Schools

Sun
25
Sep
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District Electors Adopt Tax Levy

MIDDLETON – Electors in the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District Monday adopted a 2023 tax levy that would conditionally increase by 4.04 percent and bump taxes on a $400,000 house by $159.

The adopted tax levy is subject to adjustment by the Board of Education in October after the state verifies total student enrollment, certifies the amount of financial aid to the district and the equalized property valuations, Board Member Sheila Hibner, said in opening remarks.

By statute, school districts are required to hold an annual budget hearing and allow voters to approve tax levies to fund capital and operational expenditures. Although a 1993 state law that limits the amount of revenue a school district can raise from taxes and state aid exerts a large influence in those decisions, Jerrud Rossing, assistant superintendent of operations said after the meeting.

Sun
18
Sep
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District Holds Community Conversation Concerning Referendum

MIDDLETON–On Aug. 8, the Middleton Cross Plains Are School District Board of Education (BOE) approved an operational referendum question on the Nov.8 ballot.

Included were the results from the 2022 Community Engagement Survey. Overall, the community was supportive of all three operational referendum options that were presented in the survey.

The BOE unanimously voted to put a $24.9 million, non-recurring, operational referendum question on the ballot.

Throughout September and October, district leaders and the BOE will be holding several community engagement sessions to continue to educate our community on how this operational referendum will help with increased costs in day-to-day operations and continue to recruit and retain talented staff in the district. 

Mon
20
Jun
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School Board Moves Forward on Fall Referendum

MIDDLETON–The Board of Education Monday approved putting on the November ballot a $24.9 million referendum aimed at replacing revenue lost to declining enrollment and heading off a projected $7 million deficit in 2023-24 school year.

If approved by voters, the referendum would raise $24.9 million for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) during the next four years by increasing property taxes by an accumulated $135 per $100,000 assessed evaluation.

The tax impact would be stepped up from $7 per $100,000 assessed property value in the first year, to $53, $39, and $36 per $100,000 in the succeeding years before expiring, according to the district. The referendum’s impact would be reflected in tax bills sent out in December.

Mon
25
Apr
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MHS Administrators Change Policies After Teacher’s Fine Arts Week Drag Performance

MIDDLETON–Following a drag performance put on by French teacher Matthew Kashdan during Fine Arts Week (FAW), Middleton High School (MHS) administrative staff have decided to use a vetting process for future staff acts at the Staff Variety Show.

FAW is an annual event at MHS where staff and students are given the opportunity to perform in front of their peers. The week of performances ends with the Staff Variety Show. In the past, staff acts have not been reviewed before the show, with Principal Peg Shoemaker saying that she was “surprised” by Kashdan’s performance.

In the future, staff acts will undergo a vetting process to “mitigate [conflicts] in advance,” Shoemaker said. “I want to make sure that staff… are not put in situations that cause harm to them.”

Mon
28
Mar
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District Office Staff Welcomes Comfort Dog

MIDDLETON–Employees at the central office of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) have had a frequent, furry visitor lately–Sammie the comfort dog. 

Sammie, who is half poodle and half mutt, belongs to the parents of the district’s wellness coordinator Kalise Horst. The four-year-old dog had trained to be a comfort dog at K9 State of Mind with trainer Amy Robinson and had been visiting assisted living facilities prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One day Horst had an idea, maybe Sammie could come into the district office to visit employees and give them a chance to spend some time with a dog. 

“When I presented it, I said I can bring in a comfort dog at no cost to the district,” said Horst, who said she would like to start the conversation of having comfort dogs in the schools.

Mon
28
Mar
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Board Discusses Polling the Community on Operational Referendum

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD)plans to survey the public to “test the waters” about conducting an operational referendum this fall.

Several focus or engagement group meetings have been held since February to convey budget challenges the district faces, the track record operational referendums have had in the past decade, and other subjects.

The group of approximately 85 participants said they had a good impression of the district. Also, they were nearly unanimous in favoring the district conducting a referendum to increase spending on ongoing operational costs, said Perry Hibner, a former district spokesman and now a lead survey strategist with the Donovan Group.

While there was overwhelming support in the groups for an operational referendum in theory, Hibner “guarantee(d)” that support would have lessened if the tax-impact cost to individuals were presented.

Fri
11
Mar
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Board Reviews Handling of Gun at High School

MIDDLETON–The Board of Education Monday reviewed what went right and wrong on Jan. 24 when Middleton High School (MHS) and two nearby schools were locked down in response to a report of a student with a gun.

The 15-year-old student was located and taken into custody within 45 minutes, but no gun was found on the student nor at the school, Superintendent Dana Monogue said at the time.

When staff received credible information about a student possibly having a gun, it decided that constituted a safety threat and the whole building locked down within five seconds, said Jim Blodgett, director of technology services.

After that, many protocols were correctly followed.

Middleton police responded quickly, and command posts were established for the school district and police.

Mon
07
Feb
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Alumni Group Proposes New MHS Stadium

MIDDLETON–While the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) is proud of its high school’s athletic playing fields, it acknowledged that facilities for athletes and fans have fallen behind other schools in the Big 8 Conference.

That prompted a group Middleton High School (MHS) alumni to present an $8-$13 million plan to construct new locker rooms, concessions, ticket office, and most important, ADA compliant restrooms at a special meeting held Monday night.

Verona and Sun Prairie have new athletic facilities and a recent referendum in the Madison Metropolitan School District means upgrades to its high school facilities, Tim Cleary, of Ideal Builders, told the Board of Education at special meeting.

However, the condition of MHS’ facilities communicates a message to the students and the community that doesn’t reflect the on-field success of its athletic teams, said Mike Borden, who has the title of prime investor on the 12-member planning team. 

Mon
24
Jan
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UPDATED: Schools Released from Lockdown for Student with Gun, No Weapon Found

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District released a statement today, announcing that a lockdown at Middleton schools had been lifted after police were called to an unnamed incident at the high school, which was later reported to be a student with a gun.

The statement read:

"At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, Middleton High (School), Clark Street Community School, and Kromrey (Middle School) were placed under a full lockdown. Middleton Police arrived on the scene shortly after, and the situation, which took place at Middleton High School, has been resolved.

The high school is still under a “building secure” status out of precaution, which means classes have resumed as normal, but the building is locked.

Clark Street, Kromrey, and Sauk Trail are resuming normal operations. Since Sauk Trail was nearby, they were placed under a “building secure” status. Again, the situation has been resolved."

Mon
06
Dec
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MHS Theatre Presents Sense & Sensibility in Black Box Theatre

MIDDLETON–On December 9-11 at 7:30 p.m., Middleton High School (MHS) Theatre will present its production of “Sense & Sensibility,” adapted by Kate Hamill. The performance will be the first full length production in Middleton High School’s new Black Box theatre and is directed by Katrina Brunner.

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