x236


Board President, Tracy Hennes, from the Annual Meeting, September 28, 2015 When a student graduates, it is not only the student and his/her family that should be proud, but the entire community. I am pleased to report on behalf of the Hartford Union High School Board of Education, our community has a lot to be proud of at HUHS. Significant work has been completed and continues to be done for the district’s future plan and objectives, as outlined below.

Personalizing Learning: An adjustment in credit recovery during summer school helped students recover individual learning targets rather than an entire course, and we added Freshmen cohort (see page right). Transforming Teaching: Professional development for teachers has evolved to a “Collab Lab” model which allows for teachers to work outside of their departments to develop units and subjects together that have core concepts and real world connections. In addition, a STEM grant last year allowed for collaborative training in multiple departments. Evolving Structures: Based on our 2012 facilities study, where we prioritized wants and needs, with board dedication to fiscal responsibility to not require this to go to referendum, we have reimagined our learning spaces. Two phases of construction were completed during the last two years include: our secure entrance, work on the field house, remodeling of our engineering classrooms, locker rooms, kitchen and cafeteria spaces, updated fixtures and utilities, a new culinary arts space, new restrooms, a new community room/kitchen, and classrooms with high visibility to students. In conclusion of my report for 2015, I’d like to add that none of this amazing work moving the district forward would be possible without people who care. This school and entire community are filled with people who care and want to see our students discover passions in life, succeed, and add value to society. That is something we can all be truly proud of.




The Freshman Cohort experience is a model of learning that uses project-based learning to engage students in overlapping curricular content in the subjects of Biology, English 9, Health, and World Cultures. Sometimes the projects are completed in large groups, such as the Prairie Project where groups of 16 students studied the Central Middle School Prairie Preserve and created an interactive web page and map of the hiking loop. Other projects use small-groups such as the Feeding 9 Billion Project that included a review of literature, development of an action plan as well as a group presentation. The role students play in each project can vary as well. Students have been tour guides, debate team members, web designers, public speakers, genetic counselors, and this is all in the first semester. The experiences of a cohort student is unmatched by any current course or sequence of courses at HUHS. While it may not be for every student, students that are willing to work hard and develop solutions to real-world situations will accumulate a set of skills far beyond content knowledge.

Tate Stoeckmann, Freshman

“Cohort is so much more than it seems! Project-Based Learning is the new way of instructing students to use their talents and skills to achieve tasks that are for a school assignment, but that can also be applied in the working world. The model has influenced me to work harder in groups and to be more involved with my classmates while outside of class. The challenges that I have overcome from Cohort are minor, but very useful for outside of high school. These include learning new classmate’s names, deciding on one idea for a project, and working together, as one group, to create the best possible model for the best possible solution.”


This year, the required class for all of our Juniors, Focus on Careers, has expanded to a semester-long (.5 credit) course. The changes were made to address the constant need to improve employability and personal finance skills in order to better prepare students for their lives and careers after high school. The course has always included units on career research, job campaign materials, and personal finance, but now includes more in-depth coverage of these topics while working to integrate outside of school opportunities. Students must now complete a job shadow, attend various college and career speakers, and complete mock interviews with local business representatives. The unit on Personal Finance has been extended to go further in-depth with concepts and to allow students to meet the Financial Literacy graduation requirement as part of the course.

Elizabeth DeGroot, Junior

“Focus on Careers is an awesome class and even though it is only a semester it has taught me much more about life choices you have than other classes can. This class teaches you many important things. For instance, you get to research colleges, learn about jobs and even do a job shadow, go through a “mock” interview, learn about all types of insurances, how to save and invest money, and many other things. This class has taught me a lot about myself and how to prepare for what is to come in my future.”


New this year is a 25-minute “flex period” that students have opposite their lunch period. During this period a number of intervention courses are running to support students further in Math and Literacy or students have the opportunity to get extra help from a teacher, have a quiet study hall, recharge in East Commons, or shoot hoops in the Small Gym.

Samantha Boyd, Junior “The transition to flex period this year has been one that I have really appreciated. The midday time allows me to catch up on things I may have forgotten the night before, finish up typing a lab report, decompress from my morning classes, or even get help from available teachers.”

Annual Meeting

BUSINESS SERVICES RECAP Now that the annual meeting has come and gone and all the variables presented at that time have become fixed, we can recap the annual meeting projections with the actual results.


At the annual meeting in September, we projected a tax levy of $12,414,822 which was within the revenue limits imposed by the state. However, by utilizing our Capital Expansion Fund, we were able to increase our state aid allocation by nearly $350,000. After adjustments from the state, we were able to lower our final levy in October to $12,168,344. We were pleased to lower the mill rate for the second straight year.


As stated above, at the annual meeting, we projected a mill rate of $4.00 which would have been a 2% increase in property taxes on a home assessed at the same value over the past year. This was mainly due to a large decrease in our state aid projection. However, by amoritizing some expenses out over the next five years, we were able to increase our state aid from the state projections given to us in July. This allowed us to have a final mill rate of $3.87. That represented a 3.25% drop in our projections and a 1.2% decrease from last year. For a home that was assessed at $200,000, this produced a savings of $10 on your Hartford Union High School District portion of the tax bill.


Hartford Union High School District continues to strengthen its financial health as evidenced by its ability to complete an $8.1 million renovation without the need to go to referendum. We do this through the ability to pay our loan debt within the confines of the revenue limit imposed by the state. Our fund balance is large enough that even though we go from mid-June to mid-January without signficant funding, we are able to avoid short-term borrowing and still meet our financial obligations. Finally, we continue to fund our Capital Expansion Fund to try and best maintain our facilities, not only for its functionality but to also meet the needs of our students.


At the end of December, HUHS taxpayers from the 14 taxing districts in 2 counties received their 2015 tax bills. Taxpayers in Washington County may have noticed what appears to be a significant decrease in the HUHS portion and a significant increase for the K-8 district. These percentages are skewed due to a change in tax bill software made at the county level. Previously, the school levy tax credit was only applied to the K-8 portion and the new software applies the tax credit equally to HUHS and the K-8 district. This recalibration of the school tax levy credit will only occur this year and the percentages will return to reflect actual increases or decreases in future years. The tax rate is determined by taking the total tax levy and dividing by the total equalized value. This year HUHS has a 0.2% increase in the levy dollar amount and had an overall increase in equalized values of 1.56%. If you have any questions, please contact Mike Williamson, Director of Business Services at 262-670-3200.



The new kitchen

The new servery in the cafeteria Looking into the cafeteria

New bathrooms connected to both the cafeteria and main hallway School store STEM classroom and computer lab

Come See for Yourself!

Join us at the HUHS Showcase February 3 from 6-8pm

Locker rooms remodeled

Facilities kitchen for event use

New Culinary Arts Lab

Coaches’ locker rooms

Athletic storage built by VISION students

What’s Happening with

OUR STUDENTS Our students are continuously being recognized for various accomplishments in our community, state, and nation. Here are a only a few things that happened in the Fall of 2015. Check out our website for all of our press releases on student happenings.

Adam Opichka, Senior

Amy Holzer, Senior National Merit Semifinalist, Rotary Student of the Month

Aaron Nytes, Senior

DAR Good Citizen Award

Rotary Student of the Month

Austin Matthies, Senior

Rotary Student of the Month

FBLA/DECA Trick or Can Collected over 1,000 cans for the Hartford Food Pantry

Student Council - Blood Drive Had over 160 donors for Blood Center of Wisconsin

Melissa Clement, Senior Rotary Student of the Month

Elisha Jaeke, Senior

Rotary Student of the Month

Taylor Kieckhefer, Senior

Rotary Student of the Month

Student Council, Powder Puff Collected $2270.50 for the Hartford Food Pantry

Bradley Lorrigan, Senior

Rotary Student of the Month

Alyssa Higley, Senior Rotary Student of the Month

WASB State Honors Music

HUHS had 12 representatives from Choir, Band, and Orchestra

H-Club & FFA Toys for Tots Drive w/HUHS & Jt. 1 Schools Collected $7200 between all of the schools for local families and $6000 in toys

Children’s Concert The HUHS Music Program hosted local schools for a holiday concert

Fall Musical Hello, Dolly!

Fall 2015


Fall 2015 Final Sports Standings in the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference

Girls Cross Country - 7th Place Boys Cross Country - 8th Place Football - 5th Place Girls Golf - 1st Place, Regional Champs

Boys Soccer - 2nd Place Girls Volleyball - 6th Place Girls Swim - 3rd Place Girls Tennis - 5th Place

Individual Recognition: Girls Cross Country:

Courtney Kind - 2nd Place All Conference, State Qualifier

Girls Golf:

State Qualifiers: Amy Holzer(15th Place) and Chloe Volden(32nd Place); All Conference: 1st Team: Amy Holzer and Chloe Volden, 3rd Team: Nikki Differt and Andrea O’Bryon; Academic All State: Amy Holzer, Chloe Volden, Andrea O’Bryon, Kaitlyn Kerrigan.

Girls Tennis:

State Qualifiers: Sierra Neu and Alexandra Schaefer; All Conference: 1st Team: Sierra Neu and Alexandra Schaefer (#1 Doubles), 2nd Team: Leslee Unger (#1 Singles)


All Conference: 1st team - Ryan Zuern (RB) and Jared Baizley (K), 2nd Team – Quinn Meinerz (OL) and Quinn Meinerz (DL), Honorable Mention – Tommy Noennig (QB), Cody Guetzke (DB) and Brenton Barker (OL); Journal Sentinel All Area Football Team: Ryan Zuern (Running Back); All Region Team: Ryan Zuern

Girls Swim: State Qualifiers: Meredith Huber, Cora Meinberg, Laura Kregel and Carlie DeBack; All Conference: 1st team - Cora Meinberg and Carlie DeBack (Conference Record), 1st team relay - Meredith Huber, Cora Meinberg, Laura Kregel and Carlie DeBack, 2nd Team - Meredith Huber and Cora Meinberg, 2nd Team Relay - Meredith Huber, Cora Meinberg, Laura Kregel, and Carlie DeBack Boys Soccer:

All Conference: 1st Team – Alex Tomashek, Conner Kugler, Cristian Trypak, 2nd Team – Owen Hanisko, 3rd Team – Quinn Kennedy and Nick Linder, WLT Player of the Year – Alex Tomashek

Girls Volleyball:

All Conference: 2nd Team – Cassie Peters and Abby Hamilton

Other Events:

• Raised $10,730 for the annual Coaches VS Cancer game vs Slinger High School • Our H-Club, varsity student athletes, collected over 1000 food items and donated $1400 to the Hartford Food Pantry as part of the fall food drive

HARTFORD UNION HIGH SCHOOL 805 Cedar Street Hartford, WI 53027




discover your passions at Hartford Union High School


February 3 2016 6-8pm

An Academic & Activities Extravaganza • Interactive Activities • Student-Run Experiments • Open to All Communities


• Live Demonstrations • Co-Curricular Information • Meet Ozzy!

We can also be found at:


Facebook: Hartford Union High School District

Twitter: @HartfordUnionHS

A new design and layout of our website at:

Nondiscrimination Statement:It is the policy of the Hartford Union High School District, pursuant to s. 118.13, WI Stats., and PI 9 that no person, on the basis of race, color, age, national origin, ancestry, religion, creed, sex (including transgender status, change of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity), pregnancy, marital or parental status, military status, genetic information, or physical, mental, emotional, learning disability or handicap, may be denied participation, be denied admission to any school in this District or be denied participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any co-curricular, pupil service, recreation, or other program. This policy also prohibits discrimination as defined by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (sex), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race and national origin), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Hartford Union High School District has adopted a policy of nondiscrimination. In addition, the District has adopted procedures regarding the processing of discrimination complaints. Copies of the policy, procedures and complaint forms are available, upon request from any administrator. It is the policy of the Hartford Union High School District, pursuant to PI 41.04(1)(a), to provide for the reasonable accommodation of a student’s sincerely held religious beliefs with regard to examinations and other academic requirements. Requests for accommodations may be directed to any administrator. Questions or concerns regarding the District’s nondiscrimination policy and procedures should be directed to the Coordinator of Discrimination Complaints, Chad Ellefson, Hartford Union High School, 805 Cedar Street, Hartford, WI 53027, (262) 670-3200.

Winter district newsletter  

A recap of the events and happenings at Hartford Union High School during the Fall 2015 semester.

Winter district newsletter  

A recap of the events and happenings at Hartford Union High School during the Fall 2015 semester.