Woodridge in January

Think & Wonder . Wonder & Think

Mrs Thistle's Thoughts...

Happy New Year!

We are very proud of our students and their amazing performance at the annual Holiday Concert. They worked very hard and it was evident. Also, it was fun to look at student artwork displayed throughout the Portage High School auditorium. Mrs. Yerke and Ms. Adams pulled off another successful holiday concert and we are grateful.

Thank you to everyone who purchased and/or sold items for the Parent Club fundraiser. This is the only fundraiser that we do and we are able to earn enough to purchase materials for our school (students and staff) during the year. Parent Club meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month at 4:30 in the Woodridge conference room. Children are always welcome to attend.

At the end of January, we will be sending your child's report card home. The following is the progress monitoring and report card schedule. However, you are always welcome to contact your child's teacher to check-in or ask questions.

Parent/Teacher Conferences: October 23rd and 24th

Report Card: January 26th

Parent/Teacher Conferences: March 13th and 15th (4pm-7pm)

Report Card: June 6th

Thank you for your continued support of our school!

Mrs. Thistle

Woodridge/Endeavor Principal

4k Coordinator

Mark Your Calendars

1st: No School

2nd: School Re-opens

3rd: Parent Club Meeting @ 4:30

19th: Fun Friday for students

26th: End of Semester

Secretary Notes

Reporting an Absence

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

School Spirit on Fridays!

Tie-dye shirts and Woodridge Wonder shirts have all been sent home. Please feel free to dress your child in either of these shirts or other Portage clothing on Fridays throughout the school year.

Art Warriors

Our Art Warriors made beautiful artwork for the Holiday Program.

In January we are going to continue process-based art to practice the important fine-motor skills of cutting and gluing. We are also practicing making creative choices through media such as printing and painting. Additionally, the kindergarten students will be making clay projects.


Our Artsonia portfolios are getting started, please check your child’s Artsonia account for updates to their portfolio. If you haven’t accessed your child’s account yet and need the login information, please send me an email at:


Keep your eyes peeled for information coming soon about a fantastic fundraising event to get a new kiln for our John Muir and Woodridge students!


The students are creating such wonderful art and I would LOVE for you to be able to see it. I am looking for some volunteers to help me get our students’ art uploaded (no prior experience necessary). Please contact Ms. Adams at adamsc@portage.k12.wi.us if you would like to help out.


In the gym last month we played volleyball with beach balls. We had about 10 balls of different sizes bouncing around the gym from volleyball size to one that was three feet in diameter!

We also jumped on the Star Wars bandwagon with an exciting game of Star Wars Tag!

I am looking forward to playing "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" this month! It is a relay race where I put a bunch of hula hoops and other equipment on one side of the gym then let the students pick up one piece of their snowman at a time. They get a great workout and get to be creative at the same time!

Music Notes

Thank you to everyone who came to our Holiday Program. The boys and girls really enjoyed singing for you.

Congratulations to the following First-graders who played jingle bells when we went to sing for the residents at Tivoli and Heritage House. They were Sofie Gierzewski, Mason Simonson, Zayda Brown, Chance McDonald, Dean Rupprecht, Audrey Maldonado, Joel Beckett, Liam Curtis and Clara Georgeson. You did a wonderful job!

This month the kindergarten students will be learning about musical instruments, using the musical story of Peter and the Wolf. The characters in the story are represented by a different instrument of the symphony orchestra. Students will also continue to work on pitch matching and keeping a steady beat with different non-pitched instruments.

The First graders will be learning that the beat is called Ta and represented by a quarter note. This will their first introduction to musical notation.

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From the Cafeteria

We love when you join your students for lunch and they sure love it too! Please let the office know by 8:15 a.m. that you will be eating. The adult lunch price is $4.30 and will need to be paid that day, unfortunately, we can not take this from your child's account.

Stories Snacks and Snuggles


Story: Snowmen at Work

Snack: Pretzel Marshmallow Snowflake

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

Pretzel Marshmallow Snowflake

  1. Using pretzel sticks, design a snowflake.

  2. Take marshmallows to attach the pretzel to make a beautiful snowflake.

Counselor's Corner

Welcome to 2018!! I hope everyone had a safe and relaxing winter break! Our Zones of Regulation classroom lessons continue to go great! We are now focusing on deep breathing. It is fun to watch the students learn to deep breathe, where the belly (not the chest) gets big when we inhale and then flattens when we exhale. By doing this 5-10 consecutive times we are calming our bodies and our brains.

“Not only does deep breathing increase focus and attention, it improves pro-social behavior, enhances daily happiness, and increases levels of calm while decreasing stress and anxiety. From a neurological or physiological perspective, deep belly breathing slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and sharpens the minds ability to focus and learn by slowing down the amygdala and supporting the higher brain function taking place in the frontal lobes.” ~The MIndful Classroom

One of the deep breathing methods the students are practicing is the “smell the flower (inhale) and blow out the candle (slow exhale)” method of deep breathing.

Just like any skill, we must practice to improve! The students thought that when they go to bed, and before they get out of bed in the morning, would be good times to practice.

Email: brownd@portage.k12.wi.us

Nurses Station


Cases of influenza are on the rise in Wisconsin and our Portage school community. Please be on the lookout for symptoms and take appropriate action. If your child is diagnosed, please let the school office know this is the reason for the absence and follow your health care provider's directions to stop the spread of disease.

Symptoms of flu include:

a 100 degree F or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)

a cough and or sore throat

a runny or stuffy nose

headaches and or body aches



nausea, vomiting, and or diarrhea (most common in children)

Prevention measures include:

cover coughs

wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer

vaccination against influenza

get plenty of rest and or sleep

stay home if sick

eat well-balanced meals

drink plenty of fluids like water or 100% juice

For more information, visit www.flu.gov

Low and no-cost healthcare

St. Vincent de Paul Medical Clinic

Portage is home of the St. Vincent de Paul Medical Clinic. The clinic serves individuals on Wednesday’s, from 8 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. The clinic is located in the basement of the Wilz Drug Store, 140 E. Cook Street, Portage. You may enter the clinic directly from the alley behind the store. It is a walk-in clinic and individuals are served on a first come, first serve basis. They have a variety of primary care doctors and specialists providing care at no cost to the patient. Prescriptions are available on a limited basis. The staff at the clinic can assist people in obtaining medications through the manufacturer programs.

Services offered:

· Physical exams (annual health check-up including school physicals for kindergarten entry and WIAA sports)

· Exams for illness, injury or wellness

· Prescriptions (no controlled substances/narcotics)

· Specialty care can usually be arranged, but not same day

· Laboratory and imaging services

Prescription Drug Discount Cards

Contact your school nurse to obtain a prescription drug discount card. Several discount cards exist and the school nurse can send you one of each of what she has at that time. You may then contact the locations to see how it can meet your needs.

Portage 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 Elementary front office at 608-742-3494.


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.


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