Newsletter for the Taylor Prairie School Community
October 4, 2019
Dear MGSD elementary families, 
As part of our school and district-wide commitment to equity, we are focused on building community and creating welcoming, inclusive environments for all students. We share in circle time, gather for all-school assemblies and performances, challenge ourselves on field day, learn from each other in buddy classrooms, and display our creativity at art shows and maker fairs. We are proud of our students, of these activities, and the opportunities they provide us. 

While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many families, there are also inequities in how we have traditionally observed the holiday as part of our school day. Whether or not this has been your experience or your student's experience, our goal is to provide space and opportunities for all students to be part of our school community. 

The reality is that the celebration of Halloween at school leads to student exclusion. There are social, financial, and cultural differences among our families that we respect. Because of this we will no longer be holding traditional Halloween celebrations (i.e., parades, costumes) that have been held at school in the past. 

We've been considering and discussing this for several years; we did not come to this decision without considering the many viewpoints, opinions, and values of our community. We acknowledge that you may not agree with this decision. We also recognize that you may support it. It is our job as public school administrators to look beyond opinion and do what is best for all students and families. We appreciate your support with this change as we explore new and engaging ways to build community within our schools that all of our students can be a part of and enjoy with their classmates and friends.

Dan Olson, Superintendent
Shelby Steel, MGSD Student Services and Equity Coordinator
Angie Fassl, Winnequah Principal
Reed Foster, Cottage Grove School Principal
Connie Haessly, Taylor Prairie Principal


Taylor Prairie Families,
Providing a safe, secure learning environment for your children is one of our top priorities. Throughout the school year, staff and students will practice various safety drills. Monthly, we will have fire drills so that we know how to exit the building safely. We will also practice severe weather/tornado drills and school safety drills twice during the school year.

During the course of the year, your child will learn about various "Teach To's" to understand behavioral expectations within the school setting (classrooms, hallways, cafeteria, restrooms, and playground). Each month we will focus on a different locations. Additionally, during the month of October, students will listen to the story, "I'm Not Scared, I'm Prepared!" to learn about what needs to be done if they ever encounter a "dangerous someone."

Keep Safe,
Connie Haessly, Principal
In This Issue
September Superkids!
Each Friday, names are drawn from the "Superkid Ticket Bucket" in the Taylor Prairie Office.  Students earn a ticket when they are being safe, respectful and responsible - in their classroom, cafeteria, hallways, anywhere in school.  If their name is called, students can choose to wear a super hero cape or a sticker.  In September we collected 1,788 tickets.  Look in this column each month for our Superkids!  

Congrats to Officer Jess!
School Resource Officer, Jessica Helgeland, was presented with the First Responder of the Year award in the 46th assembly district by State Representative, Gary Hebl. Each state representative selected a police officer, fire fighter, or EMS provider for this award. All recipients will be recognized in October at the state Capitol. Congratulations, Officer Jess!
Chief Layber, Officer Jess Helgeland, Jason Helgeland, Rep. Gary Hebl.
Calendar & Important Event Info 

Please check all upcoming events by clicking on the Calendar Icon to the left. 


Many flyers are now coming home in electronic form.  Please use this link (or visit our TP webpage) to view the flyers  for Taylor Prairie and/or sign  up for an account to have our fl yers sent to you via email.     


We invite all Monona Grove families who have the rich experience of speaking more than one language to share a dinner together.  RSVP & More details here!

October 21, 2019
6:00-8:00pm @ Cottage Grove School
Pupil Services ... Kelsy Dieckhoff, Corinne Truxal

Bully Prevention Month
October is national bully prevention month.  Here at Taylor Prairie, we will be incorporating many activities throughout the month.  All students will learn about bullying behavior during their classroom guidance lesson.  This lesson focuses on understanding bullying behaviors, strategies for dealing with bullying behaviors, and how to be a good friend.  It is important to acknowledge that we do not call a child a bully, as that would indicate a defining characteristic of the individual.  Rather, we emphasize that a child may show bullying behaviors, which he/she can change through support from adults in the home and school settings.

In addition, students will be given a challenge each Monday morning by Principal Haessly.  The challenges include:  playing with someone new at recess, giving someone a compliment, smiling and saying hello to someone they don't know well, and using kind words.

Finally, we have a "Be A Buddy" day every month.  On October 1st, students are encouraged to wear orange to demonstrate that we are united against bullying behaviors and united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.  Make sure to check your classroom calendars for upcoming "Be A Buddy" days this school year.

Here is a resource that you may find helpful when discussing the topic of bullying behaviors with children at home:
Keeping Kids Safe On-line

October is 'Keeping Kids Safe Online Month' in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), designated the month three years ago to highlight the need for responsible internet practices for schools and families.  Below is a link to the " interact" e-course.   This e-course takes an interactive approach to open up discussions about online safety in the home through watching videos, navigating online scenarios, and completing a family media plan. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held October 24th and 28th from 3:30-7:30.  You will receive an e-mail from your child's teacher to choose your conference date/time in Sign Up Genius.
Classroom Corner
First graders in Ms. Riley's class worked on problem solving 
to complete a puzzle together.

MakerSpace Message

Library News... Elizabeth Wodzinski
Fall Book Fair - October 24th and 28th from 3:30-7pm

Proceeds from the book fair are used to purchase new books and learning materials for our library.

Book Care
All students are learning how to take good care of books during library c l a sses. We discuss what books like: being read, being shared with family, and being safe in our backpack. We also discuss what books don't like: getting wet, drawn or colored in, being left in unsafe places where pets can find them, or not being read. 
Please continue to discuss and practice responsibility with your child and help us keep library books nice for everyone!

Local Library News
The Bookmobile stops in Cottage Grove on Wednesdays at the following times: 
Dublin Park - 2:00-4:00pm
Piggly Wiggly - 5:00-8:00pm

****Want to pickup a specific Bookmobile item you found in  LINKcatWe have a large collection and can't fit it all onboard at once. Please call us in advance to ensure we have your item onboard when you visit!   (608) 266-9297****

Programs For Children and Families

Baby, Toddler, Family, and Sensory Storytimes! 
Read with a Dog, Construction Zone (LEGO), STEAM Saturdays and more! 
Sign up to receive a monthly eNewsletter:  mononalibrary.orgĂ‚  "About the  Library." 

To find a full listing of events or to register to attend, please check the  Events Calendar  on the website or call 608-222-6127
Follow Monona Public Library on Facebook and @mononalibrary on

The SPPL is open to everyone!  
We have programs for all ages -- from babies through teens (adults, too!) and we're open 7 days a week.  Don't have a library card?  No problem!  Just bring a photo ID and we can issue you one today.  From Storytime to Legos to Gaming and more...there's always something happening at the library and you never know what you might find next!  Check our website for current program days and times:
SPPL hours: 
Monday through Thursday 9am-9pm; 
Friday 9am-6pm; 
Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 1-5pm

The Pinney Library is NOW OPEN in our INTERIM location at 211 Cottage Grove Road. For more information or updates on the progress of the new library being built at Royster Corners,  visit .
For information on kids programs, visit

Bridging Brighter  Smiles
Bridging Brighter Smiles is holding their next dental clinic at Taylor Prairie Elementary on:
Thursday, October 10, 2019   

It is not too late to enroll!  Get your smiles back to school ready!  
Sign up online at:

Professional Dental Services Provided Right at School Include:
  • Oral Screening
  • Dental Cleaning
  • Fluoride Varnish Application
  • Dental Sealant Placement
  • Oral Health Education
  • Referral Assistance
Forward Health (BadgerCare) Accepted!
(Other Private Dental Insurance Not Accepted)

Not sure if your child is enrolled, or due for care?  Call Bridging Brighter Smiles at 262-896-9891, or email

The first Restaurant Night of the year will be Tuesday, October 8, from 4-8 pm at Culver's in Cottage Grove

Please come out and have dinner to support our PTO! Or better yet, sign up here for a time slot to be a greeter or to deliver food to tables! Kids love to see school staff, community members, and parents all chipping in!

Don't forget your SCRIP Cards!  
The October Scrip order form is here .
What is SCRIP?  How does it work?  Find out more here!  It's easy, and doesn't cost you any money! 

There are so many easy ways to help the CG PTO raise funds to give back to our schools!   BoxTops, AmazonSmile, Shoparoo, and CokeGives are some that you may or may not know about -  click here for more details!!

Please join us for our next CG PTO meeting, 
October 14th at 6:30 at Taylor Prairie. 

As always, you can e-mail us at  

MG Education Foundation...

Here are last year's honorees:
Past and Present Kindergarten Teachers
Support the MGEF Innovation Grants
Please join us in the Celebration of this year's MGEF Innovation Grant Winners. On November 2, 2019, the MGEF will host its Annual Celebration at the Eastside Club to honor the 2018-19 Innovation Grant winners. The MGEF will be honoring these ten recipients with a short video montage highlighting their grants, an interactive presentation of one of the winners and our Featured Speaker, Jennifer Goodnough, who is also a grant winner. The primary funding source of these grants is the Annual Celebration. Each year the MGEF earmarks $10,000 for the next year's Innovation Grants. These grants go directly to the MGSD team to help support innovation within each school. The Innovation Grants have been used as pilot programs (like rocker chairs), for teachers to attend seminars, purchase new equipment (such as a paint sprayer for H.S. Art dept.) and enhance maker spaces. 

Tickets and/or Sponsorships can be purchased here.

Forever Friends Club
The mission of the Forever Friends Club is to create an inclusive and engaged community. Please join us for our annual Halloween Dance Party with proceeds going towards scholarships for MG seniors of color or low income students. If you have questions please e-mail Justin Neal, at:

Upcoming events:

10/25:  Halloween Dance Party at Cottage Grove School 
6:30-8:30 pm.  Students must be accompanied by an adult guardian.  Cost is $5/student, pizza will be sold. Costumes are welcome!
General Information & Resources