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Letter from the Superintendent

Greetings,                              

Recently, media sources have included a focus on Governor Walker’s state budget proposal and the eventual Wisconsin Biennium Budget.  The Governor has proposed an increase of approximately $200 per pupil, during each year of the two-year budget. Corresponding questions have been raised related to how this budget proposal would impact Arrowhead High School, should it become law:

How much of an increase would this mean for Arrowhead?

Because the new funding proposal would come to school districts on a per-pupil basis, it would mean approximately $400,000 in a categorical state aid would be added to Arrowhead’s budget each of the next two school years. Rather than as a categorical aid, if this additional funding were to be allocated through the state equalization aid school funding formula, Arrowhead likely would receive quite a bit less aid than $400,000. If/When this budget bill becomes law, we hope it remains intact as a $200 per-pupil categorical aid, as currently proposed.   

What does this extra money mean for Arrowhead?

An extra $400,000 infused into Arrowhead’s budget for the 2017-18 school year would reduce our projected deficit from approximately $900,000 to $500,000. With an additional $200 per pupil allocated for the 2018-19 school year, our projected budget deficit for that second year would be reduced from approximately $1.8 million, down to about $1 million.

Why is Arrowhead facing budget deficits?

Funding for public schools was reduced significantly (by $566 per student) heading into the 2011-12 school year. With tax revenue caps in place, taxes generated by Arrowhead have remained relatively stagnant. For example, our revenue cap authority for this current school year allowed Arrowhead to collect $22,049,292 in general fund revenue (general state aid, property taxes, etc), which is virtually the same as the $22,044,617 generated during the 2007-2008 school year. Arrowhead’s student enrollment has begun to decline. Considering the declining enrollments at most of the K-8 schools that feed into Arrowhead High School, our student enrollment likely will continue to decline over the next 10 years, which means our revenue cap authority will continue to decline.

While Arrowhead’s revenue has been stagnant and is now decreasing, expenses continue to increase. Costs for products and services tend to rise in accordance with Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases, such as supplies, salaries, equipment, utilities, etc. Some expenses increase at faster rates than the CPI rate, for instance health and property insurances costs each will increase by approximately 10% for next school year.  Further, new private school voucher programs have reduced funds available for instructional operating expenses by approximately $100,000 during the current school year. According to state plans for expansion, those programs will continue to draw from public schools’ funds and increase residents’ taxes. Even with the proposed increased funding for schools in the Wisconsin biennium budget, Arrowhead still will have more money flowing out for expenses, rather than flowing in through revenues.

How has Arrowhead worked to reduce its budget over the years?

In trying to adequately manage the diminishing budget, Arrowhead has put many strategies in place such as bidding for products and services, implementation of energy efficiency programs, providing minimal (CPI-based) salary increases, implementing significant reductions in staff benefits (health insurance plan changes, local retirement benefits, state retirement benefits), increasing class sizes to tighten up staffing levels, accepting many significant donations for facilities and programs, and identifying/utilizing other efficiencies within Arrowhead’s budget.  For a more detailed description of the monies saved and how, follow this link to a portion of the Referendum Information Webpage:  http://www.arrowheadschools.org/about/FAQ.cfm

What can parents, students, and other citizens do related to the state budget?

Many details related to Governor Walker’s proposed budget are unknown at this point. It is still just a budget bill; it has not yet been signed into law, which means changes are possible before formal adoption. For instance, the proposed additional funding for schools and/or the way it is disseminated (per-pupil categorical aid or through equalization formulas) could still be changed. If there are parts of the proposed state budget you like, or do not like, I urge you to help our legislators (and even their office aides) understand your thoughts and desires, and how the proposals impact your local schools.  

Local legislators’ contact information:

Representative Janel Brandtjen (District 22) Rep.Brandtjen@legis.wisconsin.gov  608.266.2367

Representative Cindi Duchow (District 99)  Rep.Duchow@legis.wisconsin.gov   608.266.3007

Representative Cody Horlacher (District 33) Rep.Horlacher@legis.wisconsin.gov  608.266.5715

Representative Joel Kleefisch (District 38)  Rep.Kleefisch@legis.wisconsin.gov  608.266.8551

Representative Adam Neylon (District 98)  Rep.Neylon@legis.wisconsin.gov      608.266.5120

 

Senator Alberta Darling (District 8) Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov  608.266.5830

Senator Scott Fitzgerald (District 13) Sen.Fitzgerald@legis.wisconsin.gov  608.266.5660

Senator Chris Kapenga (District 33) Sen.Kapenga@legis.wisconsin.gov 608.266.9174


Leaders of the Joint Committee on Finance:

Senator Darling (Co-Chair)

Representative Nygren (Co-Chair)

Representative Kooyenga (Vice-Chair)

Senator Olsen (Vice-Chair)



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 English Program Lead Dave Gierach

“Learning Matters” features one department each month to highlight instructional programs at the high school. For March, we are featuring the English Department with an interview with David Gierach, Program Leader.

How would your department describe the vision/mission for English instruction at Arrowhead?

Our vision for English instruction is an extension of our school’s vision, and that is doing what is best for our students and finding ways to help our students succeed and be lifelong learners. Our department wants to provide opportunities and learning experiences to help students grow in reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

What are recommended courses in English for students who are college bound?  

Students at Arrowhead are required to take eight credits of English during their time at Arrowhead High School. English 9 and English 10 (or honors) are mandatory classes that will fulfill four of the required eight credits. During junior and senior year, students have options. We recommend students take at least one literature, writing and speaking course. Currently, we have speech and advanced speech courses, and a variety of literature and writing courses. We also offer AP Literature and AP Language and Composition. We pride ourselves in the variety of courses we offer our students, and we believe all courses should prepare our students for college. 

What should students consider when picking the correct English class?

Incoming 9th grade students are faced with taking either Honors English 9 or English 9. Students should consider their strengths in reading and writing and how driven they are to work hard and be successful when deciding if honors is the right choice for them. In order to help incoming freshmen make an informed decision, they are required to take the PreACT during their 8th grade year (at Arrowhead in December). We believe students who are high achieving readers (90th percentile MAP, advanced in other assessments, 22 on the PreACT reading and 1300 Lexile reading level) generally find success in Honors English 9. As students move beyond 10th grade, they can continue with Honors English 10 or may choose to take English 10.  

We also provide support for students who are working to improve skills to reach grade level benchmarks with reading in both 9th and 10th grade.  

At North Campus, we provide an array of courses. Therefore, we recommend a student consider taking a variety of courses (at least one literature, one speaking and one writing course) in order to have a well rounded experience in English.

Parents and teachers may recommend or suggest what the students should take, but ultimately, we encourage students to make purposeful decisions when choosing courses.

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

From instructional practices to reading material, our department is constantly looking for ways to improve our courses and meet the needs of our students.   

Recently, we discontinued our English 11 course. Instead, students now choose from a variety of literature and writing courses which include Modern Literature, American Literature and World Literature, as well as Creative Writing, Composition, and Advanced Composition..

In 2014-2015, we added AP Language and Composition to our course selection. In this course, students read exemplary pieces of writing, compose essays, and apply sophisticated language concepts and rhetorical skills. Also that year, we added a course called Organizational Communication. Organizational Communication is a group and presentation-driven course where students learn to analyze audience, mode and visual design of message. Students deliver polished, professional presentations on a variety of topics to strategically chosen audiences. Students gain experience in focused technical writing through memos and reports. Organizational Communication is an examination and analysis of communication theories within the framework of an organization.  

As we continue to evolve, our department is beginning to provide online course opportunities as well.    

What’s ahead for the department?

We are always searching for ways to provide the best opportunities and learning experiences within the English courses at Arrowhead. We will continue to offer our College Essay Workshop this summer and next fall. We are continuing to look for ways to continue and expand our online summer school offerings, and we are looking for the best methods to implement technology within all of our courses.  

What co-curricular opportunities exist connected to English?

We have a highly competitive forensics team with a long tradition of state forensics team/individual titles. Forensics is both a team and individual competition, where students compete in public speaking events that include various types of speech, debate, acting, and literary interpretation. Also, the Arrowhead Drama Department, led by Maralynn Markano, produces two shows each year. Any student can audition for the two productions.

What are you most proud of?

When walking in the hallway or passing a classroom, it is impossible to not notice how amazing our teachers are with our students. I work with talented educators throughout the school and within our department. Teaching skills and sharing information is important, but our team of teachers and staff are building relationships with students that go beyond reading and writing. What makes our staff outstanding is their commitment to constantly improve and their dedication to our students. It is not just the amount of knowledge that my colleagues have, but it’s also their genuine care and concern for our students that makes me proud to be a Warhawk.

Sue Casetta

Director of Learning
casetta@arrowheadschools.org

Student Services Matter

The Arrowhead Way

Be Appropriate, Be Respectful, Be Responsible

The theme of the month for March is Attendance brought to us by the Math department. Currently, 13% of all discipline referrals at Arrowhead are written for excessive tardies, and 45% of students have been tardy at least once to class. Being late for class has an impact on student learning and class productivity, and as CEO Richard Branson states “if you want to be more productive, then start at the start: get there on time.”

Looking beyond the classroom a study by YouGov, an international Internet-based research firm, suggests that those who are the most tardy to work are ages 18-34. What this age group is not realizing is that this bad habit may be hindering not only their productivity but their ability to move up in their companies. If you research the topic of punctuality you will find articles written about or by employers who talk about the negative message tardiness sends to co-workers and supervisors. Words like inconsiderate, disorganized, and unreliable are routinely used.

How can you help at home?

I recognize that our kids get tired of hearing from us, but they do pay attention to what we do and care about. Therefore, modeling punctuality and stating why you want to be on time is important. “I need to make sure I’m on-time for ___________ because I want others to know that I am __________” can demonstrate to them without them being told.

Building Resiliency

Within the last 15 years, Harvard researchers began to realize that resiliency was major determining factor in success. However, they stated “we have no idea how to develop it.” According to Monica Wightman from the Department of Public Instruction, researchers have begun to identify items that appear to build resiliency in young adults. Those are highlighted below with some clarifying notes.

  • Caring Relationships - “Hear me, understand me, believe in me.”
  • Meaningful Participation -  Do they have input? Do they feel like they belong
  • Mastery Experiences - Experiences of success to help them believe they are not powerless.
  • Real Talk - Let them talk about things that matter to them; we need to listen.
  • Creative Expression - Expression can take many forms, not just art.
  • Service to Others - If they are in a co-curricular at Arrowhead, they will experience this.
  • Cultural Identity - Seen. Understood. Empowered.

Useful Links from Arrowhead’s AODA Counselor Barb Whyte:

Why do kids use drugs?

Adam Boldt

 

Director of Student Services
boldt@arrowheadschools.org

InfoTech Matters

Arrowhead Teachers Celebrate Ed. Tech. at Digital Learning Day

On Feb. 22 and 23 Arrowhead Teachers came together to share classroom educational technology activities,  explore tech tools available at Arrowhead, and discuss their professional development needs all while enjoying snacks and donated ed tech swag.

Digital Learning Days is a national event lead by the Alliance for Excellence in Education, an advocacy organization whose “mission is to promote high school transformation to make it possible for every child to graduate prepared for postsecondary learning and success in life” (About Alliance, 2017). The national celebration began in 2012 and Arrowhead teachers look forward to attending the celebration with their fellow teachers.
Digital Learning Day Activities
Click the image above for a slideshow of example digital activities at Arrowhead.

Digital learning can be defined as using technology to enhance teaching and learning both inside and outside of the classroom. As a part of the day some teachers shared their practices with their peers through the collaborative slideshow above.

Teachers also recorded their use of classroom educational technology on the national Digital Learning Day website.

Each campus location was equipped with the new Epson short throw interactive projector and Diversiboards along with the new SMART Notebook software, so teachers were able to try the new equipment and software by challenging each other with a trivia game (as pictured below).

Teachers at Digital Learning Day

No one left empty-handed. In additional to new knowledge and skills, teachers received donated items from some of our ed tech vendors including Follett, Skyward, EDIS, Read&Write, Classlink LaunchPad, Safari Montage, Canvas, Overdrive, WeVideo, Epson, SMART Technologies, Lynda.com, SpeakUp, and Badgerlink.

 

Digital Learning Day is also an opportunity to learn how to better support our teachers. All participants provided feedback on their learning needs so they can grow as professionals. This feedback will be used to plan future professional learning at Arrowhead.



Donna Smith

 

Director of Library Media & Technology
smith@arrowheadschools.org

Principal’s Corner 

Through a variety of classes, clubs and activities, Arrowhead students have many opportunities to travel during their high school experience.  Much of the travel is in the Unites States, but students also get a chance to experience travel abroad.

Some of the more simple experiences could be a field trip to Chicago for a class, or perhaps to Madison for an athletic competition.  Another level of travel will take students a little farther away and will include an overnight stay.  An example of that will be the Robotics team competing in Peoria, Ill. in the upcoming weeks.  The next level of travel is when a group of students have the opportunity to fly somewhere in the U.S. for a three to four day stay.  Examples of this include the Junior Statesmen of America (JSA) club that was recently in Washington D.C. for a mock legislative experience; or the DECA club going to Anaheim, Cal. next month for a national competition. Finally, the last level of travel gives students a chance to travel to other countries.  This year examples of this include: the Arrowhead Band going to Ireland,  Spanish classes going to Spain and Ecuador, and French classes going to France.  In the past, students traveled to these countries as well as China, Italy, and a variety of Central America and South America countries.

Students taking advantage of these opportunities learn many real-life skills in the process.  Students either fundraise or pay for the travel on their own.  Whether it is Washington D.C., Ecuador, or any other destination, students encounter a variety of cultures different from their experience in Hartland, Wis. They interact with other people, try different foods, see how others live, and for those who travel abroad, they see how others perceive Americans.

They get many educational experiences that enhance their learning such as:

  1. The Arrowhead Band playing with an Irish Band and having clinics by professors from the Irish Royal Academy of Music.

  2. JSA got to propose and debate mock bills with students from different parts of the country.

  3. DECA students will be competing in a variety of events with students from every state and many countries.

  4. Those traveling through a World Language class get to immerse themselves in the language and culture of the country they are visiting.

  5. Many of the groups get to do some sightseeing to experience where history actually took place.  

All of these experiences are valuable opportunities that help students grow. Many of the students have shared that these travel experiences have had a profound impact on them.  

Gregg Wieczorek

 
 

Arrowhead Principal 
wieczorek@arrowheadschools.org

April 4, 2017  
Referendum Information

The Arrowhead School Board is returning to the community with a revised, reduced and responsive $36.68 million, campus-wide facilities referendum.  The original project from November 2016 has been reduced by $28 million.  Also reduced is the tax impact from $71 per $100,000 of property value to $45 per $100,000 of property value.  

Proposed Project Highlights (click on project to see more):

Learn More About the April 4 Referendum:

  • VISIT the webpage at: http://www.arrowheadschools.org/about/referendum.cfm
  • ATTEND   the Referendum Information Open House on Wednesday, March 15
  • at North Campus from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • TOUR the campus on Wednesday, March 22 at 10 a.m.  (begin at South Campus Office)
  • or on Friday, March 31 at 1 p.m. (begin at South Campus Office)
  • EMAIL questions to referendum@arrowheadschools.org
  • WATCH your mailbox for informational flyers: one in February and one in March

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

School Board Meeting

Wednesday, March 8
District Board Room, District Office in South Campus, 7 p.m.

Learning Never Ends

Wednesday, March 15, 6 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
North Campus- Various assigned classrooms  
Advanced registration required -  http://www.arrowheadschools.org/about/Learning.cfm

Referendum Information Open House

Wednesday, March 15, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
North Campus-  One display at Door 1/school office & one display at Door 5/a west entrance

Referendum Informational Tour

Wednesday, March 22, 10 a.m.
Meet at South Campus Welcome Center/School Office

Lake Country Community Fest - Hosted at Arrowhead

Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
North Campus- West Gym and lobby area

Referendum Informational Tour

Friday, March 31, 1 p.m.
Meet at South Campus Welcome Center/School Office

Arrowhead State Assessment Planning Chart

State Assessment Planning Chart

 

QUESTION OF THE MONTH

To what extent does your student follow Arrowhead’s Technology Acceptable Use Policy (see page 9)?

1. Always
2. Sometimes
3. Rarely
4. Never

 



February's Answer:

Results of December Survey

 

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