Professional development day for early learning staff

On Friday, November 21, staff from the district’s 4-year-old kindergarten community centers and early childhood program, as well as a few five-year-old kindergarten teachers and specialists, participated in a professional development day at the Holum Education 4 (1) photo 5 photo 4 photo 2

In the morning, DASD school psychologist Katherine Ashley and 4K Coordinator Judi Ramsett, led a discussion of a book the group is reading, called Conscious Discipline, by Dr. Becky Bailey.    According to Ramsett, Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive social and emotional intelligence classroom management program that empowers both the teacher and students. It is based on brain research, child development information and developmentally appropriate practice, fostering emotional intelligence of teachers and children.

In the afternoon, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Kathy Tucker and Occupational Therapist Pam Rivera lead a discussion on strategies to help students develop pre-writing skills, and teachers  studied student assessment results from Pre-K PALS, a literacy screening tool.    Then, the group spent time creating some hands-on activities to use in the 4k classrooms.  These activities are intended to support both pre-writing and embedded literacy lessons.


Staff help local families at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving meals

Thanks to the generosity of staff at Yahara and Morrisonville Elementary schools, 11 complete Thanksgiving holiday dinners are being given to local families in need.

Eagle Point Elementary Food Drive

Students at Eagle Point Elementary School recently completed a community service project, collecting 692 food items for the local food pantry!FoodDrive

DAHS Student of the Month for October 2014

High school principal Machell Schwarz recently announced Norski Students of the Month for October. Students are awarded a certificate and have lunch with principal Schwarz. This program recognizes 12 or more students per month — one from each high school department. Teachers nominate students based on such attributes as academic progress, attitude, effort, behavior, character and responsibility.

October SOTM final

L-R: (front) Ben Love-Jackson, Katherine Kennedy, Isabelle Dreischmeier, Matthew Berkholtz, Andrew Stouffer-Lerch, Rayne Loucks, Jacob Wohler L-R:(back) Lexi Jacobus, Rachel Williams, Nate Bradshaw, Peyton Konkol

Middle school students reach out to homeless children

Students in the Badger Team at DeForest Area Middle School recently completed an outreach project for Madison homeless children.  The project, called “The Badger Cup Program,” was started in 1997 for students in the Madison Transition Education Program.

The DeForest sixth graders, led by their teachers Jodi Acker, Tammy Breitlow, Bill Porter, Cathy Moore, and Tracy Biodrowski, collected over 130 UW-Madison Badger cups and filled them with personally designed friendship cards and bracelets.  Students also brought in school supplies, candy, hats, mittens, and toys to help fill these cups.

Janie Koester, the Madison transition education teacher, says these special reminders of friendship make a huge difference in the lives of students.


Middle school Chinese student exchange program 2015

How do we pursue ways to incorporate aspects of global education into our school in order to enrich our students’ lives? DeForest Area Middle School will be hosting twenty students and their two teachers teacher for four days (February 14-19) as part of the sister school relationship the school district has established with Shijiazhuang, China. While learning about America and its people and educational system, our Chinese guests will also find significant ways to teach our school community about their own nation, culture and people. It is incredibly touching and effective when students teach other students!

This partnership will directly benefit our students:

  • Increasing students’ ability to communicate with others globally,
  • Developing students’ understanding of citizenship,
  • Preparing students for future careers that quite likely will have global features,
  • Providing students with real and quality cultural experiences, and
  • Creating in students a sense of understanding and respect across the boundaries of language, nationhood, religion, social status, etc.

Further, this partnership will help to develop in our students a much stronger understanding and appreciation of issues around diversity.

At this time, DeForest Area Schools are seeking host families for the fifteen students.

Applications can be requested at the main office of the middle school and through Dr. Borden, District Administrator (842-6577). One of the single most critical parts to this program is having host families that are willing to share their lives with foreign exchange students for the five days of a Norski Nation experience that will change their lives and ours.

Applications are due no later than December 8, 2014.

DeForest Area School District earns state Spectrum Award

The DeForest Area School District was recently honored by the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) with a Spectrum Award of Excellence for its work in school communications.

School/Community Relations Coordinator Debbie Brewster submitted the entry for consideration and accepted the award on behalf of the District.

School/Community Relations Coordinator Debbie Brewster submitted the entry for consideration and accepted the award on behalf of the District.

WSPRA presented the Spectrum Awards at its recent annual conference in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The DeForest Area School District earned an Award of Excellence for its Framework for Our Future 2.5 conference, held in February 2014. The conference brought together over 100 individuals representing local community members, parents, students, teachers, business, government, senior citizens, and other stakeholders to learn about the district’s progress since 2009 and provide input about the vision for our schools.

Spectrum Awards recognize high-quality public relations efforts produced by or on behalf of Wisconsin school districts. This year, this statewide competition honored 23 school districts with awards.

“Spectrum Award winners exemplify the very best communications work in school districts across the state,” said WSPRA President Kevin Hickman. “The winners demonstrate the value of engaging stakeholders in order to build community support for Wisconsin’s schools.”

WSPRA’s Spectrum Awards are judged by the Illinois School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) on a four-point scale in four areas: goals and objectives, research and planning, execution and evaluation and results.

The Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) is a professional association representing schools, school districts, educational associations, consulting agencies and organizations. WSPRA is a state affiliate of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). The mission of WSPRA is to expand the capacity of its members to provide effective communication management for the purpose of strengthening educational opportunities for all students.


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