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Letter from the Superintendent

Greetings Arrowhead High School Community,

In my letter this month, I hope you’ll enjoy learning about three different topics:  

  • An opportunity to share your opinions on a community survey,

  • Arrowhead High School being recognized as a 2016 Top Workplace, and

  • Mother’s Day is coming up.

Community Facilities Planning Survey and  Possible November Referendum

The Arrowhead Union High School District’s School Board has renewed its focus this school year on updating Arrowhead’s Long Range Facilities Master Plan as it considers the campus-wide facilities’ needs for a potential November 2016 referendum.

Arrowhead has not pursued additional revenue through a referendum in 17 years, since 1999. Unfortunately, school districts needing to use referenda has become the norm in Wisconsin. A filtered search of the WI Department of Public Instruction’s Custom Referenda/Resolutions Reports webpage indicates approximately 310 of the 424 school districts in Wisconsin have proposed one or more referendum questions since funding to public schools was significantly reduced in 2010-11. Some districts have pursued more than one referendum during these last five years.  During the recent April 5th election alone, 53 school districts asked one or more referendum questions, with 77% of them passing.

School districts are often asked, “Why don’t you save up and budget for maintenance needs?” We too have been asked this question and the answer is yes, Arrowhead indeed budgets proactively for infrastructure and maintenance needs, such as roofing, heating/air conditioning, flooring, plumbing, safety systems, technology wiring, etc.  In fact, over the last six years, over $10 million has been spent in these areas; an average of about $1.6 million each year.  With nearly 500,000 square feet of buildings to maintain and many naturally aging building systems, we simply cannot keep up with the infrastructure needs as part of the general operating budget. The district strives to financially protect the community’s investments in Arrowhead’s buildings and infrastructure. Now, it is no longer feasible to dedicate that same level of spending on infrastructure maintenance, within the state funding scenario, without compromising the high quality educational programs and services provided to Arrowhead students.

With input from the School Board, administrators and staff, Eppstein Uhen Architects, and Miron Construction, preliminary options with estimated costs have been developed to address the identified facility needs. Before the School Board can further prioritize the projects for a potential November referendum, feedback is needed from as many district residents as possible. To collect this feedback, the district hired School Perceptions LLC, an independent Wisconsin-based firm with expertise in conducting surveys.

Important information to know about the upcoming Community Survey:

  • The survey will be distributed through the US Mail Service, to every household within the Arrowhead residency boundaries.

  • The survey should arrive in your mailbox around May 9th.

  • All survey responses are kept confidential and returned directly to School Perceptions.

  • Each survey contains a randomly generated individual access code on the front cover. This code can only be used once. To obtain a second survey for another adult in the household, residents can simply call the District Office at (262) 369-3611, ext. 4110.

  • To save on district expenses, residents are encouraged to complete the survey online. However, a postage-paid return envelope will also be included with the hard-copy survey, should that be a more convenient method for some participants.

  • All Arrowhead parents and staff members will receive an email directly from School Perceptions regarding the Community Survey, and an email message from Arrowhead, as a reminder to take the survey.  

  • Arrowhead area residents and staff members will have until May 25th to complete the survey.

  • School Perceptions will present the findings of the survey results during a June School Board Meeting.

Feedback from this community-wide survey will be very important to the School Board to inform decision-making regarding a potential referendum and the possible projects to include in a referendum question(s).  Please, take the survey-- your voice matters!

Arrowhead:  A 2016 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplace

We were pleased and proud to be nominated by a teacher last fall for a Top Workplace Award. While earning the award is certainly a wonderful honor, that recognition is just frosting on the cake. The administrative team is most enthused about receiving feedback from nearly every staff member through a research-based, anonymous survey. Ninety percent, or 209 Arrowhead employees, chose to participate in the survey covering 19 different work environment topics.

Arrowhead’s greatest level of employee satisfaction fell into the categories of:

  • Referral to others - “I would strongly recommend working at Arrowhead to others”

  • Connection - “My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful”

  • Execution - “New ideas are encouraged at Arrowhead”

  • Alignment - “Arrowhead operates by strong ethics and values”

A common characteristic of top workplaces is striving for continuous improvement. Our staff survey results indicated Arrowhead’s greatest opportunity for improvement fell into the category of Connection- “I feel well-informed about important decisions at Arrowhead.”  Approximately 20% of the staff felt there was room for growth in this area. With that feedback in mind, several communication efforts have been enhanced including more update-emails to staff, sharing of top administration's meeting minutes with department chairpersons, individual meetings between the superintendent and each new teacher/faculty member, and this Arrowhead Advisor district e-newsletter being disseminated to staff a day before it is emailed to the broader Arrowhead community.

We are proud to be named as a Top Workplace, particularly because very few school districts earn this recognition, but especially because the judges were our very own Arrowhead Team members!

Mother’s Day

May 8th is Mother’s Day this year (hint, hint to the children and fathers out there). In the U.S., the day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the Battle Hymn of the republic, as a day dedicated to peace. In 1914, President Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national day of recognition.  

A little tribute to all moms…

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.           ~ Elizabeth Stone

Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.                                                ~ J. Wilmot  

Dads, please don’t feel left out. I will provide some Father’s Day trivia/sentiments next month for you, too.  Moms, I hope you feel happy, proud and appreciated on your special day!

Enjoy your day,



Laura Myrah

Superintendent
myrah@arrowheadschools.org

Learning Matters:

Teachers Make a Difference

Teachers at Arrowhead are special.  Simply put, I am beyond proud of what they do everyday to inspire and educate the young people of this community.

20 signs that you (or your child) have an AMAZING teacher:

  1. They build your confidence.

  2. They inspire you.

  3. They make you think hard and then push you to think harder.

  4. They make you laugh.

  5. They make learning fun.

  6. They are enthusiastic and energetic.

  7. They are cutting edge.

  8. They provide you with needed feedback for improvement.

  9. They encourage participation.

  10. They want you to own your learning.

  11. They are good listeners when you have a problem.

  12. They go to your sporting event, play, or concert.

  13. They tell you great job, good effort, and keep up the good work!

  14. They teach you to be “respectful, appropriate and responsible”

  15. They answer your emails at mid-night and on weekends.

  16. They meet you before or after school to help you.

  17. They come to school everyday prepared.

  18. They are passionate about what they are teaching.

  19. They make you do things you NEVER thought you could.

  20. They make you write more and read more.

  21. They teach you to think outside of the box.

  22. They help you make plans for your future.

  23. They teach you how to work with others.

  24. They help you to see the world from a new perspective.

  25. They care about you and your learning.

Teacher Appreciation Week is this week May 2-6. I want to take this opportunity to thank the dedicated STAFF at Arrowhead High School.  They inspire me everyday.  They make a difference in the lives of our students.  Thank you.

Sue Casetta


Director of Learning
casetta@arrowheadschools.org

Student Services Matter:
The Arrowhead Way

It appears I am writing the May edition of the Arrowhead Advisor, however, I’m wearing a coat, so that can’t be right...

  • Be Appropriate, Be Respectful, Be Responsible

At this point of the year students should be responsible for assessing their current academic standing and making the necessary plans for summer. Summer school should be considered for students who are off-track for graduation or for those wanting to fit in an additional opportunity.

  • Thinking About Tomorrow, Today

Along with being responsible for academic choices students should be thinking about how their summer plans could relate to their future. Our school counselors routinely attend sessions with colleges who provide information on their admission policies. Time and time again they are told that academic excellence matters, but what separates two applicants with similar academic profiles is either breadth of experience or passionate focus in a specific arena. They state that there is no magic formula, however, they can separate those who did the minimum to “check the boxes” and those who went above and beyond.

Students who have jobs, internships, attend camps, compete, and volunteer during the summer not only gain valuable life experience, but gain the experiences that colleges look for in their applicants.

  • Theme of the Month

May’s Theme of the Month is “Bravery” brought to us by the Social Studies Department. Bravery is defined as courageous behavior or act. Throughout history and in present day there are countless examples of our lives being made better through bravery.Consider sharing your own experiences with bravery with your child in hopes of inspiring courageous young adults.

AODA Red Flag from Arrowhead’s AODA Counselor Barb Whyte

 

 

Adam Boldt

Director of Student Services
boldt@arrowheadschools.org

Information Technology Matters:

Arrowhead Refreshes Website with Community Input

The last time Arrowhead undertook a web redesign was July of 2008. To give you some perspective, Twitter was 2 years old, the first iPhone was reaching record sales, Google was entering the browser business with its new Chrome browser, and Arrowhead was transitioning from a website that looked like this:


 

Eight years is a long time in the world of technology.

With your input, we will redesign the website to better represent Arrowhead today: A school with a Tradition of Excellence, where we have high quality programs and academics, where Arrowhead staff inspires and leads, where we promote a healthy educational community, and where we educate the whole child.

Your input was overwhelming. We had 425 responses and here is a summary of what you said.

  1. You want a brighter, cleaner design.

  2. You want larger print.

  3. You want information to be easy to find, with shortcuts to commonly used resources.

  4. You want better search results and searching should be intuitive.

  5. You want the mobile site to be useable.

  6. You want the calendar to be more user friendly. Exportable.

  7. You want our website to better represent Arrowhead.

Over half of you prefered the Baylor School site to Elmbrook . Other great sites were recommended as well. UW-Wisconsin (http://www.wisc.edu/) and Oberlin (https://home.oberlin.edu/) are some examples of suggested sites. Both of these sites have a elements that we would love to include in the new Arrowhead site.

One of the best parts of the new website is that it has a responsive design. What this means is that the webpage will adjust the display for a variety of devices, including your phone. We will not need to use our current, and ineffective, mobile website.

Our timeline for the redesigned Arrowhead website is the start of the 2016-17 school year. We will send additional information to help our community navigate the website effectively rior to the launch.

We appreciate our community’s input on the web redesign. Your feedback will help us create a website that is modern, and, perhaps more importantly, one that communicates effectively.

 

 

Donna Smith


Director of Library Media & Technology
smith@arrowheadschools.org

Principal’s Corner

Recently, two of our academically-related programs had students participating at a national/international competitions.

Our Robotics team qualified for nationals while participating in the Milwaukee regional.  The team competed in Cleveland  with teams from all over the country.  Our Robotics team, known as the Cyberhawks, is made up of students who are interested in math, science, and engineering. The team is  responsible for raising some of its funds, marketing and accounting for those funds; as well as designing, building, and testing the robot.  The purpose of the team is to compete in the contest while giving the students as close to a "real world" engineering experience as possible.

The DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) team qualified 12 students for nationals through state competition. Our students and advisors traveled to Nashville to compete in an international event against over 17,500 other DECA members.  The students spend months researching and preparing their presentations with help from their advisors. They compete in a variety of categories: International Business Plan, Startup Business Plan, and Food Marketing to name a few.  Students may have to give their presentations as many as six times throughout the competition.  Bizzy Reinowski, one of our students, had a top ten finish competing in the Food Marketing category against over 240 other students.

Whether they win or lose, these types of experiences play a vital role in helping mold these students into productive members of our community.  Please encourage your children to get involved in some type of co-curricular opportunity  Arrowhead offers.   


Gregg Wieczorek

 

Arrowhead Principal 
wieczorek@arrowheadschools.org

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

School Board Meeting
Wednesday, May 11
District Board Room, District Office in South Campus 7 pm

ACT Aspire 10th Grade
May 16 or 17 
No school for Freshmen, Juniors, and Seniors either day

ACT Aspire 9th Grade
May 23 or 24 
No school for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors either day

Blood Drive
Friday, May 20
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. @ North Campus

Memorial Day
Monday, May 30
No school

 

MAY FEEDBACK
Trivia: How many years has Arrowhead been a district?


1. 59
2. 75
3. 63
4. Arrowhead is a District?

We Listen!

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