Friday, June 29, 2012

Staff Satisfaction and Communication

In a recent staff satisfaction survey, our communication scores have skyrocketed! Employees feel more connected to the district, see the vision and mission as having been clearly shared and find the cabinet members and myself to be more approachable. I believe the rise in communication has been significantly impacted by the diligent work of our Public Information Specialist, Brett Berg, and marketing team, John Zimmerman, Scott Feldt, Sarah Van Berkum, Steve Huth, Sally Hannah-Downy, Steve Sperry and Brett Berg.  This past year, they have dedicated time to assisting the SDJ in exemplary communication.

Why does the School District of Janesville highly value strong communication?

It is our desire that all schools are well informed, so that there is greater transparency, accountability and our goals can be aligned. Through avenues such as the blog and weekly communication, Twitter, Facebook and our YouTube channel, we are able to develop a culture of transparency.  Not only are employees informed of what is happening in the district, but we are also able to communicate with the community and our stakeholders. We are able to share decisions that are being made, which eliminates ambiguity; acknowledge areas of success, which showcases the good work of our staff, and address concerns that surface, which helps to alleviate fear and uncertainty.

When a culture of transparency is evident, it allows for stronger accountability. Teachers and staff know the vision of our district, the efforts being made to live out that vision and what administrators are doing to achieve the districts vision. This creates a “no excuses” environment. We hold one another accountable to achieving great successes for our students.

Because of the importance I place on effective communication, I want to thank Brett Berg and the Marketing Team for their work in helping the School District of Janesville succeed.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Does Using a Primary Care Physician Mean for Me?

Guest Blogger: Tonya Williams, Employee Relations Specialist
School District of Janesville


There is no better time than now to begin a relationship with a Primary Care Physician (PCP)!  A PCP can be a family physician, a general practitioner, or an internal medicine doctor.  Your children may have a pediatrician as a PCP, and while she is pregnant, a woman may have her OB/GYN as her PCP.  All members in your family do not need to have the same PCP. 

Under the District’s Coordinated Health Care Plan (CHC), you will have your deductible waived, and your office visit covered at 85 percent when you use a PCP.  If you go to a specialist without a referral, you will pay $100 for your deductible and 80 percent for your office visit.  If you use the referral process, your office visits continue to be covered at 85% and your deductible is waived.  Currently there is only 27 percent of District staff utilizing a PCP compared to the CHC norm of 48 percent.  As of November 1, 2011, the District saved $529,257 in claim costs by staff using CHC’s referral service and utilizing PCPs.  The School District of Janesville will save even more if we can increase our PCP utilization and decrease specialist usage, so begin a relationship with a PCP today!

*Actual claims from my family to illustrate the savings I experience by using a PCP, and even a nurse practitioner, versus a specialist.

Provider
Claim Cost
Network Savings
Deductible Paid
Paid %
Patient Responsibility
Nurse Practitioner
$85.70
$23.36
Waived
85%
$9.35
PCP
$179.50
$39.23
Waived
85%
$21.04
Specialist
$255.60
$18.43
$100
80%
$147.43 (Inc. Ded.)


If you would like assistance in finding a PCP, please contact CHC at 1-877-550-3455 or go to http://www.sdjhealthplan.com/.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What’s Right in the School District of Janesville

The School District of Janesville received seven national and state awards during the 2011-2012 school year!
Kennedy Elementary School was declared a “National Blue Ribbon” School in 2011.   The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, honors schools ranked among each state's highest performing schools as measured by their performance on state assessments. 
U.S. News & World Report released its most recent list of National High School Rankings and Janesville Parker High School is ranked 19 in the state of Wisconsin out of 991 high schools, placing Parker in the top two percent in the state.  U.S. News awarded more than 4,850 gold, silver, and bronze medals to the top-performing schools in the nation.  Janesville Parker High School is ranked 1,891 out of 21,776 high schools nation-wide placing the school in the top nine percent in the country.
In recognition of its potential as a model Chinese language program for the U.S., strong local leadership, demonstrated commitment to international exchange and collaboration, and global vision for the future, The School District of Janesville has been accepted as a member of the third cohort of schools in the Asia Society Confucius Classrooms Network.  This national network of 100 exemplary Chinese language programs is being developed over a three-year period. With this third cohort, the Network represents almost 25,000 Chinese language learners in more than 100 schools in 27 states and the District of Columbia; public schools, independent schools, and charter schools; elementary, middle, and high schools; and urban, rural, and suburban schools.

The School District of Janesville has four schools that have been recognized as “Wisconsin Schools of Recognition” for the 2011-2012 school year.  They are: Adams Elementary School (2nd year in row), Lincoln Elementary School (3rd year in a row), Madison Elementary School and TAGOS Leadership Academy. The 2011-12 Wisconsin School of Recognition awards are given to schools that have some of the highest poverty rates in the state based on free and reduced-price school lunch data. Student achievement on the 2010-11 state reading and mathematics examinations was above average for schools from similarly sized districts, schools, grade configurations, and poverty levels. Each school also met adequate yearly progress for the past two years. Additionally, the schools either are Title I eligible or receive Title I funding to provide services to high numbers or high percentages of economically disadvantaged children. “In these schools, teachers, parents, administrators, other school staff members, and the community work together to create an educational environment that supports children’s learning,” Tony Evers, Wisconsin State Superintendent said. “This award recognizes their efforts and sets a tone for the 2011-12 school year: celebrate success, strive for ever-higher achievement, and always focus on children’s learning.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grease is the Word!

The School District of Janesville Summer School Program will present one of the most popular musicals of our time, GREASE!
The cast & crew include over 45 students from seven area high schools.

Directed by Jim Tropp, Music Directed by Jan Knutson, Brian Knutson and Choreographed by Michael Stanek, “GREASE” will be presented July 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and July 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Parker High School Auditorium, 3125 Mineral Point Ave, Janesville, WI 53545.
Tickets are available at Voigt Music, Knapton Musik Knotes and the Educational Services Center, 527 South Franklin, Janesville. Tickets will also be available at the box office on the day of performances or by calling 608-743-5591. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $15 for Adults. A special Family night performance will be held Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. and all
tickets will be $10.

The Janesville Summer School production of GREASE will features songs from the smash hit 1978 motion picture, including “Sandy”, the Academy Award nominated song “Hopelessly Devoted to You”, “Grease” and “You’re the One That I Want” - both of which were #1 hits on the Billboard Top 100 list. These songs will be heard in addition to the Jacobs/Casey songs made famous by the original stage production such as “Summer Nights”, “Greased Lightning” and “We Go Together!”

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Pocket Full of Sunshine?

Summer is upon us and outdoor activities are in full swing.  Whether participating in baseball, softball, camping, boating, hiking or completing yard work, overexposure to the sun and heat can cause damage to skin and initiate heat stroke.  The temperature is predicted to reach 100° on Thursday in Janesville.  Listed below are some signs that it might be time to get out of the sun!
Who is at risk? Heat-related illness can affect anyone not used to hot weather, especially when it's combined with high humidity.


Those especially at risk:
• Infants, young children, elderly and pets
• Individuals with heart or circulatory problems or other long-term illness
• Employees working in the heat
• Athletes and people who like to exercise (especially beginners)
• Individuals taking certain medications that alter sweat production
• Alcoholics and drug abusers

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is the most serious and life-threatening heat-related illness. In certain circumstances, your body can build up too much heat, your temperature may rise to life-threatening levels, and you can become delirious or lose consciousness. If you do not rid your body of excess heat fast enough, it "cooks" the brain and other vital organs. It is often fatal, and those who do survive may have permanent damage to their vital organs.
Symptoms of heatstroke
• The victim's body feels extremely hot when touched.
• Altered mental status (behavior) ranging from slight confusion and disorientation to coma.
• Conscious victims usually become irrational, agitated, or even aggressive and may have seizures.
• In severe heatstroke, the victim can go into a coma in less than one hour. The longer the coma lasts, the lower the chance for survival.
What to do
1. Move person to a half-sitting position in the shade.
2. Call for emergency medical help immediately.
3. If humidity is below 75%, spray victim with water and vigorously fan. If humidity is above 75%, apply ice packs on neck, armpits or groin.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is characterized by heavy perspiration with normal or slightly above normal body temperatures. It is caused by water or salt depletion or both (severe dehydration). Heat exhaustion affects workers and athletes who do not drink enough fluids while working or exercising in hot environments.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
• Severe thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea.
• The affected person often mistakenly believes he or she has the flu.
• Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke.
Other symptoms
• Profuse sweating
• Clammy or pale skin
• Dizziness
• Rapid pulse
• Normal or slightly above normal body temperature
What to do
1. Sit or lie down in the shade.
2. Drink cool water or a sports drink.
3. If persistent, gently apply wet towels and call for emergency medical help.

Information supplied by the National Safety Council’s Agricultural Division, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) – www.necasag.org

Friday, June 22, 2012

E-Books ~ For the Now Generation

The meaning of literacy and what it means to be literate has changed in the last two decades.  Technology has transformed the way we access reading materials, inform ourselves, and enjoy a good “who done it” book.  What’s more, digital books are on the technology fast track and are grabbing a lot of attention lately as many companies and public libraries are offering different digital forms to choose from.  The wide variety of devices and file formats can be confusing, and not all devices will allow you to read all file formats, making e-book choices challenging.  While this is hard to understand sometimes, it’s typical of technology moving forward at a rapid pace. 
As you are planning your summer reading list and thinking of ways to encourage your children to read as much as possible, consider that you can read digital books almost anywhere:  on your home computer, laptop, on a dedicated e-Reader like an Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iPad, or the Sony Reader, and even on handheld devices like an iPhones, Blackberrys or Androids. With a little planning, you can easily take e-books with you as you travel while at the same time finding new and innovative ways to engage your children with reading.  
If you have questions, it’s best to ask and your local librarian at the Hedberg Public Library; they would be happy to help.  Additional information is also available from our Nation’s Library of Congress website at: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ebooks/devicesformats.html#ereaders

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Are You Carrying The Correct Health Insurance Card?


Effective November 1, 2011, the district partnered with Coordinated Health Care (CHC) as a benefit enhancement for all of our insured staff.   This cost-savings measure is designed to save the district and our employees money in claims by eliminating redundant medical testing, as well as help our staff navigate through a complex and often fragmented medical system.

Physicians should be reaching out to CHC to have specific medical tests/services pre-certified.  These tests/services include outpatient surgeries, MRIs, MRAs, PET scans, oncology care, home health care and services, Hospice care, organ and bone marrow transplants, speech therapy, physical and occupational therapies and dialysis.  Although we have good relationships wtih our medical providers, don't assume your provider has reached out to CHC; you are your best health insurance consumer!

Next time you go to a medical provider be sure to give them your Coordinated Health Care insurance card.  If you need a new card, please contact CHC at 1-877-550-3455 or go to www.SDJHealthPlan.com.

Congratulations Parker High School: Reaping in the Awards!


Janesville Parker High School Is Named Co-Winner Of The Big 8 Sportsmanship Award

Parker High School has been honored for the good sportsmanship displayed by student athletes, coaches and fans at the school's athletic events.  Parker was named a Co-Winner of the 2011-12 Big 8 Conference Sportsmanship Award along with Madison Memorial.

What is good sportsmanship?  Fair conduct, fair play, respect for others and graciousness in losing.  This honor is voted upon by the league's head coaches: the head coach in every sport casts a vote to determine the winner.  Janesville Parker scored first place in football, boys' soccer, hockey (Co-op with Janesville Craig) and baseball.
In addition, Craig High School tied for third place. This shows that Janesville has a great reputation for sportsmanship throughout the state, and is a credit to the students and staff for the way they have embraced the District's Character in Action traits of respect, responsibility, cooperation, honesty and caring.  I am so proud of our athletic directors, coaches and students at both high schools - Parker High School and Craig High School, first and third respectively, for being distinguished for good sportsmanship.  Congratulations for a job well done.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why Digital e-Textbooks?

President Obama’s administration has set a lofty goal, calling for all students to use digital textbooks by 2017.  It’s a plan called “Digital Textbook Playbook”, with a focus on how schools can transform instruction, and improve student achievement – all while saving taxpayers money. 
School Boards and Educational Leaders across the nation are supportive of digital textbooks and the tremendous opportunities offered through digital content; however, there are also some hurdles to overcome before they can be used widely in our classrooms. 
One of the first challenges has been how to create the e-textbook.  When they were first developed, they resembled a printed page.  Early on, e-textbooks were so like the printed page that some critics thought school leaders were creating the most expensive book binding system ever developed.  In the early days, there was no advantage of e-textbooks over printed ones.  Today, e-textbooks offer much more, including links to assessment systems, homework management systems, and online learning communities.  This may not sound like much, but it is a foundational shift in textbook design and the way we provide instruction. 
Financial challenges are always present.  Most printed textbooks last seven to ten years, and our school budgets are built on that model.  However, publishers are changing the financial pillars by requiring that digital books be purchased or “subscribed to” annually.  This change puts additional pressures on already restricted district budgets. We haven’t found a way to fully incorporate this new subscription model in our existing budgets, but as e-textbooks are developed, our financial models will have to be examined. 
A clear advantage of the digital e-textbook are updates – never again will students have to read about wrong or outdated information as it can be updated regularly, and distributed as often as needed. For example, and hard to believe, but after the breakup of the USSR on December 25, 1991, student textbooks were wrong for many years. Many students read about the USSR as a single nation until 2001.   In the e-textbook world, a revised e-textbook could be shared out with the changes immediately.  In addition to regular updates, an e-textbook’s content can contain many different media like embedded video, interactive maps, and online connectivity.
Here in the School District of Janesville, we have invested in wireless for our students and staff to use throughout the school day.  This is no different than many of us investing in Wi-Fi in our homes – except on a much larger scale.  In the same way that we can use technology anywhere in our homes, we can use technology wirelessly in all our classrooms.  Having this infrastructure in place is critical to being able to begin using e-textbooks. We are poised to begin taking advantage of e-textbooks as they are developed by publishers. It will most likely be a gradual change, but like the incoming tide, e-textbooks will be a part of our children's futures.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Janesville Schools Outdoor Laboratory - Janesville's Hidden Educational Treasure

Janesville is fortunate that over 40 years ago, community leaders set aside a natural wooded area west of town as a conservancy specifically designed as an outdoor learning area for students.   That original 40 acre tract was named Janesville Schools Outdoor Laboratory (JSOL).  It was started as a dream by Robert O. Cook - former Adams Elementary School Principal. The dream turned into reality with help by the City of Janesville and the Janesville Noon Lions Club.  That tract, which is a registered School Forest owned by the City of Janesville, has grown to over 160 acres since 1969.  In 2011 a new partner, the Ice Age Trail coalition joined this unique partnership with volunteers connecting the trail at City 14 and Riverside Golf Course through an easement provided by the Hendricks family to JSOL.  That enabled the Ice Age Trail to connect seamlessly to Highway A and Austin Road as the trail heads west.  We are proud to support this level of collaboration in the community.
Many of the features of JSOL lend themselves to hands on science activities for students.  During the summer, two of our creative high school teachers host students in a summer school courses titled Survival Science.  Neal Boys and David Hintz created this four week summer course modeled after the popular Survivor TV show.
Survival Science was developed for students entering grades 6 – 9.  One of the main goals of this course is to get the students outdoors to experience and appreciate all that it holds.  While the students are introduced to JSOL, they will learn about the Science behind several different survival skills.  This four week class is divided into five major themes.  These include: water, food, fire, navigation and shelter. Each section incorporates several hands-on activities which demonstrate and teach each theme.
Students learn the importance of water by constructing rain collectors, solar stills and transpiration collectors.
Food is critical, therefore students identify many different plants and trees.  Teachers will point out plants that are edible, plants that are poisonous and plants that have medicinal uses.
Students are taught the different methods to start a small controlled campfire.  With a focus on safety, staff teaches the proper method to construct and start the fire and what safety precautions must be taken from starting a fire to the point of it being completely cool.
As the students learn the importance of water, heat, and food they also build a shelter just like the TV show.  Working in teams, each group constructs a natural shelter which will protect their team using natural materials found at the Arboretum.
Finally, students are taught that ONSTAR may work in your Buick but in the woods, navigation using compasses, the stars and a hand held GPS unit can be critical to survival.  During this section, students will be able to demonstrate several different methods for navigating and finding your way in the woods.  They also will use compasses and a GPS unit to complete a Geocaching activity.
The School District of Janesville is proud of partnerships that span generations of students and staff supported by our community.  Please take a walk on the trails of this hidden treasure west of Janesville.  It is our natural investment in our community and it should be enjoyed by everyone.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Congratulations to Parker High School!

PARKER HIGH SCHOOL FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
Compassion/Social Justice + Collaboration +
Ownership + Transparency = 
SUCCESS  FOR  STUDENTS

Parker received a silver medal for being 1,891 out of 21,776 schools in the nation, and nineteenth in the state of Wisconsin. We are proud of the work that teachers, staff and administrators are doing at PHS and want to recognize their efforts, successes and acknowledge what Parker is doing right.
Schools were ranked based on student performance on state achievement tests, college preparatory exams and the scores of minority and economically disadvantaged students.
When asked what sets Parker High School apart, social studies teacher Steve Strieker responded, “From an academic standpoint I don’t think we do anything completely different than what a lot of other schools are doing with academics. Despite changes in society, students still need to learn how to read, write, comprehend, analyze and do math. I think we have people who are well qualified in their disciplines, but I don’t think that sets us apart. I really think it is the connections, the culture.  The culture sets us apart.” Other staff and administrators seem to agree—Parker is defined by the culture established by administrators, staff and teachers.
Culture of Compassion and Social Justice
Teachers at Parker actively pursue connecting with students. Teachers spend time in the halls building relationships with students. It is not solely about standing in the halls, teachers have an awareness and presence. Teachers are taking time to engage students and learn about them—who they are, what their needs are, what motivates them. Our students deserve a good education and opportunities to grow, and the teachers at Parker seek to provide opportunities for every child to reach their potential. “I see it when I’m walking through after school—Ms. Baur tutoring a student she doesn’t teach. Mr. Strieker checking in on a student who has been off for a couple of days. I see it when Ms. Stratton (secretary) goes out of her way to help a student who is just struggling and having a bad day…That’s always been going on, but I see more. I feel very proud to work here at Parker because of the relationships I see being built,” Assistant Principal Dan Keyser shared.
This culture of compassion extends beyond meeting classroom needs. Parker teachers’ care for students evidences itself through efforts of educator such as Deri Walhert, who started the Parker Closet. This initiative provides basic necessities for students in financial need. Walhert, through engaging in conversations with students, recognized a need, and then sought a way to create a solution. Teachers desire to see their students succeed and actively seek out ways to provide opportunities for students to do that.
“It’s demonstrating day in and day out that you’re there for kids. It’s the conversations in the hallway, willingness to give an extension because a kid has to work. It’s making phone calls home when things go well. It’s buying kids lunch when they can’t afford it. We have a lot of people who are very good at this, and some who are helping develop a deeper understanding of student needs,” Principal Chris Laue commented on the culture and relationships at Parker.
Culture of Collaboration
Now, more than ever, teachers are communicating well not only in their departments, but also interdepartmentally and across the schools. According to math teacher, Joe Dye, “It isn’t uncommon to see three teachers getting together from both high schools taking about pacing schedules or writing curriculum-based assessments. The bar is raised equally between each school creating consistency.”
There is support across departments as well. Teachers are feeling connected to the staff as a whole and deeper relationships are being built, which enable teachers to more effectively work together to help students achieve. Many teachers feel confident that if they were having an issue, they could find someone—in any department—to talk to and support them. Parker is establishing a staff that functions like a family.
Many teachers who have been at Parker feel the need to mentor the younger teachers, helping them develop similar attitudes of collaboration, social justice and transparency. They want to help all teachers feel connected to the school.
Teachers also acknowledge that their success is related to parent involvement. Many Parker parents are actively involved in their students’ lives, which manifests itself very obviously in the co-curricular lives of Parker students. Parents are involved; not only in athletics, but also with the experiences students have in musicals, through the band program, DECA and many other organizations. Teachers see parents engaging with their students’ education.
Culture of Ownership
As students feel more connected to and take pride in their school, there is a tendency towards greater academic achievement. Many students spend the majority of their time in the school building. If they do not feel safe or connected, then their ability to focus on their work is drastically reduced.
Through outreach programs like Brothers Reaching Out (BRO), Sisters Empowering Sisters (SES), Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and the anti-bullying club, students are able to develop a strong connection to the school, as well as a sense of ownership. Students hold a sense of pride in the building.
Students are also given the opportunity to help each other grow. Parker has a strong VIC tutoring program that allows teachers and students to help one another. They are also beginning a math mentorship program. Math teachers are inviting some of their students to serve as peer mentors with students in algebra 1 classes. Students are helping other students prepare to be successful, which continues to develop students’ pride in Parker, feelings of connectedness and desire to succeed.
Culture of Transparency
Through Administrators rounding on staff and staff rounding on students, a culture of transparency has been created at Parker. Teachers are able to engage in open and honest dialogue. “I’ll say that about the administration and the school culture. I’ll say that despite my loud voice, they don’t squelch or silence you. Our administration has never tried to silence me. That’s part of social justice—open, honest dialogue,” Steve Strieker state.

PARKER HIGH SCHOOL ~ I AM SO PROUD OF YOUR STELLAR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Janesville Excellence in Education Foundation

The Janesville Excellence in Education (EIE) Foundation was established in 2010 with donations from local businesses, alumni, and supporters of the School District of Janesville. The Foundation's mission is to enhance educational programs, extend educational opportunities, encourage innovation, and recognize the achievement of students and staff. The Foundation is independent of the school district operating budget.

The Janesville EIE Foundation is led by an advisory board composed of school leaders and community volunteers. The advisory board leads fundraising efforts and determines the annual grant awards.
In February 2012, the Janesville EIE Foundation made its first set of awards to the School District of Janesville.  The District received more than $6,000 for six projects at six different schools:
Edison Middle School bought disc golf baskets to be used in construction of a disc golf course planned for the Edison school grounds in 2012-2013. The grant was submitted by Mark Little, physical and health education teacher.
Madison Elementary School received six iPads for small group use. The grant was submitted by Christine Veium, academic learning coach.
Parker High School purchased 14 novel sets by African-American authors for use in junior year American Literature course. The grant was submitted by Sara Heiss, English teacher.
Jefferson Elementary School used the grant money for a projector and related equipment allowing for a wireless connection from the school’s existing iPads to an Apple TV. The grant was submitted by Jeff Halverson, first grade teacher.
Franklin Middle School used the grant money for materials to build four roller coaster models in technology  education classes. The grant was submitted by Kurt Larson, technology education teacher.
Craig High School used the grant money for calculators for the School Within a School (SWS) program. SWS serves at-risk students in grades 9-12. The grant was submitted by Domanic Wiegel, math and SWS teacher.
Donations to the Janesville EIE Foundation are welcome at any time of the year. All gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Make an online donation or mail a check to the following:

Janesville Excellence in Education Foundation
c/o Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin
26 S. Jackson St.
Janesville, WI 53548

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What’s Right in the School District of Janesville

What’s Right in the School District of Janesville (SDJ) is a forum to recognize outstanding performances and achievements by SDJ employees, students and schools.
Janesville Parker Impresses New Family to SDJ
The following email was sent to Parker Principal Chris Laue from Tammy Carlson, ESC Secretary
“I just wanted to pass on a compliment that I received today about your school staff.  We had a parent of a St. Mary's parochial school student who lives in Edgerton that had completed open enrollment to go to Janesville or Milton.  The family toured both Janesville Parker and Craig as well as Milton High School and the son chose to attend Parker High School because he felt so welcomed by your building.  The mother said that your orientation impressed her son and her family so much that even though no one else from St. Mary’s will be attending Parker from his classes, he still wanted to attend there next year.”

Adams Elementary School Students Visit JSOL
Fourth grade teachers at Adams Elementary School worked to better align the lessons at Janesville Schools Outdoor Lab (JSOL) with science Curriculum-Based Assessment (CBA) objectives.  On Friday, May 11th, 65 Adams Elementary School fourth graders visited JSOL. Their learning activities focused on erosion and stream studies.  Next fall, the fourth grade JSOL trip will focus on ecosystems.

Harrison Elementary School “Walks Around”
As part of Shape Up Wisconsin, all Harrison Elementary School staff and students walked outside together for thirty minutes on Friday, May 4th. Collectively, they logged over 1,500,000 steps!
Lincoln Elementary School has a “Day of the Child” Celebration
Lincoln Elementary School’s ELL department held a “Day of the Child” celebration.  All of the students who attended presented either poems or a reader’s theater and Lincoln staff encouraged family reading time and literacy. They also had some book themed carnival games and raffles. It was a great success as 21 of 39 ELL students attended with their families.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Student Satisfaction Survey

The School District of Janesville, in an effort to gauge student’s perception regarding their academic experience, administered a Student Satisfaction Survey in December 2011 and January 2012.
In May 2011, the Strategic Planning Team decided it would be important to create student surveys for students in Prekindergarten through grade 12. The Strategic Planning Team hoped to obtain valuable data related to the student’s perception of their experiences in the School District of Janesville in the area of diversity, safety, academics, extra-curricular activities, and 21st Century Learning. There were two surveys created, as administration wanted to ensure the surveys were grade level appropriate for elementary and secondary students.
It is important to the School District of Janesville’s administration to understand and adequately meet the needs of students. The analysis of the student surveys will guide School Improvement Plans and Leader Evaluation Manager Goals throughout the district for administrators and all district staff.  From the district perspective, it is important to focus attention on meeting the academic and social/emotional needs of students. Just as the Employee and Parent Satisfaction results drive action plans of staff throughout the district, so will the results obtained from the Student Satisfaction survey. The data will be used to guide future strategic action planning, strengthen student retention initiatives, identify areas of strength within the district and provide an opportunity to track progress toward district goals.
District administration will work with building leaders to develop a deep understanding of the factors that impact student satisfaction--from the student's perspective. The Student Satisfaction Survey will be one tool district staff will utilize to continue to gain insight into the factors that influence the perspectives of our students.