First published on 07 March 2013 Posted in District Spring Newsletter
Originally, it was my intention to write an article on school safety with a specific focus on intruder safety. Given the recent tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I know that this topic weighs heavy on the minds of many.
The recent weather pattern that we have been experiencing throughout the month of February however, has me thinking in another direction. In Wisconsin, snow, rain, ice, freezing drizzle and whiteout conditions have had us thinking about the safety and security of our students as they travel to and from school. Late starts and inclement weather day cancellations have plagued the continuous operation of our schools throughout February. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our school bus drivers, who travel across very snowy roads, in sometimes less than ideal conditions, and do their very best in transporting our students safely to and from school. A sincere thanks also goes out to all Chilton parents and students who have demonstrated tremendous flexibility and understanding throughout our many delays and cancellations. Please know that these decisions are always made with the safety of students in mind. Winter weather-related student safety is a serious concern in Wisconsin schools. Last year, Mother Nature was kind to us. This year, she has been more demanding!
School Safety is a broad topic, covering many aspects of the operation of a school district. It involves the safe and efficient “flow” of students as they move throughout our schools, the safety of equipment provided for indoor and outdoor use of students, the removal and of snow and ice from our walks and parking lots, and the summer maintenance of our fields, the air and lighting quality of our facilities, the food provided in our nutrition programs, the list goes on and on. Since the school shooting tragedy in Columbine, Colorado in 1999, and the December 2012 tragedy In Newtown, Connecticut however, school safety has focused heavily on preparing for dangerous intrusion into the school setting.
Effective May 27, 2013, Wisconsin State Statute Section 118.07 requires both public and private schools to have in effect a school safety plan for every school in the school district. Public school boards and governing bodies of private schools must create the plan with active participation from appropriate parties such as local law enforcement officials, fire fighters, school administrators, teachers, pupil services professionals and mental health professionals. The required elements of the safety plan include procedures for (1) emergency prevention and mitigation, (2) preparedness, (3) response, and, (4) recovery. School boards and the governing body of each private school must review the plan at least every three years after the plan goes into effect.
During the past two years, the School District of Chilton has been revising its safety plan, tailoring it to meet the needs of our schools, our students, and our community while also adhering to the requirements of the law. On July 23, 2012, the newly revised safety plan for the School District of Chilton was approved by the Board of Education. The approval process, however, was just the beginning of the safety plan process. Since July, student and staff training has taken place, walk throughs of our school facilities by local law enforcement officials have also occurred, and as a result revisions/adjustments have already been made to the plan. Discussions have also taken place at the Board level regarding enhanced video surveillance of entrances and hallways, immediate lock-down capabilities of exterior doors, as well as the consideration of a Police Liaison Officer available, once again, in school facilities. Some of these security enhancements can be done rather quickly; others will take more discussion and time. It is important to remember that this is an ongoing process that never ends. Inter-agency discussions are taking place on a continuous and consistent basis. The cooperation and focus on purpose among all groups is strong and sincerely dedicated. Our preparation and security efforts are steadily improving as a result of these efforts.
In the 1800’s when most school buildings were made of wood, school fires and loss of life were a constant danger and threat to American school children. Over time, with improved construction methods and school fire safety training, school fires and any subsequent loss of life have become rare occurrences. I would like to think that with improved safety training and enhanced building security improvements, the same will hold true for dangerous intrusions into any school facility throughout our country. Time will tell, but our efforts in training and enhanced facilities will, and must, continue in order to keep our students and staff safe.
We all know that what happened in Columbine High School and at Sandy Hook Elementary School can happen anywhere. Sadly, school intrusions and shootings continue to occur. While, “It takes a village to raise a child,” it also takes one to keep a child safe. Thank you, in advance, for your patience and understanding as we strive to make our schools safer and more secure. Don’t be offended if we ask you to identify yourself and your business as you enter our facilities. Don’t hesitate to report any suspicious behavior you see or hear about our schools. Talk with your children about the importance of all the school safety drills now being conducted: fire, tornado, evacuation and lock-down. Stress upon your children the importance of taking these drills seriously and following adult directions carefully.
Working together for the benefit of our community, our schools and our children, we are always better; we are always stronger. This has never been truer where the safety and security of our schools and our students is concerned, as well.
Article written by Dr. Claire Martin, Superintendent of School District of Chilton
First published on 21 March 2013 Posted in District Spring Newsletter
The School District of Chilton will be offering summer school classes during the upcoming summer months of 2013. A great deal of thought and effort has gone into restructuring our summer opportunities. As a result, we are taking a new approach and have decided to offer activities in three main areas to better serve the needs of our students: Enrichment instruction, Remedial instruction, and Tiger Sports Drills and Skills.
Several aspects of the program will be similar while others are new. Please be aware that Transportation (bussing) will not be provided for summer school sessions. The summer school registration and class information catalog will be available in April.
The Chilton School District summer school enrichment program will take place for three weeks on Monday through Thursday from June 10-27. Classes will be two hours each beginning at 8:00 am and running until 12:00 pm. Interested students are strongly encouraged to register for two enrichment classes during this time period. A wide variety of options will be available ranging from Classroom Fun, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Music & Theater, Fitness & Health, Cooking, and Arts and Crafts.
Remedial classes will be offered on Monday through Thursday from August 5-15 from 8:00 am and running until 12:00 pm. Remedial classes will be offered based on staff or parent request. There will be no cost to the student.
Tiger Sports Drills and Skills:
grade students. Students can sign up for week-long programs in the areas of football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, dance, wrestling, and cross country. Students do not have to be on a city recreational sports team to participate, and can sign up for a different sport each week. Each student that participates will receive a TIGER SPORTS shirt with a sports logo theme on the shirt along with community sponsors on the back. Any organization or business interested in helping to sponsor this program should please contact Rich Appel @ 849-9152.
Swimming lessons will occur again throughout the summer during three different sessions. Registration for swimming lessons will take place online with the summer school courses and Tiger Sports Drills and Skills.
Session I: June 10–7th
- Tuesday & Thursday; 4:00–4:45 & 4:45–5:30pm
Session II: July 9 – 27th
- Monday - Thursday; 10:00-10:45 & 11:00-11:45am
- Tuesday & Thursday; 6:00-6:45 & 7:00-7:45pm
Session III: July 29-Aug 25th
- Monday - Thursday, 10:00-10:45 & 11:00-11:45am
Registration will be completed online. The online scheduler will become available to the public at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. Parents will need to log in to register for classes, swimming lessons, and Tiger Sports Drills and Skills. Many of the courses offered are free, but others do have a fee to offset the cost of materials. Credit card payments will be accepted during the registration process. Parents who are unable to make their payment by credit card will need to register at school on May 4 using the school's computer lab and pay cash fees that day in the office. The school will open at 5:45 am that day for registration. Once all fees are paid, registration will be processed.
For more information, contact Rich Appel, Chilton Middle School Principal & Summer School Coordinator at 849-9152.
First published on 04 April 2013 Posted in District Spring Newsletter
How many of you can say you understand how your public school is financed? My guess is not many. Don’t feel bad; how public schools receive funds and how they can use the funds is a complex process. It is not as simple as doing your own home finances or even private business accounting. Government entities just like to do things differently.
Recently, the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO), Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) and Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) joined together to develop, “Investing in Wisconsin Public Schools,” an interactive tabletop exercise to help the School Board, employees and community members better understand school finance. This exercise is not about the specific details of any individual school district’s budget, but rather takes a look at how Wisconsin Public Schools are funded from a broader, more comprehensive, perspective.
This interactive exercise becomes a conversation among the participants while they are being guided through the different components of school finance. Topics explored during the tabletop exercise include:
- State requirements of schools.
- Sources of income, including influences upon school income and alternative income sources.
- Impact of the state budget upon public schools.
- Common expenses of public schools, including influences upon those expenses and differences in school expenses within the state.
- Differences in funding schools within the state.
- Stakeholder needs and wants in public education.
- Trends and forces that impact school finances.
- Current educational expectations and projections for the future.
Mrs. Lisa M. Lau, Chilton Public School’s Business Manager, has been trained and is a certified tabletop coach for “Investing in Wisconsin Public Schools.” The School Board, Administration and some of the staff have already participated in this exercise and have found the experience enlightening. Participation has provided them with a better understanding of school finance without getting too specific or overwhelmed by numbers. It is the District’s goal to provide opportunities for the community to participate in this exercise as well. If you are interested in learning more about public school finance and participating in this interactive exercise, please contact Mrs. Lau at email@example.com or at 849-7199.
Mrs. Lau will be happy to set up an opportunity for a group of community members or local club/organization to participate in “Investing in Wisconsin Public Schools!”
Article written by Lisa Lau, Business Manager
First published on 18 May 2013 Posted in District Spring Newsletter
The Chilton School District has a rich history of support for a broad range of co-curricular activities ranging from school clubs, school activities, music, drama and athletics. One question that is often asked is; what is the effect of co-curricular participation on student achievement? Many studies have been conducted and do support the common theme that participation in co-curricular activities does correlate to higher student achievement. In addition to higher student achievement, a number of related personal and social benefits are also found to be present in those participating in co-curricular activities.
According to studies conducted, male and female students who participate in co-curricular activities, including athletics, derive a host of benefits. Those benefits are: Better grades, a higher likelihood of college attendance, a lower likelihood of dropping out of school, higher educational aspirations, more satisfaction with schools and teachers, higher life satisfaction, broader conventional peer networks, less involvement in delinquent behavior, and less drug and alcohol use.
The National Federation of State High School Associations recently published updated information asserting the value of participating in interscholastic activities. The data continues to support, with overwhelming evidence, that participation in school programs enriches the lives of millions of students each year on a national scale. According to the National Governors’ Association Center for Best Practices, students who participate nine hours or more each week, for at least a year, are four times more likely to: Be recognized for academic achievement, win a school attendance award, participate in a science and math fair, and win an award for writing. They are also three times more likely to be elected to class office.
Independent research demonstrates that students who participate and are engaged in school programs, whether it’s athletics or any other extracurricular activity, have less truancy, lower drop-out rates, fewer disciplinary issues and better grade point averages, on average, than their peers that have no involvement. In 2007, the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reported that students who took part in more vigorous sports like soccer or football performed nearly 10 percent better in math, science, english and social studies classes.
It may also be undeniable that involvement in high school activities bodes well for participants after high school as well. According to researchers in a 2005 study, participation in extracurricular activities gives all students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those without stellar academic accomplishments in high school; measurable improvements on college admission exam scores. Furthermore, students who compete in sports in high school were more likely than those not participating to be active in volunteering, voting, speaking publicly and being aware of current events.
Participation in high school co-curricular activities leads to fewer school drop outs, greater community involvement, greater academic achievement and a plethora of other positive outcomes. Perhaps the most important impact of participation in high school activities is the short- and long-term personal and emotional benefits that lead to making appropriate choices. According to a United States Department of Education article published in 2002, those who have no involvement in interscholastic activities are 49 percent more likely to use drugs, and 37 percent more likely to become teen parents.
The volume of materials and information supporting the values and life-long lessons learned through interscholastic activities is vast. However, we must be careful not to take extracurricular opportunities for granted or underestimate the impact they have on schools, and a school’s community. School co-curricular programs are valuable extensions of the traditional classroom.
In the current climate of tightening school budgets that threaten to reduce funding for extracurricular programs, it is imperative for us to embrace school activities that nurture our students. The Chilton School District recognizes the importance of co-curricular opportunities for students and the benefits gained through participation. It is our sincere wish that all students would experience one or more of the many co-curricular activities available to them. The benefits will last them a lifetime.
Written by Mr. David Sonnabend, Assistant High School Principal and Athletic Director
First published on 23 February 2012 Posted in District Spring Newsletter
Dear Chilton Public School District Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
Welcome to the 2012 edition of the Spring newsletter! You are probably saying to yourself....."The weather might be unseasonably warm, but it is only February. There is still a lot of winter left!" While I certainly realize that, I want to take this opportunity to introduce to you a new concept for the publication and "delivery" of the District's Spring Newsletter. During the past few years, our Spring Newsletter has usually appeared in resident mailboxes during the month of April. This Fall, as you know, the Chilton School District, mailed a Community Engagement Survey to Chilton community residents. Among many other things, the survey asked residents how they would like to receive communication from the School District. Many respondents indicated that they would prefer to receive information about the School District in the local newspapers and/or electronically, through e-mail or the District's webpage. In response to that feedback, the School District of Chilton will be submitting a series of articles to both the Chilton Times Journal and the Tri-County News. Beginning with this article, and every other week thereafter through the month of May, a new article will appear in the local newspapers, on the District website, and will be e-mailed to all School District of Chilton parents. This series of articles will create what would have been the District's Spring Newsletter mailed home to residents in April. We are hoping you enjoy this new format. Perhaps by reading articles of interest every other week, rather than all at once, readers will have more time to review the information presented. The costs associated with printing and mailing will also be significantly reduced or eliminated, which helps as we try to streamline our practices and keep an eye on our budget. Special thanks to both the Chilton Times Journal and the Tri-County News for partnering with us on this new concept. We sincerely appreciate your ongoing support of our schools and our efforts to communicate with the Chilton community!
Over the past two months, there has been a significant amount of publicity and information regarding the School District's planning for the 2012-2013 budget. As resources are either eliminated or greatly reduced, difficult decisions have to be made on how best to put those resources to work. I hope that the focus of the District's Spring Newsletter will help to remind you that while balancing the budget is very important, there are many other important initiatives going on within the District. A preview of what you can anticipate reading about in this series of newsletter articles are:
1) From Dr. Schaid: The 1 to 1 computing initiative currently being piloted at Chilton High school. What is it and why is it important for today's students?
2) From Mrs. Lau: School funding and how Governor Walker's initiatives implemented last year have affected the Chilton School District.
3) From Mr. Appel: Building a sense of community for Middle School students through an initiative and strategy called TRIBES.
4) From Dr. Blink: A new set of standards, called the Common Core Standards, for teaching and learning have arrived. How will they impact the delivery of our District curriculum?
5) From Mrs. Schuster: A state mandated initiative called Response To Intervention is required of all Wisconsin School Districts by December of 2013. What is this and what are the Chilton Schools doing to get ready?
6) From Mrs. Ann Bartel: An update on the Physical Education Program (PEP) grant. What has been purchased and how is this impacting our Physical Education Program?
7) Mr. Dave Sonnabend: An overview of the extra-curricular sports program offered to Chilton students. Do we offer enough? Do we offer too many?
I hope you find this new approach in presenting information regarding the School District of Chilton informative, and one that conveniently meets your needs. If you have ideas for continued improvement, or additional topics you would like to see addressed, please don't hesitate to let me know. You can contact me directly by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Best wishes to all for a wonderful Spring season!
Dr. Claire Martin
School District of Chilton