Woodridge in September

Big image

Mrs Thistle's Thoughts

Hello All,

On behalf of the staff at Woodridge, “Welcome to the Woodridge family!” We are all dedicated to making your child’s first years of school very pleasant. This year our theme will be, "Woodridge Wonders." We will be incorporating science and social studies into our daily curriculum. Therefore in the spirit of curiosity, we encourage students to wonder and ask questions about the world around them.

It is our goal to be a school that is academically rigorous, but also a place where students feel nurtured and know they are an important part of our community. We are always looking for ways to incorporate our community and parents into our school. Please feel free to volunteer in our school or support us on the Woodridge Parent Club. Our meetings are the first Wednesday of each month, in the conference room at 4:30pm. The first meeting will be in October.

The first few days of school we will be teaching our students the school rules and working to create a classroom community. Through modeling, coaching and positive reinforcement, we are working to help students make good choices at school. During the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years our school was awarded the honor of being named a, “PBIS School of Merit.” This means that we have many systems of support in place to help students to be successful at school. Wonderful job everyone! If you would like to review our rules at school, here is a link to our cool tools. Woodridge Cool Tools

This year we will be the second year of implementing our Second Step Curriculum. This program is currently being used at both Rusch and John Muir Elementary Schools. The Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:

1. Skills for Learning: Children gain skills to help them be better learners, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, and ask for help.

2. Empathy: Children learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Children also learn how to show care for others.

3. Emotion Management: Children learn how to calm down when they have strong feelings, such as worry or anger.

4. Friendship Skills and Problem Solving: Children learn how to make and keep friends and to solve problems with others in a positive way.

Staff and students will also be experiencing mindfulness in our school this year. Teachers are able to recommend students to hang out in our mindfulness room for a few minutes every hour. The goal of the mindfulness room is to give students a place to relax, breathe and recognize how they are feeling. Here is a short video that explains mindfulness. Mindfulness Overview

You are always welcome to give me a call or stop in to talk about how the school year is going or to offer feedback about areas that we can improve. I look forward to getting to know your child and your family. Have a great school year!

Take care,

Salina Thistle

Endeavor/Woodridge Principal

Mark your calenders

1st- No School

4th- No School

5th- First day of school

12th- Picture Day

15th- International Dot Day

18th- No School - Full Day In-service

29th- Homecoming Parade. Students start lining up @ 1:30pm

Bringing Attendance Home: Parent Video

Secretary Notes

Reporting an Absence

Please contact Ashley Gumz in the Woodridge office before 8:15 a.m. if your child will be absent. 608.742.3494

Please send a note with your child in their folder if there is a change in the way they normally go home.

Stories, Snack and Snuggles


Story: First Day Jitters

Snack: Jitter Juice

Snuggles: Grab a blanket and curl up with your child, enjoy a story and make memories

Jitter Juice Recipe

If you are feeling nervous drink this drink!

1 Part Sprite

1 Part Fruit Punch

Math is Marvelous

Go on a neighborhood treasure hunt and count :

  • Circles/Spheres

  • Squares/Cubes

  • Triangles/cone

  • Rectangles/cylinder

Graph the different number of shapes you find. Talk about which shapes you found the most and which you found the least.

Big image

Counselors Corner

Counseling/Psychology... Elementary Style

Counseling/Psychology services are available for all children in the Portage Community Elementary Schools. Elementary counseling/psychology focuses on the prevention of issues that may be part of a child's emotional, physical, or educational life. These special services are provided through:

Individual Counseling

Sometimes it may be helpful for a child to meet individually with a counselor or psychologist. It may be to discuss a particular issue, to practice alternative behaviors, or just to talk about adjusting to new situations.

Group Counseling

The students will have the opportunity to participate in small groups to address a variety of issues. These may include social skills, family changes, self-esteem, friendship, and anger management groups.

Classroom Guidance

The counselor or psychologist will be in your child's classroom during the year teaching skills appropriate for their age level. (For example, a Getting Along unit may be taught in 1st grade, a Bully Prevention unit in 4th grade, and a Decision Making Unit may be taught in 5th grade).

Consultation with Parents and Teachers

The elementary counselor and psychologist also meet with parents and teachers to share ideas, information, and options to certain concerns. This "teamwork" approach is also helpful for children to know there are many people who care about them.


The elementary counselor and psychologist have information on community resources and presentations that may be helpful to parents.

If you have questions or concerns about your child participating in any area of the counseling/psychology program, please feel free to stop in or call. We are here to provide a wide range of services and are willing to do what we can to help your child/children succeed in school!

Denise Brown is the School Counselor for Woodridge Primary and Endeavor Elementary Schools. My office is at Woodridge Primary School. I can be reached at 742-3494 ext. 3502. Or by email at brownde@portage.k12.wi.us

Lisa Roche is the Elementary School Psychologist for all elementary buildings. Her office is at John Muir, 742-5531 ext. #5000.

Nurses Station

Medication at School

Students who require medication during the school day must have a Medication Request/Consent form on file and complete before any medication may be given to a student. The school nurse will review the order before any medication is given to a student. These forms must include a signature from the parent or legal guardian. Medications must come in the original package. The pharmacy label must be attached and include:

Child’s name

Name of medication




Time to be given


Please refer to School Board Policy 540A for details.

All staff who give medication to students have had the Department of Public Instruction required training as well as a skill competency with the school nurse. Staff are expected to follow district procedures related to administering medications to any student. The parent or legal guardian is expected to provide any and all medications for their child. The district does not provide any medications to students.

Options for self carry, self administration of medications at the elementary level are included in the policy. Both parent/guardian and prescriber must agree to self carry, self administer and indicate this on the school form.

Medications shall not be sent to and from school via a child, unless the medication is a self carry, self administer and paperwork is on file in the school office. Students shall not share medications with others as listed in the student handbook.


The Portage Community School District believes that nutrition and physical activity influence a child’s development, well-being, and readiness to learn. The District will promote healthy schools by supporting wellness, good nutrition and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment. The District supports a healthy environment where students and staff members learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices. By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, our schools contribute to the basic health status of students and staff. Improved health optimizes student performance potential and contributes to the success of all students.

Classrooms/School and Celebrations:

  • Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will meet the District Nutrition Standards (Healthy Snacks for Children).
  • During occasional celebrations (i.e. birthdays, holidays) items that do not meet the District Nutrition Standards may be acceptable for student consumption within moderation. However, the District will encourage a healthy snack item to be offered in conjunction with other offerings.
  • Strong consideration should be given to nonfood items (see Non-Food Rewards for Children Guide) as part of any Teacher-to-Student Incentive programs. If a teacher feels compelled to utilize food items as an incentive, they are encouraged to adhere to the District Nutritional Standards.
  • The School District is concerned with the dietary and lifestyle practices of its staff, as well as its students. In order to promote wellness among its staff, the district will continue to provide opportunities for staff to become physically active. Staff is also encouraged to model ideal behavior for students by making food and beverage choices that align with the District Nutrition Standards outlined in this policy.

The Board Policy 537 is the official wellness policy of our school district.


Big image

Portage Weekend Snack Pack Program

The Portage Weekend Snack Pack Program, a Portage Child Hunger Committee project, provides a weekend supply of nutritious food for children when school lunch and breakfast is unavailable on a weekend. Each food bag will contain some food for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, for each weekend for your child(ren). All food is nonperishable and provided to children free of charge. It is our hope these resources will support the health, behavior, and achievement of every student that participates. All children are eligible for this program. The program is run completely by wonderful volunteers who help pack the food bags, shop, recruit etc. The program is funded through the generous gifts from The Rotary Club of Portage, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Portage, Columbia County UW-Extension and the community at large. Please note, that the program is always looking for more sponsors and volunteers! We look forward to working with staff, teachers, and you for your children!

For more information or questions, please contact Caitlin Richardson, Columbia County UW-Extension FoodWIse Coordinator at 608-742-9693. To sign up for the program, please contact John Muir Elementary front office at 608-742-5531 or Woodridge Primary front office at 608-742-3494.

Did you know these resources are available to you..?

Columbia County Health and Human Services

  • Food Pantries
    2nd Harvest Mobile Food Pantries (open to all Columbia County residents)
    2nd Monday of every month at 11:00am at the Columbia Co. Fairgrounds, Wauona Tr/Griffith St. Everyone welcome. No ID’s needed. Bring your own carts/baskets to carry your food.
    St Vincent De Paul Food Pantry
    Located at 1311 West Wisconsin Street in Portage
    Monday–Thursday 9am–5pm, Friday 9am–8pm and Saturday 9am–5pm
    *You will need to bring photo ID, proof of residency and your own bags. Applicants are eligible every 30 days.

  • Park and Recreation
    806 Silver Lake Dr, Portage, Wi, 53901 (608) 742-2178

  • Family Resource Center
    2946 Red Fox Run, Portage, WI 53901 (608) 742-8482
    Provides a variety of family services, including scheduled playgroups, parenting support and information series, workshops, and family visiting program. Staff are available to answer questions or provide resources to help families. All services are free.

  • Dental
    Free or Low Cost Services - Seal-A-Smile
    Susan Lorenz R.N. M.S. Columbia County Health Officer at 608-742-9227 susan.lorenz@co.columbia.wi.us
    The Columbia County Seal-A-Smile dental sealant program is available at no charge whether or not your child is covered by dental insurance. The program will bill Medical Assistance or BadgerCare if your child is covered by these programs.

  • Free Immunization Clinic
    2:30pm-5:30pm (10/10, 11/14, 12/12 - 2016) No appointment is necessary – Birth parent or legal guardian signature required. Bring immunization records.

  • Library Programs
    Contact the library in your community to inquire about special programs for children and families, such as story hour or summer reading programs.
    Portage Public Library 253 W. Edgewater St., Portage 53901 (608) 742-4959 Hours: Mon-Thurs 9-8:30; Fri 9-6; Sat 10-4 Sat hours between Memorial Day & Labor Day are 10-1 Contact: info@portagelibrary.us Website: http://www.portagelibrary.us/

There are many more resources available to our community, feel free to check out the Columbia County Health and Human Services Website: http://www.co.columbia.wi.us/columbiacounty/Portals/7/Resource%20Guide.pdf

Portage Community School District

1) Create a great climate for parents, students and staff. (Action steps in italics)

Parents: We added a digital newsletter in hopes of reaching more parents.

Students: We are looking at our school environment and asking- where and how do students learn best? We created a lego wall and dry erase wall for students in the library. We created a mindfulness room and designated time for students to become aware of their feelings/needs.

Staff: Celebrate staff members, reduced workload, monthly potlucks, offer yoga for teachers after school. Incorporate mindfulness to encourage teachers to take care of themselves.

2) Reduce the number of students that are absent from school. "10 days or less is success." Students who are present at school are much more likely to be successful academically.

*We have classroom incentives for when all students are at school (extra recess, game day, free choice.)

*Students are celebrated at the end of each quarter when they have perfect attendance.

*Classrooms that have everyone in school will earn classroom rewards.

*Guidance Counselor is a resource to support parents if they have concerns about getting their child to school.

*Principal will schedule conferences with parents to discuss attendance concerns/supports.

*We will be sending home information regularly to support parents.

*Please let us know if there is anything that we can do to help your child get to school in the morning.

3) Increase student achievement.

*Teachers collaborate each week- looking at our assessments and helping each other to meet student needs.

*We are using our district programs, pacing guides and our observations to ensure that all students are learning and growing.

*We have incorporated the social-emotional curriculum, Second Steps to help us explicitly teach social skills.

*We added science and social studies to our curriculum.

*We incorporated mindfulness breaks for students.