807 East Avenue South | La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 | 608.789.7600
CMAP plant sale

Coulee Montessori student volunteers dig in

The sound of laughter fills the greenhouse at the Hillview Urban Agriculture Center. Almost three dozen students from the Coulee Montessori Adolescent program are inside. The volunteers are in groups, their hands covered in soil, and they are potting tomato and zucchini seedlings.

“Coulee Montessori is here today helping us prepare for our plant sale,” said Hillview Urban Agriculture Center program coordinator Andrea Schaefer. “They are going to learn a lot today, basically everything about plants – how they survive, both in the pot and out, how to take care of them at home, and what they need to grow.”

“The students love to get their hands dirty and feel like they’re helping,” said Coulee Montessori teacher Nine Dodge. “This a really good thing that we do, getting to try new things, and get to work together in a group. We talk about service learning and about what it means to be a part of a community. They really enjoy that connection and feeling like they’re helping something bigger than themselves.”

The Hillview Urban Agriculture Center has limited staff and relies heavily on volunteers. The center’s staff provide guidance to get the students started on a job and help them learn about what’s going on in the greenhouse, but the kids handle most of the work.

“I really like doing this,” said Coulee Montessori sixth-grader Natalie Schreader. “I like to help out, in the community, to know I’m doing something that helps others. I think it’s important to know what work goes in behind the things that we might take for granted sometimes. You need to know what kind of hard work people put in to get food on your dinner table. I think it’s important to encourage people to do that.”

Interested in learning more about theHillview Urban Agriculture Center or want to volunteer to help, visit www.hillviewuac.org or email greenhouse@hillviewuac.org for more information. The Hillview Urban Agriculture Center plant sale will be held on Saturday, May 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Center’s greenhouse located at 624 Vine Street in La Crosse.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are an important part of our schools and our students’ success.  Volunteers are utilized differently in each school, based on the needs of the school.  Examples of volunteer activities include: listening to a child read, working with a small group of students, completing simple tasks requested by a teacher, etc.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities in our schools, contact the school office.  School Phone Numbers

Please click the link below to submit a confidential volunteer application. Allow at least one week for processing. However, during certain times of the year (beginning of the school year/semester and end of the school year/semester), it can take up to three weeks for processing. To check the status of your application, please contact your child’s teacher or the school office.

NOTE: If the link is not working, try a different browser (Firefox, chrome, edge) 

Pie Labs 2021

Pie labs contribute to community Thanksgiving dinner

LA CROSSE, Wis., (November 25, 2021) – The smell of spices filled the halls of Logan Middle School as students completed their annual pie labs. The goal of the district pie labs was for students to bake and supply 100 pumpkin pies for this year’s La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner hosted at the La Crosse Center.

Eighth-grade students in Katelyn Hoffman’s Family and Consumer Science class mixed and baked pumpkin pies for the community event this week. The pie labs are an organized effort by students and staff of the school to volunteer their time and talent to give back to the local community. Students see the project as one of the many ways to show community pride and offer a thank you to those who have supported their school again this year.

“The pie labs are an excellent chance for our kids to use the hands-on skills they have learned this year,” said Family and Consumer Science teacher Katelyn Hoffman. “This allows students to use their new baking skills to be a part of something bigger than themselves by helping to celebrate and support our La Crosse community.”

Logan Middle School students have been baking pies for the La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner for over 25 years. The pie ingredients and supplies are donated by Logan Middle School staff and student families.

“I hope that our kids see that food can bring other people smiles,” continued Hoffman. “They are learning so many things from making a pie but not necessarily about the actual pie. They’re learning about giving something of themselves to other people and baking something simple and tasty that can make a stranger’s day on a day that can sometimes be filled with a lot of happy or sad emotions. It shows our kids the impact they can have.”

Once the pies were baked and cooled, volunteers from the La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner picked them up and transported them to the La Crosse Center for the annual event.

“It’s exciting to be a part of this tradition,” said Logan Middle School eighth-grader Gabbie Reymer. “I love baking, so this was a lot of fun but it also means a lot because it shows how much people care about helping each other.”


April 3, 2020 district communication

LA CROSSE, Wis., (April 3, 2020) – Our traditional school calendar is showing spring break is soon upon us. Who would have thought eighteen months ago when this calendar was adopted that school would not be in session due to a pandemic? This time could not be fruitful for our students if it were not for the continued efforts of our district staff and our parents/guardians in partnership. Thank you for supporting your child in this remote learning adventure at home.

During spring break, I have asked our instructional staff to disconnect from remote learning, and I hope that our parents and guardians can do so as well. During this time, from April 9-13, teachers will not be presenting new curriculum or requirements, and they may not be available to respond to questions or check in online with students or families.

This past week, we received from our state superintendent of schools, Carolyn Stanford Taylor, a memo which strongly hinted that the current school closure may likely be extended through the end of the school year. While this is not an official announcement, administration is beginning to re-focus our planning to consider this possibility. Until we hear otherwise, school is closed through April 24.

In other items that may be of interest:

  • The Governor’s most recent emergency order #12 also included the closing of playgrounds. Please note, if you have not already, that the district has shut down our playgrounds until further notice.
  • With the support of community volunteers and our student nutrition staff, we continue to provide meals for our students. For a list of the routes and meal stops, click here.
  • We are working diligently to cover as many educational needs as possible. We want to do everything we can to ensure that our students can be actively engaged in the learning process, even if it is remote. If you need further support, please tell us about it here.
  • Unless something were to change at the state level, I anticipate my next communication to you will be on Friday, April 17.

On behalf of our board of education and our employees, thank you for your continued support through these historical times. Our community is resilient. More than ever, our children need for us to be both truthful and realistic about our current circumstances. If you are looking for a good resource for visiting with your child about the pandemic, you might find this helpful. In the meantime, thank you for the many, many notes of positive feedback to our principals and staff!

With our children at the forefront,

Randy Nelson

Superintendent of Schools


March 27, 2020 district communication

LA CROSSE, Wis., (March 27, 2020) – Thank you, again, to all who are working through the daily challenges we are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. During the time of the required school closure, it is the goal of the School District of La Crosse to provide continuity in learning for all of our students. For the past several days, our educators have been doing just that. They have been connecting with students. They have been providing support for prior learning. They have been providing learning opportunities connected with the district’s classroom curriculum.

As we peer into the prospect of providing continuity through remote learning, there are many considerations. For the most part, our schools are designed for face-to-face interactions between students and staff. We believe that remains the best model to support children. Teaching face-to-face and teaching remotely are VERY different tasks. First, it requires a different approach to our curriculum. We have been working to streamline our curriculum to focus on the most important standards so that students are ready when school reopens. Second, it requires some different approaches to instruction.

In the next few days, our staff will be moving into Phase 2 of our work: Continued Learning. Our teachers will be engaging our students in continued curriculum that will be important for children to be ready for the re-opening of school. This process can look different from elementary school to middle school to high school, and so the next communication you will receive about moving on to Continued Learning will come from your school principal.

We have noticed that many secondary students have not connected with their teacher(s).  It is really important to do so as soon as possible. As our staff work to re-engage through Continued Learning, it is important that all students are connected. For secondary students who are not making progress through the final weeks of the year, summer school may be necessary to catch up.

Other Items of Interest:

  • Nearly 10,000 lunches have been served through nutrition services staff, several volunteers, and our transportation partner, GoRiteway. If you are in need of a meal, you can find the times and locations for delivery here.
  • Internet access is a challenge for some of our students. If you need help with this or if you know of someone who needs help with this, please fill out the “How can we help support you during the closure?” questionnaire located at the top of the district webpage, click on this link, or call your school. We continue to work on solutions within the school district. For instance, our WiFi signals in each of our buildings have been amplified so that a person who might be in the parking lot close to the building could have access.
  • We have received many requests from teachers and parents and students to allow for live video conversations. We understand fully the importance of connecting with others. However, we are first and foremost concerned about the safety and privacy of our stakeholders. Based on cautionary guidance from legal experts, we are choosing to limit this option right now.
  • If you have a district-assigned device, and it is in need of repair, we can help you with that. Let your teacher or principal know, and they will connect with our instructional technology department to make sure it is addressed as quickly as we can.

Thank you — each of you for supporting your children through this crisis. This is a trying time for all of us, and I hope you will join me in thanking your child’s teachers for their tireless efforts to maintain connections and continue learning in what is a new method of delivery for most of them. Our teachers are using their homes as their virtual workspaces and many of them are busy providing their own child care at the same time. Amazing things happen in the face of adversity, and I am so proud of our educators for their commitment to children and families during this crisis.

With our students at the forefront,

Randy Nelson

Superintendent of Schools


Real GIRLS gives students a village, an opportunity, and a voice

Four years ago, Regan Mueller came to Northside Elementary/Coulee Montessori and asked teacher Jasmine Valentine if they could start a student program. REAL Girls – Raising and Empowering Authentic Leaders – may look like just an after school running club, but it is so much more than that.

“The purpose of REAL Girls is to invest in the lives of fourth and fifth-grade girls through mentorship, education, and running encouraging them to be their best and calling out the leader in each of them,” said parent and REAL Girls coach Regan Mueller. “REAL Girls focuses on character building, relationship building, goal setting, taking positive risks, and introduces the girls to real-life opportunities that they may not experience through a regular school day.”

Their mission is accomplished through a staff of coaches and volunteers spending time with each of the nearly 50 girls who join the group each year. Community speakers and mentors include female leaders in a variety of industries and a myriad of trainers who each week introduce the girls to different fitness activities like Zumba, Pilates, yoga, and more.

The club meets twice a week for ten weeks. The girls run every time they’re together, building on distance, speed, and endurance. All of the training leads to a 5k race they run at the end of each season. But running is only a small piece of the puzzle.

“Another very important part of what we do each season is our community service project,” said Coulee Montessori teacher Sara Jorgenson. ”Year one, the girls spent time helping at the Hunger Task Force stocking shelves and learning how an organization supports so many people who need help in our community. Year two took our service project global, partnering with Days for Girls in Uganda to increase access to menstrual care and education.”

“Our last two years brought our projects back home by packing and supplying backpacks of items for children being moved into the Foster and Respite Care program of The Family and Children’s Center in La Crosse,” continued Jorgenson. “The service projects touch the lives of our girls by offering them a chance to give back and support others but also because some of them have had to utilize these services before.”

“Our program gives these girls a voice, an opportunity to see the potential in themselves,” said teacher Jasmine Valentine. “It impacts their lives by making them leaders and change makers but also gives them the strength to go out into the world and make it better for everyone.”

The club is funded through private donations allowing the girls to join the club at no cost.

“I love this club because it’s really inspirational,” said student Alysha Hayes. “I take things we talk about home with me. Things about life, and sisterhood, and just being there for each other. The whole thing is awesome.”

Habitat for Humanity Youth Opportunities

Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area wants to help your children/students learn more about what we can do in our community to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.

The Youth Program includes opportunities to volunteer, for field trips, education within the classroom and fundraising.

We believe that every age group can help us build homes, communities, and hope!

For more information check out their brochure: Youth Opportunities with Habitat for Humanity