Rice Lake High School

Student Services Newsletter Term Four 2021-2022

Important Contact Information

Dial 715-234-2181 and enter the extension or say the name of the person you are contacting:

Attendance (Mrs. Leamy): 5641

Food Service (Mrs. Hackel): 5184

Financial/Student Services (Mrs. Young): 5510

Athletic Secretary (Mrs. Lenhart): 5242

Main Office Secretary (Mrs. Groth): 5653

Counselor Last Names A-G (Mr. Kowalski): 5836

Counselor Last Names H-N (Ms. Spear): 5726

Counselor Last Names O-Z (Mr. Shomion): 5335

School Nurse (Mrs. Neuser): 5110

School Social Worker (Mr. Morey): 5262

Term Four Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Thursday, May 5th from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Mr. Pacholke will communicate information on how parents can schedule conference times in Skyward.

College Visit Opportunity for Juniors

Dear Parents of Junior students,

In the last quarter of the Junior year, conversations with students revolving around post-high school plans become more commonplace and important as we proactively begin to plan for their future. This can be a stressful time for many students as they struggle to make important decisions. Here at Rice Lake High School we’ve always encouraged students to have a four-year high school plan and to refine those plans as they discover new interests and strengths. By the spring semester of the Junior year hopefully students are seriously considering their post-secondary options. To ease some of the stress and many of the questions that arise, we are pleased to share an opportunity to visit area college campuses this spring. I’m happy to share that on April 27 we have planned to have Juniors participate in college visits (that will not impact regular classes). Classes will not be held for Juniors on this day due to the fact that all Rice Lake High School Freshman and Sophomores will be taking the required ACT Aspire exam similar to the approach for the recent ACT that your child completed.

This opportunity will be an optional for Juniors, but I hope they take advantage of the experience for themselves. We are surveying them this week to determine if they would attend and inquire what colleges they would like to visit. Pending the amount of interest, the locations we are arranging tours for include: Northwood Technical College, UW-Eau Claire-Barron County, UW- Eau Claire, University of Minnesota- Duluth, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and UW-Stout. Students can either pack a lunch or bring money to purchase lunch on their own. Parent permission will be required to excuse a student from attending if alternative plans are arranged.

Our hope is that your child will take advantage of this opportunity and gain knowledge to refine their path. We all want the best for our youth; to be prepared as they enter the world beyond RLHS. We plan to gather feedback from students after the campus tours to determine if we continue with this approach in the future. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email.

Mr. Pacholke

ACT Aspire (9th and 10th Grade)

Dear Parents/Guardians of Freshmen and Sophomore students,

On Wednesday, April 27th Freshman and Sophomores, as are required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, will take the ACT Aspire exam.

The ACT Aspire is a standardized test designed to evaluate and report on student learning and college and career readiness. The ACT Aspire high school assessment measures what students have learned in the areas of English, Reading, Math, Science, and Writing. The scores from this assessment predict how a student will perform on the ACT when they reach grade 11.

We at Rice Lake High School know that not all students will attend a university after high school, and we value all post high school career options. However, the ACT Aspire does measure college and career readiness, therefore it has value for all students.

Attendance on April 27th is very important. Please encourage your child to do their best, get a good night’s rest, and eat breakfast on the day of the assessment. We will also be providing water and snacks during scheduled breaks. For more information you may click here. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email.


Mr. Pacholke

Forward Exam (10th Grade)

All 10th grade students will be taking the Wisconsin Forward Exam this spring. This exam will be in the area of Social Studies and will consist of two 50-minute computer-based tests. Students who are enrolled in a History class will take it during the class period. Other students will take it during the school day. More Information for families can be found here.

Advanced Placement Testing

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities. It exposes high school students to college-level material through involvement in an AP course, and it gives them the opportunity to show that they have mastered it by taking an AP Exam.

Colleges and universities can then grant credit, placement, or both to students who have done so depending on the score they receive on the AP Exam. The granting of credit and/or placement is at the discretion of each individual college and university. Please see Mr. Shomion if you have any questions.

Testing Schedule

  • Monday, May 2nd, Noon - Chemistry
  • Wednesday, May 4th, 8:00 - Eng Lit & Comp
  • Thursday, May 5th, Noon- AP Statistics
  • Friday, May 6th, 8:00- Euro History *No school this day. Students still report to test.
  • Friday, May 6th,- Studio Art Portfolio Due
  • Monday, May 9th, 8:00- Calculus AB/BC
  • Thursday, May 12th, Noon- Physics 1


Seniors - Be sure to check the scholarship files in Student Services or the scholarship webpage on the Student Services website for scholarship information. As scholarships come in, they will be announced in the morning announcements, made available in student services and online on the Scholarship webpage. Students are also encouraged to access the website of the college or university they plan to attend to look for available scholarships. If you have any questions, see a counselor or Mrs. Young.

Important Message for Seniors Regarding Final Transcripts

Any senior who will be attending a post-secondary institution in the fall MUST request to have their final transcript sent to their college through Parchment. Students can access Parchment from the Student Services webpage on the RLHS website or click here. This task can be completed now, however, students should select "hold for grades" instead of "send now." Once final grades are submitted in June, Student Services will process the Parchment requests and transcripts will be electronically submitted to the student's college. Students will be able to log into Parchment and verify the receipt of their transcript to the their college beginning in the middle of June. Students should also double check that their Parchment username is changed to a personal email address as they will lose access to their school email after graduation.

Senior Information for Graduation and Events

All important information regarding the Senior class will be posted on the Rice Lake School District website. Please click here to see the latest information and check frequently for changes.

Senior Awards Night Presentation

The Senior Awards presentation will take place May 18th, from 7:00-8:30 pm at the High School Auditorium. Students who will receiving an award at the program will be sent an invitation by Mrs. Young in Student Services.

Graduation Commencement Friday May 27th.

Commencement will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the high school. It is our intention to host this ceremony outside at the Freiss Family Complex. In case of inclement weather graduation will be held on Saturday, May 28th, at 10:00 a.m. We request that all graduates dress appropriately for the ceremony. Participants are not allowed to wear spiked heels, as walking on the field surface may cause injury. The long gowns and spiked heels could cause an accident on stage steps as well. It is expected that each graduate will press his/her gown for the event.

Alternative Pathways

A student with a documented disability may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. For children younger than 18, lower family income and resources are needed to quality for this benefit. Some students will receive a full Federal Benefit ($841/month in 2022); others may receive a partial benefit.

If the student is at least 14 but not yet 18 and also receiving less than the full benefit rate, or if the student was denied SSI upon application due to excess resources or income, the student may be eligible for a PASS (Plan for Achieving Self-Support) Plan, which is one of the work-incentive options available through Social Security. A PASS plan can be used to pay for job development, job coaching, transportation and/or equipment needed for work, or to start one’s own business. (For example, a local student with multiple disabilities is starting a microenterprise involving vermiculture (raising worms).) A PASS plan can provide financial support needed for enhancing employment opportunities and career exploration for students with disabilities. For more information, contact the MN/WI PASS Cadre at 866-667-6032 ext. 34021.

The Department of Workforce Development also has funds available for individuals who wish to start a microenterprise. Their 84-page manual might seem a bit intimidating, but if you work with a DVR counselor and have some help writing a business plan, it’s do-able. To get started, search online for “Self-employment Toolkit V2” published by WI Dept. of Workforce Development. (A local individual used this route to get start-up funding for a traveling cider press service, including money for the press and a used vehicle.)

Once a student with a disability turns 18, the family’s income/resources are no longer relevant. Further, if the family has a written agreement (could be as brief as a sentence or two) that the soon-to-be-adult is expected to pay some of her/his own expenses (e.g., to pay rent to continue in the parent’s home), the benefit rate will be roughly 50% higher than if no such agreement is in place. It should be noted that not every child with a documented disability will also meet the Social Security definition of adult disability. On the other hand, individuals with more severe disabilities may be eligible for additional funds through Wisconsin’s SSI Exceptional Expense Supplement. A person needs 40 hours of needs to qualify for this (while the parent/caretaker is at school or working or is disabled so s/he can’t care for the individual). For more information on this option, contact your care manager or the Barron County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 715-537-6225 or toll-free at 888-538-3031 or TTY/TDD/Relay: Wisconsin Relay 711. A Social Security advocate (available through the ADRC) can answer some of your questions and help prepare you for your meeting with Social Security personnel.

Linda Tollefsrud