Summer Reading

Cartoon image of a sun reading a book and reads "summer reading"

Let’s keep reading all summer long! Houlton Elementary School is open for reading:

  • June 27, 5:00-7:00 PM – Wild About Reading
    • Participate in a scavenger hunt, a creative craft, and a snack!
    • Bring your books back to exchange!
  • July 11, 9:00-11:00 AM – Buggy About Books
    • Learn about insects when our entomologist visits with some large and interesting bugs to see!
    • We will also have a fun bug craft project, eat “ants-on-a-log” and exchange your books!
  • July 25, 5:00-7:00 PM – Blizzard of Books
    • Come make winter slime, and enjoy an Olaf snack to take home.
    • Bring your books to exchange!
  • August 8, 9:00-11:00 AM – Books on the Beach
    • Bring a beach towel and beach clothes for storytime every half-hour.
    • Write a postcard to one of your Houlton friends and we will send them out for you!
    • Bring your books to exchange!
  • August 22, 8:00-10:00 PM – Campfire Finale!
    • We will have a campfire to enjoy s’mores.
    • We will read under the stars and enjoy the night sky!
    • Return all books!

Growing Young Learners

A group of students work with adult master gardener in the Houlton greenhouse.

Houlton Elementary School and its partnership with area Master Gardeners, were highlighted in the May, 2018 edition of the Wisconsin Master Gardeners Association newsletter. Thank you to St. Croix Master Gardener, Sandy Madsen, for sharing our story!

A group of students work with adult master gardener in the Houlton greenhouse.

Growing Young Learners by Sandy Madsen

Houlton Elementary, a rural school of 226 K-5 children, in the Hudson School District sought out Master Gardeners to lead a student-based gardening program. The principal emailed the St. Croix Valley MasterGardener Association in search of a willing volunteer, and I responded. The school was already very conscious of environmental concerns and encouraged many sustainable activities. They were ready, willing and able to add more health and nutrition to their curriculum through gardening.

The program began in 2009 and grew slowly over the last 10 years. By creating additional learning experiences every year, the gardens now include a perennial flower garden, a 1-acre restored prairie, an 80’ x 12’ bed for corn, beans, squash, raspberries and asparagus, a 700sq ft rain garden, a butterfly garden and 5 raised beds for vegetables, fruits and seed trials. Just last year their dysfunctional, glass sun room was replaced through generous grants. We now have a beautiful 12’ x 20’ greenhouse!

This program thrives because of unwavering support from every person in the school as well as the St Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association (SCVMGA). The Principal and her Administrative Assistant are on the front lines fighting for many things that promote our program, such as applying for grants and recruiting families to volunteer during the summer. There is unlimited support from the custodians, who among many other activities, take a leadership role by assisting composting. The cafeteria cooks inspire us by preparing and serving whatever we grow and harvest, for example, kale chips, roasted brussel sprouts and pizza sauce, which are devoured by the students. The enthusiasm of the teachers and students often amazes each of the Master Gardener volunteers, as every student in every classroom is involved. The gardening curriculum often embellishes the academic curriculum. An example of this is the enrichment of the Native American Unit through planting a Three Sisters bed full of corn, beans and squash.

The SCVMGA supports the program both financially and physically. The Houlton gardening program has received a SCVMGA grant every year since its inception. Also, many Master Gardener Volunteers come when needed. Like the day the Rain Garden was planted, when 10 Master Gardener Volunteers helped 40 fifth (5th) graders plant over 400 plants. There are a few dedicated Master Gardener Volunteers that lead the students each and every week during the growing season. The school’s gardening program has 5 components that all work together: 1)

  1. Composting- cafeteria scraps as well as garden refuse enhance composting.
  2. Classroom planting projects- each of the 11 classrooms has two planting projects, one starting in the greenhouse and one outside.
  3. Garden Club- each classroom sends three different students each week during noon recess for garden maintenance.
  4. After School program- takes responsibility for the flower gardens.
  5. Summer Family Volunteers- each week, one or two families assist with harvesting and maintenance.

Houlton Elementary School was designated as a 2017 US Department of Education Green Ribbon School. The school has a superior level of accomplishment in all of the required qualities for this recognition. The award is given to schools that reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness and provide effective environmental and sustainability education. The entire school is committed to all of these behaviors, which are also used as the foundation of their gardening program.

It is truly a delightful and rewarding Master Gardener project.

Learn more about the Master Gardener program at www.wimga.org

Boundary Committee Gives Feedback on Options

A group of adults stand around a table with a map discussing attendance boundary areas.

On Tuesday, June 12th, the Elementary Attendance Boundary Committee reviewed two draft options for new attendance boundaries. Both draft options will be revised further based on the input from the Boundary Committee members. It is important to note that these draft options will change.

Draft Option #1

Draft Option #2

  1. Click here to read the powerpoint presentation associated with the above options and the committee’s feedback.
  2. The Boundary Committee is scheduled to meet on September 18th to work on the revised draft options developed by RSP and Associates.
    1. Community members are welcome to observe Boundary Committee meetings.
  3. Draft options #1 and #2 were developed by RSP and Associates based on the feedback gathered at the Community Forum on May 15th.
  4. Click here to view the Elementary Attendance Boundaries webpage with all documents.

If you have questions or comments related to the work of the Elementary Attendance Boundary Committee or attendance boundaries in general, please contact: connections@hudsonraiders.org

 

Elementary Attendance Boundary – Community Input

Elementary Attendance Boundary committee members gather around a table and map of the school's boundaries.

A Community Forum on Elementary Attendance Boundaries is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 at 6:00 PM. The public forum will be held at River Crest Elementary School in their cafeteria/multipurpose room.

There will be a brief presentation by the consulting firm, RSP and Associates. The presentation will be followed by a community input activity to assist the committee in understanding the community’s thinking about how neighborhoods should be considered when assigning elementary attendance areas. Click here to view the presentation power point.
Work stations will be set up with committee members at each work station. Large maps, like the one below will used to collect information on neighborhood boundaries. Community members will be asked to reflect on the following statement, “My vision of a neighborhood as it would relate to a school attendance area is a place that has the following components…” Community members will also be asked to complete a survey worksheet. The map below identifies some of the areas the community will be asked to provide recommendations on neighborhood areas.
A map of the school district boundaries and areas of potential growth.
We hope you can join the conversation on Tuesday.
Questions or comments may be directed to: connections@hudsonraiders.org

Elementary Attendance Boundary Committee Update

A group of committee members discuss the boundaries on a large map on their table.

The Elementary Attendance Boundary Committee had their first meeting on Tuesday, May 8th at River Crest Elementary School. The committee work was led by RSP and Associates. The first half of the meeting included an overview of the committee process, the role of the School Board, administration, the committee, and the community, and a look at the current elementary school attendance boundaries. (Click here to view the powerpoint presentation provided by RSP)

RSP also provided data on projected enrollments.

Committee Members agreed to the following guiding principles:

  • The School Board considers this work as part of the district plan. It’s one part of a whole.
  • The boundary should reflect providing better educational opportunities at each school for there to be an equitable student experience at each school.
  • The committee recognizes the power of an elementary school to create community.
  • The boundary can anticipate future growth of the neighborhood.
  • The boundary proposed should utilize all the available District resources.
  • Consider boundary lines that follow natural/manmade boundaries.
  • Grandfathering/transfers/student options are determined by Administration.
  • Decisions are not limited, but the School Board would prefer to not close a school.
  • New elementary could be an option starting after the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Elementary additions could be an option starting after the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Conversation must remain on elementary boundaries only.

Committee members spent the final portion of the meeting defining what “neighborhood” means. The following definitions were identified:

  • Neighborhoods are defined by natural and manmade boundaries. These need to be considered for transportation.
  • Geographic boundaries that include walkability between homes and roads that connect an area.
  • There are subdivisions that share amenities like parks.
  • There are some neighborhoods defined by housing styles and lot sizes.
  • Neighborhoods can be defined by their proximity to a school.

Community Forum – Tuesday, May 15, 6:00 PM at River Crest Elementary School

Join the Elementary Boundary Committee at the first of two Community Forums on Tuesday, May 15 at 6:00 PM. The group will be meeting in the River Crest Elementary cafeteria/multipurpose room. There will be a presentation on the elementary boundary resetting process and elementary enrollment projection data. Community members will be asked to provide feedback on how they would define neighborhoods.

If you have questions or feedback please email: connections@hudsonraiders.org

Elementary Attendance Boundary committee members are seated and table groups.

Elementary Attendance Boundary committee members gather around a table and map of the school's boundaries.

Elementary Attendance Boundary committee members gather around a table and map of the school's boundaries.

Elementary Attendance Boundary committee members gather around a table and map of the school's boundaries.

 

East Gym Demo

An image of the new gym space looking at the old gym wall.

This week, the East Gym’s west wall was demolished. The video clip below shows the demo robot at work on the wall. Above you are looking at the wall prior to it’s removal from inside the new gym extension.

Below is the demo robot on the east side where the new fitness center will be.

The video clip below is on the running track. Missing in this clip are the windows that have now been installed.

 

Tour the Construction Site

Workers are on the roof between the old office roof and new gym space.

Now that winter is finally on its way out, the High School construction project is nearing completion of the classroom addition, forum area, media center, and administrative offices. Renovations have moved into the old choir and orchestra rooms, the east gym is undergoing its big transformation as it expands into a Varsity competition gym with 3 full courts, and the east side classrooms will be gutted once school is out for summer.

Recently Board President, Jamie Johnson, toured the construction site with Superintendent Dr. Ouellette as River Channel followed along. Check out their highlights below:

Additional images of areas under construction are below.

A railing of icicles is in the foreground of the new addition.

Hard to believe so much snow and ice in April! Above is a view of the new classroom addition from the soon to be enclosed running track. We’re excited to have this space available for students and the community next winter and spring.

Renovated choir classroom filled with chairs.

Above is a view of the new choir room. The space is more than double and the practice rooms are a significant improvement from what we had previously. Check out the old choir room below. This space is under construction and will eventual open up into Project Lead the Way space for engineering classes.

The old choir room with the risers demolished.

Orchestra no longer has tiered seating but rather a large single level classroom space for more flexible use.

Floor in the locker area is being finished.

The terrazzo flooring is being poured and polished prior to the lockers being installed in the new main corridor. Gone is the “outdoor hallway”!

A view from above the grand stairway looking toward the cafeteria.

Here you can see a view looking down the main stairway from the media center. The wall straight ahead covered in plastic will eventually be demolished and open to the auditorium and forum areas. The area to the left, where the pink insulation is, will eventually become the secondary servery to add to the main cafeteria. This will provide substantially more seating for students and faster lunch service.

A view of the demolished roof over the former gym commons hallway.

This photo might be hard to guess. Imagine you were walking into the old main entrance (Door 1) and the gym and restrooms are to your right and the commons to your left. What you are seeing is that hallway without a roof. You can see the tiles to the old restrooms on the right.

Honoring Our Employees

Staff members pose at the annual Staff Recognition Banquet.

The Hudson School District recently honored retirees and milestone years of service at our annual Staff Recognition Banquet.

Above are pictured our retirees who have served the Hudson School District for a combined 380 years. Our retirees include: David Stene, Deb Heinisch, Connie Root, Sandra Perron, Marcia Scheruman, Pam Barthman, Susan Kouba, Sylvia Strom, Tess Rizzardi, Georgia Krusell, Wendy Haesemeyer, Susan Anderson, Peggy Eller, John Kurkowski. Not picture: Cindy Anderson, Matthew Friedl, Diane Olson, Daniel Steel

Staff members pose at the annual Staff Recognition Banquet.

Above: Constance Root (35 years of service) and Karen Halvorson (30 years of service)

Additional staff with 30 years of service: Vicki Aulert, Isabel Barr

Staff members pose at the annual Staff Recognition Banquet.

Above: Megan Gornick, Candice Miller, Mary Wicker, and Kathy Heth (25 years of service)

Additional staff with 25 years of service: Leonard Boesel, Chloe Brine, David Dahl, Gail Gerdts

Staff members pose at the annual Staff Recognition Banquet.

Above: Molly Dado, Kimberly Larson, Craig Jilek, Linda Jacobs, Beth Gallagher, Julie Weinberg, Mary Gerzmehle, Bridget Schuett, Susan Kouba, Linda Wagner, Julie Solfest, Lori Williquett, Stacey Tiedemann, Lori Rossini, Sandra Burke (20 years of service)

Additional staff with 20 years of service: Elsa Brettigen, Veronica Ellingson, Thomas Klatt, Christine Paulson Strop, Lisa Persinger, Tamara Schullo, Jim Stejskal, Debbie Taylor, Tara Zinck

Staff members pose at the annual Staff Recognition Banquet.

Above: Patricia Griffith, Joann Augustin, Elizabeth Smith, Sue Hellmers, Susan Bopray, Julie Fenner, Nancy Bowers, Deb Heinisch, Michele Yuengst, Cynthia Millin, Wendy Haesemeyer (15 years of service)

Additional staff with 15 years of service: Linda Blair, Jeffrey Busby, Sara Ellstrom, Matthew Friedl, Andrew Haase, Thomas Hellmers, Ryan Huppert, Nicholas Koss, Dana Krahenbuhl, Kyle Krumrei, Nichole Lagerstrom, Lezlee Lawrence, Mary McConaughey, Donna Nelson, Terri Ostertag, Suzanne Robole, Tammy Zacharias

Staff members pose at the annual Staff Recognition Banquet.

Above: (Front Row) Megan Martin, Lacy Ament, Brooke Wert, Sara Filarsky, Jessica McQuade, Amanda McCarthy; (Middle Row) Jayme Eberlin, Lynn Doucette, Teale Giedd, Jessica Slaikeu, Jamie Strapon, Caroline Wolf, Melissa Burkart, Rachel Knipfer; (Back Row) Timothy Miner, Kelly Hackbarth-Miller, Tracy Metz, Shari Pearson, Sarah Johnson, Erika Estrella, Michele DeLong, Elizabeth Halama, Marcia Krier (10 years of service)

Additional staff with 10 years of service: Brielle Anfinson, Jeffrey Dabruzzi, Larry DeVos, Stephanie DeVos, Tracy Habisch-Ahlin, Kris Karlson, Jesse Lam, Lori Mara, Heather Mathews, Lisa Nagel, Ann Truhler, Julie Warren, Adam Wert, Cody Williquett

 

Join 6th Grade Choir

2017 Best Communities for Music Education award logo.

Hey 5th Graders -We Invite you to Join Middle School Choir!

During the 5th grade tours of the Middle School on May 7-9, students will have an opportunity to sign up for choir in 6th grade. If you miss this sign up, you can still join by:

  • Calling the Middle School Office at 715.377.3820
  • Sign up with Ms. Maher in the fall when school begins.