Schools

Tue
12
May

SHS teacher, senior win awards


Photos by Derek Spellman. SHS chemistry teacher Eric Benedict with a student.

Stoughton High School has both an educator and scholar who were among the best in Wisconsin this school year.

SHS chemistry teacher Eric Benedict and senior Jessica Wendt were among those honored when 2015 Herb Kohl Foundation awards for students and teachers were awarded last month. The foundation provided $3,000 to 101 teachers and their schools in the form of fellowships, and to 163 graduating high school students as “excellence scholarships.” Award recipients are selected by a statewide committee composed of civil leaders, representatives of education-related associations and the program’s co-sponsors.

 “Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation,” Kohl said in the news release. “I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students and teachers, and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future.”

Tue
12
May

Board approves plan for teacher compensation

The Stoughton School Board approved an alternative compensation system for educators Monday night that will allow the district to recognize professional growth while living within its financial means. The alternative compensation system, passed by a 7-2 vote, will be implemented beginning in the 2015-16 school year and is a product of a year-and-a-half of work by a committee of educators, administrators and school board members.

When implemented, no educator will make less than they now receive through contracted pay, although their future raises will be based on district-approved professional learning that strengthens classroom instructional practices. By the 2016-17 school year, each educator will be placed in one of four levels, depending on characteristics they have already demonstrated as an educator. 

Mon
11
May

Stoughton HS performs "Digital Escape"

The Stoughton High School band brought concert-goers through a dragon-fighting experience at its 47th variety show Saturday, May 2. The "Digital Escape" show had a video-game theme, including songs and skits from video games like "Halo" and "Super Mario Brothers."
Mon
04
May

SASD doubling up on innovation grants

Innovation is a key part of education, and in the Stoughton Area School District, teachers are being rewarded for trying new ways to reach and teach students. 

A year after awarding four “innovation grants” during the inaugural year of the program, district superintendent Tim Onsager announced last week eight grants for a total of $31,700 for the 2015-16 school year to teachers representing each school in the district. He said there were “a lot of applicants” this year. 

“I told them even if what they are proposing to try doesn’t work, sometimes failing ... is a bigger learning experience as success right away,” Onsager said. “We want to encourage our staff to take risks.”

Thu
30
Apr

SHS band ‘digital’ variety show set for May 2

The Stoughton High School bands will present their 47th annual Band Variety Show “Digital Escape: Fighting Dragons in my Cardigan” at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in the SHS Performing Arts Center.  

The show will feature music of favorite video games, as well as entertaining skits and stories.

The show follows a young boy who turns to video games to escape from daily life and finds himself pulled right into the action. With skits featuring Pokemon trainers, warriors, dragons and music from World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy and Halo, the show will cover a large spectrum of video game history, all while supplying humor and a story to follow.

Thu
30
Apr

Spill forces evacuation of Sandhill Elementary School

Sandhill Elementary School was evacuated Friday morning after a specimen jar in a classroom broke, spilling unknown liquids.

In a letter sent to parents Friday, Stoughton Area School District spokesperson Derek Spellman said a student had brought an animal in a jar preserved in an unknown solution for a class presentation. The jar fell and broke around 10 a.m., spilling the contents, which Spellman said school officials suspected was formaldehyde of an unknown concentration.

As a precaution, students were quickly moved out of the classroom, and acting on the advice of the district’s environmental consultant, the entire school was evacuated to neighboring LakeView Church.

Spellman said after the incident, staff members closely observed students, and did not seen anyone showing signs of “adverse health reactions.” Still, students were not re-admitted until the consultant had cleared the building.

Tue
28
Apr

School board adds new faces

For three Stoughton Area School Board members who ran unopposed April 7, now the hard work begins. Newly elected board members Alison Sorg, Yolibeth Fitzgibbon and Scott Dirks were sworn in Monday night, beginning three-year terms on the board. Dirks was already serving on the board after he was appointed in November to fill the seat of Pat Volk, who resigned. 

Former board members Frank Sullivan and Tina Hunter did not run for re-election.

The board’s officers will remain much the same, with president Liz Menzer, vice-president Donna Tarpinian and treasurer Brett Schumacher unanimously re-elected to their positions. Bev Fergus was unanimously elected as clerk, replacing Hunter, and Sorg was unanimously elected as deputy clerk. 

Alternative teacher compensation

Fri
24
Apr

Sandhill evauated after spill Friday morning

Sandhill Elementary School was evacuated Friday morning after a specimen jar in a classroom broke, spilling unknown liquids.

In a letter sent to parents Friday, Stoughton Area School District spokesperson Derek Spellman said a student had brought an animal in a jar preserved in an unknown solution for a class presentation. The jar fell and broke around 10 a.m., spilling the contents, which Spellman said school officials suspect is formaldehyde of an unknown concentration.

As a precaution, students were quickly moved out of the classroom, and acting on the advice of the district’s environmental consultant, the entire school was evacuated to neighboring LakeView Church.

Spellman said staff members are closely observing students, and have not seen anyone showing signs of “adverse health reactions.” Still, students will not be re-admitted until the consultant has cleared the building.

Thu
16
Apr

Mulan Jr. photos

River Bluff Middle School students performed Disney’s “Mulan Jr.” Friday, April 10, and Saturday, April 11, at the Stoughton High School Performing Arts Center. The show follows a young woman in China who pretends to be a man to serve in the country’s army in a battle against the Huns. Above, a group of girls await the Matchmaker.

Thu
09
Apr

Stoughton school board approves staffing changes

With enrollment continuing to decline, the Stoughton Area School Board approved several staffing cuts for next school year, while also approving several additions. The net increase will save the district around $72,000.

Two full-time teachers at Sandhill Elementary will be cut, as well as one full-time teacher at Kegonsa Elementary, a full-time district interpreter, a part-time math teacher at River Bluff Middle School and a part-time math teacher at Stoughton High School. The district will add a full-time eighth-grade reading teacher and special education learning strategist at River Bluff, two full-time educational assistants at Sandhill, part-time educational assistants at Sandhill, Fox Prairie and Kegonsa elementary schools (one-year temporary positions) and a part-time district orchestra teacher.

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