EC-5 Elementary Express

January 2020

January Dates At-A-Glance

January 2 - School Resumes

January 9 - PTO Advisory Committee Meeting - McFarland House Cafe - 7PM

Janurary 17 - Literary Character Dress Up Day at CEPS

January 20 - NO SCHOOL - Conference Release Day

January 27 - NO SCHOOL - Staff Development

January 28 - 5th Grade Field Trip to Planetarium (Litz, Kuester)

January 29 - 5th Grade Field Trip to Planetarium (Lackey, Wells)

January 30 - 5th Grade Field Trip to Planetarium (Garvey, Wilson)

January 31 - 5th Grade Field Trip to Planetarium (Grenzow, Eversoll)

Upcoming Dates in February:

February 3 - Report Cards Available on Infinite Campus at 3PM

February 17 - NO SCHOOL - Staff Development

February 19 - At Large PTO Meeting - WIS Multipurpose Room - 6:30PM

February 21 - All School Assembly at WIS

February 25 - 2nd Grade Music and Art Program

February 27 - 1st Grade Music and Art Program

February 29 - String Fling at the high school

February 29 - CEPS Winter Carnival - CEPS Gym, 10AM - 12PM

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Busy in the Morning? Try School Breakfast!

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We all know that breakfast can be the most important meal of the day! We also know that when kids eat a well-balanced breakfast they can more easily focus on learning. Our school nutrition department offers healthy breakfasts to help your children start the day out right.

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

If your family qualifies for Free or Reduced Lunches, you also qualify for Free or Reduced Breakfast! If you have any questions about school breakfast, please contact Barb Waara, Student Nutrition Director, at or 838-4549.

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Click the links below for tips on how to foster responsibility in your student!

Updates From the PTO

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As 2019 ends, the PTO has much to be grateful for. We especially want to extend our gratitude to those of you that volunteer with time, resources, staff appreciation meals, and showing your support by attending the PTO meetings. 2020 holds much excitement and growth for the PTO. We look forward to maintaining our No Hassle Fundraiser, back to school supply kits, staff appreciation meals, trunk or treat, hosting Play Time Productions, and continuing to show our support to the school district and McFarland EC-8 families. We have new events that we will introduce in 2020 and hope these too will become a part of PTO traditions.

Please mark your calendars with some upcoming events:

  • PTO Advisory Committee Meeting: Thursday, January 9, 2020, 7pm at the McFarland House Café
  • At Large PTO Meeting: Wednesday, February, 19, 2020, 6:30pm at WIS in the multi-purpose room
  • CEPS Winter Carnival: Saturday, February, 29, 2020, 10AM-12PM in the CEPS Gym. All community members are welcome to join us. We will have fun activities for the whole family to enjoy, snacks, and a silent auction. We are still in need of volunteers to ensure this event's success. Please email to help or to donate silent auction items.

Wishing you a happy holiday season and happy new year!

The McFarland EC-8 PTO

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As the school year goes on, we see an increase in the number of children who arrive late to school. Please make sure that your children are on time to school so they are ready to start the day with their class.

Please note: At CEPS, supervision begins at 7:25AM 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!

A Note From the Health Office

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In order to get an accurate accounting of student illnesses, Health Services is requesting that when you call an absence in for your child, please specify if they are ill and what their illness is. Also, please continue to specify vacations, parent request (not an illness), funeral, etc.

Thank you!

School Closings Due to Weather

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When severe weather causes our schools to be closed, the school district contacts local news outlets who then publicize that information by 6AM. If children are already at school and inclement weather arrives during the day, please listen to Madison area radio and television stations (or check news websites) for announcements of any early closings of school.

Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week

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January 13 - 17 is Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week! Perhaps you'd like to find a way to thank the friendly people who help our kids safely cross our busy streets!

Thank you to all our crossing guards in McFarland!

2nd Semester Report Cards

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Our first semester ends on January 17 and teachers will use the following days to finalize report cards. You can view your student's report card online on February 3 after 3PM in the parent portal of Infinite Campus.

Remember that you don't need to wait for report cards for an update on your child's progress. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time to discuss how your child is doing!

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Conrad Elvehjem Primary School Information

School Principal:

Greg Nelson

Associate Principal:

Brooke Hauser

CEPS Building Administrative Assistant:

Emily Broome - (608) 838-3146

Administrative Assistant:

Sheryl Leemon - (608) 838-3146

A Note From Our Principal

Dear Families,

Happy New Year! I hope we are all feeling re-energized after a nice break with family and friends and looking forward to continued success in 2020.

At this time of the year, I like to give an annual plug for the importance of reading with your children at home: Read, Read, Read! Studies have shown that the more language and reading a child is exposed to at a young age, the greater their achievement is in their later years. Reading at home can be fun and can look a lot of different ways: share a favorite story together, ask your child to read their books from school to you, practice snap words, model your own strong reading habits as you read the newspaper or magazines, follow a recipe to make brownies (or slime!) together, etc. At the EC-2 level, we are building the foundation that is so essential for helping students make the transition from learning to read, to reading to learn. Thanks for making reading a priority.

Another way you can support your child, albeit a bit more indirectly, is by submitting Box Tops for Education. Did you know that in addition to the tried-and-true method of cutting out the box tops, you can download an app on your phone? Simply head over to, download the mobile app, create an account, and each time you visit the grocery store, simply scan your receipt and Box Tops will scan your purchases for any participating products to add online earnings to our EC-8 PTO account.

Speaking of the PTO, I encourage you to mark Saturday, February 29th on your calendar. That morning, the PTO will be hosting a Winter Carnival at CEPS for our students. There will be carnival-themed activities and games for our EC-2 students and their families. More information to come, but I look forward to the potential of this becoming a tradition that our CEPS students will look forward to each winter.

It looks like January will be a cold month, and students need to be bundled up! If your child is missing any mittens, hats, or boots, please stop by the “Lost and Found” bin and give it a look through. Every few months, when the bins are overflowing, we make a donation of those items that have been hanging out in the Lost and Found to a local charity organization.

Just a quick reminder to parents and relatives that visit during lunch: if your child wants to invite a friend to sit with you during lunch, our rule is that your child may bring ONE friend to sit with you. Space gets tight at the visitor table, and I appreciate your support with following this practice.

There are two safety updates to share this month. First, we are implementing our Lobby Guard visitor check-in system this month. When you visit our school, please have your driver’s license ready to scan, and check in on our computer screen right inside the main office, following the on-screen prompts. Second, we will be opening up Sprigeo, an online threat reporting system currently used in grades 6-12, to the entire district this month. This is part of our “see something, say something” initiative, and can be accessed on each school’s homepage on the district website.

Finally, in my first year here as the permanent principal (I was the interim principal last year), it is important to me that I get your feedback. Let’s give something a try: please feel free to send me an email at at any time, letting me know one thing you appreciate about CEPS and one area you think we can improve upon. It is important to acknowledge both what is going well, and consider your suggestions and feedback as we look to continually improve for the students and families we serve.

Your continued partnership with us is essential for positive results. Our CEPS team is committed to keeping open communication between home and school, and we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher, or any staff member, to request support and assistance. We know that we do it better together!


Greg Nelson

CEPS Principal

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Waubesa Intermediate School Information

School Principal:

Corey Shefchik

Associate Principal:

Al Northouse

Building Administrative Assistant:

Arlene Bast (608) 838-7667

A Note From Our Principals...

Dear Waubesa Families -

We hope you and your family have enjoyed the winter break. The entire Waubesa School family wishes you the best in 2020. Transitioning back into the routines and expectations of school can be challenging for kids. Please support your child during this transition by reviewing with them their school routines and getting plenty of rest. The New Year is a perfect time to reflect on the past year and set goals and make plans for the future. Our school mission is to ensure high levels of learning for all students. As a school staff we work to do this by focusing on what is essential for students to know and creating a positive school climate where all students feel safe and accepted.

During the year your child may mention their "buddy" class. Several times during the year students from different grade levels meet and participate in activities with another class. Our hope is that students develop strong bonds that will improve student relationships in the hallways, on the bus, and on the playground. These activities, combined with our positive behavior initiatives, have helped create an even better school climate at Waubesa. Please ask your child about their buddy classroom.

Additionally, we hope that students are working to achieve the goals they set at conference time back in November. Now may be the perfect time to check in with your child on the progress being made on those goals. Your follow-up at home by checking on work completion, practicing math facts, and reading with your child is much appreciated and has a positive impact on helping ensure those high levels of learning. This positive reinforcement helps students see the connection between home and school.

If you have questions or need anything, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Corey Shefchik - Principal

Alan Northouse - Associate Principal

Reminder of WIS Tardiness Policy

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Please see the following excerpt from our handbook as a friendly reminder of our tardiness policy at WIS. Remember that third graders are now affected by the policy.

Students are allowed 2 tardies a quarter free of consequence. If a student is tardy for a 3rd time in that quarter they will serve a 15-minute lunch detention as a consequence for that tardy and any subsequent tardies that quarter. For third grade students, the consequence will not be imposed in the first quarter of the school year.

At any time, if chronic tardies or truancy are issues that you would like assistance from school staff to address, please do not hesitate to contact Lily Hlavacek, School Social Worker K-5 (608)-838-4610, Al Northouse, Associate Principal at Waubesa Intermediate School 608-838-4609, or Brooke Hauser Associate Principal at Conrad Elvehjem Primary School 608-838-4595.

Winter Clothing Expectations for Students at WIS

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While it's important for children to wear coats, hats, gloves, boots, and snow pants outside in the winter to keep warm, we don't require children wear these items to go outside for recess. However, if children don't have these items their access to the playground will be limited based on conditions.

When there is snow on the the ground, the following standards apply. Please note that recess supervisors are always assessing the playground and may deem certain areas off limits, depending on conditions.

  • If a child has boots and snow pants, they will have access to the entire playground, including the fields and play structures.
  • If a child has only boots and no snow pants, they will have access to the blacktop and woodchip areas, but not the fields.
  • If a child has no boots, they will have access to the blacktop only.

If you need assistance purchasing winter gear for your child, please let the office know and we can help!

Reminder - Children go out for recess unless the temperature and/or wind chill factor are below zero.

Student Dropoff and Pickup Reminders

Please refer to the map below for guidelines on where to pick up and drop off your student. Also we'd like to request that if you park on the residential streets near the school, please don't park in front of mailboxes as a courtesy to our neighbors.

Thank you for helping us to keep students safe!

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When dropping off or picking up children at Waubesa, PLEASE USE THE DRIVE-THRU PARKING LOT OFF OF RED OAK TRAIL. Simply pull over near the front of the yellow zone, let your child safely exit on the passenger side, and leave. There’s no need to wait for the car ahead.



Please do not use the Leanne Lane parking lot for drive-thru drop off or pick up of students. This parking lot is for buses, daycare vans, and all those who need to park and enter the school with their student(s). WHEN DROPPING OFF OR PICKING UP CHILDREN AT WAUBESA, PLEASE USE THE DRIVE-THRU PARKING LOT OFF OF RED OAK TRAIL.

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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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Click below to for the Christmas Tree Pickup Form! Please note that we will cap our tree pickups at 100 per day!