Wisconsin Education News

September 17, 2021

The Wisconsin Education News is a daily update of education news and events that are taking place around Wisconsin. 

Elmbrook parents sound off against school board regarding COVID-19 protocols

BROOKFIELD, Wis. — The Elmbrook Board of Education approved a COVID-19 threshold plan that changes as COVID-19 rates change in the district.

Citizen comments strongly tip toward ending mask mandate

JEFFERSON — With hundreds of community members present and about three dozen speakers, public sentiment at Monday night’s Jefferson school board meeting tipped strongly against requiring masks in schools.

Manitowoc community members protest school district's mask mandate before heated board meeting

Thousands of families across Northeast Wisconsin continue to flock to their local school districts.

MMSD’s virtual schooling for the fall semester

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Metropolitan School District’s school year is underway, and while many students are back in the classroom, some are opting to stay virtual for another semester.

Community leaders, KUSD school officials call for unity, respond to alleged campaign targeting student count

Parents, educators and community leaders called for unity Tuesday night in response to divisiveness they said has been directed toward Kenosha Unified School Board officials and educators following a decision to require masks inside district buildings.

COVID-19 outbreak at Menomonee Falls' Ben Franklin Elementary School

MENOMONEE FALLS — The Menomonee Falls School District's Ben Franklin Elementary School is currently experiencing "an increase of COVID-19 cases" - including quarantined students who are now testing positive, the school told families Tuesday night.

Some Chequamegon schools go virtual due to COVID cases

PRICE COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) - Several Northwoods schools within the same district are going to fully-virtual learning after an increased number of COVID cases among students.

Momentum Gathers For Vaccine Mandate In Madison Schools

The president of the National Education Association said vaccinations help keep school communities safe, saying her organization has encouraged those eligible within schools to get their shots.

Elementary school is 1st in Dane Co. to hire goats to clear invasive species

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - An elementary school on Madison’s north side became the first school in the county to take a more natural approach in removing invasive plants, with a little help from some grazing goats.

Public hearing on Memorial High School renaming Sept. 29

The committee charged with recommending new names for James Madison Memorial High School will hold a public hearing on its four remaining considerations on Sept. 29 at 5 p.m.

Brodhead schools going back to referendum April measure would look to fund current operations

The Brodhead School Board last week decided to move ahead with an April referendum to exceed the revenue limit in order to maintain current programs and facilities.

Renovations for elementary, high schools in Black River Falls

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WKBT) – It’s a day of celebration for students in Jackson County.

1 in 3 COVID cases in Wisconsin are children, Oak Creek parents push for mask mandate

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Parents are concerned in the rise in COVID cases as the Milwaukee County Health Department is reporting one in three COVID cases in Wisconsin are children.

MMSD considers ending suspensions for 4k-5 students

The Madison Metropolitan School District is weighing a moratorium on out of school suspensions for young students. The moratorium would prohibit the punitive practice for students from 4-k through fifth grade.

GOP-authored bill would revamp early education reading readiness assessments

A GOP-authored bill in the state Legislature would replace the state’s annual reading readiness assessment program for students in grades K-2 with a new three-tiered literacy program.

Green Bay area school district and COVID-19: Answers to six questions about the virus

The number of Green Bay public school students and staff isolated or quarantined because of COVID-19 exposure climbed past 1,500 Tuesday afternoon, as COVID-19 activity in the county remained high.

Wausau School District hosts tour of schools for Wausau School Board

Wausau - On Monday, the Wausau School District hosted a tour of its schools for members of the Wausau School Board. The goal of the tour was to help board members see problems with the existing facilities and highlight some of the goals the district has in improving the buildings.

De Pere bringing homecoming back for first time since 2000

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - The Unified School District of De Pere is bringing back a high school rite of passage. After more than 20 years, a homecoming celebration returns next month. The district designated the home football game against Notre Dame on October 1 as the homecoming game, with a homecoming dance the next night.

School Board Accepts Superintendent Gerlach Retirement at End of School Year; Offers Position to Assistant Superintendent Cory Hirsbrunner

STEVENS POINT  – The Stevens Point Area Public School District School Board accepted the retirement of Superintendent Craig Gerlach at the end of the 2021-22 school year, June 30, 2022, at their Sept. 13 School Board Meeting.

Wisconsin leaders discuss, celebrate community schools model at Hawthorne Elementary

National, state and local officials gathered at Madison’s Hawthorne Elementary School Tuesday morning to discuss and advocate for community schools.

Wausau School Board pushes discussion of COVID-19 policies to end of month as more staff, students test positive, quarantine

WAUSAU – The Wausau School Board did not address the district's contentious COVID-19 policies at its Monday night meeting, despite pushback from parents and others in the community.

Education groups split over bill that would triple reading tests for young students

MADISON (WKOW) -- A bill proposed by legislative Republicans would triple how often children are assessed on their reading skills through second grade. Students who are struggling would then be labeled 'at-risk,' triggering an automatic intervention.

Herb Kohl Foundation Teacher and Principal Nominations can now be submitted online

MILWAUKEE — Nominations of Wisconsin PK through 12 teachers and principals can now be submitted online at www.kohleducation.org for the 2022 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation teacher Fellowship and principal Leadership awards.

Mellen school wins school meal grant

Mellen School received a $2,000 grant from GENYOUth and Land O’ Lakes to help nourish students with healthy meals and milk daily.

Football fans can stand on the track, if rules respected

Football fans will be allowed on the track during games this year, provided they follow the rules set forth to protect the track surface.

Number of students, staff quarantines increased 4-fold in Madison School District

Four times as many Madison students were quarantined due to close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 compared with a week ago, according to data updated by the district Wednesday.

COVID-19 policy staying the same at DC Everest School District

Schofield, Wis. (WSAW) - COVID-19 policy in the DC Everest School District will stay the same for now.

Germantown School Board approves reduced paper contract

The Germantown School District reduced the amount of paper that it is purchasing in its annual paper contract, School Board member Michael Loth said during the Sept. 13 School Board meeting.

La Crosse schools receive state funding for library improvements

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - La Crosse public schools will be receiving library upgrades thanks to a record round of state funding.

Rally held in opposition to School District of Waukesha's sign policy

WAUKESHA — Dozens of parents, teachers and students rallied before the School District of Waukesha's board meeting Wednesday night.

Weeks into the year, Wis. school districts say they’re still short on bus drivers

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - School districts in southcentral Wisconsin are, like others around the nation, still short of bus drivers and working with temporary fixes for the fall semester.

Why some Northeast Wisconsin school districts show major differences in Covid numbers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- At a glance, some school Covid data looks troubling.

Joe Innis hired as School District of Tomahawk’s Interim Administrator

TOMAHAWK – Joe Innis has been hired as the School District of Tomahawk’s Interim Administrator, the district’s Board of Education announced on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

Despite Rising Quarantines, Green Bay Schools Optimistic on COVID Mitigation

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) – As the Green Bay Area Public School District surpasses 1,600 students and staff out of school due to COVID-related isolations and quarantines, nobody is sounding the alarm quite yet.

Parents react to outbreaks, COVID-19 protocols two weeks into school year

MENOMONEE FALLS — A Menomonee Falls elementary school is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak after ten students tested positive for the virus this week.

Salem School revisiting COVID-19 protocols after at least 10 test positive for virus

SALEM — Salem School reached a threshold of positive COVID-19 cases this week that triggered a review of safety protocols, and the School Board will survey parents on possible steps to be taken.

Green Bay partners for kindergarten readiness program

GREEN BAY – Entering kindergarten with the tools and knowledge to hit the ground running is the goal of all parents, teachers and school districts.

Granton School Board Approves New Accounts

The Granton School Board approved a few new accounts.

Wisconsin Dells School District preliminary data shows enrollment increase

A preliminary headcount shows student enrollment has grown Wisconsin Dells School District though the numbers could change later this week.

With mask policy in place, Holmen board hears student support for masking

The debate over mandatory masking in the School District of Holmen isn’t done. Supporters and opponents of the policy turned out to voice their opinions at the School Board’s Monday meeting.

Greenwood School Board Provides Administration With Direction on Contact Tracing

The Greenwood School Board provided Administration with some direction on how to proceed with contact tracing.

Wautoma Area School Board hears A+ After School Program & AP Exam Presentations

The Wautoma Area School Board members returned to Parkside Middle School on Sept. 13 and heard presentations from A+ After School Program Coordinator Kendra Knutson and Wautoma High School Assistant Principal and Assessment Coordinator Doug Beattie.

Waupaca School Board questions masks mandates

At a special meeting on Sept. 7, the Waupaca School Board reviewed the data and methods used by the district’s medical team and administration to require masks inside school buildings.

First Lady Jill Biden visits Milwaukee school to talk about COVID-19

MILWAUKEE — Kids in classrooms and COVID-19 concerns were on the mind of First Lady Dr. Jill Biden when she visited a Milwaukee Public School and talked about vaccinations and keeping kids safe in school on Wednesday.

Wauwatosa West debuts new virtual cadaver

WAUWATOSA — Say goodbye to the plastic bones and skulls in your science classroom and hello to virtual cadavers. Well, that's at least what some students at Wauwatosa West High School are saying.

Wisconsin lawmakers try again with education transparency website

(The Center Square) – Parents may soon be able to see just how their kids’ school is spending its money. The Assembly’s Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight held a public hearing on a plan to create a spending transparency portal.

Ashwaubenon schools mandate masks in grades 4K-6

ASHWAUBENON – One week after the district began classes with recommended masks, the Ashwaubenon School Board changed its policy for the lower grades.

Howard-Suamico continues recommended masks

SUAMICO – Stay the course. That was the message Howard-Suamico Superintendent Damian LaCroix shared with a packed boardroom as he said the district will continue its highly recommended, but not required masking policy at the Sept. 13 School Board meeting.

Osseo-Fairchild announces training partnerships with CVTC

OSSEO - It was announced at the Osseo-Fairchild School Board meeting held on Monday, Sept. 13 that partnership programs with Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) with the district will begin during the 2022-23 school year.

Here's the number of sick and quarantined Sheboygan students and the district's plan to keep schools in person

SHEBOYGAN - One thing everyone seems to agree on is that in-person learning is a top priority this year.

Verona Area School District to ask staff for COVID-19 vaccination status in survey

Before the Verona Area School District considers creating a policy to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for staff, it wants to gauge the percentage who have gotten the jab.

Falling public school enrollment means less money for schools, programs

The number of students attending Wisconsin public schools is expected to decline in the coming school year.

Online learning still a viable option for Milton and Janesville students

In Janesville and Milton, the majority of students logged into an online platform for most of 2020. Fortunately, the Janesville School District already had ARISE in place.

Ft. Atkinson school board votes to require masks after middle schooler dies while positive with COVID-19

FORT ATKINSON, Wis. — The Fort Atkinson School Board voted on Thursday to require masks for all students in each grade level district-wide.

Lancaster mom thankful for district’s new mask mandate because of daughter’s vulnerable health

LANCASTER (WKOW) -- The Lancaster School Board voted Wednesday to require all staff and students to wear masks after more than 200 people in the district tested positive or were close COVID-19 contacts. One mom says the new rule will make the classroom a lot safer for her daughter.

Donation helps South Milwaukee build turf field, beef up athletics

SOUTH MILWAUKEE — South Milwaukee is celebrating as donations will help athletics and a turf football field.

School districts honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

(WAOW) -- Wednesday marked the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month and a few school districts in our area are celebrating.

Protesters gather outside critical race theory forum in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The debate over critical race theory made its way to Green Bay as a forum criticizing the theory was held on Thursday. Protesters against the event lined up across the street from where it was taking place calling the discussion racist and saying the subject isn’t even taught in public schools.

‘Incredibly reckless’: Jefferson County health official, community members plead schools to do more to stop COVID-19 spread

Samroz Jakvani, an epidemiologist and public information officer with the Jefferson County Health Department has been attending many of these school board meetings across the county. From his perspective, contentious is an understatement.

Who notifies MPS students that they should quarantine? Family's story highlights confusion within system

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Who is supposed to notify students in Milwaukee Public Schools when they need to quarantine? One mother brought her concerns to CBS 58, and her story uncovered confusion within different agencies.

Fox Valley, Green Bay schools experience destruction from TikTok challenge

NEENAH, Wis. (WLUK) -- A national trend of theft and vandalism at schools is showing up in Northeast Wisconsin.

Lancaster puts in mask mandate Temporary order to allow committee to be formed, mask matrix instituted

In a meeting that got contentious at times, including to a point when several members who spoke out were asked to leave the building, the Lancaster Community School Board voted to reinstate a mask mandate for all students and staff in school facilities.

Columbus schools adds a monthly heritage day to the school lunch menu

COLUMBUS – A monthly food option in the Columbus School District is meant to add a new experience for students while bringing the culture of others to the table.

Madison West suspends varsity football program due to health and safety protocols

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison West High School is suspending its varsity football program due to health and safety protocols.

COVID-19 hits Manawa School District

A local school board deliberated for more than two hours Sept. 10 on how to handle a covid outbreak within its school district.

Is a pool in sight for 54001?

Recently the School District of Amery hosted a School Facilities Community Engagement Meeting, where once again members of the public voiced their opinions on the idea of Amery having a swimming pool.

Face masks continue to be optional in Lake Geneva schools

Students and staff members of the Lake Geneva Joint No. 1 School District will continue to have the option of whether to wear a face mask or not.

Rib Lake looks at options for middle school gym

The Rib Lake School board balanced durability versus sports use when deciding on a replacement to the worn middle school floor.

Owen-Withee School Board Hears Presentation on Defeasance

The Owen-Withee School Board began their meeting with a presentation on defeasance.

D.C. Everest schools monitor COVID cases; "mask optional" policy remains

WESTON, WI (WSAU-WAOW) – There are 26 active cases among students in the D.C. Everest School District. 131 students were quarantined because of close contact.

Waunakee schools see spike in enrollment, few opt for virtual learning

WAUNAKEE, Wis. (WMTV) - Students are getting settled into their new classrooms in the Waunakee Community School District and the superintendent’s main goal is to keep them there.

Oneida County Sheriff and school district team up to teach hunter safety course

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WAOW) -- With different hunting season just weeks or even days away, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with Rhinelander schools to teach younger hunters an important safety lesson.

School faculty become contact tracers amidst lack in health departments

WISCONSIN, (WAOW)-- As COVID cases pop up in schools, that combined with health departments having a lack of contact tracers is leaving employees in the schools to do the job of contact tracing.

State Treasurer Godlewski visits Emerson Elementary

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski visited Emerson Elementary School on Wednesday, meeting with Superintendent Dr. Aaron Engel, Principal Eric Check, faculty and students.

Wisconsin parents could pull children out of gender, sexuality curriculum under proposed bill

Wisconsin parents could opt their children out of educational programming "related to sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or gender expression" under a bill heard Thursday by the Assembly education committee.