Willow River Open House – 100 Years of Education

Willow River Open House brochure cover with old and new school.

Willow River Elementary School invites you to their 100 Years of Education Open House on Saturday, October 6th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. The Willow River Parent Group will be hosting an ice cream social from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. The school will also be open for self-guided tours with volunteers placed throughout the building sharing stories of our history.

Hudson High School Dedication & Open House

Main entrance of High School with flags in the foreground.

Hudson High School invites you to their Dedication & Open House on Tuesday, October 2nd from 6:00- 8:00 PM

Dedication Open House program featuring the HS faculty.

HHS Open House Facts

Statistical Information Then & Now

  • 1975 building area: 115,530 sq. ft.
    • 2018 building area: 425,000 sq. ft.
  • 1975 student population: 850
    • 2018 student population: 1,800
  • 1975 High School employees: 57
    • 2018 High School employees: 216

Bond Question 1: Transforming and Reinvesting in Hudson High School for Our Next Generation of Learners.

  • Design classrooms that are flexible and adaptable to changing instructional and curricular needs.
  • Increase and improve special education learning spaces.
  • Create space to support the High School’s growing academy programs.
  • Improve building function, including safe and efficient movement of students.
  • $74,300,000

Bond Question 3: Transforming Our Performing Arts, Physical Education, and Outdoor Athletics Venues to Enhance Opportunities for Student and Community Use.

  • Expand student and community athletic opportunities with new multi-purpose stadium.
  • Enhance student and audience performance experience with auditorium renovations.
  • $8,200,000

Art Bench Kick-Off at Houlton Elementary

A group of people stop at the trail head where two volunteers are dressed in vintage 1800's style clothing.

Houlton families enjoyed the St. Croix Valley Art Bench Kick-Off event with a walk on the new bridge, information about the upcoming project, and a family picnic.  Houlton students will be designing the “gathering space” for the bench area during the year. Students will also be part of the construction of the bench area spring of 2019. The St. Croix River Valley Art Bench Trail offers a unique opportunity to explore works of art created by local youth and community partners with a local artist. The Art Bench Trail extends from St. Croix Falls to Prescott.

Learn more about the St. Croix River Valley Art Bench trail by clicking on here.

Two older adults seated at a picnic table with a young child.

A group of people looking out across the front of the school, two boys in the front are eating watermelon. A group of adults and children gathered at a picnic table.

Mom and two daughters sitting on a wooden bench.

Families gathered under a tree seated at picnic tables.

Several adults and a toddler pose for the camera. A group of adults gather for a walk with strollers.

Hudson Schools Awarded $188,385 School Safety Grant

Representatives from the school district and law enforcement join Attorney General Brad Schimel on stage for school safety grant award.

Hudson School District has been awarded a WI Department of Justice School Safety Grant in the amount of $188,385. The School District will use these funds to build on existing safety and security infrastructure and crisis preparedness practices. Board of Education President, Jamie Johnson, commented on the grant award, “This grant is about our kids. It’s about having a safe place to learn and work. We want everyone who comes into our schools to feel welcomed and be confident knowing safety is a priority.”

Primary dollars within the grant will be used to cover entry glass doors and windows with a shatter-resistant film. This film is a barrier to individuals who try to gain access to locked entries through force. Hudson Schools started the process of designing hard locked entrances ten years ago. This is the first step in providing a safe school environment. The addition of the shatter-resistant film at all entries will further harden school entrances.

On a day to day basis, having large windows looking into hallways and classrooms are important in the supervision of students throughout school buildings. The increased supervision provided by large windows is beneficial to reducing bullying behaviors and other activities that do not support a safe and secure environment. The School District recognizes the vulnerability interior glass may create in the event of a violent incident. The School Safety grant dollars will also be used to cover the “storefront” type classroom windows with a shatter-resistant film.

In addition to these infrastructure improvements, the School District will be training all teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and school age care staff in the early recognition of students who may be in need of additional supports or at risk of violent behavior. This level of training and added support for Hudson students is critical to a comprehensive approach to violence prevention and crisis preparedness in school.

As an additional safety measure, the School District is partnering with Hudson-based Hedge Tactical Solutions security to install software that integrates with law enforcement communications. This software provides law enforcement with real-time information through school security cameras in the event of a violent incident, medical emergency, or another school incident that requires an emergency response.

Superintendent Nick Ouellette stated, “The Hudson School District is fortunate to have the support of our three law enforcement agencies; St. Croix County Sheriff, City of Hudson Police Department, and Village of North Hudson Police Department. Law enforcement has been an integral part of our school crisis teams. We look forward to working together to assess each of our school buildings to determine areas of vulnerability and opportunities to mitigate risk. We are all committed to schools where kids want to come and learn, staff want to work, and families are confident we are doing everything we can to keep their children safe.

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.