September 25, 2018
Thinking is Learning
A message from Peggy Larson, Ed.D
District Administrator

Recently, I shared 10 tips to make your children’s learning more visible. I've kept the link in this newsletter. The tips are from the work of Ron Ritchhart. Hopefully, these tips will help make you feel more a part of what your child(ren) is/are learning at school.  

Each month, I intend to go just a bit deeper into each tip.

Name and notice thinking
Use the language of thinking to name and notice the thinking your child is using. This is very important when praising and giving feedback, such as,

  • “That’s an interesting theory. I like how you have used what you already know to make connections. That’s a perspective I hadn’t thought about.” 

The language of thinking makes learning more visible.
Learning is a consequence of thinking. We enhance the understanding and memory of content, when we think through and mentally work with the concepts and information.
The question then is: How can we make students’ thinking visible so that their individual and collective understanding, and our own understanding of students’ learning, is enhanced?

What is the thought behind it?
Sometimes people explain the thoughts behind a particular conclusion, but often they do not. Therefore, one way to understand a student’s conclusion is through questioning. Students mentally engage with the content by offering their ideas, explanations, justifications, interpretations, reasons, evidence, perspectives, alternatives, and questions. In doing so, they find more meaning in the subject of study and discover more meaningful connections between school and everyday life. As this happens, they also display the attitude toward thinking and learning that we hope to see in young learners: Not closed-minded but open-minded; not bored, but curious; neither gullible nor negative, but appropriately skeptical; not satisfied with “just the facts” but wanting to understand.

Next time you are working with your child at home, try naming and noticing the thinking your child engages in to solve a problem or to do their work. Helping students notice their own learning encourages more thinking!
Calendar, Upcoming Dates
Upcoming Dates

Oct. 1-5: Homecoming week

Oct. 18 ES/MS P/T Conferences 4 - 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 Early Dismissal for staff development

Oct. 25 All District P/T Conferences 4 - 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 - No School - All District P/T Conference 8 a.m. - Noon
Staff Develoment - p.m.
Looking for more information from the schools?

The daily announcements are posted to each school's website.

Read me a story please!
Winneconne Elementary students are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Liam and TDI (Therapy Dogs International) dog this year at Winneconne Elementary School. 

TDI is a non-profit organization providing visits, free of charge, through its tested and registered handlers.

Mrs. Hughes, principal of WES, met Liam and his handler Paige Hess through a mutual friend when the Hughes family was picking up a Bernese puppy of their own. Liam is a large, calm and gentle, 4 year old Bernese Mountain dog who works with Ms. Hess, visiting nursing home folks, hospital patients, and schools.

Mrs. Hughes and Ms. Hess started talking about school and soon they were making arrangements for Liam to come to school.

'Reading with 4 Paws' was created in the fall of 2017. The 2017/18 school year was filled with exciting stories shared with Liam the reading dog.

‘Reading with 4 Paws’ is again being offered to help students improve their reading fluency skills using certified therapy dogs as literacy mentors. Sometimes children are more comfortable reading to a pet than reading to a person.

Can Liam read?
The most frequent question we are asked is, "Does Liam really know how to read?" Although we call him our reading dog, the students are really the ones that do the reading.

Liam come to WES about two times per month during set dates and times. Small groups or individual students spend approximately 10-15 minutes reading to Liam under the supervision of Ms. Hess. Liam's number one job is to sit and listen to students read to him. Ms. Hess brings a fan and some water so Liam can stay hydrated and have a little break also.

Liam wears his red scarf indicating he is in 'working mode.' Ms. Hess said Liam gets excited when he gets the scarf on. We like to think it is because WES is such an awesome place to read! Liam also wears a WES badge so everyone knows he is here on 'business.' Liam loves to sign out and get a yummy treat before he leaves.

This is a voluntary program/opportunity and parents have to sign a permission slip indicating their child can participate. If someone has an allergy or prefers not to participate, that is ok.  
Reminder: Here is How to Find Skyward

What is Skyward?
Skyward Family Access provides parents and guardians with information related to food service, attendance, student grade reports and health information.

Skyward Portal - Link to it from any page.
When you are on the School District website, look to the right. There is a set of icons, some you will likely recognize. (See the green oval above, in the snapshot of the District website.)

The Skyward icon is the one that looks like three curved lines.
Just click on the icon and it leads to the Skyward log-in page, or the Skyward Portal. The schools where your children attend will provide you with more information if you need help to gain access to your student's records.
Emergency Drills
There was an ALICE drill on the morning of September 21 at all three schools. In addition to being legally required to have these sorts of drills, practice is a part of our crisis preparedness processes.

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

All the schools participated with the help of our local police department.
Thank you to the staff, students and police department for the cooperation during the drill .
Facilities Study and Enrollment Study Underway
Winneconne Community School District continues its Journey.

The Board approved facilities study and enrollment projection study are underway in WCSD

On September 12, 2018, Plunkett Rayish Architects (PRA), and Miron Construction walked through all of the district buildings, including Winchester Elementary School. Muermann Engineering assisted with the review of the electrical and plumbing work. Fredrickson Engineering will analyze the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) in each building.

The next step will be to meet with the principals and Peggy Larson, district administrator, at each building in October to hear first hand from the leaders about the educational requirements of each building.

Based on all the information gathered, PRA will present the Board and leadership team with a report about all the build conditions, probably around the first part of November 2018. We will keep you updates.

The Board approved these studies in July, and anticipate using the results to map out 15- year facilities maintenance and improvement plan.
Winneconne Community School District | (920) 582-5802 | Website