MHS 12/14/18 Staff Update

9th Grader Kevin Leach broke a school record in the 100 Breaststroke that’s stood since 2005 helping the Boys Swim Team defeat Superior on Thursday night.  The MHS Bands performedmany great tunes on Monday for their Winter Concert including a light show arrangement by the 9th Grade Band and show tunes by the Wind Symphony.  The entire student body worked through our third Academic Career Planning initiative this week while our MHS pupil services staff worked in health classrooms on suicide prevention/awareness along with several other important topics.  There are many opportunities to support the Mustangs this weekend with Girls Basketball home on Friday with the Pep Band.  Saturday Boys Hockey plays home with a community dance competition filling the building as well. 

MHS Team Leader 12/12/18 Notes – Information about Universal SEL discussion and New Sub Teacher Pilot that we’re considering

Articles Related to Cellphones and why it’s educationally important to keep them at a distance – some great reads here all provided by several different MHS staff members [Thank You]:

Here is a link that ties to a lot of different scholarly articles on the topic of cellphones in school.
I’m looking for an article I found in August or September that had a graph in it that showed a tremendous spike in diagnosed cases of depression and suicide attempts the year that smartphones became mainstream (and has continued on an upward trend since then).
The key factors seem to be:
cyber bullying
The feeling of inadequacy some people feel when they see other’s posts i.e. a person with low SES that sees their friend post about a vacation etc.
The lack of physical social interaction
Other interesting articles on the topic:

MHS 12/7/18 Staff Update

The Holiday Dance Classic filled the school last weekend with teams from many parts of the state.  Thank you to all staff who assisted with this.  I missed it this year due to two of kids having activities out of city that day.  Science Olympiad has started to tune themselves up posting a second place finish by only a few points to national power Mounds View at the Boyceville Invitational.  We recognized several students for academic awards on Thursday with over 20 level 1 awards being given to sophomores meaning they all have perfect 4.0’s so far in high school.  For those on Twitter, Jon Gordon is a great follow. [Energy Bus – ‘Many try to reverse engineer someone’s success by studying their routines.  But it’s not the routine that makes someone successful. It’s the passion, spirit, love, purpose, and intention that drives the routine.’]  Boys and Girls Basketball both won big games on Tuesday with the Wrestling team earning 3 wins on Friday night with several wrestlers going undefeated.  Family Consumer Science Internship students explored trauma situations with local community partners while Science students had fun while developing lab numbers.  Art students continue to create wonderful pieces during class while working on the Empty Bowls donations after hours.  

It was great to see so many staff at Hockey and I’m sure there are many at Basketball tonight as I head their now myself a bit late. [sorry Matt – got behind with my communication loop.]




Skyward and Google Classroom communication 

MHS 11/30/18 Staff Update

The Middle School 6th Grade Band visited MHS Thursday to play with the high school band.  Sam Sleichert won the DECA sponsored Mr. Menomonie contest as he raised $2,000 for the American Diabetes Association.  Both Girls and Boys Basketball teams won away games and Girls Hockey won at home.  The boys swim team lost their duel with Hudson but many swimmers posted personal bests with the Wrestling Team winning a home dual on Thursday night v. Memorial.  The Academic Decathlon team is headed to regional competition with Forensics in full practice mode before the start of the season after the Holidays.  Congratulations to Corinne O’Dell for being named Optimist youth of the month and to the Art Department for the many works of art created this week.  The Girls Hockey Game is tonight at 6 pm and the annual Holiday Dance Classic is Saturday which will fill the building most of the day and evening.        

Thank you for the feedback about Parent Teacher conferences for the 19/20 School Year.  I am so very glad that I reached out to staff about this because my initial impressions turned out to be totally different than the staff input.  There was clearly no majority favoring the 2 options but also many individual suggestions about possible changes to the structure.  There seemed to be a clear thought about moving away from Mondays which will be part of my recommendation.  I will be forwarding the many great ideas for larger scale changes to conferences to the MHS QIC representatives.  My recommendations to ASC for the 19/20 schedule will be as follows:  

After getting feedback from staff about the proposed 19/20 calendar, I’m going to propose the following:

proposed dates for 19/20 MHS conferences – fall – 11/7 and 11/14
[was 11/7 and 11/11] – this moves off the Monday  
proposed dates for 19/20 MHS conferences – spring – 4/2 and 4/7
[was 4/2 and 4/6] – this moves off the Monday
graduation on 5/31 instead of 5/30 so there are no conflicts with state track and science Olympiad – this change would be consistent with what we’re doing this year

MHS 11/16/18 Staff Update

MHS students and staff started the week with a stirring and heartfelt Veterans Day presentation by MHS Graduate and decorated US Army Veteran Jason Church who was severely injured while serving overseas.  Thank you to all of the staff members and students who put so much into the music, the gifts, and all aspects of making this a special event for veterans.  Mr. Buhr, Mr. Karkula, and Mustang Manufacturing – Thank You, You were all great and we couldn’t have done it without you.  Parent-Teacher Conferences filled the building on Monday evening as most staff reported an increase in the number of parents.  The Jazz Band performed a mini-concert with cheesecake before the Orchestra concert on Tuesday.  This musical collaboration was a great way to bring together two different artistic communities for one event.  The drug dogs came through the building Tuesday for a planned drill to help keep our school drug free.  The MHS building leadership team met mid-week to review the state report card along with helping inform several other decisions including upcoming PD and celebrations.  I have detailed linked below in team leader notes including access to all report cards in the state including ours.  The MHS and MMS student councils hosted a WASC session with presentations by several students and staff concerning our Link Crew program.  Girls Basketball opened their season on Thursday night losing a close game with the final run of the fall play Friday and Saturday Night at 7 pm


Building Leadership Team Notes from 11/14/18 – Please Read 

MHS 11/8-11/9 Staff Update

Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences started on Thursday and will be followed up with a second evening on Monday.  I know that these can be long days but let’s make them great by continuing to build relationships with families.   MHS Staff always provide a wonderful service working with not only the parents present at conferences but also through phone calls and outreach via email or phone calls to families.  The MHS FFA raised thousands of dollars through the corn drive donating the proceeds to Stepping Stones.  This is another great example of our students and staff providing a valuable community service while understanding the value beyond school of the material being taught.  Congratulations to Mr. Sterry for receiving the staff Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence and being an all around great human being who we are all honored to work with on a daily basis.  The Girls Swim Team qualified Melody Greenwood and Mille Lausen to the state meet.  The MHS Fall play opens this weekend and will run this weekend and next weekend.  Thank you to the MHS Pupil Services team for sending several members to Chippewa Falls Friday to assist them in their time of need.   While I will be out of the building Friday with my sons on a college visit [thanks for understanding], I will be at PT Conferences tonight and Monday.  

Big Events and Dates for next week:  Veterans Day Assembly Monday following the 1 hour assembly schedule

MHS 11/2/18 Staff Update

Mr. Hundt conducted the Winter Sports Meeting on Monday evening with hundreds of students and parents.  Professional Learning Community teacher groups reviewed common assessment data this week.  This regular review of our assessments provides a glimpse into each classroom while also increasing a common understanding about what we want the students to learn and how we know that they know it.  Continuing this conversation about what we want the students to know is critical for making sure we know that they know it and how we can help them if they don’t.  DECA, FBLA and NHS students held the annual Trick-or-Can event where instead of taking, our students actively looked to collect cans to donate to a local food shelf.  The Girls Swim Team hosted the BRC meet on Saturday which filled our facilities most of Saturday.  We were happy to host a State Senator early in the week where art was presented from a student to be on display at the state capital.  Those that were present were able to ask some very good questions and I thought the State Senator was very open, honest, and sincere with her responses. Additionally, the MHS admin team has had several requests for “Clubs” to be formed over the past few years. A newly defined club request process has been outlined for the convenience of the prospective clubs, the students and for the consistency of school procedures.

Big Dates to remember for next week or so:

MHS Staff Meeting  Wednesday 11/7/18 — 315 pm – Tiered Hall SEL/Mental Health Focus – MHS Counseling

Parent Teacher Conference  Thursday 11/8/18 – 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm – 1st Night!

Fall Play – Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11/9/18 – 11/11/18

Veterans Day 1 hour assembly schedule Monday 11/12/18 with Jason Church


November 2, 2018
ASCD SmartBrief
News for the Education Profession


Educator: Teach students how to learn

Educator: Teach students how to learn
When students are taught how they learn best, they perform better in school, asserts Patrice Bain, a veteran K-12 teacher who used the research-based principles of learning science in her classes. In this commentary, she shares how this approach improved her students’ grades and gave them more confidence.

EdSurge (10/31) 

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Other News
Need practical ways to use data? We can help.
You use assessments to gather important information about your students. But taking that next step with data can be challenging. This eBook will give you concrete examples of how to use data to inform instruction, differentiate learning, and meet growth goals. Download the eBook


Calif. invests in teacher-residency programs

California is investing $75 million in teacher-residency programs, which many experts believe can improve teacher preparation although the programs often face funding challenges. State districts and charter schools can apply for financial support if they partner with residency programs in high-demand subject areas, such as science, math, bilingual education and special education.

Chalkbeat (11/1) 

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Methods for MTSS & Using Whole Child Data
What does MTSS really mean? Join us for a free webinar as we talk about creating a multi-tiered system of supports and tackle some of the barriers that schools and educators most often encounter!


Report: Shift needed to assess 21st-century skills

Schools need new ways to assess 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, according to a report from the Brookings Institution. The report notes that these skills are more complex and should be assessed using “real-life and non-familiar situations.”

T.H.E. Journal (11/1) 

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NYC proposes $17B in spending to relieve school overcrowding

New York City officials said they want to spend $17 billion over five years to reduce overcrowding in the city’s schools. The proposal would cover 38,000 seats that haven’t already been funded, they said.

The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/1) 

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ICE partnerships curb Hispanic enrollment, study finds

Hispanic student enrollment declined by about 8% in US counties that have voluntary partnerships with federal immigration authorities, according to researchers from Stanford University for a study commissioned by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Local police officers in 55 counties have been trained to act as immigration agents in partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Education Week (tiered subscription model) (10/31) 

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Feds to hand out nearly $40M for telehealth, distance education

The Department of Agriculture has awarded nearly $40 million in grants for projects across 40 states and three US territories under its Distance Learning and Telemedicine program.

mHealth Intelligence (11/1) 

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More US youths visit the ED for mental health concerns

Researchers found that the prevalence of mental health-related emergency department visits among US youths ages 21 and younger rose from 50.4 visits per 100,000 in 2012 to 78.5 per 100,000 in 2016, with increases found across all races and ethnic groups, especially blacks. The findings will be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual meeting.

U.S. News & World Report (11/2) 

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Grey New York urges teens to demand gun reform in yearbook

Grey New York urges teens to demand gun reform in yearbook
Grey New York and States United to Prevent Gun Violence have partnered on a campaign that encourages students to use their senior year high-school yearbook quotes to give their views on gun violence and call for legislative action. A “Donate Your Quote” spot features real students pledging to use their quote to call for “common sense gun reform,” and the campaign includes a site where high-school students can post quotes and yearbook photos.

MediaPost Communications (11/1),  Campaign US (free registration) (11/1) 

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How Leaders Can Shift Mindsets and Create a Trauma-Informed Student Support Form

Discover the ways trauma-informed practices, social emotional learning and positive behavioral interventions and supports complement one another. School leaders will learn how to shift current PBIS practices to reflect a trauma-informed mindset and best support students. Identify ways to adjust referral forms and access our ready-to-use, trauma-informed student support form.

Jump-starting content-area writing in secondary classrooms

Writing is essential to thinking about content, whether you’re in an ELA class or a science class. But for teachers without an ELA background, designing engaging and relevant writing assignments can be intimidating. Here are some ideas to get students composing across content areas.

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Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power.
Horace Mann, 
education reformer
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