Saturday, September 27, 2014

Casualty Care Kits Coming to the School District of Janesville

(This article appeared in the Janesville Gazette on Wednesday, September 24, 2014)
The reporter was Gina Duwe

Janesville school staff are being trained on how to treat casualties from a school shooting or other emergency as part of a local program that organizers say could be a national model.
All 1,200 Janesville School District staff will receive training in tourniquet application, and about 900 Casualty Care Classroom Kits will be distributed in the schools.

“It's going to empower people,” said Kevin Olin, school resource officer at Marshall Middle School.
“Hopefully this training will empower some teachers to realize they could really make a difference in situations,” he said.

Mercy Health System, the Janesville police and fire departments and the school district have teamed up to provide the kits in response to an active shooter tabletop exercise mediated by the FBI last winter.

They believe it is the first kit of its kind, and it has the potential to become a national model, said Dr. Christopher Wistrom, emergency medicine physician and associate EMS medical director for Mercy Health System.  “It's a kit that anybody can use,” Olin said.

The tools also could be useful if a tornado or explosion wreaked havoc, he said.

The kits focus on preventable trauma deaths with tools to stop bleeding, including gauze, pressure dressings, materials to pack a wound and a tourniquet.

“Probably the biggest advantage of the kit is not the kit itself, it's probably the education that goes along with it,” Wistrom said.

The kits cost $9 to $10. A Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction grant is paying for the kits at Craig and Parker high schools, and the district is working to secure funding for the remaining kits, said Yolanda Cargile, director of student services.

Mercy is supplying the bags and information cards and buying the supplies at cost. Mercy physicians and members of the police and fire departments are serving as trainers.

All Janesville private and parochial schools have been invited to participate. Wistrom said he has heard St. John Vianney Parish School will participate.


Before the military reissued tourniquets to all soldiers about a decade ago, soldiers who were injured in combat and made it to a hospital had a 17 percent chance of dying, Wistrom said. Now, injured soldiers who reach the hospital have only a 2 percent chance of dying, he said.
A stigma still surrounds tourniquets, he said, because people wrongly believe using one will increase the chance of amputation. A tourniquet can be used for six to eight hours without increasing the risk of amputation, he said.

Soldiers returning from war without an arm or leg are alive because tourniquets lessened their loss of blood, but the tourniquets were not the cause of the amputations, he said.


School administrators already have finished the training, which for staff begins next week. Staff members complete a survey about their first aid comfort levels and watch a nine-minute video before attending the training, which includes a 10-minute lecture and questions before hands-on instruction using mannequins and tools in the kit. Staff completes the survey again to measure the impact of the training.
The two main causes of post-traumatic stress disorder are the feelings of helplessness and terror, Wistrom said. “A fair number of people involved in these situations (who) have significant, long-lasting psychological effects are from feeling helpless and the terror that goes along with that,” he said. “Now, the teachers are empowered and have the ability to act in these situations and do something proactive.” Principals who have completed the training thanked Cargile for the program. “I think it empowers them with the tool that they need … versus just wondering, 'What can I do?' and feeling helpless,” Cargile said.

The United States averages one school shooting every two weeks, Wistrom said.


Wistrom and law enforcement members found no model for their kits during an extensive literature review, he said. “We built this from the ground up,” he said. A similar effort is underway in Oak Creek, he said. “I do truly believe we have the simplest and cheapest system right now that's going to be in place,” Olin said. 

Several area school districts have expressed interest in the program, but Wistrom said he has been focused on rolling out the Janesville program smoothly before expanding.

A special agent from the FBI's Milwaukee office has looked at the program and said it should be considered for a federal model, Wistrom said. He will continue to work with authorities as the program grows.

“I pray that they're never used, I really do,” Wistrom said.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

First Global Educational Community Advisory Board Meets in Janesville

Please watch Channel 3 News tonight at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a snip-it of what was discussed today at our first Global Educational Community Advisory Board meeting. The Gazette will be running a story in tomorrow's newspaper.  The School District of Janesville continues to be a major player in International linkages for our students.  

My continued thanks to educators such as Chris Kohn, Eric Wahl, Lee Gruber (now retired), Bob Getka, Tom Heiss, Lynn Little, Beth Ulring, Amanda Warner, Sandra Ardrey, Leah Hellenbrand, and oh, so many more that are putting Janesville on the map and attracting students to come study here.

Here is the vision, mission and core values of the Global Educational Community.


                        The Vision
The Global Educational Community (GEC) has been formed so that every educational community and its members can be provided with the knowledge and opportunities to conduct and learn from authentic opportunities in educational practice.  These opportunities shall be organized collaboratively and globally engaging people educationally with the world and its problems.                      

                              The Mission

GEC advocates the idea that all children can study and learn      together    as a global community.  In the process children,  their parents and their teachers can learn from, and teach each other as they are welcomed into a community where all can become more competent as global citizens.  They will be exposed to artistic, scientific, authentic, and practical resources and interventions – all available to families, schools and other related stakeholders

      Core Values
The values that underlie GEC and its work are: that we believe in harmony with diversity all open for development for all children globally as if they were our neighbors.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quint Studer Receives First Marketing Visionary IMPACT Award

 (Gulf Breeze, FL) - Studer Group®, a Gulf Breeze, Florida-based outcomes firm, is proud to announce that our Founder, Quint Studer, will be honored with Modern Healthcare’s first-ever Healthcare Marketing Visionary IMPACT award on September 23, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois.

This award, launched with Modern Healthcare’s sister publication Advertising Age, is given “to an outstanding individual who has effectively and ethically advanced public understanding of healthcare issues and made lasting contributions to the industry over the course of his or her career,” states Merrill Goozner, Editor, Modern Healthcare.

He continues,  “Their efforts must have consistently demonstrated an ability to communicate complex healthcare information in a manner that was compelling, effective, reliable and responsible. Through their leadership, the individual and the organizations with which they were affiliated must have built solid reputations and made lasting contributions to the healthcare industry. ”

Studer spent ten years as a teacher before entering the healthcare industry in 1984. From then until he founded Studer Group in 2000, he served as Department Director, Vice President, and Senior Vice President at a number of organizations and as President of Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. Studer has authored six books and remains in the field creating tools and techniques designed to make organizations better.

About Studer Group®:  A recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Studer Group is an outcomes-based healthcare performance improvement firm that works with healthcare organizations in the United States, Canada, Australia and beyond, teaching them how to achieve, sustain, and accelerate exceptional clinical, operational, and financial results. Working together, they help to get the foundation right so organizations can build a sustainable culture that promotes accountability, fosters innovation, and consistently delivers a great patient experience and the best quality outcomesover time. To learn more about Studer Group, visit

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

      The Journey to Excellence Continues to Show Dividends

       2013-14 School Report Card Scores

Six years ago, the School District of Janesville embarked on a district wide effort focused on raising student achievement titled, Journey to Excellence.  On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released the third set of School Report Card Scores and this is the second year that report cards for all 424 districts have been released. This year, the School District of Janesville ranked #2 of the 10 largest school districts in the State of Wisconsin.  With an accountability score of 72.8, the district is in the meets expectations category.  These ratings are based on scores from four priority areas: 
        Student Achievement in reading and mathematics on state assessments;
        Student Growth measured by year-to-year improvements in achievement;
    Closing Gaps in performance between specific student groups (comparing English Language learners, low-income students, students with disabilities, and members of racial or ethnic groups with their peers);
      On-Track to Graduation and Postsecondary Readiness using reliable predictors of high school graduation and postsecondary success.

Based on how well schools perform in the priority areas, schools and districts receive an accountability score on a 0-100 scale and its associated accountability rating.  All schools scored in the Meets Expectations category or higher.  Kennedy, Madison, Monroe, Roosevelt, Van Buren, and Washington Elementary Schools, as well as Craig High School, scored in the Exceeds Expectations category.  Harrison Elementary scored in the Significantly Exceeds Expectations category for the third year in a row, the highest distinction possible.

The School District of Janesville saw an increase in its Student Achievement score with increases in both math and reading—out-scoring the state by almost four points in the student achievement category.  Fourteen out of the seventeen schools also showed an increase in student achievement, including both high schools.

Wilson Elementary continues to demonstrate a strong record of improvement over the past three years and only missed the Exceeds Expectations category by two-tenths of a point. Wilson also saw increases of over five points in the sub-categories of student achievement, student growth, and closing gaps.  These results are noteworthy because the student body at Wilson represents the highest number of economically disadvantaged in the district at nearly 90%.  While the district refuses to treat poverty as an excuse for moving student achievement forward, it does recognize the special attention and increased effort required of school personnel at high poverty schools to post positive gains.  Dr. Schulte, Superintendent of Schools, believes that Wilson Principal, Kim Peerenboom, and the school staff make Wilson a poster school for excellence in the district.  “Mrs. Peerenboom’s energy, dedication, and careful planning, as well as her uncompromising belief that all students can learn and achieve has inspired the staff to create a “special magic” that is showing remarkable student learning results.” Mrs. Peerenboom was named one of the district’s 2014 School Administrators of the Year for the School District of Janesville.

The success story continues with the recent announcement that four district schools will be recognized as Schools of Recognition this fall in the state capital.  These schools are Madison (4th year in a row), Jackson Elementary (3rd year in a row), Jefferson Elementary (2nd year in a row), and Edison Middle School, a 2nd time.  This award is given to schools who have demonstrated success in educating students from low-income families.

Comparative data indicates the School District of Janesville ranked 2nd in Rock County, only three tenths of a point behind Evansville Community School District.  The poverty rates for Janesville are nearly double that of Evansville.  Last year, the School District was # 1 in Rock County.  The DPI has cautioned against comparing previous district results because scores were calculated differently this year.  

Dr. Schulte credits the district’s adoption of Evidence-Based Leadership (EBL) as a key foundational change that is pivotal to the positive report card results.  EBL causes school leaders to analyze key student learning indicators and then develop a School Improvement Plan to guide student and staff with the achievement targets.  Each year school staff have refined the process and increased student engagement with the specific learning targets.    

Dr. Kim Ehrhardt, Director for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, adds that the use of curriculum-based assessments (that measure ongoing learning throughout the school year) is a powerful tool for keeping student learning on target, thereby resulting in the positive upward trajectory of student achievement scores.  In addition, Ehrhardt notes the collaborative efforts of the staff to continuously improve the clarity and coherence in the written curriculum is another important ingredient of success.  
While this year’s report card results indicates there is much to celebrate and be proud of, it also points to the need for more deliberate efforts to improve student growth scores and achievement for Students with Disabilities and other special populations.  This year, the district has launched the Equity and Excellence Plan which is designed to refine learning focus and excel future achievement gains for these groups in each school.