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Mrs. Susan Kaphingst

530 W Main Street

Chilton, WI 53014
Dstr. Tel #: (920) 849-8109
CHS Tel #: (920) 849-2358

421 Court Street

Chilton, WI 53014

CES Tel #: (920) 849-9388

CMS Tel #: (920) 849-9152

District Spring Newsletter

2014-07 Note from the CHS Athletic Directors


2014-07 Note from the CHS Athletic Directors


For the last five months, we have served Chilton High School as the co-interim Athletic Directors.  The process hasn’t always been easy, but it has been extremely rewarding.  From our first two days on the job when school and athletic events were canceled due to the extreme cold, through the spring sports season, we’ve been blessed with the opportunity to see firsthand what makes our school and athletic departments so special.  Our administration, custodial & maintenance staff, secretarial staff, business office, faculty, coaches, and local officials work tirelessly to provide our student athletes with the first class opportunities they deserve.  Much of what they do goes unnoticed, as it had to us prior to this opportunity, but they never stop working to help our kids.  Our student athletes, from the hard work they’ve put in, and the support they’ve shown each other, are the backbone of our programs.  The students and athletes, parents, fans, and everyone previously mentioned are what truly make Chilton a special place to work and live.  To all of these people and the countless others that have supported and helped us during the last 5 months….THANK YOU!

New Conference

The 2015-16 school year will be the first school year for the newly formed Olympian Eastern Wisconsin Conference (EWC).  Approximately every seven years, the WIAA looks at each region of our state, and analyzes school enrollments and travel distances of schools with similar enrollments.  With that information, WIAA modifies the conferences to keep travel distances minimal, and to keep schools in conferences with similar enrollment together.  Chilton, Brillion, Roncalli, and Valders will be leaving the Olympian Conference to join four schools from the Eastern Wisconsin Conference:  New Holstein, Kiel, Sheboygan Falls, and Two Rivers.  The new conference, referred to as the EWC, will be extremely competitive.  Current conference rivals Hilbert, Reedsville, Mishicot, St. Mary Central, Manitowoc Lutheran, and Wrightstown will all be moving to different conferences, as well.

Did You Know

Chilton High School’s sports teams have won 10 conference championships in the last 2 years.

Summer BFS Program

The Bigger Faster Stronger (BFS) training program is a scientifically proven strengthening program for student athletes who are both in and out of season (male and female).  The BFS program focuses on perfect technique while building the athlete’s muscular strength, endurance, foot speed, running speed, agility, power, cardiovascular endurance, self-esteem and injury prevention all while building off of the students natural genetic abilities.  The summer BFS program will be held during summer school hours starting June 9th from 8am- 10am and 10am- noon on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through June 26th.  This program will remain available to anyone who is interested through July 18th.  As mentioned, Chilton High School sports’ teams have accomplished many great things during the past two years.  No matter the sport, having our student athletes participate in a consistent, structured, cohesive program will not only help keep consistency in Chilton athletics, but also help Chilton athletes reach their full potential throughout their high school careers.

By:  Corey Behnke and Mike Arendt


2014-06 Chilton School District Had Big Incentives to Change


2014-06 Chilton School District Had Big Incentives to Change


In the summer of 2012, the Executive Director of the Engler Center for the Performing Arts (ECPA), Russ Rautmann, decided enough was enough with the high cost of operating the lighting systems in the performing arts center. The stage had been lit with 50, 750 watt halogen fixtures, with an additional 15, 1000 watt halogen fixtures to light the rear of the stage. These lights generated a great deal of heat, and were very expensive to burn and maintain. With these lights burning between 1900-2000 hours a year, it was an annual school district expense of $8,600.00 a year in electricity, and an estimated $7,999.00 in bulb, fixture replacement, and labor costs. That's a total operational cost of $16,599.00 for just the stage area. The seating area of the theatre consisted of 109, 250 watt incandescent light bulbs, and 36, 40 watt incandescent light bulbs in the sconce fixtures. These burned over 2000 hours per year. The estimated operational cost for these lights was over $10,000.00 in electricity, bulb, fixture replacement, and labor costs.

There is a large array of theatre lighting out in the market place, so Russ formed a research team comprised of current students, former students, and the ECPA's technical director. The decision was made to go with the latest in LED technology. LED technology that is produced right here in the great state of Wisconsin.

Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) in Middleton Wisconsin was established in 1975, when a few theater-technology students set out to make a better lighting control desk for the stage. They did, and now, many innovative lighting and rigging products later, ETC has grown to over 700 employees worldwide. They are proud to be a leader in the lighting industry, and the School District of Chilton is pleased to be partnering with them for our lighting needs. It has always been about finding a better way – working passionately to improve entertainment technologies in order to bring it to our great Engler Center performances.

Upgrades and retrofits of the magnitude we needed do not come without significant cost. Fortunately, the School District of Chilton has had a long-standing relationship with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and Focus On Energy. During the 2012/2013 school year, the School District of Chilton was able to meet with WPS and Focus On Energy personnel to discuss taking advantage of grants and incentives that were available to schools and governmental agencies. Through our discussions, we found that if we bundled several projects in the District together, we would qualify for more incentive dollars. So with retrofits to theatre lighting, swimming pool lighting, and special education classroom lighting, along with variable speed frequency drives for the HVAC system, refrigeration upgrades, vending machine controls and a new boiler, the District was able to qualify for $87,836.00 in energy grants and incentives.

Upon completion of these projects, the School District of Chilton will save more than 22 kilowatts of energy demand, while saving more than 196,814 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 2,889 therms. This all sounds very technical, so to simplify the equation, the School District of Chilton will be saving enough energy to power 23 homes for one year! Not only will these upgrades save energy and money for the School District, they also make our schools environmentally-friendly. The annual environmental benefits are equivalent to offsetting 437 barrels of oil from being burned and removing 34 cars from the road. This will eliminate more than 366,984 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. The School District also anticipates an estimated $82,779 of annual operational cost savings due to these upgrades.

Historically, the School District of Chilton has always researched ways to save money on operational costs. A continued partnership with Focus on Energy and Wisconsin Public Service will ensure that energy saving measures, for the District, will continue well into the future. Focus on Energy and Wisconsin Public Service assist school districts in identifying and evaluating energy saving opportunities. They also offer educational programs designed for school and governmental agencies to save money on their overall energy costs. The School District of Chilton has, and will continue, to take advantage of these educational opportunities and implement what they've learned into the ongoing management plan of the District facilities.

By: Russ Rautmann


2014-05 School District of Chilton Facilities During the Summer


2014-05 School District of Chilton Facilities During the Summer


It is the first week of May and many of us are wondering if a true spring is ever going to arrive! Despite that feeling, those of us in the maintenance and custodial department, at the School District of Chilton, are beginning to plan ahead for the summer. If you were not aware, summers are a busy and bustling time around here!

Our facilities are used extensively during the summer, both by the school and the community. The school runs two different sessions of summer school, an enrichment program in June and a remedial program in August. A Tiger Sports Drills and Skills program is also offered in the afternoons in June. Swim lessons and open swimming are provided throughout the summer, as well as a variety of camps and open gyms. The school staff usually has at least one workshop scheduled at our facility each year, as well as the annual data retreat attended by our administrators and other staff members. In June, we will host both baseball and softball sectionals. Athletic contact days are spread throughout the summer, and the fall sports begin in early August!

During the summer the community will also use our facilities for various events and meetings. We host the annual SeniorFest event in June, and have two weekends of performances by the Calumet County Community Theater in July. CCCT has rehearsals before their production dates, and we host a community day-care program throughout the entire summer.

As you can see, the school district's facilities are a very busy place during the summer! It is great to have our facilities used so much, as they are an integral part of our community and something to be proud of. To keep our facilities looking great and our systems running as they should, a lot of work is scheduled and accomplished each summer by the maintenance and custodial staff. There is a lot of cooperation and coordination involved in trying to accommodate all the building usage, and yet allow for the maintenance and cleaning of the facilities. Everyone works together to accomplish these goals.

Many people ask what the maintenance and custodial staff do during the summer. The students are gone, so what is there to be done? The summer work actually begins before classes are out! The pool is shut down for the last week and a half of classes for pressure washing and other deep cleaning, as well as for yearly maintenance. This year, a lot of the extra preparations for the softball and baseball sectionals will also take place the last week of classes, an early start to the summer work.

The cleaning of the classrooms and halls is not the normal cleaning that occurs during the school year. Each room is cleaned from top to bottom, inside and out. The furniture is cleaned as it is taken out of the rooms, and then the room is washed and dusted from the top down, ceiling to the floor. Once that is done, the floor is taken care of. If there is carpeting, a deep clean extraction is done. If it is a tile floor, it is scrubbed with an abrasive pad and then receives three coats of finish. If a tile floor is at a condition that the old finish needs to be stripped off before new finish is applied, that is done and five coats of finish are applied. The halls are cleaned from top to bottom also. Those floors are cared for the same as the classrooms. Each locker in the district is thoroughly cleaned and the hardware is all checked. The hinges are all lubricated.

The cleaning in the specialty areas presents extra challenges because of tall ceilings, equipment that is there, area configuration, floor surface type, etc... Some of these areas include the gyms, the High School commons, the Engler Center, the athletic locker rooms, fitness and weight room, science rooms, etc... Most of these also tend to be high-use areas during the summer and require extra co-ordination with the various groups to schedule time for cleaning and maintenance.

Maintenance tasks that requires more labor, and/or larger blocks of time, are scheduled during the summer. This includes regular 'summer' maintenance as well as several 'one time' projects that we usually take on each year. There is some maintenance, both routine and preventative that can only be done when the students are not present because of the amount of time needed and the access needed to their areas. There is always grounds work to be done, general mowing/trimming, tree and shrub trimming, taking care of weeds in the sidewalks, aerating athletic fields and playgrounds, adding bark to the playgrounds, etc.... Some of the other routine maintenance includes sealing the dugout roofs and the Morrissey field bleachers, marking parking lots, lubricating lockers and gym bleachers, etc... Daily, the cleaning crew will generate a list of minor repairs that they come across while cleaning. These are taken care of, along with the lists that the teaching staff submits to the building principal, as part of their end of year wrap up.

Each summer, we break down the boilers and clean them. We also clean the coils in the chillers, the bubblers, cabinet heaters and thermostats. This increases the life expectancy of this equipment, as well as saves energy dollars since they run more efficiently. We also routinely wash and service the grounds and cleaning equipment that we are using during the summer to keep it working in top condition, and to minimize breakdowns.

Of course, there are some areas that need to be cleaned and maintained either daily or weekly during the summer. These would include the office areas, bathrooms, pool deck and locker rooms, and any areas that activities are currently going on – and there is usually a lot going on!

I have only touched on a part of what goes on in the school facilities during the summer, but as you can see, there is a lot of activity. Between the people using the facilities for various events, and the maintenance and custodians hustling about their jobs, the School District of Chilton is a hopping place during the summer! So the next time you are asked or wonder about what goes on here during the summer, you can honestly say, "Plenty!"

By: Dan Kopf


2014-04 Chilton Public Schools – A Great Education at a Low Cost


2014-04 Chilton Public Schools – A Great Education at a Low Cost


For the past year, Dr. Martin, Chilton Superintendent, and Mrs. Lau, Chilton Business Manager, have been inviting community members to participate in “Investing in Wisconsin Public Schools,” a tabletop exercise to learn more about how public schools are financed.  One of the most frequent questions asked during our discussions was, “How does Chilton’s spending compare with other schools and are we getting the best ‘Bang for the Buck’?” The participants were pleasantly surprised by the answer.  They were also surprised at the large disparity in these costs from school districts across the state.

The five year trend data from the ACT College Admissions test show that Chilton exceeds the state average in test scores while the 2011-2012 data (most current available) attained from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Current Education costs (direct instructional costs) are below the state average.  This provides a positive answer to the “bang for the buck” question.  Chilton students preparing for graduation and college entrance score above the state average; while the District’s direct instructional costs are below the state average.  The charts below illustrate this conclusion.  Though not the lowest spending district for current educational costs, Chilton is 6% below the state average and less than half the cost of the highest spending district in the state.

Cost Per Pupil (2011-2012 Department of Public Instruction Data)



State Avg



Admin and Operation





Pupil and Staff Services










Current Education















Total Education





Food & Comm. Serv.





Total Cost





+ Hudson
* North Lakeland, Manitowish Waters

ACT Five Year Trends – Percent of Students Who Met College Readiness Benchmarks




Number of

Students Tested

School          State

Percent Who Met Benchmarks

English          Mathematics        Reading             Science              Met All Four

School   State    School   State    School   State    School   State      School   State






79            46,658

81            47,755

69            47,693

53            47,588

63            46,574

75          77

80          75

83          75

79          75

84          75

57          53

63          53

49          54

53          54

68          54

58           62

73           60

57           60

57           59

54           53

34           37

47           38

38           39

36           38

59           47

28           30

40           31

30           32

32           31

43           33

ACT Five Year Trends – Average Scores




Number of

Students Tested

School          State

Average ACT Scores

English          Mathematics        Reading             Science               Composite

School   State    School  State     School   State     School   State      School   State






79            46,658

81            47,755

69            47,693

53            47,588

63            46,574

20.8    21.7

22.2    21.5

21.7    21.6

21.3    21.5

22.5    21.5

22.4    22.2

22.8    22.0

21.7    22.1

22.3    22.0

23.4    22.0

21.9     22.6

24.1     22.3

22.1     22.2

22.4     22.1

22.7     22.3

22.1     22.3

23.3     22.2

22.0     22.3

21.8     22.1

23.6     22.2

21.9     22.3

23.2     22.1

22.0     22.2

22.1     22.1

23.2     22.1

The one area Chilton exceeds the state average cost is in the facilities category which are the expenses associated with the debt repayment for construction.  The High School building and pool were built in 2003, so the data provided above is eight years into a 20 year debt.  Though the district has refinanced this debt twice for an estimated savings to the taxpayer of $990,000, this debt will continue for another 12 years.  It will be a number of years before this category drops to a level similar to that of the state average.

If you are interested in learning more about how public schools are financed, please contact Lisa M. Lau, Business Manager, at laul@chilton.k12.wi.us or 849-7199.


2012-03 Creating Community at Chilton Middle School


2012-03 Creating Community at Chilton Middle School


Middle School is - just that – in the middle!  We are not an elementary school trying to mold young children.  We are not a high school striving to prepare young adults.  We are…stuck in the middle; and we love it here!

The following article is a collaborative effort of our entire middle school team.  Special thanks to our article writing committee including Rich Appel, Brad Bowman, Courtney DeArmond, Melissa Ebert, Joy Paffenroth, and Aaron Juhl.

Jeanne Gibbs writes in Discovering Gifts in Middle School about what a middle level school should not be and what it should be.

A middle school should not be:

  • a watered down high school.
  • a place where a student becomes a number.
  • a place where failure is accepted.

A successful middle school is a unique place that supports children’s development from childhood to adolescence.  It is a place where:

  • a caring culture assures learning and success for every child.
  • every child can experience success.
  • all feel a sense of belonging and of being valued.
  • all of the developmental needs of students are the priority.
  • children are not put down, ignored or fearing harm.
  • children enjoy caring and support, meaningful participation and high expectations.
  • cooperation is emphasized and competition de-emphasized.
  • students explore a variety of their gifts, ways of learning and interests.
  • an interdisciplinary curriculum and teacher-based guidance program catalyze excellence.
  • professional development and collegiality among teachers is a priority.
  • a variety of groups study, plan, take action, and assess on-going strategies.
  • the faculty is committed to working as reflective practitioners.
  • teachers enjoy middle school children and prefer teaching in a middle school.
  • there is a high level of parent and community involvement supporting the caring culture and goals for the student learning and development.

For the last four years, we have been on a journey toward building increased community, universal acceptance, and an improved culture of learning at Chilton Middle School.  We have been dialing in our focus to find our students’ gifts, and we have been building staff cohesiveness.  During the 2008 school year, CMS wrote a grant to begin training middle school staff in the Tribes TLC process.  As stated in Reaching All by Creating Tribes Learning Communities, “Tribes is a process that creates a culture that maximizes learning and human development.  A Tribes School is a learning community where teachers, administrators, students, and parents all enjoy the mutual respect and caring essential for growth and learning.”

During the summer of 2009, a core of teachers, our school counselor, and our building administrator attended a retreat to become trained and certified in the Tribes process.  We had a very positive experience and came back to school with renewed energy.  We began to bring the process to the classroom by incorporating Tribes strategies into daily lesson planning.

During the summer of 2010, more teachers became involved as we participated in Tribes, Discovering Gifts in Middle School.  We learned, more specifically, how to approach our students with their middle-level development in mind.  Again, we returned to school with a new sense of purpose in serving our adolescent students.

During the summer of 2011, using the remainder of funds from our grant, several important events happened for us.  First, we were able to send two of our staff members to become trained as Tribes Trainers.  In mid-June, Melissa Ebert and Brad Bowman traveled to Waukesha for an intensive week of Tribes Trainer of Trainers training.  Having two Tribes trainers in our district allowed for a third staff retreat in August, without the added cost of hiring an outside trainer.  Here, we were able to train middle school staff in either basic Tribes or Tribes for Artistry (advanced Tribes).

During the 2011-12 school year, Tribes was further implemented by reserving Friday’s “Tiger Time” for collaborative learning and community building.  During this school year, using our in-district trainers, we were also able to offer a fourth training opportunity which resulted in 100% of our professional staff being Tribes trained and certified.

We feel that, over these four years, our school climate has improved and students and staff have noticed positive changes in our middle school.  The following are a sample of quotations that illustrate how the Tribes TLC process has improved our community:

7th grade student, “I wish we would have been doing this since first grade.  Imagine what it would have done for us if we had this for the past six years!”

Chilton Middle School staff member, “How amazing would it be to have the whole district trained in Tribes, so that we can see its effects from elementary school all the way through high school? This would just become common practice if everyone was doing it; and what a difference it could make.”

7th grade student, “Can’t all days be Tribes days?  The activities are so much fun.”

Joy Paffenroth, “This even works with high school students.  I love to see them try to problem solve and come to their own conclusions with me as a facilitator, instead of always having to be the leader. These are real world skills they are learning, and they don’t even know it.”

7th grade student, “I think that Tribes helps us to be better people.  I think about things now more than I did in the past because I remember something we did in class and think about if what I am doing fits with that activity.”

Melissa Ebert, “In the past four years I have watched our staff members become more energized, more cohesive, and more student-centered.  Everyone has some kind of connection with the rest of the staff due to our Tribes trainings.  Every session had their own little bonding memories that carry into the classroom, hallways, and daily activities.  People are communicating more on a personal level, as well as a professional level.  With a 100% trained staff, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear some kind of Tribes related conversation between staff members.  Sometimes you hear people reminiscing about the training or other fun memories from their time on “on island,” or in the community room.  At other times you hear them asking about Tribes strategies, lessons, and activities.  No matter what you hear, see, or feel in Chilton Middle School, I KNOW that it is because we have all been through the Tribes process and understand how important it is to use these skills to reach, teach, and help our students grow.”

Brad Bowman, “Four years ago, I had the opportunity to visit a different Tribes school in the area.  I was so impressed by the climate and the culture for learning in this school, that I approached my administrator about bringing the Tribes process to Chilton Middle School.  I was fortunate to gain support from both my building principal, Mr. Appel, and our superintendent, Dr. Claire Martin. Since this time, we have been growing deeply as a school, as professionals, and as people.  Helping to bring the Tribes Process to CMS is one of my proudest professional accomplishments.”

At a recent staff meeting, teachers brainstormed together about what makes Chilton Middle School a great place.  The following “Top 10 List” is the result of this group community building activity.  It outlines what makes us an awesome school and also explains why middle level education is critical for our children.

Top 10 reasons that Middle Level education is critical to our community, state, and nation:


  • Students between the ages of 10 and 14 are not young children, but are also not young adults.  Their developmental needs are different, and their success is more likely, if they are grouped and taught by professionals that understand these unique developmental needs.  Middle school professional educators are inherently flexible in their approach to students.  This trait enables effective differentiated lesson planning designed to meet all students’ needs and ability levels.
  • The team concept in middle school allows for better communication between teachers which, in turn, benefits students.  The team concept also allows for collaboration and reflection among professionals.  Current research strongly indicates that collaboration and reflection enhances creativity and learning, which benefits students both academically and emotionally.
  • One hundred percent of the middle school staff is certified in the Tribes TLC process.  The Tribes process is based on community building, mutual respect, collaboration, and the appreciation of others’ gifts.  These ideas are critical toward the development of middle school-aged students.
  • The middle school schedule, lends itself extremely well to accommodate the structure of Response to Intervention.  The schedule has built in daily remediation and enrichment time for all students.  Students are able to experience a variety of non-academic classes and choices before proceeding to high school.  In addition, the size of the building is developmentally appropriate.
  • Middle school allows for all eighth grade students and their parents to participate in an Individual Learning Plan (Tiger Talk) meeting with both the middle and high school counselor before entering high school.  Students are given the tools and encouragement to plan for their high school classes and career goals.
  • The size of our school and our middle school schedule allows the building principal and school counselor to be very involved in students’ everyday lives.  We are not only able to respond quickly, but can often be proactive as we strive to serve, teach, and guide our students.
  • The middle school schedule allows for certified reading professionals to teach literacy at all grade levels
  • Over the last five years, the Middle School has developed a great tradition.  The annual school play is an event that involves nearly half the student body across all grades levels.  The play showcases gifts of our students that would not be known, or developed, without the play.
  • The Peer Helper program is thriving.  20+ eighth grade students volunteer their time to tutor and mentor elementary school students.  Also, the short film, “8th Graders Speak Out,” developed by Peer Helpers has been a great teaching tool with our entire student body.
  • The middle school has a thriving fine arts program.  Visual arts are taught and encouraged at all grade levels.  These projects are showcased in the spring as part of our awards program.  Band and Choir programs are fantastic and growing in numbers and talent.

We are thriving in our fast-paced, ever changing middle school environment.  We enjoy and embrace the diversity of middle level education and strive to include all students in our collaborative learning community.  We are proud to be stuck in the middle!

Gibbs,Jeanne. Reaching All by Creating Tribes Learning Communities. Windsor, California: CenterSource Systems, 2006.

Gibbs, Jeanne. Discovering Gifts in Middle School. Windsor California: CenterSource Systems, 2007.