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A special supplement to the Stoughton Courier Hub and Great Dane Shopping News July 25 and July 26, 2018


Preparing our students for a changing world Greetings! On behalf of all of us at the Stoughton Area School District, I hope you are all enjoying your summer and want to thank you for taking the time to look through our annual Back to School tab. As I write this introduction, our administrative team has concluded its annual retreat. We spent a couple of days as a group charting the path forward for our District - not only for the next school year (2018-19) but for the years beyond. These were great discussions about we can prepare our students for the emerging world in which they live.

As you read through this edition of the Back to School tab, I believe that you will see that we have built the foundation to be successful and to continue the great work that has already been done. You will see how our staff and students continue to garner recognition for excellence, whether it is our highly successful Quiz Bowl team or our own high school principal Mike Kruse, who is this year’s Wisconsin Secondary Principal of the Year.

We have brought to bear creativity and innovation as we challenge and engage our students in new opportunities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and computer science.

doors to our high school staff to talk about what academic and employability skills should we be emphasizing to prepare students for career success.

As we move into a new school year, I would like to encourage you to follow our District’s journey through our various communications platforms (found on the back page). We are proud to be an asset to our the Stoughton and looking forward to Finally, our community what the future brings. Thank you continues to astound again for your all your support and me with its support. have a great summer! Last year, it set a new record for college scholarships Tim Onsager awarded to our graduating seniors, District Administrator and our businesses opened their Stoughton Area School District


July 25 & 26, 2018

Stoughton Back to School

Our Schools Our Community of Learners

Fox Prairie Elementary

Sandhill Elementary

Kegonsa Elementary

River Bluff Middle School

Stoughton High School


We partner with local organizations to provide our four-year-old kindergarten (4K) program at: First Lutheran 310 E. Washington St.


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LaPetite Academy 635 Lincoln Ave. Martin Luther 900 W. Wilson St. Pumpkin Patch 900 W. Wilson St. St. Ann 324 N. Harrison St.


      

Fox Prairie Elementary 1601 West South St. 877-5100

River Bluff Middle School 235 North Forrest St. 877-5500

Kegonsa Elementary 1400 Vernon St. 877-5200

Stoughton High School 600 Lincoln Ave. 877-5600

Sandhill Elementary 1920 Lincoln Ave. 877-5400

4K Program 877-5404

July 25 & 26, 2018

Stoughton Back to School



Kruse named Wisconsin Principal of the Year Stoughton High School principal Mike Kruse seldom says “I” when talking about the work at SHS. “I always say, ‘We did this or we did that which led to our students’ success,’” he wrote earlier this year. “The most important skill to learn when working with people is trust. You have to be able to get out of your own way, let go of the need to control everything and believe in the people you work with.”

“Mike’s best attribute . . . is his ability to get the most out of staff and students. He recognizes people’s talents and is able to bring out their full potential.” Ann Cook, SHS Counselor


That leadership style has now been recognized statewide after Kruse was named the 2018 Secondary Principal of the Year by the Association of Wisconsin School Graduation data represents four-year rate for 2017 Administrators (AWSA). Each year, the state asks cohort. Data for Stoughton High School is drawn teachers, parents, staff and administrators to nominate from WISEdash Public Portal. For more information principals for the award. Out of those applications, 12 are selected to receive the Kohl Leadership award from the visit Herb Kohl Foundation. Then, one secondary individual out of those 12 is selected as Wisconsin Secondary Principal of the Year. the graduation rate and cultivate partnerships with the community, such as through the creation of a digital A native of Iowa, Kruse has a bachelor’s degree fabrication laboratory at SHS. In recent years, the school in education and a master’s degree in education has consistently scored “Exceeds Expectations” on the administration from Northwest Missouri State University. state school report card and been recognized for its After spending some time as a teacher and administrator inclusionary work. in California, Kruse and his wife came to Wisconsin in 1995. In 2007, he was named Assistant Wisconsin “Mike’s best attribute . . . is his ability to get the most out Principal of the year while at Verona Arena High School. of staff and students,” wrote SHS Counselor Ann Cook in He became Stoughton High School principal in 2008. her nomination letter for Kruse. “He recognizes people’s talents and is able to bring out their full potential. If you During his tenure at SHS, Kruse has helped improve work for Mike, you will work hard. He demands the best, the school culture, address achievement gaps, increase but does so in a way that is motivating and affirming.”

SHS Quiz Bowl program extends streak in most successful year to date The SHS team played well but was finally eliminated in the 20th round, 25 points away from making the playoff rounds, during the national tournament in Atlanta, Ga., over Memorial Day weekend. “Quiz bowl is a fast-paced buzzer competition in which teams of four players compete to answer questions that cover academic subjects like literature and science as well as the broader world of popular culture and current events,” according to the website of the NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournaments), which organizes national quiz bowl championships in North America. Stoughton Quiz Bowl has participated in NAQT events for many years. Student-led and organized practices occur multiple times a week throughout the year. Quiz Bowl is one of several academic teams available to SHS students as an extracurricular opportunity, in addition to forensics, mock trial, math and science teams.

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The Stoughton High School Quiz Bowl program stayed on a roll in the 2017-18 school year, qualifying a team for the national tournament for the seventh straight year and making its deepest run yet during the competition.


July 25 & 26, 2018

Stoughton Back to School


Creative thinking to support student learning Monthly challenges to build problem-solving skills. Science fairs that showcase student research. Canine companionship to promote literacy. All are just some of the ways Stoughton staff and students have used innovative thinking to support learning. Students take on the STEAM challenge Sandhill Elementary School has started building a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) program to encourage project-based learning, help students develop critical thinking skills and promote collaboration. The school started with monthly STEAM challenges for students in grades kindergarten through five that use interactive exercises for students to learn more about how rain forms, for example, by using water, food coloring and shaving cream. Just recently, the school was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation toward the creation of a STEAM lab at the school to include equipment. Student research takes center stage in popular Genius Hour Science Fair It has become an exciting and popular tradition at River Bluff Middle School. For the last three years, several hundred people will pack the school gym and cafeteria in late May to hear students talk about what they have learned from researching topics that can range from the theory of relativity to pet care. The Genius Hour Science Fair is the culmination of work started in April by sixth-graders through their science classes. The students are able to choose their own topic to research, even topics that would not be covered within the 6th grade science curriculum, as long as it has a scientific connection. The program allows students to explore topics in which they have an interest, fostering their motivation to learn while developing research skills. They present that research through exhibits that are displayed during the fair.

Clockwise from top: Sandhill Elementary students learn how rain forms by using water, food coloring and shaving cream in the first of a series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) challenges; a Fox Prairie student cuddles with the yellow Labrador Retriever Gus, who has helped support student literacy this year; a sixth-grader at River Bluff Middle School explains his research into the theory of Special Relativity during the third annual Genius Hour Science Fair.

Those who attend the fair can learn about a variety of topics such as health and nutrition, sports, genetics, natural disasters, computer coding and more!

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school after noting research that showed how dogs can help increase student engagement in learning. Dogs, according to an article in “Education Update,” can help students as they practice their Labrador Retriever offers supportive ear for reading and speaking skills because the animals student reading “offer a nonjudgmental ear, building (students’) A Golden Labrador retriever has become a popular confidence and skills over time.” presence and welcome reading companion at Fox More recently, Gus also has been used to support Prairie Elementary School this year. the school’s PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) program. Students can use their Fox reading specialist Marilee Cronin’s yellow Labrador Retriever, Gus, has been busy supporting Fox tickets that they receive for good behavior for rewards that include a visit from Gus. student literacy since his debut earlier this winter. Cronin and Fox staff had introduced Gus into the Gus continues to support Fox students even during the summer. He accompanies Cronin when she visits neighborhood parks to read with students and has an Instagram account that students can follow for ideas on summer reading.



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July 25 & 26, 2018

Stoughton Back to School


Detectives of history: Social studies classes embrace interactive learning

Outdoor learning thrives at elementary schools Stoughton elementary students will have more opportunities to learn in natural classrooms when classes resume in September. This summer, work was done to expand the outdoor education spaces at all three Stoughton elementary schools - Fox Prairie, Kegonsa and Sandhill - after a team of District staff researched the benefits of outdoor education on student learning.

Lock boxes. Historical crime scenes. Mock trials. Eighth-graders at River Bluff Middle School can pick up detective skills as well as knowledge of U.S. history in social studies class. The course, which covers U.S. history from its beginnings through Reconstruction, often incorporates interactive activities that allow the students to assume the role of investigators as they learn about the past and how it affects our present. A key part of the class is that students learn how to analyze and evaluate multiple historical sources, including how perspectives can influence those sources, as they revisit key events in U.S. history. Activities that help students develop those skills include a mock trial of Christopher Columbus; reenacting the Constitutional Convention and allowing students to play a character from that Convention; and a Breakout challenge tasking students to use primary historical sources, pictures, letters, a textbook and artifacts to solve a series of clues and access a series of lock boxes while learning about the events surrounding the Battle of Lexington and Concord. In one activity, the students are also able to act as crime scene investigators assigned the task of sifting through evidence from the Boston Massacre and addressing the central question: did the British military murder five colonists, or did they fire in self-defense?


Several years ago, Fox Prairie received a grant to start a garden and later included raised beds and a sub-irrigation system that waters on a timer and is rain-sensitive. The new work includes the creation of an accessible gathering place adjacent to the existing garden and a gravel path and natural boulders and stumps for seating, play, and learning. A new discovery trail at Kegonsa, meanwhile, will link its existing outdoor classroom with other parts of the school grounds. Kegonsa also has secured a $3,000 grant from the Healthy Classrooms Foundation to further expand its natural learning spaces.

Students in River Bluff Middle School’s eighth-grade social studies classes build critical thinking and research skills through interactive lessons such as breakout box challenges, mock trials and forensic history activities.

Over several class periods, teams of students examine evidence that included a “video” of the aftermath of the shooting (footage from the HBO miniseries “John Adams”); primary sources, such as accounts from those present at the massacre; various pictures or engravings

depicting the shooting; and a review of the “physical evidence” at a recreated crime scene. For students, that means reading and analyzing several different kinds of materials and trying to reconcile conflicting accounts and perspectives on the shooting. Ultimately the students must cite several pieces of evidence to support the conclusion they reached.

Sandhill earlier this year partnered with community neighbors to install a new outdoor classroom to cultivate inquiry-based learning opportunities for its kindergarten students. A new gathering space will support a planned reading garden adjacent to the Library Media Center. Such a gathering space would feature a gravel path and natural boulders and stumps for seating, play and learning. “A number of studies have documented increased school performance through outdoor education,” according to an Outdoor Education Research Summary compiled by the K-12 Forestry Education Program at University of WisconsinStevens Point. “Research has documented increased standardized test scores, enhanced attitude about school, improved in-school behavior, improved attendance and overall enhanced student achievement when students learn in and about nature.”

SASD accepted into computer science program This year, our District was accepted into TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools), a program that connects high schools with industry professionals to learn about computer science. TEALS pairs software engineers with classroom teachers so they can learn computer science curriculum by teamteaching in their own classrooms. Over the course of two years, the classroom teacher gradually assumes the responsibilities of teaching the course without volunteer support, according to the TEALS website. TEALS was founded in 2009 by former high school CS teacher and Microsoft engineer Kevin Wang and is supported by Microsoft Philanthropies. For more information, visit

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July 25 & 26, 2018

Stoughton Back to School


Joining with local businesses to prepare our students Team of Stoughton High School staff visited more than 20 different area businesses this spring to learn more about what skills our students need for their future careers. The businesses represented fields such as finance, health care, engineering, manufacturing, food service, architecture, hospitality and energy. SHS educators visited facilities and spoke with representatives from those industries to learn more about what those businesses do, what kinds of skills they need from their employees and what kinds of skills, whether academic or employability, should we as a District emphasize to prepare our students.

DID YOU KNOW? The Stoughton community donated a record $241,588 in college scholarships to the Class of 2018.

“It’s important for us as educators to visit business and have conversations with business,” said Cindy Vaughn, who is the SHS school to career coordinator and who organized the tours. “This is where our students will go in their careers and it’s important for us as educators to have a dialogue with those businesses to learn what they do, how they operate and what are their needs so that we can better improve what it is that we do.”

A grant from the Wahlin Foundation allowed our high school welding program to acquire three new welders so our students can train on equipment that mirrors the industry. Stoughton Trailers was one of 21 businesses that our high school staff toured this spring to learn what skills should we be emphasizing to prepare students for career success.

SHS staff later met to share their experiences and talk about what they learned and how that knowledge might be integrated into the school culture and classrooms. We want to thank the businesses for hosting our staff this spring.

Reaching out to build relationships with our families Strong relationships with our families has a large, positive impact on student learning. That’s why this year two of our schools are using District Innovation Grants to strengthen those ties. Next month, Kegonsa Elementary School will organize a special “Rock the Block” welcome for its students, inspired by a similar program started in Jefferson Elementary School in the School District of Janesville. For a day in August, groups of Kegonsa staff will briefly visit their students and meet their families to welcome them back for a new school year. The staff will be dressed in “Rock the Block” themed shirts and have small bags of school supplies. “Rock the Block” presents an opportunity for Kegonsa students, staff and families to deepen community relationships and to create excitement

for the new school year. Staff at River Bluff Middle School will use their Innovation grant to host a “family night” at the school four times in the 2018-19 school year. These evenings will include a free meal; games and activities related to team building, math, and literacy; and books for students and younger siblings to take home. The hope is that these events will help families feel more welcome in the building, increase student interest in reading and math and help families feel that they are partners with the school in their child’s education. Through our District’s Innovation Grant program, staff can submit proposals to support creative ideas they want to try in the school or classroom.

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July 25 & 26, 2018

Stoughton Back to School



Public Release: National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Special Milk Program

Stoughton Area School District nondiscrimination statement

This is the public release that we will send to: The Courier Hub; Stoughton Food Pantry; Dane county Human Services, Stoughton; Stoughton Library. The Courier Hub published on July 26, 2018. The others were sent on July 26, 2018. RELEASE STATEMENT The Stoughton Area School District today announced its policy for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program or milk for split-session students served under the Special Milk Program. Each school office and the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party. The following household size and income criteria will be used for determining eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free and reduced price meals or free milk if a split-session student does not have access to the school lunch or breakfast service.

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a notice to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced price meals or free milk, households must fill out the application and return it to the school (unless notified at the start of the school year that children are eligible through direct certification). Additional copies are available at the office in each school. The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by agency or other program officials. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. To obtain free or reduced price meals or free milk for children in a household where one or more household members receive FoodShare, FDPIR, or Wisconsin Works (W-2) cash benefits, list the FoodShare, FDPIR or W-2 case number, list the names of all school children, sign the application, and return it to the school office. For the school officials to determine eligibility for free or reduced price meals or free milk of households not receiving FoodShare, FDPIR or W-2 cash benefits, the household must provide the following information requested on the application: names of all household members, total number of household members, and the adult signing the application form must also list the last four digits of his or her Social Security Number or mark the box to the right of “Check if no SSN”. Also, the income received by each household member must be provided by amount and source (wages, welfare, child support, etc.). Under the provisions of the free and reduced price meal and free milk policy the Director of Taher Food Service Inc. will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the ruling of the official, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If the parent/ guardian wishes to make a formal appeal, he/she may make a request either orally or in writing to: Erica J. Pickett, Director of Business Services, 320 North Street, Stoughton, WI 53589. If a hearing is needed to appeal the decision, the policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure. If a household member become¬s unemployed or if the household size changes, the family should contact the school. Such changes may make the household eligible for reduced price meals or free meals or free milk if the household income falls at or below the levels shown above, and they may reapply at that time. Children formally placed in foster care are also eligible for free meal benefits. Foster children may be certified as eligible without a household application. Households with foster children and non-foster children may choose to include the foster child as a household member, as well as any personal income available to the foster child, on the same application that includes their non-foster children. The information provided by the household on the application is confidential. Public Law 103-448 limits the release of student free and reduced price school meal eligibility status to persons directly connected with the administration and enforcement of federal or state educational programs. Consent of the parent/guardian is needed for other purposes such as waiver of text book fees.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2)

fax: (202) 690-7442; or



This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Any questions regarding the application should be directed to the determining official.

language skills is not a barrier to admission or participation. The District encourages infor mal resolution of complaints under this policy. A formal complaint resolution procedure is also available to address allegations of violations of the policy in the Stoughton Area School Distr ict. The informal and formal complaint procedures are outlined in Series 600 of the Board Policies. Any questions concerning Wis. Stat. § 118.13, Title IX, or Title VI of the Education Amendments of 19 7 2 , w h i c h p ro h i b i t discrimination, should be directed to: Director of Human Resources Stoughton Area School District Stoughton, WI 53589 (608) 877-5021 Inquir ies related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap, should be directed to: Director of Student Services Stoughton Area School District Stoughton, WI 53589 (608) 877-5041

For more Notices, visit the Stoughton Area School District website at

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Non-discrimination Statement: In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

It is the policy of the Stoughton Area School District that no person may be denied admission to any public school in this Distr ict or be denied participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any curricular, extra-curricular, pupil services, recreational, or other program or activity because of the person’s sex, race, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or lear ning disabilit y as required by Wis. Stat. § 118.13. The District also prohibits discrimination on any basis prohibited by applicable state or federal law, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (sex), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race and national or igin), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (handicap). In addition, the Distr ict prohibits discrimination on the basis of transgender status including gender expression, gender identity and gender nonconformity. All vocational education p ro g r a m s fo l l o w t h e D i s t r i c t ’s p o l i c i e s o f nondiscr imination. In addition, arrangements will be made to ensure that the lack of English

1520 Vernon Street, Stoughton | 608.873.7277 |


July 25 & 26, 2018

Stoughton Back to School



#WeAreEthics #WeAreIntegrity #WeAreSportsmanship

Enrollment Information Brand new to Stoughton and need to enroll your child(ren)? • Please complete an online enrollment application at www. / Our Families / Registration and Enrollment • Please review final steps on the web page above Currently enrolled and need to complete the new online registration for the 2018-19 school year?

Congratulations Congratulationsto toStoughton StoughtonHigh HighSchool, School,one oneofofthe theinaugural inauguralwinners winnersof the WIAA Award Excellence the areas of sportsmanship, in 2017 of theofWIAA Awardfor of achievements Excellence forinachievements in the areas of ethics, integrity, leadership and character. sportsmanship, ethics, integrity, leadership and character.

Comprehensive facilities study now underway LEARN MORE >>

• Required of all currently enrolled students for the 2018-19 school year • Complete online registration from home through your Parent Portal July 23 through August 6 • Need access to a computer or assistance with the process? Please join us at Administration Building, 320 North St., between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. July 25, July 31, August 1 or August 6

Upcoming Dates

A comprehensive study of facilities in the Stoughton Area School District is now underway.

It has been more than a decade since our District last undertook such a review

The study will help our District detail the condition of existing infrastructure, identify any upcoming maintenance needs and explore how we can maximize our students’ learning spaces.

The study began earlier this spring and will continue through the summer. It is tentatively scheduled to be complete in the fall and will first be reviewed by the District’s Facilities Committee before advancing to the Board of Education.

Central Registration August 16 and 21 Stoughton High School

Once complete, this study will guide our long-term planning and decision-making process.

First Day of School September 4

It encompasses all five schools in the District as well as additional facilities such as the former Yahara Elementary School, the historic 1892 Building, the Administration Building and bus garage. Our District has enlisted the firm of Eppstein Uhen Architects to conduct the study.

More information about the study will be posted on our website,

Annual Meeting October 22 Administration Building

Profile for Woodward Community Media

2018 Stoughton Back to School  

2018 Stoughton Back to School

2018 Stoughton Back to School  

2018 Stoughton Back to School