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Hello SPHS Family and Friends,
Welcome to the New Year! I hope that your holiday break was joyful and relaxing. I also hope that 2021 will be an exciting and positive year for all our students, families, and staff. We could use some good news and some positive happenings in the new year.
With only a few days left of our first semester, I want to remind everyone that there are no final exams this year. The semester ends on January 21st. There is no school on January 18 or 22 that week. It will be a short week to close out the 2nd quarter and start fresh the following Monday.
Although January just started, it is time to talk about next school year already. We will be holding our Course Expo on Tuesday, January 12 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. This will be done virtually this year. We will be sharing out a website soon with course vidoes for families to watch and learn about all the amazing course offerings we have at SPHS. Then on January 12 from 5:00-7:00pm, we will have live zoom opportunities for families to talk with our teachers about specific questions you have about courses. More details will be coming out soon! We will also be sharing out videos for students and families to help with scheduling and the scheduling process for classes. Course selections for students will be open starting on January 4. Students will submit their class choices the week of February 1 during an extended class period. I cannot stress enough how important it is to make the right class choices. We determine staffing based on students’ selections and course changes will only be made for very specific, select reasons.
We want to make sure that students and families take time and select courses carefully. Please use this month to work with your child to select their classes. The course book can be found here. Students must also select three alternative classes in case they are unable to get into one of their first choices. Class changes will not be made unless for specific academic reasons that can be found on our student services website. We also have several options for students when it comes to selecting classes. This past year, we introduced two new Academies. These are three credit options that incorporate a specific academic focus. Students can choose between our Business Academy or our Global Food and Sustainability Academy. More information can be found in the link above or here.
As you should have heard by now, we do have some changes coming with what our instruction will look like in second semester. Starting January 25, our distance learning day will be extended to match our previous year’s bell schedule. Students should plan that classes will be extended and we will go past 1:00pm. On February 22, we are hoping to start hybrid classes and inviting students back into the building two days per week. Much more information will be coming out in the coming days and weeks. Please be on the watch for that information.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. Have a great start to the New Year!
Help with Chromebook Issues or Request for Devices
Please use the links below if you are in need of chromebook repair or a hot spot.
Greetings from the attendance desk!
ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES FOR DISTANCE LEARNING
TO REPORT AN ABSENCE : Call 608-834-6993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDICAL EXCUSES (doctor notes, dentist, ortho notes, etc., OR any excuse stating that your student needs to be away from school for one or two days) can be faxed to 608-834-4143 (Attn: Kelly Reindl) or emailed to email@example.com
IF YOUR STUDENT needs to be out for an extended period of time, please leave a detailed message and we will call you back to discuss how best we can serve them AND to let you know what information we will need from you.
MARKED IN ERROR? If you feel your student was marked absent and shouldn’t be, please have them email their teacher so they can discuss it.
FUTURE ABSENCES/APPOINTMENTS: Known absences and/or appointments should be reported ahead of time. When leaving for an extended period of time, please email all of your teachers and include me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we are aware of the absence and can mark Infinite Campus accordingly.
**watch for future updates in our newsletters, especially as students start returning to the building**
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO REVIEW OUR UPDATED COVID ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES.
~Kelly Reindl, Attendance Secretary
Upcoming Event Information
January 12: Course Expo In lieu of an in-person course expo, we will be holding this year's course expo virtually. Teachers will be developing videos to explain course options for each department which will be shared with families prior to the course expo on January 12. Teachers will then be available via Zoom from 5:00-7:00pm on January 12 to answer questions and provide more information similar to our past in-person course expos. Please watch for more details.
January 25 and 29: School Pictures Pictures will be coordinated with third quarter materials pick up or as part of hybrid instruction. Communications will be sent to families with more details.
Attention Junior Families
We wanted to provide you with an update on the Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The PSAT is an optional practice exam that we typically host each year for juniors. The PSAT also serves as an entry point for the National Merit Scholarship Competition (NMSC). Due to COVID, we have cancelled this year’s administration of the PSAT as we are not able to host the exam in a manner that is both consistent with COVID mitigation regulations while also being in line with exam protocols.
Every year, approximately the top 1% of national PSAT scorers are invited to participate in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. For current juniors who are interested in entering this competition, there is an alternative method of entry. The official rules for NMSC alternate entry can be found on National Merit’s website. Please review the requirements and deadlines thoroughly.
For students interested in standardized test practice, we highly encourage them to check out Method Test Prep, our free ACT prep program found in their Xello accounts.
Contact your counselor with any questions about NMSC alternate entry or ACT’s Method Test Prep.
What Is the STEM Academy? The STEM Academy is a dual enrollment program where high school students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math (i.e., STEM) take a full-time schedule of college classes at Madison College over 11th and 12th grade. Dual enrollment means that students earn both college credits and credits toward high school graduation. Students attend Madison College full time during the day, and only attend their home high schools for extra-curricular activities and events after the school day ends.
Why Join the STEM Academy? Students can focus on college classwork in their STEM interests and earn a large number of college credits that apply to four-year colleges and universities at no cost to them or their families. Some students will earn up to 60 credits for the Associate of Science degree, and may be able to start at a four-year college or university with enough transfer credits for junior standing. Finally, students can complete up to the first year of an applied associate degree in an applied STEM field, which they can finish in one more year at Madison College after high school.
Where Is the STEM Academy? Incoming STEM Academy students from SPASD students will attend at the Truax Campus, 1701 Wright Street, which is near the airport in Madison.
Who Can Apply to the STEM Academy? Tenth grade students who meet the entrance criteria can apply. Current entrance requirements are at least a 2.25 cumulative GPA, 90% attendance rate, and minimum progress toward high school graduation requirements in English, math, science, social studies, physical education, and health classes. Since Sun Prairie has a limited number of available positions, application to the program does not guarantee admission.
More information, including an application, will be available later in the month on our website. If you have questions before then, please contact Ms. Peters at email@example.com.
This Year’s Unique Yearbook
Hello Sun Prairie High School Students and Families,
Your diligent Yearbook staff has been working tirelessly to create an unforgettable yearbook for the 2020-2021 school year. We want to make sure this year, maybe even more so than other year, is documented. We know that this is the year you will want to look back on, your kids will wonder about, and your grandkids will write a history report on.
We currently have a group of 35 students in the yearbook club, diligently working on this to create a unique book that reflects these unique times. This book, of all books, will be definitely unique. We redesigned it into a monthly organization, so we truly can document the year as it unfolds for our students. We have been polling students in many different surveys and collecting their stories of what school has been like, what they're doing with their time, how they're staying connected to each other, etc. We’ve also put off our normal publication date of March to June, which does mean that you won't get the book until the first week in August, but it will have more of the year in it than ever. We also hope to have a distribution event, where, if circumstances allow, we can be in-person and partake in traditional yearbook signing.
Below you will find answers to some of our commonly asked questions.
Sophomore and Junior Portraits:
We hope to have an in-person student portrait day at the end of January. More information will come, but know that we are thinking about portraits and will have a way to get student portraits in the yearbook. If you are unable to attend the in-person portrait day, we will work with you to develop an alternative plan for submitting your student portrait.
Submitting Senior Portraits:
Please use the following link to upload your student's senior portrait to the yearbook staff:
Please make sure your photo file is titled as follows:
Student's Last Name, Student's First Name
Example: Butler, Betsy
We were able to provide an extension for this. All senior portraits are now due by January 1, 2021.
Submitting your Grad Ad is due by December 2, 2020. This is a hard deadline through the company.
Please use the following link for submitting and purchasing your student's yearbook grad ad:
Purchasing a Yearbook:
Yearbooks can be purchased online at www.jostensyearbooks.com
Type in "Sun Prairie High School" and you will access the ordering information. The price is $68.
New Electronic Safety Tip Line
The safety and security of our students and staff is a top priority for the district. We have been teaching our students to say something to a trusted adult when they see something unsafe. Sometimes, though, there are barriers to reporting safety issues in person. Tip lines are one common approach that schools use to promote school and student safety and well-being. Tip lines are designed to provide students or other members of the school community with a safe and confidential way to report a threat to safety or security.
To that end, we have created an Electronic Safety Tip Line available on the district website. The e-Tip Line allows students, parents, or community members to report weapons, threats of violence, bullying, sexual harassment, potential threat of suicide, drugs, and any other activity that could potentially endanger students, staff, and property. The tip line should not be used to report an immediate danger to someone’s life. Always use 911 to report those emergencies.
We are developing a communication plan to roll this out to students in upper elementary, middle school, and high school. The e-Tip Line is available on the district website from the “Families” menu and “Quicklinks” and can also be found on the district bullying and safety webpages.
The Electronic Safety Tip Line is just one way that students can report concerns about safety. For example, if a student wishes to file a bullying report, the Fillable Bullying Report Form is also available on the website under bullying and reporting.
Anytime children enter digital spaces (online, texts, apps,etc.) they are susceptible to cyberbullying.
What you need to know:
Cyberbullying is real. People can be mean. Technology makes being mean easier.
Awareness and Communication are key. Talk to you child openly and often about their online behavior.
Spot Check. They may not like it, but tell your child to expect spot checks. This will help you better guide them in navigating their online activity.
Develop a Plan. Talk through scenarios of how to deal with cyberbullying before it ever happens so your child has a plan to fall back on if it does.
Set Limits. Bullying can happen at any time of the day, but it can have a greater impact on kids when there is no relief.
Check Yourself. Much of what our children know about digital behavior stems from what they see at home. Model healthy online habits, children are always watching!
Remember that while cyberbullying can be scary, a lot of healthy and positive relationships can come from connecting digitally. A strong focus on kindness and empathy are always important in supporting healthy relationships in the digital world and the real world.
For more information and tips, please check out our cyberbullying resources in the Plugged in Parenting section of our District Website.
Resources from Common Sense Media: