Students take home new books for summer reading

A new summer reading program will provide the opportunity for all elementary school students to read this summer.  During the last week of school, each student in the elementary schools have chosen 6-8 brand new books to keep and read with their families during the summer months.

The idea for the program came from reading specialist Kathy Williams.  According to Williams, “Research shows that simply giving kids books to read often can have (does) a similar positive impact (just as much) as does summer school in reducing the “summer (academic) slide.”

According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association: “It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.”

The report’s authors further note that family income plays a significant role in determining the magnitude of this summer slide.

So, Williams and the other school’s reading specialists, Sharon Ganster and Sherri Rogalla, worked with teachers and parent-teacher organizations during the school year to raise enough funds to purchase several books for every elementary school child.

Students at YES couldn’t wait to begin reading their summer books. Several chose to read their new books during a recent indoor recess.

Students at YES couldn’t wait to begin reading their summer books. Several chose to read their new books during a recent indoor recess.










Books4Kids 2015-Williams-Abigail Gajeski

On Friday, June 5, Eagle Point Elementary School staff gave every student 8 brand new books to take home and read over the summer!  There were lots of cheers as Sharon Ganster told the students they would be able to pick out their own books and keep them forever.  Our generous PTO designed and purchased bags for the students to carry their books home in.  The students were so excited about their books that many of them sat down and started reading right away.

Books4Kids 2015-Williams reading

EPES students begin reading their books immediately.

Books4Kids 2015-Hay reading

Students in Mrs. Hay’s class at Eagle Point Elementary School.











Students at Windsor Elementary School choosing their books.


A student at WES begins reading!


A WES student shows off his new summer reading book.


WES students begin reading!



Can you recite 240 digits of Pi?

Students who participated in Pi Contest finals were: Top row from left: Nora Langdon, Hayden Rauls, Carleen Snow, Rachael Gammon, Dayshia Wilson Bottom row from left: Geri Otto, Jay Franz, Jessica Camarato, Aysha Romeis, Ferris Wolf

Students who participated in Pi Contest finals were:
Top row from left:
Nora Langdon, Hayden Rauls, Carleen Snow, Rachael Gammon, Dayshia Wilson
Bottom row from left:
Geri Otto, Jay Franz, Jessica Camarato, Aysha Romeis, Ferris Wolf

Each year students in Jodi Acker’s 6th grade math class on the Badger Team participate in a “Pi” memorization contest.  The competition concludes a geometry unit where students learn about formulas, especially those that deal with circles.  According to Acker, “The number Pi is the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. It’s approximately equal to 3.14159265, although the digits go on forever.”

Acker gives her students a chance to memorize as many digits of “Pi” as possible.  Each math hour had a preliminary contest and then finals on Friday, June 5.  Students earned prizes for reciting for memory as many digits of Pi as possible.

Ten participated in the final competition. “It was exciting to see how many numbers the students could memorize,” said Acker. Nora Langdon and Geri Otto tied for first place memorizing 240 digits of Pi.  In third place was Hayden Rauls with 190, in fourth place was Carleen Snow with 170 digits, fifth place was Rachel Gammon with 144 digits, in sixth place was Jay Franz with 140 digits, seventh place was Jessica Camarato with 138digits, eighth place was Ferris Wolf with 120 digits, ninth place was Dayshia Wilson with 100 digits, and in tenth place, Aysha Romeis with 96 digits. Congratulations to all the contestants for working hard on memorizing all those numbers.

Students use digital project to learn from older adults


Kaden Paetzke & William Payne

This spring, some DAMS 7th graders learned firsthand about resiliency from older adults in the community. Ten adults visited students in Laura Kruschek’s Digital Communications classroom on two separate occasions in April. They were interviewed by students about a time in their lives and a time in their lives when they had to be resilient. Students created a presentation with  an electronic timeline for each participant.


Amber Fabian, Barb Mathiot, Mandy Fitzgerald, & Leah Doucette

The older adults joined the students for a treat and enjoyable conversation. Students presented their finished projects to the older adults on Wednesday, April 29.

At the end of the presentations, the older adults shared information about their experience. One adult shared her thoughts, “This is very awesome and I truly enjoyed meeting you.  Continue your education.  Life is good, whatever you make it.”

This project was facilitated by Digital Communications teacher Laura Kruschek with help from RSVP of Dane County and the DeForest Area School District’s LINK-ages Committee.


Noah Wohler, Bill Murphy, & Conlan Gotzion

DAHS Leo Club hosts staff vs. student softball game, raises money for ACS

Michell Zarate

Michell Zarate shaved her head and donated her hair to Locks of Love!

This spring students in the DeForest Area High School Leo Club hosted a staff vs. student softball game, raising $400 for the American Cancer Society.  The Leo Club is a high school affiliate to the DeForest Lions Club, a local service organization. IMG_5329 IMG_5344 IMG_5347 IMG_5341IMG_5387

Scenes from 2015 adopt-a-class program

MPK Mrs Harrier and Ms Wings class

Students in Julie Harrier’s 1st/ 2nd grade class at Morrisonville Elementary School and Melissa Wing’s 1st grade classroom at Eagle Point Elementary School visited business partner Tony Armstrong at Midwest Professional Karate.

Teachers and local business people, representing 20 classrooms,  participate in many activities with students throughout the year.  At the end of each year, students are invited to visit the business.  Throughout the month of May students visited the DeForest Historical Society, Lodi Veterinary Clinic, Essential Family, Karate America, Midwest Professional Karate, Comfort Inn & Suites, and more!

Started in 1997, the adopt-a-class program matches an elementary school class with a local business. According to Debbie Brewster, Coordinator of School/Community Relations, “the program provides an opportunity for local businesses to develop a long-term relationship with students.  The teacher and business person work together to provide students with an insight into future careers, learn appropriate work ethics, and apply school work to the world outside of the classroom.”

For more information, visit the school district website at: – Community – Partnerships, or contact Debbie Brewster in the Office of School/Community Relations at (608) 842-6581.

Mrs. Carter's class visited their business partner, Ashley Olson at Comfort Inn & Suites.

Mrs. Carter’s class visited their business partner, Ashley Olson at Comfort Inn & Suites.

Louise Valdovinos, Children's Librarian at the  DeForest Area Public Library, explains activity stations, such as butter churning, Palmer method of cursive writing, and more.

Mrs. Egan’s 3rd grade class at Windsor Elementary, visited the DeForest Historical Society and DeForest Area Public Library. Louise Valdovinos, Children’s Librarian at the
 library, explained activity stations, such as butter churning, Palmer method of cursive writing, and more.


Second grade students in Jacki Hay’s class visited their business partner, Dr. Trixie Eakin, at Essential Family Vision Care.

Students excel at Stock Market Game


Hayden Rauls, Nick Maier, Jagger Lokken, and Keagon Kaufmann

Each year students in the DeForest Area School District compete in the Wisconsin Stock Market Simulation Game.  The game is offered to Wisconsin students through EconomicsWisconsin.  The Wisconsin Stock Market Simulation (SMS) helps students learn the costs and benefits involved in investing in the stock market without the fear of using real money. Student teams manage a hypothetical $100,000 investment portfolio as they compete against students from across Wisconsin for a trip to New York City to tour the New York Stock Exchange. Ten-week games are offered each semester.

This year, over 900 schools in Wisconsin participated in the spring competition. Schools are ranked at the end of the ten week game and the top ten teams in each division are invited to an awards banquet.

Four teams from DASD made the top ten in two divisions. A team of students from Jodi Acker’s 7th grade math class – Hayden Rauls, Nick Maier, Jagger Lokken, and Keagon Kaufmann – took  of took first place in the middle school division with a total of $126,277. Three teams from Dave Sisler’s fourth grade class at Windsor Elementary took first place with $112,631, second place with $105,344 and ninth place with $99,769 in the elementary division. Congratulations to all the teams that participated!

According to their website, Economics Wisconsin is a non-profit organization made up of business and professional leaders and teachers. Their goal is to help elementary and secondary educators gain knowledge and confidence in teaching about our free market economic system.


Dave Sisler with 1st place winners: Adam Trautsch,Easton Snow, and Kolby Tomkins 2nd place: Jaelyn Derlein, Maddie Chrisinger, Ben Belgen, Caleb Kavey 3rd: Alex Baio, Sam Bachman, Emalia Reiche

Big Hill Adventures for 1st and 2nd graders

Spring 2015_0001

A student from Eagle Point Elementary School studies pond samples.

This spring first and second grade students throughout the district participated in educational activities at the District’s environmental outdoor classroom, Big Hill.

According to Sue Brockel, Big Hill Resource Teacher for the district, students participated in environmental education adventures studying three habitats:  the woods, the pond, and the prairie.  Students climbed the Big Hill to observe the plants and animals in the forest habitat.  Using their binoculars, they observed many birds on the prairie. During the pond study, they found many water critters.  Using two-way scopes, the students saw tadpoles, minnows, leeches, dragonfly nymphs, a water scorpion, and several small water beetles.

The activities are facilitated by Brockel and the two other Big Hill resource teachers, Sandy and Steve Kahl. “Students learned many facts about, and developed an appreciation for, their environment,” said Brockel.

Morrisonville Elementary and high school students team up to plant prairie at Big Hill

spreading prairie seed

A MES student spreads prairie seed.

Students at Morrisonville Elementary School spent time at the Big Hill this spring spreading prairie seed on a recently cleared hillside. According to teacher Julie Harrier, the activity concluded a year-long project with the Audubon Society.  Last year students at Morrisonville Elementary School received $579 for the purchase of binoculars and nature notebooks so that students could study wetland and prairie habitats at Goose Pond Sanctuary.  Harrier, who wrote the grant on behalf of the school, said the grant also covered the cost of prairie seed collection at Goose Pond for the Big Hill Environmental Learning Center, where students would reseed, restore and preserve the original prairie habitat.

With the help of a representative from the Madison Audubon Society, some high school agri-science students, and high school agri-science teacher Dan Kvalheim, Morrisonville students finished their project at Big Hill by spreading the seed they collected earlier this fall at Goose Pond.

Kvalheim talked to students about prairie plants, the controlled burn that took place a few weeks ago, and the proper way to scatter the prairie seed.   He had the first and second grade students make a long line across the hill and pair up with high school students. Then, with buckets of seed, they carefully made their way down the hillside scattering seeds.

Seed sowing w high school agri-business students

MES students spreading seed.

The Big Hill Environmental Learning Center is an area rich in diverse plant and animal communities and habitat: wetland, prairie, oak savanna, and woodland, owned jointly by the DeForest Area School District and the Town of Windsor.  Since 2004 it has been a Wisconsin School Forest.


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