National Mix It Up Day

Students participate in National Mix It Up Day at lunch time.

October 31st was National Mix It Up Day – an international campaign to challenge students to get to know peers outside their circles and appreciate our differences that Teaching Tolerance promotes.  At Willow River, students took a “Dum Dum sucker” and had to find the table that had the corresponding flavor such as pineapple, cherry, or root beer.

Students had fun asking the “Get to Know You” questions on each table and learning more about peers they might not otherwise sit by.  There were several reports of new friendships too!

Students participate in National Mix It Up Day at lunch time.

Students participate in National Mix It Up Day at lunch time.

Kindergarten/1st Grade Service Project

Students collect donations for the food shelf
Willow River Kindergarten and 1st grade students completed their service project this week. They collected donated food items from neighboring homes as part of their “Willow Cares” project.  All of the food items were added to the school’s collection for Stuff-A-Truck.
One first-grade student exclaimed, ” I love doing things like this! It makes me feel really happy!”
Nice work, Kindergarten and 1st grade students – we’re proud of you!
First grade students collect donations for food shelf.
Adults help students load all of the donations on a truck for the food shelf.
All Kindergarten and first grade students pose with the donations they collected for the food shelf.

High School Addition and Auditorium

Red steel structure of the new high school addition.

The High School addition is taking shape as the second floor is placed and the forum/media center steel structure is completed.

Steel structure for the high school rotunda.

Classroom addition steel structure and second floor deck.

A view under the deck of the new classroom structure.

The old temporary hallway has been removed and replaced with a larger hallway that will eventually open into the forum area. You see the auditorium entrance on the left in this image.

A view of the temporary hallway and auditorium entrance.

In the auditorium, work has been completed on the support systems above the ceiling of the “house.” New acoustical ceiling panels and lighting have been hung. Work is progressing on the new wood panel walls as well as cutting through the concrete floor for electrical prior to the installation of seating.

A view of the auditorium ceiling with acoustical panels.

A view of the auditorium ceiling with acoustical panels.

A view of the auditorium ceiling with acoustical panels.

A view of the stage proscenium.

The front of the stage is being redesigned with a curved apron.

Close up image of the extended apron on the auditorium stage.

“Q” and “U” Get Married!

"Q" and "U" Letter People

Ms. Cameron’s and Mrs. Wahlberg’s Kindergarten students attended the wedding of “Q” and “U” on Oct. 10th. Fifth-grade teacher Mr. Knoke officiated and retired teacher Judy Meincke provided the music. All of the Letter People were in attendance and cake pops were served following the ceremony!

Influenza Season is Here

Blue and green microscopic image of influenza virus.

The start of this year’s influenza season appears to be earlier than in past years. Flu seasons are unpredictable when it comes to determining when the season will start, the severity, and the actual type of influenza virus. The following is a guide for families based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

4 main ways you and your family may keep from getting sick with the flu at school and at home:

  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow; not into your hands.
  • Stay home if you or your child is sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).
  • Get your family vaccinated for influenza. Flu shots are still available.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Symptoms of flu may include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Some people with the flu will not have a fever. People with the flu may infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5-7 days or while they still have symptoms.

What should you do if your child gets sick with flu-like symptoms?

  • Let your child’s school know if he/she is home sick due to flu-like symptoms.
  • Students with flu-like symptoms should stay home for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever (temperature of 100° or higher) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine. Children may continue to be sick for 5 or more days.
  • Monitor the health of other school-aged children for fever and other symptoms of the flu.
  • Consult your health care provider if you have additional questions or concerns. Antiviral medications can treat flu illness. These medications are prescribed by a doctor and work best when started during the first 2 days of illness.
  • If your child seems very sick call your health care provider right away. Warning or emergency signs include: fast breathing or trouble breathing, bluish or gray skin color, not drinking enough fluids, severe or persistent vomiting, not waking up or not interacting, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held, flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and/or cough, has other health conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma).

Additional information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at:

Please watch for any signs and symptoms listed above and notify your child’s school health office in the event of a confirmed case of influenza.


High School Construction Update

Steel beam structure of new classroom addition at Hudson High School.

A new High School construction timeline was reviewed by the Board of Education at the end of September. The construction management firm, Kraus-Anderson, has made progress on the school’s interior renovations and additions and developed the new construction timeline based on the scope of work. The new construction timeline or phasing plan is available to view by clicking here.

Auditorium Progress

  • Renovations to the auditorium continue to progress. It is anticipated this space will be completed in December. As part of the auditorium renovations, square footage is being added to the scene shop.
  • This year’s Home for the Holiday choir concert has been tentatively scheduled at St. Patrick’s Church depending on the opening of the renovated auditorium. Details regarding the event will be posted on the School District’s website.

Auditorium scene shop wall construction.

Classroom Addition and Interior Renovations

  • Steel structure for the classroom addition is progressing with exterior stone likely to begin in November.
  • The new cafeteria multi-purpose area, which is located in the deconstructed media center, will be completed and open for use by the end of December.
  • Beginning in December, the west side science wing will begin renovations. As a result of these classrooms not being available for instruction, six temporary portable classrooms will be brought to the site in late November and used throughout the remainder of the school year. The portable classrooms will be placed in the northwest staff parking area. A temporary staff parking area will be constructed on the northeast side of the site. Student parking will remain the same. Once the portable classrooms are open, the High School will increase student passing time between classes as a result of the added distance students will need to walk to get to these classrooms.
  • Beginning in December, the choir, band, and dance classrooms will begin renovation.
  • The east gymnasium is scheduled for renovations and additional space in March or April 2018 depending on weather.

Steel structure near the west side of the High School.  Crane placing steel beams for classroom addition.

Stadium Completion

  • The new stadium track has been completed to meet the specifications that called for a dark blue color.
  • The stadium plaza area that is currently gravel will be completed after the east gym addition and indoor running track are in place.

Middle School Open House

The Middle School held their community Open House on September 28, 2017. Presenters included Middle School Principal Jim Dalluhn, student council members Blake Buchholz and Mallory Arndt, Board member Rob Brown, and Superintendent Nick Ouellette. The presenters thanked the community for their support and investment in this new space. The student presenters talked about how the new classroom space is being used and how proud they are of their new space. Community members were able to tour the addition and renovated classroom areas.

Information on the original Middle School construction and additions was handed out to visitors. The original Middle School was opened in September 1994. The building served 785 students in 152,000 sq. ft. at a cost of $11,355,000. More space was added to the Middle School in 1997 and 2010. The current addition and renovations expand the building by 30,000 sq. ft. at a cost of $8.7 million. The school serves over 1,300 students.

Super Fun Walk & Run

Participants in the Super Fun Walk and Run

Grey skies and a little rain did not dampen the excitement at Willow River Elementary School’s 9th Annual Super Fun Walk & Run! Participants walked or ran a 5K (3.1 mile) course that looped through the historic downtown area and Lakefront Park. Wolfie made an appearance too!

Thanks to all volunteers for making this year’s event a big success!