Baraboo School News

First Week Update - Early Release Wednesday and Bus Schedules

Welcome back to school! The Baraboo School District is thrilled to be starting the new academic year with you and your student.

Early Release Wednesday
As a reminder, the Baraboo School District follows an early release schedule on Wednesdays. Students are released two hours earlier than normal release time on Wednesday afternoons for teacher professional development and planning. However, for our first week of school, we will not release students early. Please note that K-12 students will have a full day of school on Wednesday, Sept. 2nd.

An email was sent late last week outlining bus route pickup/drop-off times and locations for all eligible riders. Please note that time and location of pickup/drop-off for the 2015-16 school year may have changed from the 2014-15 school year. We encourage you to review that information closely to make sure you have the right time and place. If you have any questions, please contact the bus terminal at 608.448.4482.

We look forward to collaborating with you for a school year of growth and success!


Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

On August 17th, 27 Special Education staff were trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid by BHS Counselors Ann Renn and Kathy Thornburgh. Across the district, around 75 staff have been trained over the past year. These staff members are now "Mental Health First Aiders" that are trained to recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness and have a plan to help anyone that is struggling.

The hope is that everyone in the district will all be on the same page with understanding mental illness and bringing down those barriers of negativity and stigma that surround it. Thank you Ann and Kathy!

Click on the photo to see more from the training.


Construction Completion

On April 1, 2014, Baraboo area voters approved a $9.95 million facilities referendum. The question asked to borrow funds for safety and security updates and capital maintenance projects. The scope of the project touched all seven schools in the district, and was completed in the summer of 2015.

As construction comes to a close for the referendum projects at each building, the district is preparing to showcase the improvements at each school. Families and community members are invited to view the school improvements during the following ribbon cutting events:

Gordon L. Willson Elementary - August 27th New Playground Equipment Ribbon Cutting 3:30pm, School Ribbon Cutting 4pm, School Open House 4:30-6:30pm

Jack Young Middle School - August 27th 5pm prior to Open House from 5:30-7:30pm

West Kindergarten Center - September 1st 9:15am

North Freedom Elementary - September 1st 5:30pm at the Parent Meeting

Baraboo High School - September 4th 6pm during the Freshman Tailgate Event before the Football Game vs. Reedsburg

Al Behrman Elementary - September 8th 6pm at the Parent Support Group Meeting

East Elementary - September 28th Ribbon Cutting at the District Annual Meeting; October 8th 4pm Showcase of new Library Media Center during Parent-Teacher Conferences.

View this flyer for more information on the projects and showcases.


Bleacher Project - Phase 2

In 2013, Baraboo School District completed an $800,000 renovation of Beryl Newman Stadium, including a new 9-lane track, ticket booth and entrance gate, scoreboard and sponsor panels, donor recognition area, and security fencing and track fencing. Additionally, the field was outfitted with an irrigation and drainage system, and water and sewer was installed on the west side of the stadium.

We are now fully launched into Phase 2 of the project, which will include a new set of bleachers on the west side of the field with a 1,200-person capacity, a new press box, and an updated sound system to encompass both sides of the field. This creation of the west side bleachers will be the Home side of the stadium.

Phase 2 is expected to cost $350,000, and is being funded strictly through donations, fundraising efforts, and naming rights. No taxpayer money will be used for this project, which is expected to be completed by the September 18th home football game versus Reedsburg.

A significant amount of the funds needed have already been raised, but a small portion is being borrowed from the school district. To repay that loan, several advertising options are available. Please click here for opportunities to support Beryl Newman Stadium!


Transportation Program Changes

The Baraboo School District is making some changes to our transportation program for the upcoming school year to improve the safety of our students and efficiencies within the program. In partnership with our busing company, Kobussen, the primary changes being implemented include providing separate bus routes for varying age groups (so elementary students will ride a separate bus than MS/HS students), and significantly decreasing the number of students having to transfer from one bus to another bus to get home.

These seemingly small objectives will have a huge impact in keeping our students safe! Please see the full letter from our Director of Business Services for more information.


BHS Art Department Visits Greece

The BHS Art Department, led by Art Teacher Amy Bachinski and assisted by Art Teacher Marlys Greenhalgh, recently toured Athens and the Greek Islands. The group visited the islands of Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Rhodes, Lindos, Crete, Santorini and the city of Athens. The guided tour included a plethora of cultural and historical experiences, and in depth descriptions of many ancient wonders, including the Acropolis. What a great experience! Click on the photo to view more from the trip!


Summer School Fun

Kindergarten through 5th grade students have been having a great time in Summer School at Al Behrman Elementary this summer! They're taking classes like STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), Gardening, Animation, and more! View the photo album here to see what the kids have been up to! (click on photo)


BHS Biotech Careers Class

The BHS Biotech Careers class took a field trip in late May to Covance Clinical Research and Charmany Animal Care Facility in Madison. At Covance, they learned about the legal and ethical guidelines that govern drug discovery research on humans, and at Charmany they learned about the animal care guidelines for research animals. What a great experience!

Back Row: Zach S., Mitchell S., Ethan V.

Front Row: Kelsi N., Dr. Michelle Bartman, Kaitlyn F., Shelby C.


Congressman Pocan Visits BHS

Last month, Congressman Mark Pocan visited Civics and History classes at BHS. His visit provided our students with relevant information about his job as congressman, what he does to help his constituents, and that students have a voice even though they are not voters. Students listened and asked questions of the Representative about topics such as education, funding, political terms, and current issues.


Boys Track & Field Wins Conference, Sets Records

Congratulations to the Boys Track & Field Team! Second straight conference title, new Badger North Conference record for points (previous record was 195; our boys smashed that with 213), and several individual conference records and championships. #BarabooProud


New STEM Program at JYMS

Current 6th and 7th graders will have the opportunity to take a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math class starting in the 15-16 school year! This new STEM class will use Project Lead the Way instructional materials. JYMS will be implementing the Automation & Robotics and Design & Modeling units during the upcoming school year.

YOU can help support JYMS' STEM program by entering the Science Channel and Discovery Education Support Our Science contest! Simply enter here for a chance to win $10,000 for our STEM program!


Baraboo School District Breaks Ground on Construction Projects

The Baraboo School District broke ground on the $9.95 million referendum maintenance and safety update construction projects yesterday at East Elementary School!

Construction will begin at East School on Monday, where a new library media center addition is planned. Construction elsewhere in the district will begin in full on June 10, one day following the last day of school for students. A majority of construction is expected to be completed by August 21, before students return in the fall.

Thank you everyone who joined us for the Groundbreaking Ceremony! Click on the photo to see more pictures and videos from the ceremony.


BHS Teacher Wins Herb Kohl Award

BHS Academic Seminar Teacher Kristin Mashak is a 2015 recipient of the distinguished Herb Kohl Award!

The award, according to the Herb Kohl Education Foundation website, "recognizes and supports teaching excellence and innovation in the State of Wisconsin. Our goal is to support teachers in the pursuit of their unrealized goals for their classrooms or professional development." With Ms. Mashak's award, the Baraboo School District will also receive a $3,000 grant!

Mashak was nominated by Jim Reif, Associate Principal at BHS. Mashak is now the sixth teacher from Baraboo to receive this award.

As part of the application process, Mashak had to demonstrate to the Herb Kohl Education Foundation her: personal educational philosophy; ability to inspire students' love of learning; creation of innovative projects or programs; commitment to community; unrealized goals for their classroom or professional development; and positive qualities she sees in education, and changes she would like to see made to strengthen and improve teaching.

Congratulations Kristin on this wonderful accomplishment. As a recipient of the award, Mashak is also a candidate for Wisconsin Teacher of the Year recognition.


Baraboo Honored as District of Distinction

The Baraboo School District was awarded this week by national magazine District Administration as a District of Distinction!

Baraboo's award focuses on our high-impact instructional priorities to focus coaching efforts, doing so by aligning the Danielson Framework for Teaching with john Hattie's education research. Highlights include the district's growth over the past 10 years, our weekly PLC structure, and our leadership teams to build capacity of staff.

"The Baraboo School District's coaching model and professional development structure are building leadership capacity across the organization," says District Administrator Crystal Ritzenthaler. "By integrating high-leverage instructional strategies and aligning our efforts, significant student and teacher growth has occurred."

Charlotte Danielson, creator of the Danielson Framework for Teaching, said, "I commend the School District of Baraboo for using The Framework for Teaching as both the source of a common language and as a tool for the analysis of practice through a continuous growth model. Baraboo has integrated The Framework for Teaching in rich professional conversations within their professional development system leading to continued teacher effectiveness. This was my purpose in writing the Framework in the first place, and seeing Baraboo's quality implementation of my work is gratifying. I am confident the structure for coaching and reflection on practice will continue to advance student learning in the district. Bravo!" More information on the Danielson Framework for Teaching can be found on their website here.

Baraboo was one of only 62 districts honored across the nation, and the only district in Wisconsin to be awarded.

This is an amazing accomplishment and a testament to the staff we have working in all areas across the district. Read the full award press release here. Congratulations Baraboo School District!


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