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Letter from the Superintendent

Greetings,

This month, I have information to share on two different topics, which happen to have LEARNING as the common thread and core priority within them.

Learning Never Ends Program

Henry Ford professed, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” We invite any and all adults in the Arrowhead community to stay young and keep learning with us on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.  

What: Free, high-interest, 75-minute seminars on 12 topics ranging from Jewelry Making to Wisconsin in the Civil War

Who: For any adult living in the Arrowhead High School community; sessions taught by Arrowhead teachers and administrators volunteering time to share their expertise

When:   March 15, 2017   Session 1:  6 - 7:15 p.m.  Session 2:  7:30 - 8:45 p.m.

Where:  Arrowhead High School North Campus  

How:  Sign up by calling Mr. Joe Paul at 262-369-3612 ext. 3704 or through the Learning Never Ends webpage and registration link

Why:    Because life-long learning is important and fun!  Plus, this is a wonderful way for Arrowhead faculty to give back to our community members who support education at Arrowhead.    

Sessions are already filling up for this annual event. Sign up now!  Feel free to share this information with your neighbors and friends who may not receive this Arrowhead Advisor e-Newsletter.  

Facilities Referendum- April 4, 2017                

Project Summary:  Campus-Wide Buildings & Site Improvement Program - Not to exceed $36.68 million

  • Campus-wide instructional areas=  Approximately $16.29M

  • Campus-wide maintenance and technology infrastructure; facility, site and stormwater management improvements; and life safety and security upgrades = Approximately $20.39M

For the first time since Arrowhead’s 1999 referendum, a very comprehensive, $64.7 million referendum plan was brought to citizens on the November 8 ballot. That referendum was defeated with a 54% (No) to 46% (Yes) margin. Much of the feedback received alerted the district that the 2016 facilities referendum included too many sub-projects that were not of the highest or timely priority of the voting community, most specifically the replacement pool and fine arts auditorium totaling $28 million in that original plan.

The School Board took that feedback to heart. Several meetings were held to review and re-prioritize the facility and site needs identified in the 2016 Facility Needs and Assessment Report. Subsequently, the School Board approved a revised referendum project, which addresses the most immediate facility needs related to basic building and life-safety systems, campus infrastructure, and classroom and other learning environments. Addressing these facility needs will assist in maintaining, and improving, Arrowhead’s high-quality educational programming to prepare students for continuing education programs and the evolving workplace.  

Why the Need for Additional Funding?   Arrowhead’s budget continues to decrease as a result of several years of projected declining enrollment, existing tax revenue caps, higher funding levels of private schooling/vouchers, and receiving less funding through state aid formulas. Yet, annual expenses for supplies, utilities, staff compensation, insurances, fuel, etc., tend to rise at an inflationary rate.

Our School Board members hold student safety and learning as the top priorities at Arrowhead. They wish to protect the operating budget so educational programming does not suffer during challenging financial times. At the same time, the School Board is responsible for sustaining the $100 million of district property assets, which require costly maintenance to preserve the safety, effectiveness, and value of the buildings and grounds.

During the past six school years, over $10 million from the district’s budget and donations have been spent on buildings and grounds maintenance, safety and improvement projects. During the same time period, the district has implemented many tools and efficiencies to manage shrinking budgets, such as higher contributions from staff for health and retirement benefits, elimination of post-employment benefits for most employees, energy saving initiatives, bid processes for high-cost purchases, tighter staff scheduling with slightly higher class sizes, accepting significant donations for projects, etc. Despite these cost saving measures, it has become impossible to spend an average of $1.1 - $1.6 million on district buildings and properties without impacting funding for educational programs. Thus, the citizens of the Arrowhead High School community will have the opportunity to vote on the 2017 facilities referendum on April 4, 2017.  

Estimated Average Tax Impact on $36.68M

  • Tax rate per million of project cost = $0.0123

  • Average annual property tax impact of $45 per $100,000 of property value

Examples:  
$200,000 property value = $90 per year  ($7.50 per month)
$300,000 property value = $135 per year ($11.25 per month)

Assumptions in these calculations: 20-year amortization, estimated interest rates of 4.00%-4.25%, annualized equalized property valuation growth of 1.00%

For More Information:

  • Visit the developing Referendum Information webpage on the district website

  • Email questions to Referendum@arrowheadschools.org

  • Watch for informational flyers coming to your home mailbox soon

  • Follow ArrowheadSchools on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

  • Attend informational sessions and tour, which are in the process of being planned and will be advertised soon



Laura Myrah

Superintendent
myrah@arrowheadschools.org


 

 

Table of Contents

 

Click Image Below
for Arrowhead's Calendar


Contributors:  

Laura Myrah,  
Superintendent

Sue Casetta,  
Director of Learning

Adam Boldt,  
Director of Student Services

Donna Smith,
Director of Technology

Gregg Wieczorek,  
Principal

Learning Matters

Interview with Math Program Lead Dave OlenchekBook image

“Learning Matters” features one department each month to highlight instructional programs at the High School. For February, we are featuring the Math Department with an interview with David Olenchek, Program Leader.

How would you describe the vision/mission for math instruction at Arrowhead?

The Arrowhead Math Department is dedicated to working with students to master math concepts and problem solving skills.  Students use mathematics to succeed in a wide range of settings, including future math, science, and technology-based studies and careers. In order to ensure success for all students, the teachers in the math program at Arrowhead work to actively engage students in reasoning and sense-making, and furthermore to help students enjoy the process of learning mathematics.

The State of Wisconsin recently changed the requirements for graduation from two years to three years of Math.  What is generally recommended for students who are college bound?  

College bound students should complete Advanced Algebra by the senior year as a minimal qualification for college applications.  It is strongly recommended that students take four years of math in high school in order to build both the competence and the confidence needed to enjoy and succeed in math related studies after high school.

What should students consider when picking the correct math class?

Students should consider pre-requisite skills and understanding, in particular their facility with algebraic thinking as those concepts and skills are used as foundational building blocks for so much of what they learn, even in advanced studies.  Students should also consider areas of interest both from an academic and possible career standpoint.  Pure mathematics is an extremely important (and fun!) area to invest in, but is not required to the same degree in all career pathways.  While pure mathematics can apply to every career, at least as far as encouraging strong problem solving and technical communication skills, studies in data, statistics, and probability can be just as useful, if not more useful in many fields of study and work.

What are some recent curriculum changes that have taken place in the Math Department?

The 9th-12th grade AP Calculus program was modified several years ago (and continues to change as needed).  The course sequence, content, instructional methods, assessments, and impact on student success at Arrowhead and at the college level are continuously examined and altered to provide students with the best experience.  The revisions were part of a 4 year effort with a collaborative team of math teachers.  Since making these changes, student achievement has increased as have the experiences of students in college level course work.  

The Arrowhead Algebra program has also experienced changes in recent years.  Students have benefitted greatly from the Foundations class which is offered to 9th grade students taking Algebra.  The Foundations course provides additional instruction on concepts that support learning of algebraic ideas.  Students work on the ‘foundational” concepts of place value, the meaning of rates and fraction as they are using those ideas in their Algebra class.  Students in Foundations have experienced higher rates of success in Algebra and subsequent courses since the Foundations class was created.

Arrowhead has also created a new program for juniors and seniors who wish to complete Advanced Algebra over two years, rather than in one year, while also learning about data, statistics and probability.  The Advanced Math and Statistics I and II courses have been very helpful to students who want to both qualify for college level math and improve their overall quantitative literacy in the data, statistics, and probability content

Finally, we are in the 7th year of a professional development program centering on PreK-12th grade math teaching and learning.  The Arrowhead Area Math Partnership has involved all of the are public, and several private schools over the course of the last 7 years.  The mission of the Math Partnership has the following components:

● Extend teacher collaboration across schools/districts

● Generate excitement about learning math for all learners

●  Support the growth of the content and process building blocks within the K-12 math course sequence

● Foster the development of teacher leadership in math in order to further improve student learning

The work of this group has built relationships among Pre K- 12 math teachers, and positively influenced both student and teacher learning.  As a side note, it has been a real privilege to learn about the dedication and expertise of the elementary and middle school teachers in our area and the impressive skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm of their students.

What’s ahead for the department

The math teachers at Arrowhead are effective in collaborating with other teachers, counselors, students, and families, to provide the best experience in learning mathematics.  With this in mind, a wide range of curriculum projects (during the year and during the summer) occur on an ongoing basis.  Data from student assessments, both local, state, and national, are used to assess student skills and understanding.  Content, instructional methods, and assessments are revised in all courses as areas of improvement are identified.  While this process occurs in all Arrowhead math classes, revisions to the Algebra and Algebra A classes are currently taking place with a team of teachers working to find ways to further improve student success in algebraic thinking, quantitative literacy, and success in high school mathematics.  Additionally, a team of three teachers is working to develop a curriculum and course offerings in Computer Science that will be available to students in the next couple of years.

What co-curricular opportunities exist connected to Math?

Arrowhead math students are encouraged to participate in the Math Team,the Robotics team, as well as the Rube Goldberg competition and the forensics team.  A large number of students benefit from the connections they see between their math learning and the exciting activities they enjoy on all of these outstanding teams.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud to be associated with an incredibly dedicated and talented group of math teachers who work with an equally impressive group of students learning mathematics.  Not only do we have the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all of our students, but it is even more exciting to see the enthusiasm students have for doing mathematics.  Everyone has struggles at some time when learning math.  Observing and encouraging students and teachers to work together to solve problems and to enthusiastically overcome challenges is really quite rewarding.  Furthermore, these positive attributes make a positive difference in the lives of students.  

Arrowhead Math Teachers pictured above.

Sue Casetta

Director of Learning
casetta@arrowheadschools.org

Student Services Matter

The Arrowhead Way

 

The Arrowhead Way strives to connect students, school, and community to one another. This month we will concentrate on how parents can connect better with their teens and how students can connect better with the school.

Building a positive connection with your teen!

North Campus Associate Principal, Becky Gordon, found a great activity for parents to do at home with their kids. Everyday for two weeks place a note (heart-shaped if you want to do it in conjunction with Valentine's day) on their bedroom door stating why you love them. Judith E. Glaser and Richard D. Glaser of the Harvard Business Review report that receiving positive comments produces a “hormone that elevates our ability to communicate, collaborate and trust others by activating networks in our prefrontal cortex.” This is all to say that giving your child a positive note in the morning will not only let them know that you love them, but also will get them ready to be great learners!

Encourage your child to join a club!

Arrowhead has many co-curricular clubs, and many of these clubs run throughout the school year, welcoming new members at anytime of the year. These clubs are relatively easy to join and can be as simple as showing up when the group meets. The research that correlates student participation in co-curricular activities with positive outcomes is overwhelming. A quick Google search on the topic will bring up articles that suggest participation in these activities to be correlated with high grades, high test scores, better self-esteem, and social skills. Additionally, Arrowhead staff believes strongly in the power of connections between staff  and students. Co-curricular activities are an excellent way to promote that connection outside of the classroom.

Appropriate Use of Technology

This past January our Performance Department made up of Physical Education, Health, Music, and Art shared with students and staff guidelines for the appropriate use of technology. One findings they shared was that business leaders are finding that this current generation of new employees seeks to “make a difference” in the world, but consistently feel dissatisfied in their work because they feel that they are not making a difference. Those who research this issue have found that this dissatisfaction comes from living in a world that gives them instant gratification, largely through technology and social media. Researchers say the key to them feeling more satisfied later on in life is to teach them that deep feelings of gratification comes from hard work over time and that the two greatest areas for feelings of deep gratification are in relationships and work.

Here is this month’s Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness Red Flag from Arrowhead Counselor Barb Whyte - Synthetic Drugs  

Adam Boldt

 

Director of Student Services
boldt@arrowheadschools.org

InfoTech Matters

 

Today's Technologies Change Class Experiences for Teachers, Learners

It was not so many years ago, teachers were issued a red gradebook and a notebook with Monday-through-Friday squares in which to scribble lesson plans.

I can remember calling individual students up to the front of the room, papers above and below the student’s line of scores in my red gradebook to discuss academic progress. Teachers also were expected to bubble in class attendance on a printout which was then retrieved by a person (in my case, Lois) whose main job was to walk the halls picking up attendance sheets.

Visual content was presented through a chalkboard, overhead, and a filmstrip.

Today, our teachers use a multitude of electronic tools making these teacher tasks more efficient. Attendance is taken through Skyward, our student information system. This is also where our teachers record student scores. Both of these processes allow for more immediate access to this student information online for both parents and students.

The end of class is no longer dictated by the ring of a bell. Enrichment, review, and practice exercises exist online. Our teachers have been working hard to create one central place for students and parents to go for online course materials. Canvas, Arrowhead’s learning management system, is our hub for all online coursework. What that means for students and parents is they can go to one place to access these materials.

You would be hardpressed to find a piece of chalk or overhead marker at Arrowhead today. Many of our teachers are making use of interactive presentation systems in order to engage our students in their learning. Systems allow students to easily connect to presentation equipment. Newer systems allow up to three students to interact with presented materials simultaneously.

SMART BoardEpson Board









Left, students present using a SMART Board, which sits on top of whiteboards. Right, newer interactive projectors provide teachers and students with more flexibility to interact with presentations and use traditional whiteboards. 

We are proud of the continued progress of the Arrowhead educational community when it comes to educational technology, and these few highlights only graze the surface of staff innovations. Our staff are able to offer these innovations only as the district budget allows.

For example, only a small percentage of teachers have been able to take advantage of the new presentation technologies. We believe it is necessary to provide all students with tools and experiences that not only increase awareness of  their educational progress, but provide learning experiences that will best prepare our kids for the world in which they will be navigating.
 

Donna Smith

 

Director of Library Media & Technology
smith@arrowheadschools.org

Principal’s Corner 

The Principal’s Corner recognizes the major accomplishments of students, staff, and programs at Arrowhead High School. In that vein, there is a way that you can recognize students as well.

There is debate among researchers in regard to rewarding good behavior of children.  When the research is examined one will find two, diametrically opposed positions: 1) By rewarding good behavior you are reinforcing it increasing the likelihood of a recurrence vs. 2) Rewarding good behavior removes the intrinsic motivation to behave well, so, when the reward is not available the good behavior will cease.    

Quite the dilemma! However, when examining the research there is a pivotal word that makes a difference in the conclusion.  That word is reward.  When the reward is something physical (e.g. candy, money, something tangible) the behaviors ceased in absence of reward.  When the reward was a personal acknowledgement of some sort (e.g. a compliment, pat on the back,etc.)  the behavior continued even in the absence of the reward.   

Please watch the 5-minute video below to gain some insight on the importance of recognizing good behavior: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5adJxEWLFKU
 

 

After watching the video please take the short test with your own children.  

Whether with your children or their friends, you are encouraged to use the ideas in the video to help Arrowhead students become better citizens.

Gregg Wieczorek

 
 

Arrowhead Principal 
wieczorek@arrowheadschools.org

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Meet the Teachers Night

Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 5:30-7:30 pm
North Campus, West Gym & Commons

School Board Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7 pm        
District Board Room, District Office in South Campus

No School

Friday, Feb. 17 & Monday, Feb. 20

Upcoming Testing

Wednesday, Feb. 22 ACT Registration (Juniors)
Tuesday, Feb. 28 ACT Test (Juniors)
Wednesday, March 1 WorkKeys (Juniors)

No School for SENIORS

Tuesday, Feb. 28
Wednesday, March 1

 
 

 

 

QUESTION OF THE MONTH

How beneficial is the Arrowhead Advisor in keeping you informed about Arrowhead High School?
1. Very helpful
2. Somewhat helpful
3. A little helpful
4. Not helpful at all

 



January's Answer:

Results of December Survey

 

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