Madison Memo

September 2022

A Message from the Principal

As we enter the 2022-2023 school year, there is a recurring theme of newness. New school year, new staff members, new students, new anxieties, new dreams. While new can be a great word, it can sometimes come with unknowns. I’m here to assure you that this school year is going to be fantastic and that while there is “new” and “unknown” we are a strong community that will see our goals through!

All summer long our staff has been working tirelessly to ensure that all of our students feel welcome and that all students can succeed - no exceptions! Our new staff, myself included, have taken the time to get to know Manitowoc, become contributing members of the community, and learn from our district and colleagues. We hope that your summer was filled with fun, relaxation, and maybe just a little bit of learning.

During this first month of school, please take the time to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have. If there’s something we don’t take lightly, it’s the responsibility of caring for and teaching those most precious to you. We promise to treat them as our own along the way. Thank you for your flexibility through the transitions and your commitment to a strong education for all of our students.


Rachel De La Cruz


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Reminders for a Strong Start to the Year


K-2 students will enter the building through the north door and 3-5 students will enter through the doors near the gym. When students arrive at school they should line up at their door to prepare to enter. Doors will open at 8:00 and students will be allowed to enter the building. The first bell will ring at 8:10 am to indicate the start of school. There will be no play on the playground before school and no supervision prior to 8:00. Students should not arrive at school before 8:00.

Students will be dismissed at 3:10 pm out the same doors they enter in the morning.

When school begins, help keep our students safe by not driving into the parking lot during drop-off and pickup times. If you or your child have mobility needs and need accommodations for entering the building, please reach out to the school office to make arrangements. Make plans to meet your child somewhere outside the building after school in a designated spot. Parents will not be allowed in the building to meet their child(ren).

Breakfast, Lunch, and Healthy Snack

For the 2022-23 School Year:

School meals are FREE through the end of the 2022-23 School Year for all MPSD students!

Even though meals will be served free to all students during the 2022-23 School Year, Free & Reduced eligibility helps with MPSD funding and gives families the ability to waive fees and qualify for P-EBT benefits. Parents can sign up for this through Infinite Campus or stop in the office to get a paper copy of the application.

School Fees

The student fee for elementary students is $25.00. These fees can now also be paid online through Infinite Campus.

The Madison Way

We are excited to continue our “Madison Way”. This emphasizes the Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible pillars. This is a school-wide effort to have consistent expectations for all students, in all settings, and with all staff. We will continue to be recognizing, teaching, and re-teaching students the positive behaviors to ensure their success at school. Look for information in our monthly newsletters about how you can continue to support these pillars at home.

Stay in Touch

If you have not done so already, please “like” our Madison School Facebook page! This page will keep you up to date on current happenings going on in our building. We will post photos and updates about everything that helps us to be #MadisonProud. I am looking forward to meeting each of you throughout the year and having a great partnership between home and school. We are ready for the best year yet at Madison!

Upcoming Dates

  • Friday, September 2nd - No school
  • Monday, September 5th - No school; Labor Day
  • Thursday, September 8th - Parent/Guardian Info Meeting for 5th grade band - 6:30-7:30pm @ Wilson Junior High School in the auditorium
  • Monday, September 19th - PTO Meeting. 3:30-4:30pm. Meeting Link: Join by phone: US +1 337-466-9079 PIN: 420785115
  • Wednesday, September 28th - Vaccine Clinic
  • Wednesday, October 5th - Vision Screening
  • Friday, October 7th - Picture Day

Madison Elementary's Vaccine Clinic

Routine child vaccines are an important tool for creating a healthy learning environment by preventing the spread of disease.

Manitowoc County Health Department is partnering with your child’s school to offer free vaccinations on-site to students that need them.

Manitowoc County Health Department will be at Madison on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

Click here for the consent form for the vaccination clinic:

  • Students MUST have the consent form signed and returned to the school by Wednesday, September 21 to participate.
  • MCHD will look up each student’s vaccination records in advance to ensure they receive the appropriate vaccines.
  • You must indicate which vaccines you want your child to receive.
  • If you are unsure of which vaccines your child needs and want them to receive all

vaccines needed to be up-to-date, please select “I want my child to receive all

recommended immunizations”. Only those vaccines needed will be administered.

  • If your child receives immunizations within 72 hours of the immunization clinic it is your

responsibility to notify the Manitowoc County Health Department.

Please reach out to the Health Department at (920) 683-4155 or your school nurse Kelly at (920)323-1276 with any questions.

New to Madison

Mrs. Meerdink - Reading Teacher

My name is Abigail Meerdink and I am the new Literacy Coach/Reading Teacher at Madison! I have spent the majority of my teaching career in the lower elementary grades. My time teaching first grade is where I developed a passion for teaching children how to read. I spent a number of years early on in my career teaching in Arizona. During my time in Arizona I served as an EL classroom teacher. My interest in early literacy only continued to grow in serving students who were not only learning to read, but read, write, and speak in a new language! I am fascinated by all things brain science and love reading the latest research on best practices in literacy instruction. I look forward to serving all teachers and students in grades K-5!!

Ms. Niedfeldt - 1st Grade Teacher

Hello! I am Melissa Niedfeldt, 1st grade teacher at Madison. My favorite color is green, I love my dog Jax, coffee, being outdoors, and I love to cook!

Mrs. Robinson - 2nd Grade Teacher


I am Deb Robinson, Second Grade Teacher at Madison Elementary School. I am very excited to be here at Madison. When I am not at school I love spending time with my husband, our family, and our two dogs. We love to go biking and walking. A few of my favorite things are working with children, reading, doing word searches, and doing crafts. I love Snoopy, and my favorite holiday is Halloween!!

Mrs. Pfeifer-Petermann - 3rd Grade Teacher

Hi! My name is Jackie Pfeifer-Peterman. I have been teaching in the MPSD for 31 years, 30 of which have been at Franklin Elementary School as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher. I am looking forward to starting my 31st year as a Madison Cougar as a 3rd grade teacher. I am married to my husband Mark, have two children Lexie and Justin, and one grandbaby, Lailah Joy! I love reading especially mystery books, Christmas, taking walks along Lake Michigan, the color pink, wait until you see my classroom, the Green Bay Packers, my favorite player is Aaron Rodgers, and spending time with my friends and family, especially with my grandbaby, Lailah Joy! I look forward to becoming part of the Madison family and meeting all of you!

Mrs. Moss - 5th Grade Teacher

Hello! This will be my 7th year teaching. I have two lovely pets, a 10 year old Golden Retriever named Ellie, and a Hamster named Cheddar. I greatly enjoy baking, reading and spending time with my friends and family.

Ms. Brants - Special Education Teacher

My name is Daryn Brants and this will be my 3rd year of teaching! I am from a small town in Illinois and went to college in Wisconsin. I have a basset hound named Gus who I am obsessed with! I spent my first 2 years as an EBD teacher at Washington Middle School and am excited to start working with a younger population of students!

Mrs. Siebold - Art Teacher

Hello! My name is Mrs. Siebold and I am the new Art teacher here at Madison. I love working with students because everyday is different. I love helping them to explore their creativity and teach them new skills. It is amazing to see students passionate about something, especially something they created themselves.

I love to play games with my friends and family. I also love to travel, visit new places, and try out new activities. I also enjoy making crafts, thrifting, doing puzzles, watching tv and movies. My friends and family are important to me, especially my Husband and puppy Luna. I had a foreign exchange student from Germany in High School and then traveled to Germany and stayed with her. She was also a bridesmaid in my wedding this summer!

Mr. Piehl - Music Teacher

H! I grew up in the Sun-Drop bottling, sturgeon spawning, world hub known as Shawano, WI. After high school, I attended college at UW-Eau Claire for Music; playing cello as my main instrument. I graduated from there and returned to my hometown where I subbed for a few years. Later, I went back to school at UW-Green Bay to get my teacher certification. As a likely inspiration for becoming an educator I have many family members who are also teachers including my mother, brother, his wife, and two uncles. I taught elementary music in Greenwood, WI for the past 4 years and was happy to share the joy of music with the students. I just moved to Manitowoc two weeks ago and I really like it. I like to write, play, and record music in my free time. I also love to play basketball and really enjoy a good round of disc golf as well as regular golf.

Ms. Dorow - Physical Education Teacher

Hello! I am very excited to be joining the staff at Madison Elementary School as the Phy. Ed. Teacher! I graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Health Education. During my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and playing softball and volleyball with my friends. I also enjoy coaching Track and Field at Wilson Middle School. The 2021-2022 school year was my 3rd season coaching the Shot Put and Discus throwers and I look forward to coaching again this Spring!

Mrs. Strozewski - EL Teacher

My name is Mrs Strozewski and I am the new EL teacher at Madison Elementary. I have been teaching since 1994, first in New Hampshire and then in Minnesota. I am excited to work with our English learners and to get to know all the kids at Madison.

I am a mom of 6 awesome young adults and a new grandmother. I enjoy time outside, walking, hiking, and gardening. I love to go to the gym and to travel to new places. I love the Packers and the Badgers and my husband and I are excited to get to more games now that we’re living in Wisconsin.

Mrs. Thull - Math Coach

Hi! I am Kristina Thull. I am the Math Coach at Madison. Prior to working at MPSD I taught third, fourth, and fifth grades in Southeastern Wisconsin. I have a bachelors in Early Childhood/Middle Childhood Education from UW-Oshkosh and a Master's degree in Math Education from UW_MIlwaukee. My husband and I share 7 children. Some things my family and I enjoy doing are four-wheeling, boating and fishing. I am very excited to be a member of MPSD and look forward to serving you and your family.

Mrs. Houger - Instructional Aide

Hello everyone, I am new to Madison and the MPSD family and I am very excited to be learning alongside all of our students. Some of my favorite things are my cats, my family and Winnie the Pooh. I can't wait to have a wonderful year together.

The Counselor's Corner - An Introduction to Mrs. Schultz

Hi Madison families, I’m Sara Schultz the Madison School Counselor. I wanted to take this first newsletter to introduce myself, a little about the school counseling program here at Madison and what you can expect in this section of the monthly newsletter this year.

A Little About Me

This is my fourth year here at Madison but my thirteenth year in our district. I’ve worked in a few of our elementary schools over the years. I started as the school counselor at Franklin back in 2010 and then switched to Jefferson for a few years while my two daughters were really little. Then I came to Madison and I love our smaller school. I live in the neighborhood too so your kiddos might see me out walking … often to go get ice cream at the Baby Cow.

Madison School Counseling Program

  • I teach developmental classroom guidance lessons called Life Skills every week in grades K/1 and every other week in grades 2-5. Topics vary by grade but include: school skills, empathy, peer relations, emotion management, conflict resolution/problem solving, personal safety, bullying prevention and career exploration.

  • I run small social skills groups for students with similar needs. These groups allow students to learn and practice skills in a social setting together with similar aged peers. They often meet once or twice a week for 6-8 weeks total. If your child is invited to a small group opportunity you will receive more information before the group begins.

  • Short-term individual student meetings are available for students at the request of students, parents and/or teachers to meet the needs of all students expressing difficulty with school problems, personal or social concerns, or typical developmental transitions. If counseling is requested for your child at school, I find it the most helpful if we connect initially to talk about needs and again after about six weeks to re-evaluate. Please keep in mind that these individual meetings are not therapy but I do have information about local therapy providers.

Upcoming Monthly Newsletters

In this portion of the monthly newsletter, I plan to share information about mental health, emotion regulation and parenting tips that I’ve found helpful. I try to keep it simple and easy to use. If there is a topic that you’d like to see highlighted or receive more information about, please contact me and let me know.

Sara Schultz

Madison Elementary School Counselor


office phone: 920.663.9662

mobile phone: 920.320.1211

Nursing News - Healthy Habits for Kids

Welcome back to school! Start the year off right with practicing these daily healthy habits:

  • Handwashing: Always wash your hands with soap and water before eating, after playing outside, after going to the bathroom, and after coughing or sneezing.

  • Teeth: Brush your teeth twice a day-after breakfast and before bed.

  • Hair: Brush or comb your hair twice a day to keep tangles out. Never share your brush or comb.

  • Nails: Keep fingernails and toenails clean and trimmed. Bath or shower time is usually best for trimming and cleaning under the nails.

  • Clothing: Wear fresh clothes every day, even if your old clothes don’t smell. Clean underwear is especially important.

  • Exercise: Do some form of exercise every day, such as walking, running, bike riding, or playing sports.

  • Diet: Eat nutritious meals and snacks daily. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and dairy products.

  • Sleep: Go to bed about the same time every night. Spend some time doing a quiet activity such as reading a book or listening to music.

PTO News

The next PTO meeting is Monday, September 19, 2022 at 3:30 pm, either in person or via Google Meet. Meeting Link: Join by phone: US +1 337-466-9079 PIN: 420785115.

Keep an eye out in those Friday folders for information about the Clubs Choice fundraiser starting September 19, 2022.