April 13, 2018

River Bluff Middle School students perform 'Shrek the Musical, Jr.' for sixth-graders last week. The students put on several shows over the weekend at the Stoughton High School Performing Arts Center.
River Bluff stages production of 'Shrek the Musical, Jr.'
Dozens of River Bluff students helped stage " Shrek the Musical, Jr." last weekend (April 6-7). Featuring almost 50 students in the cast alone, along with students in the orchestra and in the stage crew, the students put on three different performances.

Congratulations to all the staff, students and volunteers who produced such a great show! Check out the photo gallery below.
Don't forget: 'Cyrano de Burgershack' this weekend
Tickets are still available for Stoughton High School's Spring Dinner Theatre, "Cyrano de Burgershack: A Pop Musical."

Performances will be at 6 p.m. today (April 13) and tomorrow (April 14) at the Stoughton High School Cafetorium. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and include a meal. Tickets can be purchased from www.showtix4u.com Dinner includes burgers, fries and ice cream sundae. Vegetarian tickets are also available.

Cyrano is king of the local Burger Shack, but he can't seem to win the love of his best friend, Roxanne. When Roxanne confesses her crush on the new burger-flipper, Christian, Cyrano decides that playing Cupid is better than sitting out of the game. An updated, modern-day version of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, this rollicking musical features hit contemporary pop songs including: We got the Beat, All Star, Just the Way You Are, Firework, The Sign and Less Than Perfect.

The musical features a very talented cast including Nick Swenson as Cyrano, Kailee Whitmire as Roxanne, and Sean McGlynn as Christian, with Isaiah Rowley, Abby Gibson, Clove Rewey, Megan Howard, Carley Wentela and Natalie Kratz supporting.

The production is directed by DeeDee Bouzek and student-directed by Stephanie Kittleson, Gloria Eddy, Abby Gibson, Maggie McNulty and Emily Fitzsimmons.
SHS alumna's seed business thrives, garners recognition
Stoughton alumna Brittany Romine's micro business recently was recognized through the Community First Award program from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.

Romine is the owner and principal of Tiger Lily Seeds , an operation in which she raises prairie wetland wildflowers and harvests their seeds.

"The awards recognize outstanding achievements of the FHLBank Chicago's member institutions and their local partners as they work together to strengthen their communities through affordable housing and economic development initiatives," according to a press release.

Last month Romine was honored in the Partnerships category of the awards program. 

The award is the culmination of work and partnerships built over the last six years, first starting with the development of Elven Sted, a Stoughton inclusive multi-family rental housing development financed in part by BMO Harris, owned by a subsidiary of Movin' Out, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides housing solutions for adults with disabilities.

Spring brings 'Firsts in the Forest' for Kegonsa first grade
On Mondays this spring Kegonsa first-graders have the opportunity to spend time in the local forest exploring the outdoors and strengthening their deepest wonders in nature. 'Firsts in the Forest' gives students time to explore, experiment, persist and collaborate with others. 

The students have had opportunities to engage in activities such as engineering waterways and dams, building forts and tracking deer!

SHS student is nominee for Spirit of Sport Award
Stoughton High School student Katelyn Walter is a local nominee for the National Federation of State High School Association's "High School Spirit of Sport Award." 

To be nominated for this award an individual or group needs to demonstrate exemplary sportsmanship and/or citizenship, exceed normal expectations in assisting others and has overcome adversity or challenging circumstances. 

Walter was nominated for this award by Stoughton High School Athletics for her performances on the basketball and volleyball court, her school spirit, and her advocacy for students with autism. In the fall, for example, Walter gave a speech during Stoughton Volleyball's Autism Awareness night about her life with autism and received a standing ovation.

Walter is one of Wisconsin's five local nominees for the Spirit of Sport Award and has been featured in WIAA social media platforms this week. From the WIAA: 

"While she hasn't earned any athletic honors, she has overcome the challenges of high functioning autism to be nominated for the award.  In addition to her involvement in volleyball, Walter is a teacher's assistant in the high school library, a member of the Key Club, a singer in the school's a cappella choir and a member of the band. She is also an excellent student."
New aquaponics system supports learning in sustainable agriculture 
Stoughton High School students this semester have been learning about how fish and plants work together to support sustainable farming.

An aquaponics system was installed in the school greenhouse earlier this winter for use by its ag science students. Both the system and supplies were donated by the Stoughton FFA Alumni.

"Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish in captivity) and hydroponics (growing plants in oxygenated water)," said Mike Vaughan, Ag Science teacher.

Sandhill third grade class hones speaking skills with principal
Mrs. Aures' third-grade class recently presented their persuasive speeches to their principal, Mr. Fimreite, as part of the Calkins Units of Study for Writing.

Their speeches addressed a problem of not enough graphic novels (book-length comics) for the amount of interest in this genre. Students stated that they are passionate about reading and often find that the graphic novels they want to check out are already checked out. They want more books of popular titles.

One student said, "We need more graph ic novels because students are more likely to read books that they like."

Much time and thought went into their writing and presentation. Mr. Fimreite even made a donation to help the cause as the students were so convincing! 

Students welcome Fox's newest staff member, Gus
Fox Prairie students have a new friend and helper this year.

Gus, the retriever of Fox Prairie reading specialist Marilee Cronin, has been a regular presence at Fox since February, sometimes as a reading companion, sometimes as a way of providing social and emotional support for students. 

More recently, Gus also has been used to support the school's PBIS ( Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) program. Students can use their Fox tickets that they receive for good behavior for rewards that include a visit from Gus.

Cronin referred to an article in the February 2018 issue of the newsletter "Education Update" that highlighted how more schools were using therapy dogs to help with issues such as reading interventions and school climate. Dogs' calming presence, the newsletter reported, can help students as they practice their reading and speaking skills because the animals " offer a nonjudgmental  ear, building (students') confidence and  skills over time."

Promega scientists guide students through DNA extraction
Fourth-graders at Fox Prairie recently had the opportunity to work with two scientists from  Promega Corporation

The students learned how to use a variety of science equipment while they followed a protocol that explained how to extract DNA from strawberries.  In addition, the scientists taught them about DNA, skills frequently used in their field and careers in science.

See the Photos
River Bluff raises $1,200 for American Heart Association
River Bluff students and staff together raised $1,200 for the American Heart Association through Hoops for Heart.

The fundraiser was punctuated by a students vs. staff basketball competition last month in an all-school assembly.

Kegonsa drive collects 2,950 pairs of shoes, raises $800 for Stoughton police dog 
The Stoughton police dog, Ole, visited Kegonsa Elementary School on Thursday morning (April 12) after the school helped raise money to support Ole in his service to the community.

Earlier this year, Kegonsa Working for Kids organized a shoe drive that encouraged students, staff and community members to donate new or gently used shoes for a fundraiser. Kegonsa ultimately collected 2,9590 pairs of shoes. The Kegonsa Student Council and Working for Kids chose to donate $800 of those proceeds to Ole, whose K-9 care is funded by community donations.

Ole and his handler, officer O'Neil, visited Kegonsa for an all-school assembly so the kids could learn more about  what it takes to be a police dog and handler and could ask questions. A check presentation ceremony followed.
Fox readies for championship round of 'Battle of the Books'
Fox Prairie's Battle of the Books - where teams of students answer questions about books they have read -is drawing to a close. 

Fifth grade's bronze medal round took place on Thursday morning (April 12). T he championship round to decide the gold and silver medals will take place Monday (April 16). Good luck students!

We need your input
Families, we need your input! 

We need to know the areas where our school district is performing to your expectations and perhaps the areas where more focus is needed. Please take a few minutes and complete this Parent Satisfaction  Survey to help provide this feedback. Once the  survey is complete, the results will be analyzed by an outside organization.  

The  survey should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete; it is anonymous and IP Addresses are not tracked.  Thank you for your interest in and support of our schools!

Summer EXCEL is around the corner
Summer EXCEL is our District's Summer Program for students currently in Grades K-8. This year Session 1 is June 18 - 28 (no classes June 29); Session 2 is July 2 - 13 (no classes July 4). Classes start at 8 a.m. and end at 10:55 a.m. at Stoughton High School.

SASD also offers "Getting Ready for 4K and 5K" for students entering these grades in fall 2018. These classes, however, are from 8:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at Fox Prairie Elementary School.

Online registration with your Parent Portal for Summer EXCEL classes will begin Monday, April 16. In order to register for Summer EXCEL Grade K-8, you MUST have an active Campus Portal account. Parents do not need a Campus Portal Account to register for 4K and 5K. Register for these classes on the Google form online at  www.stoughton.k12.wi.us (schools/Summer EXCEL).

What is the Campus Portal?
Campus Portal is our tool for parents and students to access instant, online, timely and secure student information including: class schedules, assignments, attendance, course registrations for next year, report cards and more. If you have never created an Infinite Campus Portal account, need assistance logging in or a password reset, please email H eather.Lucas@Stoughton.K12.WI.US. Please allow 1-2 days for a response.

Give a shout out
Several of our schools have a "shout out" program to recognize our staff. This year, we have taken that program district-wide.

Follow the link below to give a shout out to a Stoughton Area School District staff member . The form is very brief and should take only a couple of minutes to complete. We shared the first round of shout outs in our recent Staff Newsletter and are now seeking submissions for the next newsletter. 

It's been a banner week for SHS Quiz Bowl program
Congratulations to the Stoughton High School Quiz Bowl program for being named the Team of the Week by the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, (NAQT) which organizes the "premier middle school, high school, community college, and college national quiz bowl championships in North America."

Stoughton Quiz Bowl has participated in NAQT events for many years. In fact, this year will be the seventh straight year the program has sent at least one team to compete in the national tournament. Student-led and organized  practices occur multiple times a week throughout the year.

The NAQT recognition comes after the team won the Holmen Tournament last weekend. Shout out to Noah Lamberty for being the top-scoring individual in that tournament.

The Quiz Bowl team will compete in the national tournament next month in Atlanta. Congratulations students!
First-graders learn about healthy eating, snack options
Sandhill first-graders recently learned about healthy eating habits from the school food service person Michelle Madden. 

The kids learned about Rainbow Veggie Wraps and healthy snack alternatives. This tied into a mentor text the students were reading called, "Eat Your Vegetables."
SHS freshmen navigate 'Reality Maze'
Dozens of Stoughton High School freshmen again participated in a "Reality Maze" on April 5.

It is the second straight year that the maze, which simulates the potential effects of life choices stemming from high-risk behavior in areas like substance abuse and bullying, has been made available to Stoughton freshmen through the Stoughton Wellness Coalition. That coalition is  a partnership of the Stoughton Area School District, Stoughton Hospital and the City of Stoughton.

As in last year's program, participating teens drew scenario cards that indicated a life choice and then made their way through a maze of simulated consequences stemming from that choice. That journey took them through various stations staffed by community professionals who play a role in those consequences. Those professionals represented fields such as law enforcement,  insurance, the courts, health care, emergency services and more.
Third-graders connect with Stoughton's  Norwegian heritage in annual visit
More than 200 third-graders from all three Stoughton elementary schools and St. Ann made the annual trip to Sons of Norway-Mandt Lodge last week to learn about Norwegian history and heritage.

Students visited multiple stations to learn about topics that included rosemaling, folklore, hardanger, Norwegian music, Syttende Mai and making krumkake and lefse. Thank you to the Sons of Norway-Mandt Lodge and the nearly three dozen volunteers who helped organize and staff the event again this year.

You can find out the latest activities and programs organized by local organizations and nonprofit groups by visiting our  Community Flyers page You can also download some of the most recent flyers bundled into a single PDF file.

SHS student earns full grant to UW Summer Music Clinic

Stoughton High School vocal music student Gloria Eddy has received a full grant to attend the Senior Session of the  UW-Madison Summer Music Clinic .

The annual clinic allows between 800 and 900 junior and high school musicians from a variety of genres to come together in June and learn from  experienced music educators from around the country, rehearse and perform together in ensembles and engage in classes and activities.

This year's Senior Session will be June 24-29.

FFA Dairy team advances to State

Congratulations to the Stoughton High School FFA Dairy team for advancing to State earlier this month.

Logan Dykstra, Molly Olstad, Ashlyn Sarbacker and Megan Breuch placed 12th out of 69 teams in competition.
SASD in the News: Kruse award covered in native Iowa

Stoughton High School principal Mike Kruse, who last month was named Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA) Secondary Principal of the Year , recently was featured in coverage by KMA Radio in his native Shenandoah, Iowa.