Schools

Wed
18
Sep
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Speakers at Performing Arts Center Event Take Jabs At State's Education Plans

The title – “How Many Kids Left Behind? An Interactive Community Conversation on the Future of our Public Schools” – said it all. 

The Middleton School Board hosted a meeting Sept. 5 in the Performing Arts Center featuring a panel of public figures who spoke about school funding. Among them were state senators Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), and Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center), Julie Underwood, the Dean of Education at UW-Madison, Jeff Pertl, a Department of Public Instruction (DPI) policy advisor, and Joe Quick, the government relations specialist with the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

The meeting discussed the current state of the state’s education budget and the “shadow” school system involving vouchers, various charters and private school reimbursement. The panel discussed the financial impact of these relatively recent developments, especially on rural districts with shrinking enrollment.

Wed
18
Sep
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School Board Could Have Settled Porn Dispute For $21,000

The Middleton Cross-Plains Board of Education could have accepted the resignation of a middle school teacher who viewed pornography on a school computer in 2010 for about $21,000, but instead has spent $600,000 in legal expenses trying to fire him, according to documentation provided by an attorney representing the teacher.

The school board suspended and then put Glacier Creek teacher Andrew Harris on administrative leave at half pay in January 2010 after discovering about 22 emails on his classroom computer that contained sexually explicit images.

At that time, Harris’ attorney, William Haus, gave superintendent Don Johnson an offer that included Harris’ resignation in exchange for allowing the district to immediately fill his position, write a mutually agreeable letter of reference and pay about $21,000 in liquidated health insurance premiums, accrued sick leave and other compensation, according to terms of the district’s contract.

Wed
11
Sep
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Courts Again Uphold Ruling Against Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District

A state appeals court concluded that firing a Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District teacher for viewing pornography on the job was excessive and inequitable in light of sanctions imposed on other teachers in 2009.

The District 4 Court of Appeals opinion last week upheld a Dane County circuit judge who had ordered reinstatement of Andrew Harris, a Glacier Creek Middle School teacher.

The appeals court also upheld reducing suspensions to reprimands for teachers Mike Duren and Gregg “Doc” Cramer.

On appeal the district contended that anything less than termination for Harris violates public policy against exposing children to pornography in schools.

The District 4 Court stated “we are not persuaded,” noting the district cited no case law to support its position and the district undermined its own position by not terminating any other teacher who viewed sexually explicit pictures on school computers.

Wed
04
Sep
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Vouchers at the Local Level

 

West Side Christian School principal Hank Hoenecke knew his institution didn’t have a particularly high chance of being selected to receive newly expanded parental choice/voucher school funding.

His suspicions were confirmed earlier this month when a dozen new applicants to the school had filed by the August 9 deadline, a far smaller number than the private schools that made the cut.

“Looks like we’re going to have a long shot to qualify,” he said shortly before the results were confirmed. However, Hoenecke said he was still glad West Side Christian gave it a shot, and he believes the experience could come in handy as the state’s controversial commitment to voucher schools continues to grow.

“We’re definitely going to look into this in the future,” he said, “because they’re going to expand the number of vouchers. It was a short turnaround this yearcbut still a nice excuse for people to come out and see our school.”

Wed
28
Aug
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Middleton swimmers aiming high

The bar has been raised.

Heck, the bar has been placed somewhere between Mars and Jupiter.

And really, Middleton’s girls swimming program wouldn't have it any other way.

But the Cardinals, who have won three consecutive Big Eight Conference championships, will have their hands full maintaining that standard of excellence this fall.

Middleton lost nearly half of its varsity lineup to graduation. But if there’s been one constant to Lauren Cabalka’s program it’s that the Cardinals reload and don’t rebuild.

“With nearly half of our varsity team being new, it will take us a while to figure out the best lineup and best combinations, but it is not something we are scared about,” said Cabalka, whose team begins its season Friday by hosting Beloit Memorial. “Our girls have stepped up, year-in and year-out, and I anticipate nothing less this season.  

Wed
28
Aug
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State Education Debate To Take Center Stage At The Middleton Performing Arts Center

 

Wisconsin State Senators Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) and Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) are among the handful of presenters who will participate in “How Many Kids Left Behind? – An Interactive Community Conversation on the Future of Our Public Schools” at the Middleton Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol St., on Thursday, Sept. 5.

The forum is free and open to the public and the media. It begins at 7 p.m. and is expected to last 90 minutes.

Other confirmed participants arecUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education Dean Julie Underwood, cDepartment of Public Instruction policy adviser and federal funds trustee Jeff Pertl, Wisconsin Association of School Board government relations specialist Joe Quick

Wed
28
Aug
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Safety Urged As Students Return To School

 

Tuesday will be the first day of school this fall.  Students in Middleton-Cross Plains will be walking and riding bicycles to school after a summer away. 

Some of them will be walking to school for the first time, or will be unfamiliar with their routes and any hazards along the way.

“If you have children returning to school, talk to them about safely walking or riding their bicycle to school and their responsibility to obey the pedestrian and bicycle traffic laws for their own safety,” said Mark Walther, Middleton Community Services director and Middleton Police Department liaison to school crossing guards.

Drivers are reminded to watch out for these young pedestrians and bicyclists, to put down their cellular phones - especially near to schools - and to watch their speed.  Remember that the speed limit is 15 MPH where signed adjacent to schools and school crossings when children are present.

Wed
26
Jun
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The More Things Change...

Seventy-five years ago, Emily (Zarndt) Knoche (Class of ’38) walked across the stage, shook the principal’s hand, and graduated from Middleton High School with 28 of her fellow classmates. The country and Middleton had been mired in the great depression, but on that day the mood was nonetheless optimistic.

Fifty-five years ago, Karen (Knoche) Stampen (MHS Class of 1958) walked across the stage, shook the principal’s hand, and graduated from Middleton High School with 91 of her fellow classmates. The post-war baby boom was in full swing, Rock and Roll music was gaining traction and the mood in the country was optimistic.  

Tue
04
Jun
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Hundreds Of Students Voice Opposition To MHS Schedule Change

Hundreds of local students began organizing Sunday to oppose an impending schedule change at Middleton High School. They plan to take their argument all the way to the school board if they feel they have to.

The students signed on in support of a letter written by Adam Jordahl, who is wrapping up his junior year. Jordahl’s letter expresses concern the school did not make an adequate effort to inform its students of a significant change to “All School Resource” periods.

Jordahl contends the decision to split those periods roughly in half would cause an array of scheduling problems for students. He writes the change would allow less time for pupils who need to use the periods to study, make up important tests, and do other classwork.

“The current schedule system works for students,” Jordahl wrote. “It’s not fair or practical for the administration to make last-minute changes that will negatively impact our academic future.”

Sun
05
May
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MHS Band Concerts This Week

The Middleton High School (MHS) Bands will present their series of Spring Concerts on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 pm in the Middleton Performing Arts Center.

Wednesday’s Concert will feature performances by the Concert Band and the Wind Ensemble. The Concert Band will present Gliere’s famous Russian Sailor’s Dance and John Phillip Sousa’s King Cotton.

The Wind Ensemble on Wednesday night will contrast John Paulson’s ‘Epinicion’; a piece based on an ancient Grecian chant with Eric Whitacre’s  ‘Lux Arumque’ – a piece of redemption. Kilimanjaro will be accompanied by a slide presentation of science teacher Joe Spolar’s climb of the peak.

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