Schools

Fri
24
Apr

VAHS students helping plan countywide youth summit

Student activism has risen around Dane County in recent weeks following the officer-involved shooting death of a 19-year-old in Madison in early March.

Now, some high school students, including a few from Verona Area High School, hope to turn that energy into positive long-term conversations with a summit for young people around the area this Sunday, April 26, in Madison. 

VAHS students Lexie Quinn, Juan Alvarez, Arame Diop, Damitu Hamda and Rafael Martinez are helping to organize the summit, and all plan to attend the meeting. 

“We’re there to show support,” Quinn said. “It’s an event to help pave the way for equality for students everywhere.” 

Thu
23
Apr

Stoner Prairie addresses criticism of discipline model

A month after a well-attended parent meeting brought up concerns with Stoner Prairie Elementary School’s behavior program, the school is hoping to address the criticism with a new staff member and adjustments to its positive focus.

Much of the criticism focused on what some parents see as a lack of consequences for serious misbehavior. Principal Mike Pisani responded with an “action plan” later in March that some felt did not go far enough. 

But Pisani is confident that explaining the program better and making subtle changes to how it handles specific students will eventually resolve the concerns. It takes time for teachers and students both to adjust to the new program, he explained.

Tue
21
Apr

Badger Ridge talent show photos

Badger Ridge Middle School held its Showcase of Talent on March 24, featuring student musicians, dancers and other artists. 

Thu
16
Apr

VASD decisions loom on land buys

While Verona Area School District officials were glad to see the referendum pass last Tuesday, the work to use the land remains in front of them. 

District officials will have to work on purchase agreements with property owners and potentially make decisions about using eminent domain. Decisions about when and in what order schools will be built will also need to be made, though those are further off.

The first step: Potentially approving options to purchase the Herfel and Erbach properties at the April 20 school board meeting. That is the last chance the board will have to officially approve the options before the April 21 deadline for the two properties.

Fri
10
Apr

Country View teacher climbing Mt. Everest


Photo submitted. Country View Elementary School teacher Christine Frei will attempt to climb Mount Everest April 4-25. It is Frei’s first ever climb.

A Country View Elementary School teacher is taking on a tall task this spring break and beyond.

Second-grade teacher Christine Frei is spending April 4-25 climbing Mount Everest with 14 other people, all ages 30 to 60.

Frei recently turned 50, and made it a goal for herself and her classroom to accomplish this, according to a news release.

“I more so want to ‘practice what I preach’ to the kids every day, so hopefully the kids will be proud of me and live the characteristics I have been taught in training: persistence, cooperation, respect, reflection, generosity, self control, creativity, courage—the same characteristics of a climber,” Frei said in the release.

Thu
09
Apr

Glacier Edge concert photos

Glacier Edge Elementary School students performed for their families and teachers Tuesday, March 31, and Wednesday, April 1, for the school’s concert series. Each grade had a half an hour show that parents and siblings attended, beginning with kindergarten Tuesday morning. See a video of a kindergarten song on our Facebook page.

Tue
07
Apr

Leased iPads would get closer to one-to-one


File photo by Scott Girard. Evan Kroll, left, and Alex Pleuss watch a “Bill Nye the Science Guy” video on iPads during a STEM unit at New Century School. A four-year lease agreement would purchase iPads for most students in grades 4-10.

Most Verona Area School District students could have a mobile computing device to themselves at school next year under a plan presented Monday. 

While it wouldn’t quite reach everyone, district officials proposed Monday night spending $250,000 to lease iPads to get closer to the ultimate goal of having one device for every student.

VASD director of technology Betty Wottreng and director of curriculum Ann Franke told the school board Monday night the district’s Access 4 Learning committee had come up with the solution as the most realistic and possible for next year. 

“We know right now that we have a lot of budget uncertainty,” Wottreng said. “We’re at a place where we’d like to figure out, ‘What do we know we can work with?’”

Mon
06
Apr

2015 Savanna Oaks art reception

Savanna Oaks Middle School artists had a chance to show their work to family and friends Thursday, March 26, at the school’s art gallery in the Step Room. The artwork was on display in the room for the entire week.

Mon
06
Apr

Annual VAHS blood drive draws 164 student donor sign-ups


Photo by Brianne Hageman. Senior Jessica Coyne, right, reads a book to Sammy Seymour while she gives blood.

Though it didn’t raise as much blood as previous years, more than 150 students turned out to donate at the annual Verona Area High School blood drive March 12.

Due to deferrals and donors who began giving but couldn’t finish, the actual amount of blood donated dropped from 137 pints last year to 109 this year.

It still is the second-largest high school blood drive in the state of Wisconsin, as Verona is one of the few schools in the state that arranges a drive.

“The school offers such a simple and easy way to give blood in a positive environment. Why would you not donate if you aren’t eligible?” said senior donor Renee Gavigan. 

Fri
03
Apr

GE class uses Badgers' shoes for math

Students in Liz Penner’s class at Glacier Edge Elementary School have been learning math with some help from the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team. Badgers Frank Kaminsky, Nigel Hayes and Duje Dukan visited the school in February, and Penner measured their height and feet. Her husband made wood cut outs of their shoe sizes, and the students measured their own and their parents’ to compare. They also launched rockets and compared how far they flew to how tall the players were.

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