Community Connection
September 2017
Welcome Back to the 2017-18 School Year
This newsletter serves as a great way to keep you connected to Sun Prairie Schools. We have so many things that we are proud of and want to share some highlights with you.

We were excited to welcome our entire staff back for convocation on August 29th and our students back on September 5th. Families and classrooms shared photos with us showing their love for the start of the new school year. These photos remind us that kids are at the heart of everything that we do.
Creekside Elementary Staff

Mr. Mitchell and his daughter Shana

Ms. Norton's Class

Stories of Success

Nathan, who just graduated. Nathan has been in the SPASD since first grade when we moved here from Texas. During our time here, the school district worked very hard to challenge him and offer him a great education.

First, because of the advanced courses that Nathan was offered, he will start at UW Madison this fall with 28 credit hours already complete. That is equivalent to one full year of college already done. That is a tuition value of approximately $12,000 to us as a family.

Second, Nathan participated in the home building classes offered through the high school. After graduation, Nathan decided to get his contractor's license and started his own business doing handyman work and small construction projects. He promoted his business using skills from his other classes. He made his own website and promoted his business on social media. In just 2 months, he is already so busy he is hiring others to help him.

We are thankful and grateful for the education and opportunities the school district provided for him.


Cardinals Give Back

Several of our sports teams have recently served dinner at the Sunshine Supper. The entire Sun Prairie  Football Team  and staff  served dinner on Labor Day and the  Girls Volleyball Team served dinner the week prior.

We are proud of our Cardinal  family for giving back to the Sun Prairie  Community!

Our District Office staff and the School Board adopted a classroom in Houston. We raised $800 and sent it to the teacher to purchase needed books and supplies. School Board President Tom Weber was in Houston for his job last week and stopped  by to visit our adopted classroom. The kids loved the Cardinal Pride masks and were so appreciative.
Ms. Kerr's classrom at YesPrep in Houston

Update on Elementary and Middle School Boundaries
There has been a Boundary Task Force (BTF) in place since February consisting of community members, parents and staff. This group has evaluated the elementary school boundaries first, through a series of community input sessions and meetings, and then worked on middle school boundaries. The BTF presented a proposal for each in which the School Board approved on August 28, 2017.

The principals will reach out in the next few months to all families to explain the process and let you know if your student(s) will be moving and also provide some support and resources to assist with the transition. This transition will not only affect the students moving, but also the students staying at a school where they may feel the shift. You can learn more about the process and view meeting presentations and notes on the BTF  website .
Introducing a New Partnership

The new school year began for Sun Prairie students on Tuesday, September 5th. But this is no ordinary school year 
for 11 Prairie Phoenix (PPA) students. Thanks to a pilot program created by the SPFD, PPA, and MATC, these students are also attending MATC's Fire Academy Program.
In April, firefighters from the SPFD visited PPA to talk to students about career paths and mentorship.  A few days later, PPA students had an opportunity to visit the fire station to see it firsthand and hear more about the proposed program. The visits garnered good interest from a number of students. "We had strong student and parent responses to the program," says SPFD Chief Chris Garrison.  The interested students and their families then met at the fire station to meet with Chief Garrison and Principal Bollinger for an interview process and to sign paperwork for participation. 
PPA provides the school experience in a more flexible environment, allowing students to be gone for four hours a day and still work on the credits they need to graduate. Principal Bollinger explains, "This is about identity formation, making a difference and belonging. This is caring, tough, and cool work that will help our students answer the question; "How are you going to make the world a better place?" This is a question that Bollinger is challenging all PPA students to think about this year.
MATC will shuttle the students from PPA each morning to the Fire Academy where they will attend classes and training, and return them to PPA where they will finish out their school day. MATC's School of Human & Protective Services Dean Shawna Carter adds, "This is a partnership that provides high school youth with the opportunity to take college credit by participating in our Fire Academy while in high school.  Upon completion, students will be prepared to be certified firefighters for our community and be able to enter the fire service workforce.  We hope the students will find this to be a meaningful addition to their high school coursework and we hope to use a model like this to increase volunteerism and service by youth in our communities in the fire service."
Nancy Everson, the SPHS School to Career Manager, says, "This partnership fell into place nicely. Madison College is providing the instruction, transportation, and college credit. The school district is providing the books and uniforms and the Fire Department is providing mentorship and student support."
Chief Garrison explains, "This is about taking some of our most at-risk youth and helping them to do some of the most important work in Sun Prairie.  We want our organization to be as diverse as our City and growing this program, from the inside out, gives us that opportunity".  Garrison said there is a shortage of firefighters in Wisconsin so this program serves the need on so many levels; for the kids, the City, and beyond. "We are getting calls from other area fire departments about this program; Madison is interested. This is going to be huge."

This article was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal on September 18, 2017 and on NBC15 on September 19, 2017.

Best Place to Work

The Sun Prairie Area School District was voted best place to work two  years in a row! Thank you Sun Prairie for voting. We have incredib le staff that support kids and their success. We are very proud of our team!

District Radio Show

Tune into Homeroom, the Sun Prairie Area School Districts radio program on 103.5 KSUN. Superintendent Brad Saron will give an update and bring along a special guest to introduce to you. This program is a great way to stay connected to the School District. Homeroom is hosted by Sun Prairie Resident, Todd Milewski and is brought to you in partnership with the Sun Prairie Media Center.

Listen to 103.5 on Wednesday's at 10:30 am or Sunday's at 5:30 pm. If you are not able to catch the show, live you can visit our website and click on the topic and replay the show.

Coming Soon:
October 4, 2017: Football Coach and High School teacher, Brian Kaminski gets us pumped up for Homecoming week as he highlights the football season.

This 30 minute program is a great way to hear about the great things happening in our district. Visit the website to listen to other shows. The past lineup has included our District Health Nurses, District Business Manager, Directors of various programs across the district, our ELL Coach, summer school principal, teacher of the year Chris Gleason and more. 

Video Fun

We have some fun videos to share with you as we introduce our new math materials:

Our district has adopted a new math curriculum called Bridges. Here is a short video showing how it is being taught at our elementary schools.

Learn more about the new Carnegie Learning middle school math materials through this short video.

We have a few back to school videos to share with you that were made by our school staff for the students:

The staff at Prairie View put together a fun video for students titled, "Don't worry at Prairie View".

Staff put together a great video with some great key reminders for students.

Coming Soon

Our Annual Meeting is October 2, 2017 at 6:30pm at the High School Performing Arts Center. Click here to view the Annual Meeting Booklet.

Join us for a community viewing of Screenagers, October 11, 6:30pm at the High School Performing Arts Center. The movie is 68 minutes followed by a 30 minute discussion. Thank you to a grant received by the Sun Prairie Education Foundation for making this viewing possible. Watch the movie trailer here.

Homecoming Week is October 8-14, 2017 Watch for the School District mascots in the Homecoming parade on Thursday, October 12th.

S tay Connected to the Sun Prairie Area School District

We invite you to engage with the School District and follow the success of our students and staff. Here are just a few ways to stay connected:

Help spread the word....we are seeking to diversify our workforce. View current employment opportunities here. Sign up to attend our Substitute Job Fair on October 25, 2017.