EC-5 Elementary Express

December 2018

December Dates At-A-Glance

November 26 - December 21 - Coat Drive, K-12

November 30 - December 20 - WIS Holiday Food Drive

November 30 - Science Night in the WIS gym - 5:30pm - 7:30pm

December 11 - 4K Winter Craft Night at CEPS - 6pm-7pm

December 13 -14 - 1st and 2nd Grades to Ice Arena during PE

December 20 - Festive Sweater Day at CEPS; 10:10 Assembly/Snow Choir Tour

December 20 - WIS All-school Read Aloud - 2pm - 2:30pm

December 20 - Blue Notes Winter Tour at all schools

December 20 - WIS All-School Read-In

December 21 - January 1 - Winter Break - NO SCHOOL

Upcoming Dates in January...


January 10 - 5th Grade Orchestra Concert at MHS - 7pm

January 29 - 5th Grade Planetarium Field Trip - Litz/Kuester

January 30 - 5th Grade Planetarium Field Trip - Wells/Lackey

January 31 - 5th Grade Planetarium Field Trip - Wilson/Butorac

February 1 - 5th Grade Planetarium Field Trip - Eversoll/Grenzow


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...If your family qualifies for Free or Reduced Lunches, you also qualify for Free or Reduced Breakfast! Give us a try. We have many daily options to choose from including cereal, muffins, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and more. All meals come with fruit, 100% juice, and milk. Menus can be found on the district website and our Facebook page

Breakfast begins to be served at 7:25 at CEPS and 7:15 at WIS.


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Waubesa Intermediate School is hosting a science night with the UW-Madison Biocore Ambassadors! This is a great FREE event for the entire family. Come to experience science in a fun and interactive way!

Who: K-8 Students and their Families

Where: Waubesa Intermediate School Gym

When: Friday, November 30 from 5:30 - 7:30

You may come and go at any time during this block!

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Please Be On Time!

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Please note : At CEPS, supervision begins at 7:20am on the playground and at 7:25am for breakfast.

At WIS, supervision begins at 7:30am on the playground and at 7:15am for breakfast.

Thank You!


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The playground area behind our schools are quite open and therefore very windy. This can make it feel very cold when students are outside for recess or before school. Please help your child to enjoy recess by providing them with appropriate winter clothing.

Please help us keep your child safe, warm, comfortable, and dry by sending them to school dressed in the following outerwear:

  • Boots are required outdoor wear during the snowy winter months. Boots should be at least high enough to cover the ankle. Boots provide warmth, traction on ice and snow, and have the ability to keep your child’s feet dry. A commonsense approach will be used to monitor the wearing of boots. We will require students who do not have boots to stay on the blacktop if clear of snow and ask students to stand by the wall if the blacktop is snow-covered.

  • Hats or earmuffs are required winter wear. They should cover the ears to prevent frostbite. Seventy percent of a person’s heat loss is from the head, so hats are essential for conserving warmth.

  • Mittens or gloves are required. Mittens that provide water resistance are preferred, especially when children play in the snow. Dry hands are warm hands! Wet hands are very, very cold!

  • Snow pants are required for any student who wishes to leave the blacktop and play actively in the snow. Those who do not have snow pants are not able to play actively in the snow and may be restricted to the “blacktop only” depending on the conditions.

Please label all of your child’s outerwear with their name. Many children have the same or similar items. In addition, coats, gloves, and hats are frequently left on the playground and can go into the Lost and Found where they are often forgotten.

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By: Brooke Hauser, Elementary Campus Technology Teacher/Integrator

Topic: Parameters for iPad use at home

In this month’s Tech Tidbits, you will find excerpts from the American Academy of Pediatrics New Media Use Guidelines (October 2016) , as well as some helpful tips for monitoring your family’s use of electronics.

Among the AAP recommendations:

  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.

  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.

  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.

Remember, you are your child’s media mentor. Lead by example, staying engaged and connected when having conversations. Preserve face to face contact -- limit time where everyone is just looking at a device. Turn off all electronics one hour before bedtime to encourage better sleep patterns. Reinforce at home what we teach at school: iPads are a tool for creating, connecting and learning, not merely consuming media. Finally, don’t let technology replace the important jobs of being a kid: hands-on, unstructured play, socialization and sleep.

Dreambox Learning -- Dreambox is a math tool we use at school that adapts to your child’s skill level and needs, personalizing the learning for your child. With iPads going home with 3rd - 5th grade students, many WIS teachers are encouraging or requiring Dreambox practice at home. Remember that K-2 students can also access Dreambox on a home device. Below are the web addresses and codes you need for students at each building to use Dreambox on a device at home.

CEPS: School Code: tz8y/yjur

WIS: School Code: tz8y/waubesais

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Conrad Elvehjem Primary School Information


Dr. Kelley Novak

Associate Principal:

Greg Nelson

CEPS Building Administrative Assistant:

Emily Broome - (608) 838-3146

Administrative Assistant:

Sheryl Leemon - (608) 838-3146

A Note from Associate Principal Nelson

Warm Greetings, Families!

As I type this message and look out the window, it is pretty clear that winter is here! I hope during this busy season, you find the time to relax and enjoy special moments with those you hold dear. Maybe warm up a mug of cocoa and read your child’s library book with them, or sip some cider and put together a big puzzle. As for me, I’ll be lucky if I get out and try sledding or skiing at all; I am a warm-weather person through and through!

In order to support the expectation of wearing coats, hats, boots, snow pants and gloves with our cold weather (please label them!), I want to ask that you continue to have your child practice zipping zippers, buttoning buttons, putting on hats and gloves, and pulling up those boots at home! The more independent our students become with those skills, the more time they will have for play at recess. Please plan to send your students to school wearing their snow pants and boots (instead of bringing them in their backpacks), as they go outside before school begins. Students that do not wear snow pants and boots will be asked to remain on the blacktop.

This is also a good time to mention our before-school plan if it is too cold…“brrr!” When the combined temperature and wind chill is zero degrees or below (and in the spring/fall, if it is raining), students remain inside. Before school, kindergarteners will enter the building and place their bags outside of their classroom and can choose to walk laps in their wing or watch a video in the music room. First and second-graders will hang up their belongings at their cubby and then make a choice to walk laps to music in the gym or read books in the hall outside of the office and gym. Since this does not happen too often, I ask that on days when we may anticipate this to happen, and if you are able to do so, to please foreshadow this plan to your child, so they walk into school knowing their options. Staff will be located at each location to remind students as well.

Speaking of reminders, I want to ask for your help. We work on teaching and reinforcing our Spartan Star expectations of being safe, kind, and responsible everywhere in school. One area that needs some work is our bathrooms. The students have been explicitly taught our expectations, and we have done some individual student and even grade-level review of the rules, but I ask that if you have a moment to please discuss showing character in the bathroom with your child since that is the one area that students are expected to use independently. Our custodians are unfortunately continuing to report some unexpected and unsafe messes in the bathrooms, and if you can help reiterate our message of using our new and beautiful bathrooms the right way, it could really help reinforce our goal of keeping the bathrooms clean for everyone. Without being too specific, we are really hoping that our students will work on being safe by not making “bathroom messes” on the ground, stall doors, and walls.

On a different note related to safety, this year our district is refining our already-strong approaches to school safety planning. In November, Officer Miller, our School Resource Officer with the McFarland Police Department, worked in conjunction with district office and building-level administration to train our teaching staff on Standard Response Protocol (click the link for information). We learned terminology and procedures related to evacuation and shelter drills (i.e., fire and tornado drills) and lockout and lockdown drills (i.e., intruder drills) that will be used district-wide so that our plans are clear and consistent. Soon, students will be trained on the terminology and procedures in student-friendly language, and we will also be sharing more information with all our families as well.

I want to give a shout-out to our teachers and staff here at CEPS. As I visit classrooms during the day, I am continually impressed by the teaching and learning I observe. It is awesome to see the progress students have already made this year in their academic work, and one of my favorite parts of my day is seeing the pride students take in accomplishing their goals. The staff here know how to incorporate high expectations in a developmentally-appropriate way so that students are engaged and classrooms feel warm, safe, and fun! From kindergarteners that are working on counting to 40 and counting by tens, to first graders adding details and conclusions to their writing, and second graders diving into non-fiction text, real learning is happening. Of course, all the hugs, special handshakes, smiles, and high-fives I see teachers get and give in the hallway, lunchroom, and recess show the students here feel happy and loved.

As I wrap up, I want to take a moment to wish you all the best this holiday season. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy some special time together during the break, and I look forward to welcoming our students’ bright and shining faces back to school in 2019!

Thank you for your time and support. As always, feel free to call at any time with questions or concerns you may have.

Greg Nelson

Associate Principal

Conrad Elvehjem Primary School

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Many Thanks To...

  • Thank you to families who contributed food during the recent Food Pantry drive.

  • Thank you to parents who make sure their children arrive to school on time, every day. Children who arrive on time benefit immensely by capturing the announcements, directions, daily activities and assignments that are shared with students at the start of each school day.

  • The high level of parent participation at the recent Parent/Teacher Conferences is another indication of the strong home-school partnership that exists in our community.
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Waubesa Intermediate School Information

School Principal:

Sue Murphy

Associate Principal:

Al Northouse

Building Administrative Assistant:

Arlene Bast (608) 838-7667

A Note From Principal Murphy

The leaves are falling off the trees and the cold temperatures have arrived. Please take a few minutes to read through the winter dress requirements included in this month's news.

The past few years we have been working hard at helping our students develop a growth mindset. This requires students to believe they can learn anything as long as they work hard, try various strategies, and accept input from others. In the process, they may fail, but this failure can help them to gain an even better understanding in the end.

It is often in math class that we hear students say things like, "I am just not good at math." They seem to think that some people are good at math and some people aren't. The staff at WIS do not believe this is true. We have researched this topic at length and believe ALL students can be strong at math. Students just need to work hard, try various strategies, be open to ideas from others, not be afraid to fail, and believe in themselves.

Of course, we believe this to be true in all subjects and would love your help in promoting this mindset. We'd love to ban the phrase, "Well, I wasn't good at math either." This phrase allows children the opportunity to not persevere through a problem, but to just give up. Something we feel is detrimental to their growth.

Check out the link to learn more.

This year, winter break starts December 21 with classes resuming on January 2, 2019. This is a perfect time for children to enjoy family and friends, as well as to read a good book (or two), and to practice math on Dreambox.

Finally, I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday. There is always so much to be thankful for. I know I appreciate my family and friends and am grateful for the terrific staff and families here in McFarland. This is such a supportive community and I feel lucky to work here with you.

As always, feel free to call with any questions, comments or concerns.

Stay warm,

Sue Murphy


HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE 11/30 - 12/20

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Our annual holiday food drive to help families in need is underway! Please send donations with your child to school November 30 - December 20. See the link below for more information.

Thank You!


The Waubesa Word comes out every week and includes the latest school announcements and other fun facts about WIS! Please visit our Facebook page to watch the latest episode. Your children watch these videos on Monday mornings.


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Do you have extra movies you no longer watch? Our library is in need of G-rated movies. If you have any extra you're willing to donate we would GREATLY appreciate them! Thank you for taking a moment to look around. You can drop these off in the office or you can send them in with your child and they can bring them to the library.

Thank you!

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Many thanks to...

-Our PTO and families for sponsoring dinner for teachers during conferences.

-Our parents for your GREAT attendance at conferences! We appreciate your support!

-Families that arrive on time every day so children don't miss any important announcements or key learning. Daily attendance does matter.

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The following flyers are NOT all school-sponsored activities and the McFarland School District does not provide support or endorsement of the program/flyer. It has neither reviewed nor approved the program, personnel, or activities announced in the brochure/flyer. Permission to distribute this material must not be considered a recommendation or endorsement by the School District.
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