807 East Avenue South | La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 | 608.789.7600

Career and Choice Education

Career and Choice Education empowers students to be self-sufficient, healthy, and contributing members of a diverse society. Through Career & Choice Education students develop critical thinking, leadership, communication, technological understanding, career development and other life-long learning skills to become productive citizens and family members. Career and Choice Education provides linkages to business and industry partners that help students attain and demonstrate technical awareness and enhance academic achievement.

For additional information, contact:

Britta Rotering
Supervisor of Career and Technical Education
broterin@lacrossesd.org or 608-789-8948

Stacey Everson
Director of Secondary Education
severson@lacrossesd.org or 608-789-7185

Rachel Moore
Administrative Assistant
rmoore@lacrossesd.org or 608-789-7682

Southern Bluffs

Students take a stand during National School Breakfast Week

LA CROSSE, Wis., (March 11, 2022) – Busy weekday mornings can make it a challenge for families to find time for a healthy breakfast. However, School District of La Crosse data shows that more students are starting their day with a nutritious breakfast in school cafeterias. This school year alone, from September to January, district nutrition services staff have served over 300,000 school breakfasts to students. To encourage more families to access the healthy choices available for breakfast, schools around the district will recognize National School Breakfast Week during March 7-11, 2022.

Students at Southern Bluffs Elementary School will observe the week in a unique way. As a result of the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began reimbursing schools for free meals to all students regardless of their family’s income. This program is set to expire at the end of this school year, so students in Marcia Gardner’s fourth-grade social studies class are trying to change that. The kids have started a letter-writing campaign to legislators to ask that the no cost to families meal program continue.

“I would like for the students to know that even at 9 and 10 years old they have a voice,” said Southern Bluffs teacher Marcia Gardner. “I want them to understand that everyone has a right to their opinion and can respectfully share that opinion. We want our students to be active citizens in our community and the skills they learn this week will give them a solid start toward that goal.”

Part of Wisconsin’s fourth-grade curriculum includes writing an opinion piece where students need to introduce a topic, state their opinion, and create an organized set of information and reasons that support their opinion. The fourth-grade project will teach students about letter writing, opinion writing, gathering facts supporting opinions while helping the breakfast program which they participate in daily at school.

“We’re writing letters to our representatives to try and keep breakfast free at school,” said fourth-grader Clara Frandsen. “Some kids wouldn’t have anything to eat if they can’t eat at school because they don’t have enough money. Everyone’s a human being and even though we’re just kids we should be able to help.”


Principal for a Day

Fifth-grader is Principal for a Day at Southern Bluffs Elementary

LA CROSSE, Wis., (January 10, 2022) – Southern Bluffs Elementary School fifth-grader Abby Frost just discovered what it takes to run a school.

Abby started her day as the school’s principal. She stepped into this exciting leadership role as a result of having the winning bid during the school’s annual parent-teacher organization holiday fair auction.

“It’s a great leadership development piece at our school and an unforgettable experience for a student,” said Southern Bluffs Elementary School Principal Lisa Schreiner. “Principal for a Day motivates our students to reach new heights and may even inspire them to future careers in education.”

Principal for a Day Frost started her tenure greeting students and families at morning drop-off. She also spent time in the building making classroom visits, supervising the lunchroom, and meeting with school staff and district leaders, including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aaron Engel, discussing her ideas about how to move Southern Bluffs Elementary School forward.

One of Abby’s favorite places to spend time when she’s at school is in the building’s library. As part of her principal responsibilities, Abby made visits to several preschool classrooms reading the book “The Way I Act,” to the younger students. The book reinforces the school’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) work, specifically in the areas of making responsible and safe choices while treating everyone with respect.

“I didn’t know our principal’s schedule was so packed full of things to do and that her job was so hard,” said Abby Frost. “I really liked lunch duty and visiting classrooms, but my favorite thing was going on the roof. When we were up there, we stomped on top of my classroom and my whole class thought someone was shoveling. Today was a lot of fun.”

Principal Schreiner plans to continue the annual Principal for a Day tradition for years to come.


LPEF Executive Director

LPEF selects new executive director

LA CROSSE, Wis., (December 21, 2021) – The La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Nell Saunders-Scott has been selected as the new LPEF Executive Director.

Saunders-Scott most recently served as the Fund Development Director at The Parenting Place in La Crosse. She brings a breadth and depth of experience in fundraising and nonprofit work to her new role and a passion for a strong and equitable education for all.

“Nell’s skillset, personal style, educational background, and past job experiences impressed the LPEF Search Committee and galvanized our belief that she is a wonderful choice to lead our growing nonprofit organization,” said incoming LPEF board president Dr. Tom Thompson. “We are very excited to introduce her to the La Crosse Schools staff and our community.”

Saunders-Scott and her husband David have lived in La Crosse for 10 years and are parents of two children in the School District of La Crosse where she serves as a member of the District-Wide Parent Committee.

“Strong public schools are vital to the well-being of our community,” said new LPEF Executive Director Nell Saunders-Scott. “I’m honored to be joining the LPEF’s board, staff, and supporters in working to provide excellent educational opportunities for all students throughout the School District of La Crosse.”

Saunders-Scott starts her new full-time position with the LPEF on January 6, 2022.


Mobile preschool

District rolls out La Crosse’s first mobile preschool

LA CROSSE, Wis., (September 28, 2021) – The School District of La Crosse’s mobile preschool is an innovative new program designed to offer a positive preschool experience and community outreach opportunity to young children and families in the La Crosse area. The mobile preschool is a renovated RV that has been outfitted inside and out to mirror a building preschool classroom including a play area (i.e., dramatic play, circle time, art, small and large muscle play), a working kitchen, bathroom, and table area for meals and snacks. It is an alternative option to the traditional La Crosse preschool choices offered in the district’s elementary school buildings and select community sites.

Students enrolled in the district’s mobile preschool will experience high-quality, research, and play-based preschool programming that is aligned with district preschool learning targets while also focusing on social and pre-academic skills. The mobile preschool is fully equipped with the same learning materials that are available to district students in the building settings. A typical day in the mobile preschool includes arrival activities and lunch, large group activities (circle time), outside playtime, music and movement activities, shared reading, learning centers, small groups, and snack time.

“The idea for a traveling site was born out of a need to provide a preschool program that is flexible to address the needs of children who are not being served through other traditional preschool options due to a variety of situations including children experiencing homelessness or who are not located near an existing traditional preschool program,” said Early Childhood/4K Program Support Coordinator Jennifer Kalis. “Our aim is to provide all young children with a positive preschool experience which will help them build a strong relationship with the school system and an intentional transition to kindergarten with the skills and dispositions to be successful in school and life.”

Mobile preschool

In addition to the designated afternoon preschool program, the goal is to use the mobile preschool in the morning sessions to provide a playgroup for 3-year-olds. In addition,  collaborative community outreach opportunities with the La Crosse Public Library and the Salvation Army will provide free developmental screening and assessments of children ages 2½- 5 years old who are not otherwise enrolled in a preschool or childcare program.

The mobile preschool is a collaborative effort involving many departments across the school district. It is staffed by a licensed teacher and a full-time teacher’s assistant. The mobile preschool staff and members of the district’s Buildings and Grounds department spent time during the summer months being trained to safely operate and maintain the vehicle. The district is also partnered with a local RV center that specializes in RV maintenance and repair. The district is currently in the process of training additional licensed teachers to drive and operate the vehicle in the event that a substitute teacher or assistant is needed.

The mobile preschool operates Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Badger Hickey Park located at 1007 Palace Place on the northside of La Crosse.

The start-up costs and first two years of the district’s new mobile preschool program are fully funded by Federal ESSER II (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act – CRRSA) funds in 2021-22 and Federal ESSER III (American Rescue Plan Act – ARPA) funds in 2022-23 as a part of the district’s Addressing Learning Loss instructional plan.

Families interested in learning more about the district’s mobile preschool program or how to enroll their child can visit www.lacrosseschools.org or call the preschool office at 608.789.7006.


High school summer reading

High school teachers launch new summer reading challenge

LA CROSSE, Wis., (May 24, 2021) – Central and Logan High Schools are reinventing the Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition summer assignment. Rather than a mandatory assignment, students will be invited to exercise choice and voice, building a positive culture of literacy through a new summer reading program.

Students in AP English courses have traditionally been tasked with a summer assignment that was due on the first day of school. The purpose was to ensure that students continued to read over the break, avoiding learning losses that could occur during that time. The summer assignment had also been used as a screener, and students who failed to complete it were sometimes discouraged from continuing in the course. However, teens have widely varying lives, resources, and support when they are not in school, and this mandatory assignment has unintentionally created a barrier to the success of disadvantaged students.

“We’ve created a bingo board with reading-related activities that we will distribute to students before the end of the school year,” said Logan High School teacher Alysha Feldkamp. “Students can choose from options that are approachable, offer variety, and mimic the way lifelong learners incorporate reading into their lives.”

For added motivation, students will be offered prizes for achieving bingo by the end of the summer thanks to a grant from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation that allows for the purchase of any book that a student chooses. The book prizes provide students ownership of reading, encourages further development of lifelong reading habits, and allows the teachers to learn more about their students as they place book orders together.

“We hope to foster a greater love of reading, lifelong learning, and prepare students for college and beyond by encouraging them to select their own books and read for pleasure,” said Central High School teacher Kim Butterfield. “We hope to build a positive culture around reading that shows students the benefits that we enjoy as adult readers.”


High school summer reading
International Baccalaureate

North Woods granted International Baccalaureate status

LA CROSSE, Wis., (April 7, 2021) – The staff at North Woods International School in the School District of La Crosse and on behalf of the International Baccalaureate Organization are proud to announce the school has been authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP.) There are only 14 other elementary schools in Wisconsin with this distinction.

The IB aspires to help schools develop well-rounded students with character who respond to challenges with optimism and an open mind, are confident in their own identities, make ethical decisions, join with others in celebrating our common humanity, and are prepared to apply what they learn in real-world, complex, and unpredictable situations.

“It is so exciting to have been selected as an IB school,” said North Woods International School Principal Keri Holter. “We strive to have students see connections everywhere and see differences as strengths and opportunities for positive change in the world. We use a rigorous curriculum and weave overall instructional best practices like equity and social/emotional learning throughout. Learning at North Woods is a celebration of all the very best elements education has to offer.”

The PYP is designed for students aged 3 to 12. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a framework guided by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, as well as transdisciplinary skills, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry.

The International Baccalaureate curriculum focuses on helping students make connections between their local experiences and the wider world. This includes helping them understand their own families and the families in their communities, where they are in place and time, how to express themselves, how the world works, how we organize ourselves, and how we share the planet.

Throughout the course of their IB education, students will learn to emulate attributes such as being thinkers, risk-takers, principled caring communicators, and open-minded, balanced thinkers. IB is founded on the principles of students being curious problem solvers who take action to make the world a better place.

IB programs help students to develop the attitudes and skills they need for both academic and personal success while working within global contexts. IB programs increase understanding of languages and cultures, and explore globally significant ideas and issues.

“This IB certification adds to the wide range of options parents have in the School District of La Crosse to choose the program that best fits their needs, whether it is their neighborhood school or a choice or charter program that offers a unique instructional approach,” said School District of La Crosse Superintendent Dr. Aaron Engel. “Our district continues to expand opportunities providing a high-quality education to every student, every day.”

About the International Baccalaureate

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate pioneered a movement of international education, and now offers four high-quality, challenging educational programs to students aged 3-19. The IB gives students distinct advantages by providing strong foundations, critical thinking skills, and a proficiency for solving complex problems, while encouraging diversity, curiosity, and a healthy appetite for learning and excellence.

In a world where asking the right questions is as important as discovering answers, the IB champions critical thinking and flexibility in study by crossing disciplinary, cultural and national boundaries. Supported by world-class educators and coordinators, the IB currently engages with more than 1.95 million students in over 5,483 schools across 158 countries.

To learn more, please visit www.ibo.org.


UW-L MARC – Tutoring Opportunity

The Pre-College academic year offerings provide local youth with weekly tutoring and enrichment opportunities. Our outreach efforts serve African-American, Native American, Latino, and Hmong youth from around the area. Over 125 UWL undergraduate students from diverse ethnic backgrounds serve as tutors and mentors each semester.

Through a combination of tutoring, enrichment, and communication, MARC motivates youth to take a proactive role in their own life choices and become engaged members in their community. We strive to meet the academic needs of our students by offering help in specific school subjects and by developing more effective study skills.

Registration open for Grades 1-12.
Applications are available online and in paper format.

More Information: MARC Student Flyer

Laura Lauderdale