Houlton Elementary School used the November Early Release Day to try something new – Innovation Day! Staff and students brainstormed a list of topics they wanted to teach or learn about. Students voted for their top ten choices and then signed up for two classes of their choice. The Innovation Day classes included stomp rockets, clay bead making, STEM, mystery science, fitness fun, slime, arts and crafts, origami, mindfulness, jewelry making, animals, drawing, and cooking. Staff enjoyed the change of pace and the students loved learning about something new!
The Hudson School District is excited to report that the School District is ranked in the top 8% of Wisconsin school districts according to the recently released Wisconsin School Report Cards. All of the Hudson Schools scored an Exceeds or Significantly Exceeds Expectations on their report cards. The School District is particularly proud of progress made on closing learning gaps and making academic progress for all children.
Individual 2018-2019 School Report Cards can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Raider homecoming spirit spread across the district today, as the Spirit Bus along with the football team, marching band and the Raidaires visited our elementary schools; promoting Raider Pride, sportsmanship and having some homecoming fun. Go Raiders!
The Houlton Art Bench project began several years ago with a request from the Phipps Center for the Arts, asking Houlton Elementary to participate in the St. Croix River Art Bench Trail. Hundreds of hours later, there is now a community “gathering place” in the St. Croix River Crossing Loop Trail Trailhead, located across the street from Houlton Elementary School.
The process began in 2017, with representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, St. Croix County, Phipps Center for the Arts, Township of St. Joe, St. Croix Valley Bike and Pedestrian Trails Coalition, and Houlton Elementary School brainstorming what this Art Bench could become. As part of the Trailhead, it was envisioned to be the keystone “bench” on the Art Bench Trail. The idea of an Art Bench expanded, and soon it became a gathering space that would hold 20-25 people on terraced stone seating, to redefine a local place for the redesigned Houlton community.
An artist, Hudson architect John Kalmon, was selected and began to meet with Houlton 4th and 5th grade students the fall of 2018. Background knowledge had been built, aligned to grade level social studies standards, so students were aware of the cultural, historical and natural resources of the area. This was an integral part of the project, as its purpose was to represent the area in some way. Kalmon brought over 60 students through the design process, with monthly meetings for brainstorming and refining their ideas. Careful synthesizing of the students’ vision resulted in a semi-circle of stones with a stage-like area, where community groups could come together to meet. Student groups identified a symbol that represented their learning, and these images have been incorporated into the space by being etched into the stone seating. In addition, our Hudson High School students made steel images that are set into cement pavers throughout the space. Houlton students created a scavenger hunt that included their images and what each represented.
Once the design was finalized, Willow River Landscape was hired to work with the students to build the 20-foot diameter space. Pavers were made, trees, shrubs and plants planted, and mulch spread. The result, Houlton Hawks Landing, will be officially unveiled on the morning of September 21st. It has truly been a labor of love, by the hands of the Houlton students and community.
Donations and support were gathered, sometimes by pure luck, and the project wove together the resources and services of many community members and businesses. Grant funding was received from the Friends of Perch Lake, Hudson Daybreak Rotary, Hudson Education Foundations, Hudson Home and Garden Club, Houlton Elementary Parent Association, St. Croix Bike and Pedestrian Trails Coalition, St. Croix County, St. Croix Valley Foundation, Thrivent, the Town of St. Joseph, the William H. Phipps Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board. In addition, there was strong community support from Rivard Stone, Hartman Homes, St. Croix County Historical Society, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners, and the Hudson High School Tech Ed Department.
We invite the Hudson community to share our gathering space as you explore the St. Croix River Crossing Loop Trail. The Houlton students think you will find it to be a beautiful place to land, if just for a moment!
Presentations were also provided by Board Treasurer Heather Logelin and Tim Erickson, Chief Financial and Operations Officer. Together, they covered the 2019-2020 proposed budget and levy, budget challenges and assumptions, and the impact on property taxes.
Address reduced state funding levels.
Address instructional needs for all learners including: staff professional development, curriculum adoption, resource materials, and services to meet student needs.
Maintain student to teacher ratios within class size guidelines.
Sustainable funding for long-term maintenance and capital improvement plan for all facilities.
State equalization aid is projected to be $836,000 less or 3.8% lower than last year and per pupil categorical aid has been increased by $88 per student under the first year of the biennial state budget or a $496,000 increase over last year.
The estimated mill rate of $10.35 is down 1.54% from last year’s $10.51. Overall property valuation is estimated to increase 10.09% compared to 3.7% last year. The state average is 6.0%
Total under levy stands at approximately $3,300,000, which is direct tax relief for property owners in the Hudson School District.
Salaries and benefits are budgeted to increase $1,830,000 or 4.0% over last and include new staffing, staffing reductions, Teacher Salary Structure, Support Staff Compensation System, Hudson Lead Salary Structure, and Board approved increase of 2.5%