GES Fall Newsletter

The Wolfpack Way


Dear GES Families,

It has been a wonderful start to GES's 2016-17 school year! Although it has been a busy summer with the additions of seven new family members and the return of two long-term staff members from last year, we have had a positive, enthusiastic start with returning staff and new staff members working diligently to get ready for a new year! A tremendous welcome to Mrs. Ebben, Mr. Schultz and Mrs. Klotzbuecher, our newest para-professional, who will be joining Mrs. Jarvis, Mrs. Lorge, and Mrs. Voss on the kindergarten team, to Ms. Sauerland who joins Mrs. Lennon and Mrs. Mortag in 1st grade, Ms. Simonis who joins the team of Mrs. D'Amico, Mrs. Luedtke, Mrs. Schreurs (when she returns) and Mrs. Wargolet, to Mr. Miazga who joins Ms. Zozak full time this year, and to Mrs. Anderson who will team with Mrs. Wild throughout the year. We would also like to welcome Ms. Guensburg who is supporting our special education K-2 students and Mrs. Alyssa Neumyer, who is our new school psychologist. Mr. Norris is also returning to us after spending more than half the year with us as our physical education instructor. Finally, we welcome back the remaining family members who spent countless hours preparing for the best year ever! Now that our GES students are back everything feels right!

Our theme this year, as professionals, will be our growth for theirs. Each child deserves to make a year's growth in a year's time and that is a tremendous responsibility but one we intend on doing all we can to accomplish. It requires us to have our hearts open to build relationships with our students, to have the courage to enter, not evade, the tangles of teaching in order to meet the needs of our students, and to engage professionally with our colleagues and be willing to take risks to reach even higher levels of achievement.

As always, our students' success is built on a partnership with you as a vital member! Please join with us as we dedicate ourselves to having a year of commitment to our own professional growth, to a courageous mindset, and to the heartfelt dedication necessary to help each GES student reach his or her own unique potential.

Respectfully yours,


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What is GES's Wolfpack Up To?

New PBIS Incentives at GES!!!

Beginning in infancy and throughout life, humans are motivated by newness, change, and excitement. The tendency to lose interest in a repeated event and gain interest in a new one is one of the most fundamental human reflexes. In fact, the brain is highly responsive to novelty (Wolfe, 2006). Consequently, there will be new Wolfpack incentives to continue to motivate our students to be responsible, respectful, ready to learn, and safe!

In the past, there were classroom incentives, monthly drawings, and periodic school-wide incentives. Because of the diligent efforts of our PBIS coach, Molly Lucareli and our PBIS committee, this year there will be monthly school-wide incentives. Our initial school-wide incentive has already occurred based on our students completing their GES passports. This requirement involved students obtaining a stamp indicating they knew what behaviors were expected in common locations like the hallway. Thanks to Mr. Norris's role as one of Grafton's football coach, those students whose passports were drawn will be fortunate to stand next to the varsity football players at a future home game during the National Anthem. Mr. Norris will communicate with the parents of our lucky winners!

Grade level assemblies will occur throughout the year as in the past with students of that grade level hosting. Each month there will be a focus on a different virtue like honesty or forgiveness. Please refer to this information to learn when your child's grade level will be hosting as our parents are always welcome!

Check out the Dojo Introduction that explains how we use Dojo to reward students when they are demonstrating the Wolfpack Way!

Dojo Introduction 2016


If our students are going to grow as learners, our teachers must be life-long learners as well! Two structures are in place that will enable our professional community of learners to spend time deepening their professional growth associated with teaching and learning. One of the structures that helps us to grow professionally based on a common vision is the Educator Effectiveness plan. This plan, required by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction, expects teachers across the state to assess their strengths and identify professional goals aligned to six Teacher Standards that include Professional Knowledge, Instructional Planning, Instructional Delivery, Assessment, Learning Environment, and Professionalism. In addition to reflecting on and identifying areas of growth within these standards, teachers work together in teams to target specific students and related instructional strategies and supports that will help targeted groups make growth.

Each month our faculty will meet and study research associated with best practices in each of the six Teacher Standards. Once best practices are identified as a professional learning community, GES teachers will apply what they have learned in the classroom and return to the next faculty meeting to showcase the challenges and successes they've experienced in order to share their learning with others. Shared learning in a systematic, ongoing way continuously throughout the year will have a positive impact on our students' growth!

The second structure that is in place that will ultimately serve our students based on shared professional learning is an individualized book study approach. Much like our students read based on their interests as well as what will support their learning, our faculty is able to choose a book that they would like to read professionally with other colleagues who have chosen that same book. In many cases the books that are chosen are aligned to professional goals and/or may be connected to students' academic/social needs that have been identified. Some of the books we are beginning to consider include the following: Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler, Visible Learning for Teachers by John Hattie, and How Children Succeed by Paul Tough to name a few. Even with only so much time, the learning of all faculty members will be more extensive as a result of our shared collegial learning.

GES's New Family of Teachers on a Wild Goose Chase!

Our First Few Days!