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LPEF grant awards 2016

$28,421 in grants support innovation in public schools

Support for teacher training, visiting artists, digital electronics equipment and much-needed classroom supplies for elementary teachers in the School District of La Crosse are among 19 grants totaling $28,421 announced today by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF).

The 19 grants were chosen from among 33 applications totaling more than $66,000. Grants are selected for funding based on creativity, ability to engage students, and the total impact or reach of the project.Among the grants: major start-up funding for outdoor classroom space at Spence Elementary School; a project to help students at two elementary schools transform discarded objects into art; and a special training program for 60 or more teachers to learn techniques to help students who have been affected by traumatic childhood experiences.

“It’s thrilling to see the ingenuity and passion district teachers bring to these grant applications,” said Tammy Larson, LPEF Board President and chief risk officer for Coulee Bank. “Each semester, they make it more and more difficult to choose from among so many worthy grant applications.”

Grant recipients, along with recipients of 23 grants announced in April, will be honored along with school and community leaders on Jan. 16, 2017 at LPEF’s annual Grants Award Luncheon, presented by Festival Foods.

Here is a brief summary of the 19 grants announced Dec. 1 in surprise visits to recipients:

  • $4,400 to provide major start-up funding to develop an outdoor classroom and garden space at Spence Elementary.The goal is to create a calming and peaceful outdoor education space for curriculum-connected lessons, while instilling a love and curiosity of nature in Spence students. Funds will cover installation of a crushed limestone pathway, providing equal access to students and individuals with disabilities, plus custom-built round tables for class activities. Recipients: Principal Shelley Shirel and staff. This grant is underwritten by support from Trust Point, and from the Duane and Carol Taebel Fund at the La Crosse Community Foundation.
  • $3,050 to provide training for 60 or more teachers in techniques to identify key indicators (physiological, developmental, behavioral, and academic) of traumatic stress in children. With the help of a nationally recognized expert in working with students affected by trauma, mental health issues and behavioral challenges, teachers will learn ways to create positive relationships with children impacted by adverse childhood experiences. Recipient: Tracy Taylor-Johnson of Summit Elementary. This grant is underwritten by Festival Foods.
  • $2,600 to support purchase of a projector to be used in daily instruction to meet the special needs of Summit Elementary students with vision impairments and sensory needs. Recipient: Kasey Pomeroy. This grant is underwritten in part by Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare.
  • $2,500 to provide training for 10 elementary teachers who in turn will teach parents of pre-schoolers how to better respond to children’s behaviors, including self-regulation skills, how electronics impact child development, discipline and parenting styles, and overcoming barriers and changes. Training will be provided through Gundersen Health System’s course on Parents Raising Resilient Children, taught by Jeff Reiland. Recipients: Michelle Powell of Southern Bluffs Elementary and Jocelyn Buxton of Spence Elementary. This grant is underwritten in part by the Richard Swantz Endowment Fund, created by and in honor of the former school superintendent to support staff development.
  • $2,050 to support a collaborative project between Summit Environmental and North Woods International elementary schools, which share a commitment to exposing students to global and environmental issues. Students will work with a visiting artist, staff members, family and community representatives to understand the impact of trash on our environment, and how to transform discarded objects into art. Recipients: Carissa Brudos at Summit and Maria Mason at North Woods. This grant is underwritten in part by Gundersen Health System.
  • $2,000 to support costs of a visiting hip-hop music artist to work with elementary students. In conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of La Crosse, and the Mid West Music Fest, elementary students will work with visiting hip-hop music artist Toki Wright to create original rap and hip-hop compositions to be performed at the music festival. Wright has done similar residencies throughout the United States, guiding younger students to develop improvisation skills. Wright will work with high school students through the Boys & Girls Clubs. Recipient: Steve Michaels, District Fine Arts Supervisor. This grant is underwritten in part by the McGavock Family Endowment for Music Education.
  • $1,922 to purchase 225 copies of the book “All American Boys,” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, for use in sophomore English classes at Logan High. The contemporary young adult novel, addressing issues of race in today’s society, will be used as a complementary reading to the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” One of the authors, Jason Reynolds, will visit Logan in March. Recipient: Whitney Redman. This grant is underwritten in part by Coulee Bank.
  • $1,800 in tuition scholarships, or $600 each, for up to three School District of La Crosse employees returning to school to complete education degrees at UW-La Crosse. The innovative, collaborative program seeks to increase the number of teachers of color by focusing on teaching assistants and other employees of color already in schools. This is the second year of the program. Recipient: Bethany Brent, UW-La Crosse. This grant is underwritten in part by LHI.
  • $1,750 to purchase materials to be used by Logan High students to design and fabricate a robotic “Exo Arm” to be used in metal grinding operations. The arm will mimic the function of the human arm in order to minimize repetitive work injuries. Students will work with community business partners in design and development. Recipient: Steve Johnston. This grant is underwritten in part by LPEF’s Judy and Randy Eddy Sr. Fund.
  • $1,728 to help Hmong students and other English Language Learners improve vocabulary, grammar and fluency through use of Reader’s Theater scripts and props. The scripts make reading fun by allowing students to play a character, with content based on math, social studies and science skills. Recipient: Mary Her Zong, Summit Elementary. This grant is underwritten in part by Wells Fargo.
  • $1,000 to support expenses for an artist-in-residence visit by Cassie Stephens, an art educator who is nationally recognized for efforts to integrate art-related activities and content into the everyday classroom. Part of her visit will include in-service activities with SOTA I teachers, and part will involve working with students. Recipients:Hamilton/SOTA I Principal Steve Michaels and art teacher Bethany Nugent. This grant is underwritten by Rachel Gundersen.
  • $754 to purchase exercise balls, drumsticks and storage to help Logan Middle School students improve fitness and health, and inspire them to find joy in movement, so they will want to do it for a lifetime. The creative activity combines drumming to music with sticks on a yoga or exercise ball. The percussion, combined with aerobic movement and dance, enhances the whole body. Recipients: Lorrae Swartz, Chester Janke, and Jessica Pfenning. This grant is awarded in honor of Karen Wilke, who retired from the School District last June after 27 years of teaching at Longfellow Middle School.
  • $600 for GROW La Crosse to purchase supplies to use in developing a school garden at Spence, including recipe demonstrations and garden-themed lessons, such as seed starting and pollination. Recipient: Katie Berkedal for GROW La Crosse.
  • $534 to purchase multiple sets of Breakout EDU kits, which challenge students to work through content-based problems in order to open a series of locks. Recipient: Cassandra Sturzl, Logan Middle School. This grant is underwritten by State Bank Financial.
  • $525 to purchase a variety of tools and supplies for use in three kindergarten classrooms at Hintgen Elementary, helping students explore science, technology, engineering and mathematical skills. Recipients:Shanon Bills, Christine Rox, and Karen Landstrom. This grant is underwritten by Altra Federal Credit Union.
  • $365 to purchase a space heater for use by Central High students in the Construction Career Academy working with the city of La Crosse on building a new home. Recipient: Nick Kalina.
  • $335 to buy supplies for use by a Longfellow Middle School cook to start an informal Garden Club to help students learn about starting, planting and harvesting vegetables. Recipient: Lisa Hammond. This grant is awarded in honor of Robin Wilson, who retired from the School District last June after 27 years, most recently as an administrative assistant at Longfellow Middle School.
  • $308 to purchase a set of books by author Julia Cook, focusing on developing a variety of social skills and helping Spence Elementary School children better understand how their actions impact themselves and others. Recipient: Jocelyn Buxton.
  • $200 to buy materials for a State Road Elementary kindergarten classroom to provide students with hands-on learning experiences, particularly to enhance the students’ sense of numbers and the ability to use them on a daily basis. Recipient: Teresa Fox.

In addition to about $60,000 in annual grants to classrooms, LPEF provides other support for La Crosse public schools, including about $70,000 for the AVID college-readiness program and nearly $22,000 for Random Acts of Kindness to meet needs of students in areas such as nutrition, hygiene, clothing, and transportation. The La Crosse Public Education Foundation’s mission is to enhance learning opportunities for students in the School District of La Crosse and to promote community understanding and support for public education.

For details or tickets to attend the Grants Award Luncheon, to be held Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in the Cargill Room at The Waterfront, contact the LPEF office at 787-0226, or email David Stoeffler at: david@lacrosseeducationfoundation.org. For more information on the La Crosse Public Education Foundation please visit www.lacrosseeducationfoundation.org.

GO Riteway school buses rollout new eight-light safety system

GO Riteway school buses will begin using an eight-light warning system beginning August 16, 2016, thanks to a law that was passed earlier this year. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Section 108 added four additional red warning lights to school buses in 1968. Those added lamps are now amber in color and are located inboard of the red warning lights; intended to signal an upcoming stop to drivers and overridden by the red lights and stop sign as the entry door is opened.

Many states adopted this eight-light system during the 1970s and 1980s. Wisconsin was the single remaining state to adopt this safety feature, which now goes into effect on August 16, 2016. The new 8-light system incorporates the use of amber warning lights. The amber lights will flash before the red lights as a ‘Warning’ that the bus is preparing to stop, similar to a traffic light. The outer red warning lights alert vehicles traveling around a school bus that they should prepare to stop.

Wisconsin DOT has prepared a video to demonstrate how the new light system works and gives additional information. The video can be found on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIpXv7ChbKk as well as on GO Riteway’s website: www.goriteway.com. As Wisconsin prepares for another school year, WATCH for School Buses with flashing Amber and Red lights. Remember, the AMBER warning lights mean “PREPARE TO STOP” and the RED warning lights and STOP arm mean that you must “STOP” no closer than 20 feet from the bus. It’s against the law to not stop for a school bus, but more importantly, our children are counting on YOU for their safety in getting to school and home!

About GO Riteway

GO Riteway Transportation Group’s origin as a premier ground transportation company began 59 years ago when the Bast Family founded Riteway Bus Service, Inc. Now, into the third generation of family leadership, GO Riteway continues to expand providing dependable and safe transportation for business travelers, tourists, students and local residents. GO Riteway operates out of 16 locations in Wisconsin with a fleet that includes school buses, motor coaches, shuttle coaches, limo coaches, mini coaches, executive sedans and vans. GO Riteway is the official transportation provider of the Milwaukee Bucks, and is known for its “green” initiatives, numerous environmental awards and certifications. For more information visit, GO Riteway’s website at www.goriteway.com

GO Riteway is currently hiring school bus drivers for their La Crosse location. It’s the perfect part-time job with AM and/or PM drive schedules and opportunities for extra hours! To apply or learn more visit GO Riteway’s website: http://goriteway.com/were-hiring

WisDOT - School Bus Warning Lights

LPEF awards grants for innovative La Crosse schools projects

Innovative projects to support reading, math and music, as well as student health and nutrition, in the School District of La Crosse are among 23 grants totaling $25,314 announced April 6 by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF).

Among the awards delivered in surprise visits to schools are grants for a unique music therapy program for disabled students and money to create new hands-on approaches to teach math to first-graders. One grant will allow a nutrition supervisor to turn an old salad bar into a traveling garden for students to grow their own food. Two student-led grant requests were approved, including one to buy animation software for students eager to learn new software skills.

The 23 grants were chosen from among 46 applications totaling more than $98,000 in requests. Grants are selected for funding based on creativity, ability to engage students and bring real-life experiences into the classroom.

Because of the large number of high-quality requests, the LPEF Board of Directors approved added money to support classroom grants, bringing the total for this school year to $55,467 – an 11.5% increase over the prior year. The first round of 22 grants worth $30,153 was announced in December.

“We challenged the District staff to come up with innovative ideas and offered them a second chance to apply for grants again this year,” said Tammy Larson, LPEF Board President and senior vice president/chief risk officer for Coulee Bank. “We were pleased to meet some of the increased demand by increasing the budget – but that would not be possible without the generous support from businesses and individuals who sponsor our events and respond to our appeals for donations.”

Here is a brief summary of the 23 grants:

  • $2,100 to contract with a music therapist to teach functional and behavioral concepts through the use of music, working with Summit Elementary students with intellectual disabilities. Summit will be the first regional school to test this concept being integrated in schools elsewhere in Wisconsin. Recipients: Resa Hawes and Paula Hueners.
  • $2,000 to support community fundraising to buy a grand piano for the auditorium at Logan Middle School, for use by North Side middle school and high school students, as well as for community performances in the great, historic venue. A fundraising campaign is underway, prompted by a challenge grant from David Marck and the Marck Family Fund at the La Crosse Community Foundation. Recipient: Steve Michaels, District fine arts supervisor.
  • $2,000 to contract with skilled behavioral interventionists (social workers, counselors, etc.) to work with students in small groups during intersessions at Hamilton Elementary, helping students improve social skills and other behavior in an effort to reduce disruptions and office referrals. Recipient: Steve Michaels, Hamilton principal.
  • $1,950 to support purchase of a variety of high quality, leveled books to help Logan Middle students think critically about global topics and to ‘reflect who we are and what we will become.’ Recipients: Kellie Schmitz and Danielle Hartman.
  • $1,750 to buy 5 Lego Mindstorms kits to supplement 15 owned by the District for use in challenging 5th-grade and middle-school students to learn important science, computer science, technology, engineering and math skills. Recipient: Jodi Brueggeman, Spence Elementary on behalf of all elementary and middle schools.
  • $1,600 to support a Fall 2016 assembly at Lincoln Middle, with students from other middle schools invited, featuring local musicians and two local individuals sharing their own tragic life stories and their experiences with compassion, forgiveness and redemption. Recipient: Rick Blasing.
  • $1,500 to help students at Northside Elementary and Hamilton Elementary build resilience through art by working with Tyanna Buie, an African-American artist from Milwaukee who uses art as a means of therapy to understand the trauma of her childhood. Recipients: Amoreena Rathke and Laura Huber at Northside; Steve Michaels at Hamilton. This grant is underwritten in part by the Dr. Gunnar and Mary Baldwin Gundersen Memorial Fund at the La Crosse Community Foundation.
  • $1,437 to purchase materials for use by students to create canvas murals to hang in the hallways at Logan Middle, reflecting the rich diverse cultures represented by students and staff. Recipient: Sherrie Sikora.
  • $1,300 to buy animation software and equipment for students at two project-based schools, La Crosse Design Institute and 7 Rivers Community High School. The software goes beyond the capability of free apps to challenge students to learn higher order skills and to express themselves in unique ways that engage teens. Students will develop and run an animation club to teach other students how to use the software. Recipient:Penny Reedy, Longfellow/LDI/7 Rivers Principal.
  • $1,185 to purchase books by an author expected to present a workshop at the Aug. 30 Rebuilding for Learning Summit, helping a group of elementary teachers who will attend be better prepared to learn and develop strategies for children who suffer from trauma, mental illness, abuse, neglect, etc. Recipient: Tracy Taylor-Johnson at Summit Elementary on behalf of elementary teachers throughout the District.
  • $1,068 to purchase materials to create hands-on math centers and activities for use in first-grade classrooms at Emerson Elementary, providing differentiated instruction to help each student achieve or exceed standards.Recipient: Allison Graumann on behalf of all first-grade teachers at Emerson.
  • $1,000 for a matching grant (previously announced) to support a trip to a Chicago show choir competition by 9th Street Connection, the Lincoln Middle School Show Choir. LPEF assisted the show choir in raising $4,500 in addition to the LPEF grant. Recipient: Jennifer Gulsvig.
  • $1,000 to provide additional support for a previous LPEF grant to continue school gardens and related programming at State Road Elementary and Hamilton Elementary. The gardens provide fresh food and cultivate healthy eating habits by students. Recipient: Katie Berkedal, GROW La Crosse.
  • $906 to buy materials and tools for use in Hamilton Elementary classrooms as staff implement ‘mindfulness’ strategies that provide concrete ways for children to get their bodies and brains ready to learn. Recipients:Barbara Wettstein, Katherine Erickson, Jamie Sage and Courtney Kirchner.
  • $900 to support training for additional Hintgen Elementary and Southern Bluffs Elementary teachers in a program called Stimulating Maturity Through Accelerated Training. The program provides brain stimulation activities and promotes learning readiness for pre-K and kindergarten students. This is a follow-up to a 2014-15 LPEF grant. Recipients: Barbara Oettel, PaHoua Vang and Christine Rox at Hintgen Elementary; and Laurie Kartman, Michelle Powell, Vivian Storm and Linda Justin at Southern Bluffs Elementary.
  • $799 to purchase three sets of Lux Blox, an innovative set of construction blocks that allow students to make structures that curve, bend and move; students at Spence Elementary and Emerson Elementary will use the blocks to develop art, math, science and engineering skills addressed in state standards. Recipients: Ronnah Metz at Spence and Jean Crayton at Emerson. This grant is underwritten by the Duane and Carol Taebel Fund of the La Crosse Community Foundation.
  • $648 to buy access to an internet-based program, Read Naturally Live, that uses visual and auditory prompts to help students develop reading skills and improve vocabulary. The program is tailored to each student’s needs and will be used with middle school students with intellectual disabilities. Recipient: Diane Block at Logan Middle on behalf of all middle schools.
  • $450 to provide transportation for Summit Elementary 5th-graders to participate in concert May 12 with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Recipient: Danielle Fields.
  • $443 to recycle an old salad bar by equipping it with grow lights and other equipment so it can be used as a traveling garden, producing a crop of herbs or vegetables to be used in school meals. The garden would start at Emerson Elementary, but could travel to one or two other schools each year. Recipient: Faye Kielley.
  • $400 to support training two Southern Bluffs Elementary School educators in the ACT/Parents Raising Safe Kids Program, so they in turn can provide parenting programs for families at Southern Bluffs. Recipients:Becky Lueck and Michelle Powell.
  • $320 to buy equipment for use by an entrepreneurial student creating a student-run coffee shop at 7 Rivers Community High School. Recipient: Trinity Isbell, a sophomore at 7 Rivers, with support from teacher Keachen Abing.
  • $305 to purchase exercise equipment to provide active transitions between subjects, or “brain breaks,” to increase focus by students at SOTA I (Hamilton), including students with learning disabilities and those learning the English language. Recipient: Teri Amann.
  • $253 to replace, update and supplement a set of board games originally purchased with an LPEF grant in 2009 for use in an after-school club run by community volunteers at North Woods International School. The club helps students develop higher level thinking and social skills. Recipients: Teacher Amanda Wolfgram and community members Mike Haupert and Mark Kendhammer.

Grant recipients will be honored in January 2017 as part of LPEF’s annual Grants Award Luncheon. They will join recipients to be selected from grant requests made next fall.

In addition to the annual grants to classrooms, LPEF provides other support for La Crosse public schools, including nearly $23,000 for Random Acts of Kindness to help students overcome roadblocks to achievement in areas such as nutrition, transportation and co-curricular support. The La Crosse Public Education Foundation’s mission is to enhance learning opportunities for students in the School District of La Crosse and to promote community understanding and support for public education.

For more information on grants, or on ways to support LPEF through donations, visit their website at lacrosseeducationfoundation.org, contact the LPEF office at 787-0226, or email David Stoeffler at: david@lacrosseeducationfoundation.org.

LPEF awards $30,153 in grants to support school innovation

Support for innovative approaches and technology for use in science, math, social studies, reading, health and fine arts in the School District of La Crosse are among 22 grants totaling $30,153 announced Dec. 8 by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF).

A major grant will be used to purchase copies of a book written by a district teacher to help middle school students better understand Hmong culture. Other grants will fund visiting artists and authors, provide support programs for parents, encourage students to improve health and fitness, and purchase classroom equipment, including alternative seating to help students focus for longer periods of time.

The 22 grants were chosen from among 30 applications totaling more than $66,000. Grants are selected for funding based on creativity, ability to engage students and bring real-life experiences into the classroom.

“We can hardly wait to see how students react as these grants are put into action in classrooms all across the School District of La Crosse,” said Greg Bonney, LPEF Board President and an attorney at Johns, Flaherty & Collins. “These grants go to the heart of our mission to enhance learning opportunities, and the teachers seem to make our task of choosing recipients more difficult every year.”

Grant recipients, along with recipients of 16 grants announced in March, will be honored along with school and community leaders on Jan. 18, 2016 at LPEF’s annual Grants Award Luncheon, presented by Festival Foods.

In addition to about $50,000 in annual grants to classrooms, LPEF provides other support for La Crosse public schools, including about $70,000 for the AVID college-readiness program and nearly $22,000 for Random Acts of Kindness to meet needs of students in areas such as nutrition, hygiene, clothing, and transportation. The La Crosse Public Education Foundation’s mission is to enhance learning opportunities for students in the School District of La Crosse and to promote community understanding and support for public education.

For details or tickets to attend the Grants Award Luncheon, to be held Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in the Cargill Room at The Waterfront, contact the LPEF office at 608.787.0226, or email David Stoeffler at: david@lacrosseeducationfoundation.org.

Here is a brief summary of the 22 grants announced today in surprise visits to recipients:

$3,734 to purchase compact, shaped desks and chairs for a pilot program at Logan High, allowing for unique and multiple configurations to promote collaboration among groups of 3 to 10 students. Recipient: Matt De Koch, Logan High. This grant is underwritten by Festival Foods.

$3,856 to purchase seven sets of the book “Gathering Fireflies,” written by Mai Chao Duddeck, a District teacher and local Hmong artist and author. The book, about a 13-year-old Hmong-American boy coming of age with a confusing mix of cultural dilemmas, will be used at all three middle schools as part of the Hmong Culture unit. Recipient: Christina Fenton, Logan Middle. This grant is underwritten in part by Coulee Bank.

$1,690 to purchase three vertical aeroponic gardens for use in 3rd-grade curriculum at North Woods, allowing for year-round growing of organic produce and encouraging healthy eating habits. Recipient: Nancy Hanson, North Woods Elementary. This grant is underwritten in part by Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare.

$2,500 to offer a school-based Positive Parenting Program provided by experts at Gundersen Health System, offering support to 20 Northside families, helping parents learn to manage child behavioral issues and skill development challenges. Recipients: Heather Gartner and Melani Fay, Northside Elementary. This grant is underwritten in part by Gundersen Health System.

$1,300 for a matching grant to purchase podcast players with access to more than 100 health and fitness lessons for 5th-grade students at State Road, enabling them to “walk, listen and learn.” Recipients: Carrie Quick and Jean Ruprecht, State Road Elementary. This grant is underwritten in part by State Bank Financial.

$1,700 to purchase materials to be used by Logan High students to design and build a self-driving vehicle to drive autonomously from Trane Plant 4 on East Avenue to Trane Plant 7 on Losey Boulevard. Recipient: Steve Johnston, Logan High. This grant is underwritten in part by LPEF’s Judy and Randy Eddy Sr. Fund.

$1,000 toward purchase of new, transportable platform risers for use by Logan High School’s Show Choir and at other District and community events. Recipient: Doreen Athnos, Logan High. This grant is underwritten in part by the McGavock Family Endowment for Music Education.

$1,800 in tuition scholarships or $600 each for up to three School District of La Crosse employees returning to school to complete education degrees at UW-La Crosse. The innovative, collaborative program seeks to increase the number of teachers of color by focusing on teaching assistants and other employees of color already in schools. Recipient: Bethany Brent, UW-La Crosse.This grant is underwritten in part by the Richard Swantz Endowment Fund, created by and in honor of the former school superintendent to support staff development.

$994 to give students at all three middle schools the experience of traveling to foreign lands, exploring diverse cultures and even traveling in time through the purchase of green screen technology and body suits. Students will record video in settings where the background can be replaced with scenes from anywhere in the world. WKBT’s Bill Graul, who uses green screens in producing weather segments, will offer advice to students. Recipient: Jeanne Halderson, Longfellow Middle. This grant is awarded in memory of Barbara Kroner, an influential former Longfellow Middle School teacher who died last February.

$900 to support presentations by educator and author Katy McKy during a March 2016 event to celebrate and teach expectations for positive student behavior at Southern Bluffs. Recipient: Derek Fuglsang, Southern Bluffs Elementary. This grant is awarded in honor of Susan Houlihan, who retired from the School District last June after 25 years of teaching, most recently at Southern Bluffs Elementary.

$2,500 to purchase Sphero Sprk robotic ball kits to share among all middle schools, allowing students to use iPads, along with math, science and engineering principles, to program the balls to perform tasks. Recipients: Linda Watson, Lincoln Middle, and Denise Kuethe-Strudthoff, Longfellow Middle.

$1,350 to purchase an Aluminum Brake for students in construction classes at Logan High to use in bending aluminum sheets for use as trim pieces for siding, roofing and windows. Recipient: Jacob Schumacher.

$1,200 to join a community collaborative effort called “[art]ifact: where history meets art” and support students producing original artwork inspired by historical artifacts selected from the collection of the La Crosse County Historical Society. Work will be exhibited at the Pump House Regional Arts Center in Spring 2016. Recipient: Ariel Beaujot, UW-La Crosse and the La Crosse County Historical Society. This grant is underwritten in part by Trust Point.

$1,032 to provide GoPro pocket-sized video cameras and accessories to allow students at Summit Environmental School to document educational and environmental experiences, including daily nature walks, field trips and other activities. Recipients: Nick O’Keefe and Lisa Boyer, Summit Elementary. This grant is underwritten in part by the La Crosse Tribune.

$1,000 to support start-up costs for a unique before-school coffee shop at Logan High, providing work experience for students in special education classes with proceeds going toward schoolwide incentives for positive student behavior. Recipient: Molly Sarles, Logan High.

$960 to purchase a dozen Kore Stools for use in a pilot program for first-graders at North Woods, allowing students to move while being active listeners and not distracting other students. Recipient: Jocelyn Buxton, North Woods Elementary.

$650 to fund a workshop for Central and Logan theater students featuring movie and theater actress Elaine Bromka. Recipient: Dawn Martin, Central High.

$580 to purchase two standing desks for a pilot program to provide alternative seating for 8th-grade students at Lincoln Middle. Recipient: Mandi Hundt, Lincoln Middle.

$500 to allow 50 Hamilton/SOTA I 4th-grade and 5th-grade students to participate in a two-day science boot camp offered by Professor Kyle Backstrand and the science department at Viterbo University. Recipient: Michael Lawrence, SOTA I.

$390 to support a Northside kindergarten field trip in May 2016 to Deep Roots Farm, where students can learn about farm animals and local food sources. Recipient: Lisa Hilker, Northside Elementary.

$266 to purchase sets of “Fancy Nancy” books for use by a counseling group for girls in 1st- through 3rd-Grades at Southern Bluffs, promoting confidence, self-awareness, friendship and communication skills. Recipient: Becky Lueck, Southern Bluffs Elementary.

$252 to provide students housed at the Western Regional Adolescent Center with some alternative seating, fidgets and other tools to improve focus, which in turn strengthens learning. Recipient: Tamara McRoberts, Adolescent Center.

Logan High School designing self-navigating vehicle

The Project Lead The Way- Digital Electronics class at Logan High School in La Crosse, Wisconsin, is partnering with Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort
solutions and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, to design and build the Logan Ranger Autonomous Vehicle (AV), a vehicle capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input.

AVs sense their surroundings with such techniques as radar, lasers, GPS, and computer vision. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage.

The class will design, program and fabricate the AV so it will autonomously drive from Trane Plant 4 on East Avenue to Trane Plant 7 on Losey Boulevard. A percentage of the AV’s transportation system will be powered by solar energy.

The AV will be designed and fabricated at Logan High School. The target date for completion is summer 2016. Trane will provide technical support and help define the parameters of the project.

“Ingersoll Rand is committed to enriching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through educational programs and campaigns, employee volunteerism and other initiatives,” said Bob Ellis, plant manager of Trane in La Crosse. “We are excited to work with the students at Logan High School on this innovative project.”

vehicle concept design

2015 Legislative Session

 

Randy Photo

Randy W. Nelson

To the Citizens of our Communities:

Recent headlines from Madison indicate our legislature is focused on the topic of school accountability. As District Administrators of educational institutions in western Wisconsin, we understand the importance of accountability for our public schools. We accept the responsibility to closely examine our policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that we are being as efficient and as productive as possible. We find the recently developed School Report Cards to be an effective way to measure our progress and report our results. We are thankful for the effort and resources expended to create the current system. We remain unconvinced of the need for a replacement after only three years. We remain committed to finding ways to help every student achieve and be successful so that hope exists within every child for a better future and cycles of poverty and violence are eliminated.

 

In addition to school accountability, there are lots of ideas coming out of Madison these days. Ideas that are not research-based, which are not supported by professional educators, and which have not been proven to “move the needle” on student achievement. But, there are practices and evidence-based policies which have been shown to change and improve schools across our nation. We encourage you to engage others in our community around discussions on:

 

  1. Early Childhood Education. In Wisconsin, the funding base for childcare programs (Wisconsin Shares/YoungStar program) is inadequate and unstable. These programs can have a significant impact on children and increase their likelihood of high school graduation, holding a job, and decreasing the need to receive public assistance or be incarcerated.
  2. Children’s Mental Health. In Wisconsin, we have systematic shortcomings in how mental health services are provided. Many children do not receive the services they need which has serious consequences for the child, their families, and our schools and community. Mental health issues can be a significant barrier to a child being successful in school.
  3. Supporting Excellence in Teaching and Leading. Research shows that teacher quality and principal leadership are the two most important factors leading to student success. Continued funding for Educator Effectiveness implementation, ongoing training and support for educators, and the promotion of policies designed to encourage the “best and brightest” to enter the teaching profession will improve school/district outcomes.
  4. Innovation. Incentives should be provided to encourage districts to pilot new practices that evidence suggests will improve student learning. While our society has dramatically changed in the last 100 years, our schools have been slower to respond due to a sense of “tradition” and a lack of funding for innovation.
  5. School Finance. The state share of school funding has decreased over the last ten years and large funding cuts were made in 2011. How do we ensure equitable funding for education across the state of Wisconsin when there are unique challenges in each district? Some districts have a larger share of English Language Learners, others are dealing with significant rates of poverty, and additional districts struggle with declining enrollment, substantial transportation costs, or a lack of technology. We need a school finance system that is fair and equitable for all children and is sustainable so that access to high quality instructional programming is maintained regardless of one’s zip code.

 

As a community, we want our children to succeed and be best prepared as future leaders to move our state and nation toward increased prosperity. All of us-whether we are parents, educators, business members, legislators or senior citizens- have a vested interest in our children. Let’s start talking about the real issues which will benefit our children, add value for our taxpayers, and improve the quality of life in our state. Your involvement and support is crucial. Public education is public work – we need your help! Please feel free to contact us if you would like to host a conversation. Thank you!

Area School District Administrators,

Alma – Steven Sedlmayr
Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan – Paul Fischer
Arcadia – Louie Ferguson
Bangor – David Laehn
Black River Falls – Shelly Severson
Blair-Taylor – Jeff Eide
Cochrane-Fountain City – Thomas Hiebert
De Soto – Jim Kuchta
Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau – Roger Foegen
Hillsboro – Curt Bisarek
Holmen – Dale Carlson
Independence – Paul Vine
La Crosse – Randy Nelson
La Farge – Shawn Donovan
Melrose-Mindoro – Delroy DeBerg
Onalaska – Francis Finco
Royall – Mark Gruen
Sparta – JohnHendricks
Tomah – Cindy Zahrte
Viroqua – Robert Knadle
West Salem – Troy Gunderson
Westby – Charles Norton
Whitehall – Michael Beighley
Wonewoc-Union Center – Steve Lozeau

 

 

$31,000 in Grants Support Innovation in Public Schools

“Each year, we’re amazed at the innovative proposals and other proven practices we know will engage our school children and enhance learning,” said Greg Bonney, LPEF Board President and an attor
LPEF Awards 17 grants in first two rounds this school year

Support for school gardens, summer school literacy, microscopes that attach to iPads and the latest welding equipment are among 17 grants totaling nearly $31,000 announced today by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.
Three student-led grant requests are among those being announced in surprise visits to School District of La Crosse classrooms this morning.
Other grants will pay to publish booklets on La Crosse history developed specifically for 2nd-graders and to support a community partnership bringing a Pulitzer-prize winning composer to La Crosse to work with middle-school and high-school bands. The latter grant is the first to be underwritten by a new fund, the McGavock Family Endowment for Music Education.
Grant recipients will be honored Jan. 19, 2015 at LPEF’s annual Grants Award Luncheon, presented by Festival Foods.
The 17 grants were chosen from among 28 applications totaling more than $90,000 in requests. This year, for the first time, classroom grants will be awarded in two rounds. A second round of applications are due March 3 for grants to be awarded in mid-April. Grants are selected for funding based on creativity, ability to engage students and bring real-life experiences into the classroom.
ney at Johns, Flaherty & Collins. “It’s a tough challenge to narrow it down from so many worthy applications.”
The Grants Committee was especially impressed this year by three requests developed either entirely or in part by students. The three approved grants:
$3,700 to the Student Council at Lincoln Middle School/School of Technology and Arts II/Coulee Montessori, led by Rick Blasing, Student Council advisor and a school counselor. The “Rachel’s Challenge” grant builds on last year’s successful districtwide Compassion Project. It will cover the costs of a visiting speaker and trainer to “initiate and sustain a culture of kindness and compassion in our school, neighborhood and community, based upon the writings and philosophy of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the 1999 Columbine tragedy.”
$503.35 to help purchase standing desks as part of a pilot project at Central High School.
Sophomore Sara Brekke sought funding from several sources (including Central Principal Jeff Fleig) to support purchase of 10 desks to be scattered among various classrooms. The pilot is based on research showing the negative health effects of prolonged sitting.
$3,850 to support purchase of a Tungsten Inert Gas welding unit and related equipment to modernize the welding complex at Central High School. Senior Elijah Dannhoff developed the detailed grant request, which was endorsed by teachers and district staff. Added equipment will be purchased by the district to complete the project.
Here is a brief summary of the 14 other grants announced:
$4,000 to join with UW-La Crosse and others in support of a community visit by Artist in Residence Michael Colgrass, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. Colgrass will work with band students from all high schools and middle schools, including help with improvisation and composition skills. Several public concerts will be held in late spring. This grant is underwritten in part by LPEF’s new McGavock Family Endowment for Music Education. Recipient: Alana Seddon, music teacher, Logan Middle School.
$3,180 to support ongoing school garden projects at State Road and Hamilton elementary schools. The money will enhance gardens and teach gardening skills and appreciation of fresh food in conjunction with the community Grow Your Brain program. This grant is underwritten in part by Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare. Recipients: Principal Dave Gluch (State Road) and Principal Steve Michaels (Hamilton/SOTA I).
$2,492.10 to cover printing costs for booklets on La Crosse history, developed by district staff and local experts. The colorful booklets will be used in 2nd-grade curriculum. Recipient: Sandra Brauer, district social studies supervisor and principal at North Woods Elementary.
$500 for “Delectable Insects and Summer Fun,” a program to improve summer school literacy among Lincoln and Logan middle school students by purchasing non-fiction, high-interest books. Recipients: Literacy Specialists Ruth Baardseth (Lincoln) and Kellie Schmitz (Logan).
$1,953.30 for the La Crosse Design Institute (based at Longfellow Middle School) to purchase microscopes and related peripherals to attach to iPads, allowing students to conduct environmental research in the field at places like the La Crosse River Marsh or Hixon Forest. This grant is underwritten by Festival Foods. Recipients: Teachers/Advisors Maggie McHugh and Garrett Zimmerman.
$1,969.48 to provide training to select teachers at Hintgen and Southern Bluffs elementary to promote learning readiness and academic success for kindergarten students. This grant will be underwritten by support from the Richard Swantz Endowment Fund, created by and in honor of the former school superintendent to support staff development. Recipients: Melissa Breuer and Laurie Kartman from Southern Bluffs; PaHoua Vang and Barbara Oettel from Hintgen.
$600 for “Real Men Read,” a program to promote literacy among male students at Lincoln Middle School/SOTA II. Recipient: Teacher Linda Watson.
$1,000 to purchase books designed to help Logan Middle School students who struggle with reading. This grant is underwritten through support of the La Crosse Tribune. Recipients: Literacy Specialist Kellie Schmitz and Teachers Dani Hartman, Robin Fleig and Jodi Slaats-Hughes.
$500 to help buy food and paper products for the Spence Elementary Cooking Club for 4th-graders and 5th-graders. This grant is underwritten by proceeds from the Duane and Carol Taebel Fund at the La Crosse Community Foundation. Recipient: Teacher Katie Gudgeon.
$1,532.59 for materials to be used by Logan High School students in the Digital Electronics and Robotics class to design and build an unmanned aerial vehicle. This grant is underwritten in part by LPEF’s Judy and Randy Eddy Sr. Fund. Recipient: Teacher Steve Johnston.
$2,000 to continue a program called “Musical Diplomacy through String Quartets,” for high school and middle school students to receive instruction from clinician Busya Lugovier, who came to La Crosse through the La Crosse-Dubna (Russia) Sister City project. Recipient: Steve Michaels, district fine arts coordinator and principal at Hamilton Elementary.
$1,000 to support student travel and other expenses for Logan and Central students seeking the Global Education Achievement Certificate. Recipients: Teachers and Global Education Coordinators Rhonda McGowan (Logan) and John Havlicek (Central).
$1,200 to purchase alternative “wiggle seats” and other materials for Southern Bluffs Elementary to help students focus for extended periods of time. Recipients: Teachers Leah Aubert, Marcia Gardner and Janet Koll.
$1,000 for the purchase of tools and materials to assist Hintgen Elementary teachers work with students who have special sensory needs, including lack of focus or the appearance of being clumsy or unmotivated in class. Recipients: Occupational Therapist Barbara Oettel and Teacher Jennifer Thill.In addition to the annual grants to classrooms, LPEF provides other support for La Crosse public schools, including nearly $22,000 to help students overcome roadblocks to achievement in areas such as nutrition, transportation and co-curricular support. The La Crosse Public Education Foundation’s mission is to enhance learning opportunities for students in the School District of La Crosse and to promote community understanding and support for public education.
For details or tickets to attend the Grants Award Luncheon, to be held Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, in the Cargill Room at The Waterfront, contact the LPEF office at 787-0226, or email David Stoeffler at: david@lacrosseeducationfoundation.org.

2019 – 2020 School Hours

Elementary School

Coulee Montessori

Emerson Elementary

Hamilton Elementary

Hintgen Elementary

Northside Elementary

North Woods International

School of Technology and Arts I (M, T, Th, F)

School of Technology and Arts I (W)

Southern Bluffs Elementary

Spence Elementary

State Road Elementary

Summit Environmental School

 

Middle School

Coulee Montessori Adolescent Program

La Crosse Design Institute

Longfellow Middle School

Lincoln Middle School

Logan Middle School

School of Technology and Arts II

 

High School

7 Rivers Community High School

Central High School

LaCrosseroads

Logan High School

Hours of operation

8:15 a.m to 2:55 p.m.

8:30 a.m to 3:10 p.m.

8:08 a.m to 2:48 p.m.

8:05 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

8:15 a.m to 2:55 p.m.

8:35 a.m to 3:15 p.m.

8:00 a.m to 3:15 p.m.

8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

8:40 a.m to 3:20 p.m.

8:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

8:05 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

8:00 a.m to 2:40 p.m.

 

 

7:35 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

7:35 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

7:35 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

7:35 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

7:35 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

7:35 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

 

 

7:30 a.m to 2:45 p.m.

7:40 a.m to 3:20 p.m.

7:40 a.m to 3:20 p.m.

7:40 a.m to 3:20 p.m.

2019 – 2020 Early Release Days

Schedule and Care Options

The School District of La Crosse, like many districts in the region, has early release days built into their school calendar. The early release days allow our teachers to participate in some important professional development, training that we believe will positively impact the important work taking place each and every day in classrooms throughout the district.

Every school will end 2 hours early on designated early release days. Bus transportation will follow regular routes and will run their after-school route 2 hours early as well.

2019 – 2020 Early Release Day Schedule

October 11, 2019

December 6, 2019

March 13, 2020

May 8, 2020

NOTE: No PM preschool on early release days