Cardinal Connection

February 2021

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Hello SPHS Family and Friends!

We are now into the second semester and the time is flying by. We recently started our new extended day schedule and students are doing a great job with the changes. Starting in just a few short weeks, we will be welcoming students back into the buildings and we are excited to offer this option to our families!

Students and families should have been spending much of January going over our scheduling materials for the 2021-2022 school year. Please make sure your student has their class choices completed along with alternative choices. Students will be submitting their requests on February 4 in Xello during their Homerooms. Please work together to look over the class options and take the time to make sure students are comfortable with what they are signing up for. If your student has an IEP, the special education teacher will help to ensure students are signed up for the classes that the student needs. We build the entire schedule for the next year based on what students are requesting now and it is difficult for students to change classes. We are fortunate to have so many wonderful options for students throughout their high school career.

On February 22, we will be opening our doors for hybrid learning. Back in January, families selected if they would prefer to stay with distance learning or move to hybrid learning. Our teachers and staff have been busy ensuring the building is ready and safe to bring students back. As you know, we will have two cohorts of students (Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday) that will be coming into the building. Wednesday will continue to be an asynchronous learning day for all students regardless of hybrid or distance learning. Classes will be concurrent, meaning students at home and in the classroom will be learning together at the same time. At the end of the third quarter, families will have the option to reevaluate their hybrid/virtual choice and make a change if they like. A survey will come out closer to that time.

Now that we are into the second half of the year, we have much going on and much on the way. With ACT testing only a month away, I want to share important information. Wednesday, March 10 and March 17, we will be administering the ACT test in person that all juniors in Wisconsin take. It is important to note that these are both Wednesdays; however, transportation will be provided for students who normally take the bus. Specific information will be coming soon about the logistics for the day and which students will be taking the ACT on which day. We will be following all social distancing guildiness and students will be taking the test in classrooms with limited other students separated by at least 6 feet. As a result, only juniors will report to school on those days; sophomores and seniors will continue with asynchronous learning on March 10 and March 17. This enables us to run a schedule that is best for our students to take the ACT test. Again, a schedule for those days was sent out in January and another reminder will be sent out soon. If your student was approved for accommodations, specific details on what that looks like will be provided to you via email closer to the time of the start of the ACT testing window.

As we continue to progress through the year, we are excited about the changes and opportunities we are creating for our students. As always, please let any of the administrative team know of any questions or concerns you have. We look forward to a fantastic second half of the year and welcoming students back into our building.

Warm Regards,

Keith Nerby


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.

Student Technology Issues/Requests (Incident IQ)

Incident IQ: Technology Support Request Tutorial

Directions for Powerwashing Chromebooks

SPASD Technology Tutorials Website

Greetings from the attendance desk!


TO REPORT AN ABSENCE : Call 608-834-6993 or email

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

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 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**


~Kelly Reindl, Attendance Secretary


The ACT is set to be administered during two timing windows during the month of March. These are set by the DPI and apply statewide. We are currently in the planning process for how the assessment will be administered to our Junior students. PLEASE be watching your emails as more detailed information will be coming out in late January on how this process will unfold. We look forward to a successful testing experience for all of our students!

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.

Attention Sophomores

If you are interested in applying to become a part of the STEM Academy at Madison College for your junior and senior years please see the information below:

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

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.

Purchasing a Yearbook:

Yearbooks can be purchased online at

Type in "Sun Prairie High School" and you will access the ordering information. The price is $68.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Betsy Butler at (608) 834-6855; or Amanda Davis at (608) 834-6743.

Thank you!

The Wisconsin Education Fair will be going virtual for Spring 2021. The virtual college fair series offers access to over 100 post secondary options to explore. The fair will run from 3 p.m - 5 p.m. followed by an interactive financial aid and scholarships presentation along with a variety of other info sessions to choose from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.


Wednesday, February 10

Wednesday, March 10

Sunday, April 11

This college fair will allow students and families to:

  • Experience virtual campus tours and get information at your convenience

  • Search for colleges by program, size, location using our filter options

  • Watch videos and download materials helpful in your decision process

  • Schedule meetings and interviews with admissions representatives

  • Chat live with admission representatives from 3pm to 5pm

Financial Aid 101 Presentation (5:00 pm until 6:00 pm)

You must register online to attend the virtual Financial Aid 101 Presentation. Financial Aid 101 Presented by College Goal Wisconsin is limited to the first 100. Please try to arrive a few minutes early to reserve your seat.

Students and families planning to attend must register online at You may also visit for detailed information on the fair.

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:

More Cyberbullying Articles, Videos and Resources