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2019–2020 a report to our community

Dear Sun Prairie Area Community, THE 2019–2020 SCHOOL YEAR WILL CERTAINLY BE ONE TO REMEMBER. No one could have predicted when we started school in September 2019 that six months later we would close all schools and teach virtually for the rest of the school year. Many of our students missed out on so much, none more so than our seniors. No prom, no late spring sports, no school play, and no traditional graduation ceremony. But as this community always does, people stepped up and we got through some hard times—together. One of the highlights of the 2019–2020 academic year was the last football game played at Ashley

OUR VISION: To be a high-performing district of choice that reflects the cultures of our diverse community.

Field. It has been amazing to watch the progress on the new field over the last few months, and we are excited for the community to see the new Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field. Another highlight was seeing the planning for Sun Prairie West High School, which will open in the fall of 2022. Ground has been broken and progress is being made. We are looking forward to opening this beautiful new school in two years, along with a renovated Cardinal Heights (Central Heights Middle School starting in fall 2022) and a new Prairie Phoenix Academy. Many of our schools have received updates, and we invite you to learn more in this annual report. As proud as we are of our facilities, we realize that buildings do not teach students; people do. We could not be more proud of the fabulous SPASD faculty and staff who transitioned with little warning to distance learning last spring and did not miss a beat meeting the needs of our students. We have many examples of our staff going above and beyond for students and families. It truly takes a village to educate the next generation of citizens, and the SPASD community takes that responsibility very seriously. On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for reading this annual report. Even more important, thank you for trusting us with your children and your tax dollars. It is an obligation we do not take lightly, and we will work as hard as we can to provide the best possible learning environment for all of our children. Every Child, Every Day,


Dr. Steve Schroeder

Dr. Brad Saron

Board of Education President



OUR MISSION: Futures depend on us to inspire and prepare every child, every day, by providing relevant, engaging, and innovative learning experiences in and out of the classroom.



THE 2019–2020 SCHOOL YEAR WILL GO INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS AS BEING ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE YEARS IN THE HISTORY OF THE SUN PRAIRIE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT. Our staff not only exceeded our expectations as they transitioned to distance learning on a moment’s notice, setting a standard of excellence for our state, but have also shown time and again their dedication to and care for our kids. We invite you to review the 2019–2020 school year with us. We have much to celebrate as a district, even during the year of an unprecedented global pandemic.

WHAT’S INSIDE 04....... Board of Education 05....... SPASD by the Numbers 06....... Teaching, Learning & Equity 14....... Student Spotlight 15....... Community Engagement 18....... Graduation 2020 21....... Program Spotlight

“I think SPASD is doing a fantastic job and feel my children are lucky to be in such a great school district. The response to COVID-19 was terrific. I am

22....... Workforce Excellence

very grateful that my family’s health was a priority.

25....... Facilities & Operations

SPASD was impressive in the speed in which they

30....... Athletics & Activities

organized and began distance learning.” – SPASD PARENT



of education


THE BOARD OF EDUCATION IS THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE SUN PRAIRIE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT. The Board leads, directs, and supervises the affairs of the District through policy development and accountability. The Board serves and is accountable to the community, primarily by ensuring that the District achieves the results described in the Board’s Student Results Policies and that it operates according to the values expressed in the Board’s Operational Expectations Policies. Pictured: The School Board. Top, left to right: Quinn Williams, Carol Sue Albright, Tom Weber. Center, left to right: Dr. Steve Schroeder, Marilyn Ruffin, Caren Diedrich. Bottom, left to right: Bryn Horton, Dave Hoekstra, Sarah Rhoads.

The Board will govern lawfully and ethically with primary focus on: •Vision and direction rather than internal preoccupation • Strategic leadership more than management detail • Future rather than past or present • Clear distinction between Board and Superintendent roles • Ensuring that all voices are heard, especially the community whom we serve and represent • Building trusting and respectful relationships • And, most important, student achievement The Board of Education has worked hard to develop clear Student Results Policies and Operational Expectations Policies for the School District. We encourage you to review our policies, expectations, and monitoring reports located on the District website. The Board of Education unanimously approved resolutions this year in Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning (LGBTQ+) during Pride Month; in support for our Hmong Community; and in support of Black History Month. You can find these resolutions on our Board of Education web page.



Free and Reduced Meals:

students ride the bus daily.

african american

11% 10%


pacific islander


9% hispanic

two or more races american indian


students and counting

1,085 school breakfasts and 4,052

school lunches served daily to our students.

Demographics of students by race




supported by Board Members, including 2 student board members.


students participate in our 4K program at 9 partner sites and 1 school site. We have students from countries.


square feet of facilities.

13,536 hours of

community use of facilities.

45 languages/ dialects are spoken.

Top five: English

Spanish Hmong Telugu





Educating over

Schools (SP West High School building in progress)



by the numbers



1 Community School at 4 sites

1,686 students

participate in one or more of the school choir, band, and orchestra programs.

Advanced Placement (AP) classes



learning & equity



24 senior students participated in youth apprenticeships in a variety of fields: Construction Information Technology Nursing Assistant Finance Engineering

Automotive Technician Diesel Technician Biotechnology Manufacturing/Welding Vet Technician

Miles Hanson, a graduating senior and manufacturing Youth Apprentice with E.K. Machine, and now an employee. He was also on the home construction crew that built a Habitat for Humanity home.

Community-Building Circles at Cardinal Heights Students and staff members take part in community-building

idea that whoever is holding the object can share. The process allows

circles at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School. The circles involve

students to have a voice and share it with others, helps students

students and teachers sitting in a circle in their classrooms with the

develop leadership skills, and lays the groundwork for a further

intent of discussing some tough subjects and building community.

restorative justice process. Staff members usually facilitate the circles,

At the start, everyone agrees on some simple rules or guidelines

but they are also training students to facilitate.

that are based on the school’s “CARES” framework, which stands

The school is building toward everyone knowing how to process

for Community, Accountability, Respect, Empathy, and Safety.

conflict, work through harm that has been done in the community,

In these weekly circles, the groups discuss a certain

and come up with solutions through restorative justice

topic by passing around a “talking stick” item, with the

circles run by students. For example, when students are caught fighting, instead of receiving a suspension, they could repair the harm they caused through a circle. This is a very low-risk opportunity for kids to learn about one another. This model was created by Tom Cavanagh, an instructor at Colorado State University, who started the Restorative Justice Education nonprofit organization.



participated in an Hour of Code in December 2019. Hour of Code

The Second Annual Black Excellence

brought together parents, high school students, college professors,

Achievement Makers (BEAM) Awards were

college students, and professionals from area tech companies—

mailed to students this year because we

including Google in Madison—to learn more about the importance of

could not have an in-person event. Families

computer science in our daily lives and to try their hand at coding.

were encouraged to send in photos of their students holding the award.

457 nominations were received.

356 students


Over 2,850 students from Sun Prairie elementary and middle schools

Second Annual Black Excellence Achievement Makers (BEAM)

learning & equity

Hour of Code

received an award.

79 students

received more than one award.

22 staff members received an award.

Computer Science for All in Sun Prairie Computer science has changed our world. It’s essential to know how the devices we interact with work and how to use them responsibly, safely, and ethically. Computer programming is accessible to all students in the Sun Prairie Area School District. Students in elementary school learn the basics of computer programming through fun and interactive programs (like Scratch) in the Library Media curriculum. Middle school students learn the importance of digital citizenship, access makerspaces, and take courses in computer science. Students at the high school can choose to learn advanced skills in programming and cybersecurity.

We received a 2020 Best Communities for Music Education award! We have amazing educators who share their passion for music with our students.



learning & equity


Congratulations to the high school Footloose production team, cast, and crew! This amazing show was nominated for more than a dozen Jerry Awards. The Overture’s Jerry Awards is one of Wisconsin’s High School Music Awards that encourages, recognizes, and honors excellence in high school musical theater.

In Ms. Harmon’s science class at Cardinal Heights, students are working together to identify leaf types and calculate the frequency of their occurrence in samples.



Survey results show that 75% of students felt that their culture and identity was valued at school.

Scott and Dan from our Grounds staff had the opportunity to work with some of the kids at Prairie View Middle School planting new trees that were awarded to the school through American Transmission Company “Trees for Threes,” thanks to the Milwaukee Bucks. They planted four “Autumn Blaze” maples around the front of the school. Scott and Dan had a lot of fun teaching the kids about the process of planting and maintaining new trees.


In 2019–2020, 97% of our AVID students took at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course. Nationally, only 39% took at least one AP exam, while 74% of our own AVID seniors took at least one AP exam. AVID is an elementary through postsecondary college readiness system designed to increase schoolwide learning and performances for students. Currently in Sun Prairie, AVID is offered in 7th–12th grades. AVID targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students capable of completing rigorous curriculum and desire extra support to reach their goals.

42 AVID students graduated this year, were offered over $800,000 in scholarships, and received 75+ letters of college acceptance at over 35 different schools. 100% met four-year college entrance requirements.

learning & equity

AVID Program Nationally Recognized

EdCamp: Social Justice The District hosted the first-of-its-kind EdCamp event in the Midwest, focused on equity and social justice. Our leadership team “purpled up” in April to support our military students for the month of the Military Child.

The event hosted 300 registrants, 90 of whom were Sun Prairie staff! Dr. Jamila Lyiscott was the keynote presenter. Dr. Lyiscott is the author of Black Appetite. White Food. Books were purchased for all attendees by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Presentations throughout the day were hosted by fellow educators and students from SPASD and MMSD. An event of this magnitude in the Midwest put Sun Prairie on the

Congratulations to the Forensics Team! They were the Watertown tournament champions.

map nationally, and will continue to move our work forward as a District and within the region. 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY


& equity


THE BOARD OF EDUCATION RECOGNIZED FEBRUARY AS BLACK HISTORY MONTH! In partnership with our African American Parent Network (AAPN), we had over 40 events to celebrate and learn more about black history including a Soul Food event.

Soul Food Event Showcased during Black History Month In many African American families, soul food is a way for multi-generational family members to gather together and bond over a meal cooked with love and care. Our Black Student Union (BSU) took that concept and extended it to our community in hopes of bridging some of the cultural gaps in the school. Soul Food Night was an event where students, teachers, administrators, parents, family members, and community members gathered to learn

Westside and Northside Elementary Schools have been celebrating Read Your Heart Out in honor of African American Parent Involvement Day! It is a great opportunity for our community to come together and for our students to grow their love for reading. Thank you to all of the volunteers who shared their love for reading with our students! #SPCelebratesBHM20

why soul food is so important and what makes it SO DELICIOUS. Great job to the BSU students who put so much work into this event.

Creekside 4th-grade faculty working with instructional coach Five students from SPHS and PPA were amazing contributors at the Second Annual Dane County Youth Social Justice Forum planning meeting.



Brianne Pitts, digging deeply into standards and culturally relevant practices to make classrooms even better for kids.


& equity

Thirty-sixth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Outstanding Young Person Award recipients. SPASD middle school and high school students recognized for their academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, and service to the community.

Superintendent Brad Saron, Assistant Superintendent Stephanie Leonard-Witte, School Board Members Bryn Horton and Steve Schroeder, and Principals Keith Nerby and Cynthia Bell (pictured with State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor), presented at the National Summit for Courageous Conversation with our equity partner, The Pacific Educational Group. In January, eighteen of our 11th-grade students traveled to Tennessee to visit three historically Black colleges and universities. This experience was made Every Wednesday in February, Prairie Phoenix Academy (PPA)

possible thanks to high

students visited elementary classrooms to read books in honor

school staff and funding by American Family Insurance.

of Black History Month. Thank you to our PPA scholars! 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY


teaching, learning & equity

Sun Prairie Students Are College and Career Ready


Students completed at least one college-level course



Students took Project Lead the Way classes

Average ACT composite score

Graduation rate



Potential college credits earned on AP exams

Career and Tech Ed courses offered



Seniors in the class of 2020 earned one or more certifications (up 14 from 2019)

Students achieved finalist status for the National Merit Scholarship program


Living Out Our Vision and Mission: Pivoting to Distance Learning On March 18th, 2020, education

This shift happened without warning as COVID-19 moved into our

changed forever, and students,

region. The technology that teachers in Sun Prairie used in their

families, staff, and community

classrooms became the technology they used to teach from their

members began our courageous

living rooms. Sun Prairie’s commitment to erasing the digital divide

journey into the uncharted territory of

meant that every student had access to a mobile device to use at

distance learning during a pandemic.

home, whether it was an iPad, a Chromebook, or a laptop. It also

While all school districts grappled

meant that our staff all had access to mobile technology to reach out

with the significance of the transition,

to their students. In addition to providing mobile devices, SPASD also

the SPASD not only led the State of

provided hundreds of wireless hotspots to students and staff.

Wisconsin in our innovative approach to serving students and families but also lived our mission of Every Child, Every Day, when our students needed us the most.


While the SPASD staff are very familiar with technology from experience and use in the classroom, we are exceptionally proud of the amount of professional learning our teaching staff participated in to

Last spring, Sun Prairie schools were faced with an unprecedented

sharpen their skills. This learning continued throughout the summer to

challenge of meeting the needs of our students in a virtual setting.

ensure an exceptional learning experience for students in the fall.


teaching, learning & equity

Mrs. Volenberg, the reading specialist from Horizon Elementary School, put together summer reading bags for her students. She planned, ordered, and organized the “Reading Never Stops’” book bags and delivered them to her students’ homes. What a great way to keep

Mrs. Volenberg

our students reading throughout the summer!

The 1st-grade team, Mrs. Johnson, Ms. Zahn, Mrs. Linton, and Mr. Johnsrud planning for Summer School students.

Westside Elementary Principal,

Virtual Summer School

Nikki Burke, was in the community

We welcomed almost 1,600 students

dropping off student devices and

to Summer School 2020 in a distance

learning materials to get students

learning environment. In a 5-week

ready for distance learning.

Principal Nikki Burke

Did You Know? Since 1967, only three people have directed the Sun Prairie High School Wind Ensemble: Ray Hawkinson (1967–1978), Bernie Powers (1978–2004), and Steve Sveum (2004–2020). The spring 2020 Sun Prairie High School band concert went virtual. The concert bid a farewell to our

Summer School hat day

program, we offered our K–8 students reading, writing, and math and our 9–12 students a variety of initial credit and credit recovery classes. We are proud that our teachers engaged students in curriculumdriven activities in a way that students, staff, and families could remain in a safe and healthy place.

seniors and also two SPHS band directors, Mr. David Rush (6 years) and Mr. Steve Sveum (35 years). The concert featured the four Sun Prairie High School concert bands, a guest appearance by the Hikarigaoka All Girls High School band from Japan, and a performance by our district band directors.

Nearly 200 Over 10,000 100+ safe Countless hours were wireless student and secure spent in professional hot-spots were and staff digital learning learning to support distributed to devices were applications staff with the shift students and supported. were used. to online teaching. staff. 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY




Jamal Stone, Footloose Lead Role, Ren McCormack With every role, I learn something new about myself and develop different techniques and skills. There was lots of trial and error with analyzing and deconstructing this role, but it has been one of the best experiences for me. Because this was my last high school musical, the feeling of leaving it all onstage fueled my soul. I really enjoyed the cast that I was surrounded by and the directors that gave me so much guidance and so much freedom with every show. As stressful as it was, the rehearsals were the best part of my day and the reason I got up every morning. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. My biggest takeaway from the Sun Prairie High School music program would probably be my love for the arts. I want to do this for the rest of my life because I think it’s pretty neat that someone can get onstage or on TV and evoke emotion out of others and impact them in different ways. Every time I get onstage, I feel this rush that makes me remember that this is what I truly love to do. In college, I hope to pursue musical theater but be involved in all forms of entertainment (film, stage, vocal, etc.). I really appreciate everything this program has done for me as a person and a performer.

Because this was my last high school musical, the feeling of leaving it all onstage fueled my soul.



THE STRATEGIC PRIORITIES FOR THE SPASD, EVEN IN THE MOST DIFFICULT TIMES. In fact, our mission and vision were developed by our community.

SPHS Automotive Program was recognized for being a top 100 school in the Nation for utilizing the Ford Ace program, a vehicle service training program used by Ford Motor Company to train its employees.

District Support Center staff raised money for the Sunshine Place by hosting a lemonade stand during the lunch hour.




Kindness Retreats were held at all nine elementary schools for all 4th graders. Kindness Retreats are made possible by donations of time and money from our community and area businesses, such as the Bank of Sun Prairie and more.

We partnered with Oakwood Fruit Farm from Richland Center to supply local apples for all 8,000 students to “crunch” for the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch in October.

Eastside Elementary School has been adopted by WPPI and Sun Prairie Utilities as part of the GRIT program focusing on the soft skills at the 4th- and 5th-grade levels. GRIT = Giving it your all, Responsibility, Initiative, and Teamwork.

The Masonic Lodge donated $5,000 to our Hunger Hero Campaign. We are so thankful to this group and so many other community groups for donating money to help support student lunch balances in Sun Prairie.

Thank you to a generous grant from the Sun Prairie Education Foundation for funding the ASAP wheelchair basketball learning opportunity for all Patrick Marsh and Prairie View students.

Thank you to the Madison Reading Project for the books and to Celebrate Smiles for the toothbrushes! Our Community Schools staff handed them out at our food distribution sites. 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY




Even during COVID, our team is reviewing recommendations from the Taskforce.

Taskforce on Student Behavior and Bullying The Sun Prairie Area

John Sheehan, a 1979 graduate of Sun Prairie High School, proudly added his plaque to the Wall of Success at our high school.

School District staff strive

John is a healthcare executive, now serving

to maintain a learning

as the Vice President of UnityPoint Health

environment that is safe and

Operations. John credits his success to his

a culture that is respectful

family and holds Sun Prairie High School near

and conducive to effective learning. Recent District data related to expulsions;

and dear to his heart.

behavioral referrals; student mental health; staff, student, and parent satisfaction

When John graduated in 1979, his class

surveys; and parent feedback indicates that we have not yet achieved our goals and are not meeting the expectations we have for ourselves. To that end, we formed a District Taskforce on Student Behavior and Bullying. This group met throughout the school year and discussed continued work by the team and how the Board and public can monitor progress/results/success with the initiatives developed by the Taskforce. Please visit the District website for more information about our continued work:


Did You Know?


donated the cardinal mascot and named it Curt after John’s father, who was the SPHS principal. Congratulations, John, and thank you for your continued support of SPASD!



Cardinal Heights was named a Special Olympics Unified Champion School and has secured funding to promote inclusive and cooperative initiatives!

Mayor Esser

Aaron Oppenheimer and Sandy Xiong, City of Sun Prairie

Christi Winchel, Sunny Nutrition

Thank you to the Wisconsin Education

We had community members, over 20 youth hockey and soccer coaches, District staff, and

Association Council (WEAC) for bringing Bucky

City employees serve our students breakfast throughout National School Breakfast Week.

Badger to Creekside and Westside Elementary

Students who eat breakfast before school begins—wherever that may be—are better

schools in celebration of Read Across America

prepared to learn in the classroom. School Nutrition Director Kathy Walker says: “We do so much more than just serve safe

Week. The staff and students were so excited to see him!

and healthy food. We love what we do, and we love that so many others wanted to join us in our experience. Thank you to our guest servers for joining us.” 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY


graduation 2020

Graduating Senior Jake Rauls

GRADUATION LOOKED A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT THIS YEAR FOR THE CLASS OF 2020 AT SUN PRAIRIE HIGH SCHOOL. Among the things our graduates missed was the opportunity to walk across the stage and celebrate the end of their high school career with an in-person graduation event. Our high school staff was committed to making sure these students were celebrated and received the recognition they deserved for completing their high school career.

CLASS MOTTO: “Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives

us all the best opportunity for growing into the best of people.” — Mr. Rogers 18


graduation 2020

We couldn’t let the pandemic get in the way of showing community love to our seniors! The teachers, staff, and principals of Sun Prairie High School took to the town to honor our seniors! They practiced good social distancing while delivering yard signs to every single senior.

Knowing that we couldn’t have an in-person graduation ceremony this year, we had to get creative. With help from the Sun Prairie Media Center, we held a virtual graduation and aired it on KSUN and on our website on June 12. On Saturday, August 1, hundreds of members of the class of 2020 showed up at Sun Prairie High School to get photos of themselves onstage. Sun Prairie School Board president, Steve Schroeder, and Sun Prairie High School principal, Keith Nerby, were available to pose with graduates.



graduation 2020

Logan was a Youth Apprentice at a UW lab. He will be coauthoring two research papers in the near future. His mom sent a thank-you for the opportunity and expressed how grateful she is, as this experience has been a big part of Logan’s growth as a scientist and a person.

Fifth graders across the District missed out on a traditional graduation celebration as well. Their teachers stopped at their homes and dropped off graduation pennants and said their final farewells.

The English Language (EL) Department at Sun Prairie High School surprised the seniors by dropping off goodie bags at their homes.



Heroes among Us

Community Schools is a strategy

In addition to the teaching staff shifting to distance learning:

that is implemented at four schools in Sun Prairie: Westside

• Our School Nutrition staff continued

Elementary, C. H. Bird Elementary,

to serve meals to students even

Patrick Marsh Middle School, and Prairie Phoenix Academy. This strategy makes these schools the

Pictured here are TJ Hansen, Caitlin Fahey, and Bobby Finn (PPA Community Schools Coordinator) at a recent Community Lunch Site.

hub of their neighborhoods, uniting educators, community partners, and families to provide all students with top-quality academics, enrichment, health and social services, and opportunities to learn and thrive. Northside Elementary will join as Sun Prairie’s fifth Community School in the fall of 2020.

with community partners from the YMCA, Neighborhood Navigators, Sunshine Place, Dane County, Sun Prairie Parks and Rec, the Boys & Girls Club, and other organizations to support the basic needs of our neighbors

acts of kindness to 92 families. These acts

lead this initiative. She

of kindness consisted of things like rides to

comes to Sun Prairie

work, a gift card for the grocery store, or a

from Racine, where she

delivery of furniture for families that were

led the development and Schools with Racine

to the pandemic, our coordinators rallied

five months, our coordinators provided 220

joined the District to

expansion of Community

When the school buildings closed due

in this time of crisis. Over the course of

In March, Jamie Racine

after we shifted to distance learning.



Community Schools


W rch nt

School Nutrition staff

• Our Technology staff worked tirelessly and supported over 10,000 student and staff devices and distributed over 200 wireless hotspots to ensure that learning could continue.

displaced due to sudden unemployment. Jamie Racine

Unified School District and the United Way of Racine County.

Community Schools team members also worked with partners to provide 2,200 pounds of food to families and 4,928 meals for children, in addition to the meals provided

From September to February, our site coord-

by the School Nutrition Department. If you

inators provided out-of-school programming

are interested in getting involved with the

for 380 students, provided adult education

work of Sun Prairie Community Schools,

programs for 78 adults, and brought over

please reach out to Jamie Racine, at

2,500 community members together for

community-building events. 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY




THE 1,300 EMPLOYEES OF THE SPASD SERVE OUR DISTRICT IN DOZENS OF JOB CATEGORIES, FROM TEACHERS TO CUSTODIANS, FROM INSTRUCTIONAL AIDES TO SCHOOL NUTRITION SERVERS, AND FROM ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS TO GROUNDSKEEPERS. All of our employees share the same goal of changing the lives of our students. The shared vision of Every Child, Every Day is played out through the loving interactions between our SPASD workforce and our students.

Developing Our Employees Professional development highlights our continued focus on equity, literacy, and math learning for our staff. To kick off our year, we brought in Dr. Sharroky Hollie to work with all staff, K–12. He followed up with specific training for secondary staff.

Teachers College labsite coaching provides on-the-job practice and coaching for educators.

C. H. Bird, Northside, Prairie View and Patrick

A standing ovation and a call to bring him back tells us

Marsh schools all worked directly with a staff

that we have hit the target to help support teachers in

developer from Teachers College in labsite

their journey in culturally responsive practices.

structures to practice in their own classrooms.

We continued our work with The Pacific Educational

Some of the instructional coaches were able to

Group (PEG) and finished our six sessions, which were

attend the Institute for Coaching in New York.

scheduled over the last two years. This development

When COVID-19 forced all learning to go virtual,

was designed for members of each building’s Equity

we hosted over 50 teachers attending online

Team. We have continued to send all members of

courses through Teachers College. We also

our Equity Teams to Beyond Diversity seminars. We

hosted several sessions with Mary Ehrenworth

have also brought several sessions of Responsive

from Teachers College. STEAM development

Classroom training to our elementary teachers.

returned for another year at Westside with Cassie

Diane Sweeney continued our work with student-

Quigley and Dani Herro from Clemson University.

centered coaching, and we were able to host Kara

Math continues to be supported by

Vandas, coauthor of Clarity for Learning, to help lift

sending math instructors to the Wisconsin

our collective work around student growth. Literacy continues to focus on deepening our work around the model of reading and writing workshops through Teachers College. 22


Math Council MPES Conference, NCTM Annual Dr. Sharroky Hollie

Meeting and Exposition, and many virtual offerings.

High school teacher Shannon Maly was awarded the Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award by the Wisconsin Health and Physical Education Association! Sadie Brown also was awarded the Adapted Physical Education Teacher Award. Sadie's job is to make sure that all students, regardless of their abilities, are able to participate in physical education with their peers. She collaborates with our Physical Education Team to modify activities and adapt equipment so that students with various disabilities can be successful! We are proud of Ms. Maly and Ms. Brown for their work with our students!

Teacher retention

all staff:




Shannon Maly

Sadie Brown




“As a new staff member, I am happy to work in the School District. My colleagues are a fantastic help in answering my questions and making me feel part of the team.”

Retiring Staff We said farewell to 16 retiring staff this year. We appreciate their years of service and their impact on Sun Prairie students. We wish them

Staff survey results show that with all things considered, SPASD is a great place to work!


all the best in retirement. Collectively, this group worked 374 years in education in the SPASD! Thank you to: Lisa Bollinger, Jeffrey Boos, Susan


Bricker, Patricia Budig, Rita Buss, Annette Condron, Shannon Fletcher, Nancy Harms, Louis Lessor, Linda Neesam, Mary Beth Olsen, D’Arcy Pogue, Kathleen Redalen, Patricia Schmitt, Steven Sveum, Diane Zeman, and Diane Zuravle.


3.40/5 3.76/5 4.18/5 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY




City and District Wellness Clinic Opened July 1, 2020 The City of Sun Prairie and the Sun Prairie Area School District are collaborating with SSM Health

Investing in Our Employees Since 2018, in conjunction with a Compensation Committee, we have refined our compensation frameworks for each of our employee groups to meet our strategic goal of recruiting, hiring, and retaining high quality staff to live our mission and vision of Every Child, Every Day. In April 2018, our community supported a referendum item totaling

at Work to provide new health care

$5,000,000 over a 3-year period to be used to bring our Sun Prairie

options for our employees and families

professional educators’ salaries in line with the Dane County average.

with the opening of a new dedicated wellness clinic in Sun Prairie. School Board President Steve Schroeder says:

13.8% Racially diverse staff (13.2% in 2018-19)

“We really care about our employees’


mental and physical health. If this clinic




is widely utilized, we believe that we







low as possible. We want to be able




to offer our staff a health insurance




plan that is top quality while keeping




premiums low.”



62.3 %

will see cost savings that will keep our annual health insurance premiums as

Staff % Student %

Our staff contributed $8,900 to United Way programs.

Offering convenient hours and lowor no-cost services, the team of clinicians will be available exclusively to provide City and District employees and their families a range of services, including acute and preventative care, disease management, workplace injury treatment, and occupational health services. 24


“I have had a great experience working in the Sun Prairie Area School District! I feel like I have the materials necessary to be successful at my job and the support from coworkers in troubling times. I feel supported by my school and District as a whole.” – STAFF MEMBER


Renovated library at C. H. Bird Elementary

AND FACILITIES AND GROUNDS DEPARTMENTS. This team is integral in the support of our mission of Every Child, Every Day in areas like school nutrition, safety, cleanliness, materials, budgeting and ordering, teacher retention, etc. Providing our students with a top-quality physical learning environment is important to us, and we are continuously investing back into our facilities. We work hard to provide a physical environment that is safe and conducive to how learning has evolved over time.

New tile and lockers at C. H. Bird Elementary

• Porcelain tile was placed in

Middle School boilers

the hallways at C. H. Bird. • New furniture and

Recent projects were completed through our Capital Projects

carpeting were installed in

budget, including projects identified in the 2016 referendum,

the LGIs at C. H. Bird and

projects identified in the 2019 referendum, and projects that were

Westside, and paint work was done.

completed with conserved funds from the 2016 construction of Meadow View and Token Springs Elementary schools.

Some of the Recent Projects Elementary Schools: • C. H. Bird, Eastside, Northside, Royal Oaks, and Westside all received new lockers or cubbies to replace the old ones that were rusting. • C. H. Bird, Eastside, Northside, and Westside had hallway wood paneling replaced with a more modern drywall finish that matches the interior finish of our newer elementary schools. • LED lighting retrofit projects were completed at Horizon and Creekside.



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Northside Elementary lockers

• Eastside and Northside had new casework installed in their staff lounges and paint work was done. Secondary Schools: • Patrick Marsh and Prairie View received two new boilers, new exterior windows with integral blinds, skylight replacements, new flooring in needed areas, and paint work. • LED lighting retrofit projects began at Patrick Marsh. • At Sun Prairie High School, work was done to refurbish the mulch beds at the front of the school, and work is being completed to replace the short backstop areas at the softball fields with taller netting backstops to prevent foul balls from leaving the playing area.

• Classroom door openings to support personalized learning were added at C. H. Bird, Creekside, Eastside, and Horizon.



Sun Prairie West High School: Opening Fall 2022

Did You Know?

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Since 2005, when we started our energy management program, we have added just over 750,000 square feet of school facilities; yet in 2019–2020, we used 24% less overall energy. We have done this by cutting our energy intensity—the energy we use per square foot—in half through projects like LED changeouts, boiler and chiller upgrades, and operational changes.

Pictured: Jeff Tubbs (Findorff), School Board President Steve Schroeder, Secondary School Space Planning Committee School Board Liaison Lisa Goldsberry, and Superintendent Brad Saron

Exterior rendering of Sun Prairie West High School

Virtual Groundbreaking Due to COVID-19 and the inability to host an in-person event, a small, socially distanced groundbreaking for Sun Prairie West High School was held. Construction at the site is underway. A community celebration will be scheduled in the future when it is safe to do so. Follow along with the construction progress by visiting our website:




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Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field We are pleased to introduce our partnership with the Bank of Sun Prairie. The new multipurpose stadium has been named Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field. The facility will host football, lacrosse, soccer, Sound of Sun Prairie, and other

Ashley Field groundbreaking celebration following the last home football game

community events.

The ADA accessible stadium includes


for 4,075. The home side has seating for 2,098, and the visitor side has seating for 1,977. The community’s investment in this project will provide learning opportunities for students outside the classroom and will bring unique opportunities to host other community events in the space. A grand opening will be held for the community when it is safe to do so.

Mascot Reveal The community was part of the school naming and mascot selection for Sun Prairie West High School. We would like to extend a big thank you to Birch and Wolf for all of their hard work developing the wolf logo. We are excited for the wolf to join the cardinal! 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY


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Financial The capacity of the SPASD to invest in professional development, to support students in AVID programming, to send athletes to competitions, and to celebrate amazing student musicians at concerts at the Sun Prairie Performing Arts Center all depends on excellence in financial management and budgeting. Our Business and Finance Department, in collaboration with departments and schools across the District, coordinates our resources to ensure

The District avoided $68,000,000+ in interest costs during the first and second phases of borrowing for Sun Prairie West High School compared to the initial referendum pricing.

allocation is aligned to School District goals and Board expectations.

The total budget for the District is $260,000,000, which includes the general fund, as well as special education, food services, and construction funds. Safety The safety of our staff and students is our number one priority.

School District. We continue to gather information through surveys,

This year in particular, with the COVID-19 pandemic, was our

committees, and discussions about safety today so that we can

opportunity to show just how much safety is important to this

continue to improve in the area of safety and security tomorrow. SPASD sent a delegation of thirteen people to the Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association (WSSCA) annual conference in February. Our District safety and security consultant, Shelley Weiss, was honored as the Wisconsin School Safety Coordinator of the Year for her work in the District, with community partners, and across the state. We appreciate the leadership Shelley has provided for our School District. Included with the Sun Prairie group were three student representatives from Sun Prairie High School. These three students were the first students to attend in the history of the conference. Other school

Pictured: Front, left to right: Janet Rosseter, SPHS student Makayla Keenan, SPHS student Brooke Bandli, Shelley Weiss, Nick Reichhoff, Andrea Anderson, Michele Vollmer, Kevin Sukow Back, left to right: Chad Whalley, SPHS student Quinn Williams, Verell Shumpert, Lorraine Schwager, Mike Iselin



districts saw the value in having student voices present and will bring their own students in the future.


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Public School Works and ALICE Online Training for Staff Through our Safety Grant funds from the Department of Justice, the District purchased Public School Works and ALICE online training programs for all staff. Public School Works is the top provider of complete online safety and regulatory compliance programs for 4K–12 schools. All staff completed several modules of training this past year in topics ranging from workplace safety and regulatory compliance to human resources and employment law. We have established a comprehensive training plan for our staff going forward, to ensure that safety remains a top priority. Staff and students in all District facilities have also been trained in the ALICE protocols for responding to active threats. (ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, and it is a gold-standard for active threat preparedness.) As part of our ALICE training initiative this past year, we were able to provide a family and community ALICE online training module on our District Safety and Security web page for anyone looking for more information about the District’s response to active threats. Through our effective training efforts, this past year the District became an official ALICE Certified Organization. We are proud of the work of our staff and students to continually improve and maintain safety and security in our schools and throughout our District.

Building for Our Future: Safety Planning and Considerations during Construction As a part of the referendum projects to build Sun Prairie West High School, remodel Central Heights Middle School, and create a new space for Prairie Phoenix Academy, safety and security planning has been important. In working with Bray Architects, we have created secure entry plans for the buildings, identified severe weather shelters, and developed protocol for securing the

Thank you to the Sun Prairie crossing guards and school bus drivers who keep our students safe each day! Pictured: Jerry (Main and Kroncke) and Stacey with Superintendent Saron

buildings in the event of an active threat. We are excited to see what our students will accomplish in these safe spaces for learning!

Standard & Poor’s RATES the District AA 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY


& activities


Gymnastics Team

Girls’ Basketball Teacher Appreciation Night

THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM ARE AS IMPORTANT AS ANY OF OUR OTHER STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT STUDENTS. From sports to clubs, to academic activities, to business partnerships, students in the Sun Prairie Area School District have access to opportunities, like nowhere else. Bowling Team

Nancy Harms Retires Nancy Harms hung up her whistle this spring and retired. Nancy served as the Sun Prairie High School Aquatics Facility Manager and also coached the Sun Prairie Cardinal Women’s Swim and Dive Team. Nancy coached over the last 19 years. Nancy says of her student athletes, “They were the best that any coach could ask for.” During Nancy’s time with SPASD, the team grew to sixty athletes and has had swimmers represent Sun Prairie at the WIAA State swim meet and clinch a Big 8 Conference title. Nancy thanks the athletes, families, coaches, school staff, and the Sun Prairie community for their support over the last 19 years. Best wishes, Nancy!




& activities Our dancers earned 4th in Pom and 2nd in Hip Hop at the WACPC Southern Regional Championship and moved on to State. They placed 4th in Hip Hop at State, dancing 75% of their routine with no music!

Sun Prairie Cardinal Swim and Dive Teams were 2019 Big 8 Conference & Sectional Champions! Way to go, Coach Harms and team! Members of the Football Team read to Westside Elementary students as a part of Read Your Heart Out for Black History Month.

The Cardinal Volleyball Team was Sectional champs and then beat Waunakee for a trip to State.

The JV and Varsity Hockey Teams have made a tradition of volunteering and serving Sunshine Supper to the community.

The Boys’ Soccer Team celebrated “Youth Night.” The kids love getting out on the varsity field with our Cardinal studentathletes.

The Coaches vs. Cancer event raised $11,600 for cancer! We have such a supportive and generous community. Photo Credit: Jim Garvey

The Girls’ Cross Country Team was WIAA Sectional Champions and placed 3rd at State. 2019–2020 A REPORT TO OUR COMMUNITY


501 S. Bird Street Sun Prairie, WI 53590

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Thank you to our community for your support! Stay Connected sunprairieschools sunprairiek12 @sunprairieschooldistrict Sun Prairie School District Sun Prairie School District 608-834-6500 No student may be unlawfully discriminated against in any school programs, activities or in facilities usage because of the student’s sex (gender identity, gender expression and non-conformity to gender role stereotypes), color, religion, profession or demonstration of belief or non-belief, race, national origin (including limited English proficiency), ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, homelessness status, sexual orientation, age, or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability. Harassment is a form of discrimination and shall not be tolerated in the district. It is the responsibility of administrators, staff members and all students to ensure that student discrimination or harassment does not occur. The District’s commitment to nondiscrimination under Title IX and under other state and federal laws is further defined in the following policies Policy AC,Nondiscrimination in District Programs, Activities, and Operations, Procedure AC-R(1), District Response to Alleged Sexual Harassment Under Title IX, Procedure AC-R(2), Expectations for Employees to Report Discrimination and Harassment.

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2019-2020 Annual Report  

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