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Letter from the Superintendent

Greetings Arrowhead families, staff, and community members,

Thank you to our students, families and staff for a smooth start to the 2015-2016 school year. During September, new people were warmly welcomed, new teams solidified, new routines established, and new learning began in earnest in every classroom. As we begin October, I share information on three topics:

Arrowhead Advisor Subscriptions: This monthly newsletter is sent to email addresses of all Arrowhead parents, staff, and anyone who has subscribed. If you know of anyone not receiving the Arrowhead Advisor who should be, please ask them to check their email spam filter.  

If you have a friend, relative or neighbor, not directly connected to Arrowhead, who is interested in reading the Arrowhead Advisor, ask her/him to subscribe on our district webpage, under the “About Arrowhead” heading, click on “District Pubs & Info.” The first link on the page will bring them to the Arrowhead Advisor web page where anyone can subscribe and read archived editions.

Wisconsin School Board Appreciation Week:   October 4 - 10 is designated as a week to recognize school board members. These elected officials dedicate many hours to learning about education, representing the citizens of the Arrowhead Union High School District, developing and overseeing our district’s strategic plans and policies, as well as advocating for children. We appreciate and thank the Arrowhead School Board:  Bob Rosch (president), Kent Rice (vice president), Sue Schultz (clerk), Craig Thompson (treasurer), Donna Beringer, Dave Dean, Tim Langer, Joe LeBlanc, and Al Zietlow.




Bob Rosch (on left) serves as Arrowhead School Board president and represents the Swallow School District.





School Board Begins Discussions Regarding a Potential Referendum:  
Arrowhead’s budget is decreasing as a result of several years of projected declining enrollment, tax revenue caps 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 students and their educational programming as the top priority 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 holds the fiscal responsibility of sustaining the $96 million of district property assets, which require costly maintenance to preserve the safety, effectiveness, and value of our buildings and grounds. In fact, 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 infeasible to spend an average of $1.6 million on district buildings and properties without impacting funding for educational programs.

One recently completed maintenance project, which continues to receive media attention, is the “$600,000 locker room.” This project has been hugely misrepresented in some venues. Yes, Arrowhead ended up with deluxe locker rooms, but that’s not all. Accurate facts reveal a different picture of the significant repairs and remodeling to both a boys’ and a girls’ locker room, and the adjoining areas. Locker rooms account for just 1,302 square feet of the 7,570 square feet of the repaired and remodeled areas.The heavy renovation of this 1970’s original construction addressed indoor air quality compliance, dysfunctional/inoperable plumbing and sanitary sewers, electrical/lighting deficiencies, and privacy issues. Projected costs of $500,000 for repairs and standard-level renovation of the space meant the district saved approximately $200,000 toward its expense as a result of a significant donation (over $369,000). That donation covered portions of the renovation expenses, as well as the deluxe-level remodeling desired by the contributor. The Arrowhead School Board did not spend $600,000 of district/taxpayers’ monies to glamorize a locker room, as some would proclaim.

To manage additional safety and maintenance projects, without impacting the quality of the educational programming for our students, the Arrowhead School Board has begun conversations around a possible referendum. If the decision is made to move forward with a referendum, there will be plenty of education and communication, with staff, parents, and the broad community regarding prioritized district needs and the projected impact on property taxes. At this point in time, we simply want our parents, and other Arrowhead Advisor readers, to be in the information loop. The public can always see school board meeting dates, agendas and minutes on School Board page of the Arrowhead website.

Enjoy the beautiful colors and crisp air of October,

Laura Myrah

Superintendent
myrah@arrowheadschools.org

Learning Matters:
AHS Celebrates Manufacturing Month by Launching Design Engineering Manufacturing Center

An unofficial, but appropriate, motto of Arrowhead High School is  “Something for Everyone.”   In some ways this motto means students can find success in a variety of academic and career pathways. One of the pathways where our students find success is in the area of career and technical education (CTE).  October is Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin, which provides the Arrowhead Advisor with a great opportunity to help parents and students learn more about how Arrowhead High School is developing programs and learning opportunities in the area of design, engineering and manufacturing.

Technology and Engineering teacher, Jeff Luetschwager, works with Manufacturing and Engineering students.


With the start of the 2015-2016 school year, Arrowhead unveiled the new Design Engineering Manufacturing Center at South Campus.  The new state-of-the-art facility includes a manufacturing lab, two engineering labs, a design lab, and an innovation lab where over 250 students are taking courses such as Introduction to Engineering and Manufacturing, Manufacturing and Engineering with Materials and Principles of Engineering. Here students  learn the fundamentals of both engineering and manufacturing and the skills such as  how to use  3D modeling software, CNC machines, 3D printers, lasers, and many other tools to transform student ideas into actual products. Like many courses taught at Arrowhead, collaboration is essential to the learning process. In the Design and Engineering Center, students work together, think critically and solve problems associated with design, process, cost,  materials and other aspects of product development.

The skills taught in technology and engineering courses are needed in today’s workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next decade, “nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled.  The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.” Manufacturers are looking for a workforce who have technology and computer skills, as well as, problem solving and math skills that can “translate into applied competencies in measurement and spatial reasoning.” Manufacturers need a workforce of skilled scientists, design engineers, machinists, technicians, and operators who can work collaboratively in a team environment. Arrowhead is committed to skill-based learning opportunities that can spark a student interest in engineering and manufacturing.  

The image of manufacturing being dark, dirty, and dangerous is just not true anymore.  By exposing students to what modern manufacturing looks like today (bright with fully advanced and integrated technology), Arrowhead is  bringing together learning experiences that include science, technology, engineering, and math in a way that concentrates on skills needed for this sector of the workforce.  

The courses offered in the Manufacturing Experience and Engineering Experience will serve as a pipeline to employers, technical schools, and universities with motivated, interested, and appropriately skilled students who can begin to fill the manufacturing skills gap.

On October 19, 2015 the Design Engineering Manufacturing Center will be open for the public to tour from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with an official dedication of the facility at 5:30 p.m.  Please join us to learn more about what Arrowhead offers students in Engineering and Manufacturing and visit the Design. Engineering. and Manufacturing website for more information.

Sue Casetta


Director of Learning
casetta@arrowheadschools.org

Student Services Matter:
The Arrowhead Way Unifies Arrowhead Students and Staff

Being able to work together as a community, colleagues, and family is very important to social-emotional health. Within the first month of school, staff have actively promoted a culture of friendliness, empathy, and collaboration in the class and school at large. This can be seen from casual conversations with students in the hallways to lesson plans that not only teach content but how to work together towards a common goal. The students have responded, demonstrating effective collaboration skills and continuing to make Arrowhead a proud place to call home.

  • Theme of the Month - October’s theme will be Acceptance brought to us by the World Language Department. Students will be placing quotes about accepting others on the white boards around school, along with flyers conveying the importance of acceptance. T-Shirts will also be available for purchase (see design below) You can help support this theme at home by “seeing where others are coming from” or “why they feel that way.” Conversations that work towards taking other people’s perspectives build empathy and help us resolve conflicts peacefully and help others through difficult times.

  • Be Responsible - Freshman and Sophomore students are expected to complete two Achieve 3000 articles per week. These activities sharpen reading comprehension and vocabulary skills and are an integral part of Arrowhead’s reading curriculum. Ask your child for more information!

  • Think About Tomorrow Today - Academic and Career Planning is a process that helps students think about their future and make purposeful education decisions. Arrowhead students have access to a web-based tool called Naviance to assist them with this process. To access Naviance go to the “Counseling/Careers” tab under “Academics” on the Arrowhead home page. On the left side of the page there will be tab for Naviance. Once on the Naviance page click the tab for the login at the top of the screen.

Students can access their account by using:
Username = school email address
Password = student ID number

Below are some ideas for Academic and Career Planning, some of which can be supported by Naviance.

Freshman

Know yourself

  • Researching Careers through the “Careers” tab and the “Roadtrip Nation” link                    

Sophomore

Explore Options

  • Researching what post-secondary training will be necessary for areas of interest through the “Careers” tab by clicking on specific careers                        

Junior

Plan for Post High School

  • College Visits, College Fairs, Internships, Job Shadows,

  • Consider using the “Super Match College Search” through the “Colleges” tab         

Senior

Go - Carry out your plan

  • Build Resume

  • College/Technical School Applications

  • Research Financial Aid

  • Apply for Scholarships

 

Useful Links

Red Flags from AHS’s Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness Counselor

Parent Strong Flyer

Acceptance T-Shirt

Adam Boldt

Director of Student Services
boldt@arrowheadschools.org

Information Technology Matters:

Navigating Today’s Digital Learning Spaces

Digital learning spaces are changing the way teaching and learning occurs inside (and outside) of today’s classrooms. One digital learning space, the learning management system (LMS), is present in 99% of higher education classrooms, with 85% of faculty implementing an LMS with their courses. At Arrowhead, digital space and LMS choices can look and function differently depending on the needs of the course. You may hear your students and their teachers talking about Google Classroom, Moodle, and Canvas. Here is a short explanation of each and how these tools are being used to extend the classroom and enhance instruction.

Launched in at the end of August 2014, Google Classroom offered our teachers the opportunity to organize materials and workflow for digital coursework and assignments in an easy and integrated system. Students access the system with their Google login. Google automatically creates folders for materials and allows teachers choose how to distribute materials to students. All assignments are stored in folders in Google Drive. Teachers can easily give feedback on student work through Google Drive. There is no parent access or built-in assessment systems. Because of the lack of course tools, Google Classroom is not a true LMS, but in true Google form, there were 5 enhancements to Google Classroom within the first 6 weeks of its launch.

Moodle is an open source LMS that was released in August, 2002. Open source means, beyond Arrowhead’s server and maintenance, the system is free to use. Because Moodle is a true LMS, a teacher could develop a completely online course with classroom resources, assignments, quizzes, and discussions.  The system is robust, so teachers can organize a year’s worth of curriculum and materials, embed videos and other coursework, build quizzes which are automatically scored, and grade written materials completely online. Moodle is web-based, so students can access courses anywhere at any time. Students access courses with a login and a course enrollment key.  If teachers allow guest access to courses, parents may view class materials.

Canvas is an LMS Arrowhead is currently piloting. The pilot was spearheaded by two Arrowhead science teachers looking for an alternative to Moodle. Arrowhead began looking at this system last spring and interest has spread among staff. Benefits of canvas include a speed grading system, easier quiz development with better feedback capabilities, current integration with additional applications such as quizlet and Turn-it-in, and developing integration with Skyward student information system. Students have access to all course information and calendars in one place and parents can sign up for access to their student’s course information. Login information is linked to student and staff Arrowhead computer/wireless login. Teachers using this system will be meeting monthly to share best practices and will recommend Canvas’ continued use in the spring.

Regardless of the course, Arrowhead teachers develop digital learning spaces to enhance and support teaching and learning outside the physical classroom space. Ask your student about what digital tools are used their classes to learn more about today’s digital learning spaces.

Donna Smith


Director of Library Media & Technology
smith@arrowheadschools.org

Principal’s Corner

National Merit Scholarship

Every September the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announces the seniors who have qualified as Semifinalists for their program.  This past October over 1.5 million juniors took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) which served as the initial screening tool for program entrants.  Based upon the scores on this test,  approximately 1% of the students taking it are named as semifinalists.  Students who reach this level must fill out a detailed application, which highlights academic record, community activities, leadership, employment, and honors and rewards.  This process narrows down the group, who are then named finalists.  The students who reach this level will be competing for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.  

Arrowhead is proud to announce the names of this year’s National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists:    
  • Duke Bednarke
  • Alyxandria Butt
  • Christopher Kneiser
  • Sidney Michelini
  • Diya Ramanathan
  • Emilie Woltering

Along with the semifinalists, National Merit Scholarship recognizes students who are “Commended” for scoring in the top 5 % on the PSAT/NMSQT. These students may be eligible for other scholarships through their parents’ place of employment.  Commended students include:

  • Samuel Berglin 
  • Hayden Frentzel
  • Therese Hills 
  • Mitchell Lipke 
  • Nicholas Loke
  • Sarah Smith
  • Cameron Thouati De Tazo
  • Matthew Van Gilder
  • Ethan Wen 
  • Alexander Werner
Congratulations to all of the recognized students!

Always Be Conferencing

On September 9th, Arrowhead hosted a “Meet the Teacher Night” where parents were encouraged to meet their children’s teachers and share pertinent information about the their child that may be helpful to teachers.  There was a strong turnout with many teachers meeting dozens of parents. Arrowhead has adopted a plan of  “Always be Conferencing” which means providing an opportunity for a  parent-teacher conference/discussion whenever a parent, teacher, or counselor deems it necessary.  There is no need to wait for an arbitrary date to discuss a child’s educational performance.   A conference can be scheduled as soon as a problem arises that requires a meeting of parents and school staff.  This allows for more timely feedback and allows the student to address a problem in its early stages. Not all concerns require a meeting; many issues can be addressed with a simple phone call. Parents are encouraged to contact school staff when they have a concern.

The goal is for the school and parents to work as partners to help students to have a successful Arrowhead experience.

Gregg Wieczorek


Arrowhead Principal 
wieczorek@arrowheadschools.org

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Freshman Parent Information Session
North Campus Junior Study Hall
Monday, Oct. 5 at 6:15 pm

School Board Meetings
District Board Room
Wednesday, Oct. 14
Special Meeting to discuss possible referendum at 6 p.m.
Regular School Board Meeting at 7 p.m.

Design Engineering Manufacturing Open House
South Campus Design Engineering Manufacturing Center
Monday, Oct. 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Dedication from 5:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

No School
Thursday & Friday, Oct. 22 & 23
(Staff In-service Oct. 22)
Your response to last month's poll question was overwhelmingly positive. Most of you enjoyed the first issue of Arrowhead Advisor by indicating a 10 out of 10. Thanks! 


Was Meet the Teacher Night on Sept. 9 valuable to you and your student?
1=Nope. Meet the Teacher Night was a waste of my time.
10=Yes! Meet the Teacher Night was awesome!

lowest 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   highest
Sorry, voting is closed.

 

Like Us on Facebook, Follow Us on Twitter

Communications expert David Voss recently shared that 70% of parents of school-age children check their Facebook account on a daily basis. According to social media author and strategist Jay Baer, 7% of Americans use Twitter on a regular basis.  In our continuing efforts toward timely, interesting, transparent, and efficient communication practices, Arrowhead High School hosts a district page on Facebook, as well as a Twitter account.  

Upon doing a search in Facebook, you will find several Arrowhead-related pages, including for different athletic teams, programs, and even one unofficial “Arrowhead High School” page.

The official district Facebook page is titled “Arrowhead Schools.” Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for timely news, emergency announcements and fun photos of learning at Arrowhead High School.

CALLING ALL PARENTS!
Be a part of the conversation! Starting on Oct. 1st we will be participating in the SpeakUp national research project. SpeakUp is the first survey designed to help parents share their ideas directly with schools and national policymakers as well as the business community.
 
TAKE THE SURVEY
1. Go to the SpeakUp website.
2. Click "Start Survey."
3. Read the instructions and begin the survey!

WHY PARTICIPATE
IN SPEAKUP FROM
10/1 -
12/18 ?
1. Ensure your voice is heard.
2. Help Arrowhead make more informed funding decisions.
3. All surveys are 100% confidential and free.
4. It takes less than 20 minutes to participate!

Last year Arrowhead's participation earned us a SpeakUp Loud and Clear top school award!
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