Van Brunt Newsletter

December 2017 Edition

Dear Van Brunt Families,

As I reflect on what I am thankful for this holiday season, Van Brunt students, families, and staff are high on my list. Every day, I am thankful to you for sharing your child with us. We are truly blessed to work with such a wonderful group of learners and such supportive families. The staff of Van Brunt are dedicated to helping every child experience success by challenging and supporting students each day. Thank you for the time you spend working with your child, encouraging reading at home, and reinforcing the importance of learning, working hard, and showing kindness to others.

December is such a busy month and we hope you are able to join us for our winter special events. Band/choir concerts and grade level music programs are always a highlight! If you have a student in fourth grade, you can look forward to a wonderful performance of The Polar Express, a great holiday tradition! There are so many classroom celebrations to look forward to this month!

I hope you are all able to enjoy time with your family and friends over break. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.


Lisa Sawyer

Van Brunt Principal

Attendance Matters!

For the month of November, Van Brunt ran an attendance challenge! We celebrated the classes that had the highest rate of attendance for the month. We had a tie for first place between Mrs. Holl’s kindergarten class and Ms. Schultz’s 6th grade class! Mrs. Sawyer and Mrs. Borgstrom made breakfast in the classroom for the students.There is another attendance challenge happening this month! Please help your child’s class win by having them to school each day and on time! Attendance matters and we need your help to ensure everyone has an on-time, positive start to the day!

Honoring our Veterans

Our students gave a tribute and said "Thank You" to our veterans for serving for us, and fighting for our freedom.

Students perform The Jungle Book

What an amazing performance from our students as they performed The Jungle Book. Thanks to all of those who volunteered, especially our directors: Nancy Keller, Kari Zahs, Tina Kasper and Dan Moldenhauer. They spent countless hours investing in our students and this event. A HUGE shout out also goes to the parents for their patience with the practices, taxi service, and support that comes along with pulling this off!

Fire Prevention Winners

Congratulations to our Fire Prevention poster winners!

1st Place- Trenton Schultz (His poster moves on to the next level for judging.)

2nd Place- Jacob Butler

3rd Place- Crystal Liebenow

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Van Brunt Food Drive

Our POPS trait for the month of November was citizenship. One way our students and staff demonstrated this trait, was with a food drive. Van Brunt collected over 400 items to the Sacred Heart and St. Stephens food pantries. The food drive began with the "Souper" Reading Night on November 9 when the families enjoyed a warm meal, time to read with one another, and extra time at the Book Fair. Throughout the following week, the donations continued and students helped organize and count all 400+ items!
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"Souper" Reading Night

Students enjoyed a warm meal, good book, and reading with one another at our annual "Family Reading Night."

Grade 5 POPS

We celebrated our 5th grade students at the POPS assembly in November. They recognized each other by sharing how their classmates make them stronger. Officer Schultis shared with them why the trait "citizenship" for the month, is so important. Thank you to our parents that were able to attend! Congratulations 5th Graders!

December Team of the Month

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Meet our Team of the Month

Lisa Bischoff

Teaching is my passion. ​As a third grade teacher, my goal is to motivate students to become lifelong learners. Treating others with respect is an important theme in my classroom.​ The best part of my job is seeing a student's face light up when learning a new concept or skill.

​My teaching career demonstrates a commitment to education. ​I’ve spent 43 years of my life in the Horicon School District— the first 13 as a student and the last 30 as a teacher.

In my free time I enjoy cheering for the Packers, Badgers, and Marshmen. I also enjoy walking and reading. In the summer, I spend time with family and friends at our cottage on Shawano Lake. ​My husband, Brian, is also a teacher in the Hustisford School District. My son, Aaron, will graduate from UW-Oshkosh this month.​

Claire Schilling

I grew up in West Bend and am the second of four, all in the education field. I had the opportunity to do part of my student teaching in Umea, Sweden, in a third grade classroom, teaching English. This will be my second year teaching third grade at Van Brunt. I love helping students succeed at something they thought they couldn’t do. In my free time I love to read, craft, play board games, and watch The Amazing Race.

Katy Stetzenbach

I am currently a student at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, finishing up my last semester before graduating. From my first day at Van Brunt, everyone has been nothing but caring and welcoming. Each day when I come to school, everyone that I pass along the halls greets me with a cheery, “good morning,” which is a great way to start the day.

During free time outside of school, I love creating crafty projects (I get lots of inspiration from Pinterest), and I enjoy painting and drawing as well. In summer, I love to go camping, kayaking, and exploring outdoor places.

Jon Kauth

Since I started teaching, there have been eight presidents. My working experiences include: state institution, private psychiatric hospital, university research center, technical college, and a variety of public schools at all levels and in all areas of special education. I've studied in Europe for two semesters and in Israel-Egypt for part of a summer. I have returned to travel in Europe a number of times and have spent many summers camping throughout the U.S. and Canada. I'm married and have two daughters in the lower 20's. I keep "itching" to do more traveling and enjoy reading and spending time with my two golden retrievers. I have enjoyed working as a part-time speech/language pathologist in Horicon for over two years. For me, it's the "kids" and trying to make learning fun. Fundamentals and a smile are important.

Samantha Alvarado

I have been working as a speech and language pathologist in an elementary school for 6 years. I enjoy watching the little successes within each day among those students who I work with and interact with. I have two children (4 year old son and 2 year old daughter) who keep me very busy. I enjoy to exercise, sew, and work on my aspirations of being a children's book author.

Dana Erickson

I am an occupational therapist with MANY years experience. With CESA 6 I covered many surrounding districts including Horicon Van Brunt for approximately 20+ years. Currently, I am hired by Horicon and split my time between Horicon and Lomira on a weekly basis. I am very fortunate to work with many wonderful people in both districts and I feel lucky to work with all the special children that have been entrusted to my care. Seeing children gain skills and improve their independence brings me great joy and pride in my work. When I am not working, I enjoy a big cup of coffee, a good book, a cat or two, and quality time with friends and family (not necessarily in that order—except for the coffee ☺)

Liz Pickart

I am a physical therapist who has spent the last 12 years in the school system both with CESA 6 and as a Dodgeland employee contracted to Horicon and Lomira. I have been fortunate to have been in Horicon for all of the 12 years that I have worked in the schools. I feel deeply blessed to work with kind, caring people in all my districts as well as a multitude of wonderful children who are striving to improve their functional mobility and life skills. I enjoy seeing children be able to safely access their school environment and become more independent in all parts of their school day. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, writing, running, and chauffeuring my three children all over the state where I then happily watch basketball, soccer, swim, and running events until my eyes bleed ☺ I also have a soft spots for cats—I currently have 4 beautiful cats and consider myself lucky that Juneau has a 4 pet limit to save me from myself!

Van Brunt is getting Blue Zones Approved!

Dear Van Brunt Parents,

This year Van Brunt is pursuing Blue Zones certification for our school.

The Blue Zones project is an initiative that seeks to adopt lifestyle principles that help community members “live longer, better.” These principles include strategies such as eating wisely, moving naturally, connecting socially, and finding purpose. Dodge County is working toward obtaining Blue Zones status and making our community a healthier place to live, work, and play.

What does this mean for us? As a school, we have the ability to reach young children and help them to develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime. As our school strives to reach Blue Zones School certification, we will continue to foster current practices that support the Blue Zones initiative such as offering fresh fruits and vegetables at each lunch and breakfast. In addition, we will be implementing new strategies and activities to promote healthy habits and lifelong practices such as teaching mindfulness, moving away from unhealthy treats and integrating more movement into each day. In addition, Van Brunt has agreed to implementing and maintaining the following Blue Zones Project policies:

  • Horicon School District has established a wellness council that meets quarterly during the school year to talk about wellness initiatives.

  • We enforce a tobacco-free campus for all students, employees and visitors.

  • Non-food fundraising, by the students, will be the main source of funding for school wide initiatives. Student council, PTO and band will continue with food fundraisers for the time being.

  • Snacks that meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School Nutrition standards have been encouraged during school and for after-school clubs. A note of encouragement, along with ideas, have been communicated to parents.

  • Sale and consumption of soda and other sweetened beverages is not practiced at Van Brunt School.

  • Unhealthy food and beverage advertisements and sponsorships will not be permitted.

  • Through the physical education class, students are physically active 95% during the required course with the focus on lifestyle based activities.

  • Vending machines have been removed from the school.

  • All foods served in the school cafeteria will meet USDA guidelines; additional non-menu items will not be offered.

  • Van Brunt encourages the consumption healthy beverages, such as water, and enforces this policy by removing unhealthy beverages. Students will be encouraged to bring water bottles from home and drink water throughout the day. Students are encouraged to bring healthy snacks for snack breaks. Food demonstrations and healthy snack breaks are allowed in the classroom.

  • Using or withholding physical activity, as a punishment, is prohibited.

  • Students/parents will be offered a menu of non-food alternatives, activities, prizes or recognition to celebrate their birthdays.

  • Van Brunt requires a minimum of 30 minutes of recess daily for students. Van Brunt offers recess before lunch.

We ask that you support these initiatives and encourage your child to participate in and learn about healthy choices they can make. Included below are healthy snack and or birthday celebration options for you to consider. When looking over this list please avoid snacks with nuts due to allergies.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining the Wellness Team, please contact us.

Thank you for your support!

Van Brunt School

Non-food alternatives: pencils, pens, stickers, trinkets, bouncy balls, bookmarks, books, fun straws, bubbles, crayons. Pintrest has a lot of cute ideas as well!

Healthy Snack choices: dry cereal, fruit, cheese sticks, pretzels, crackers, mini bagels, hummus with carrots or pretzels, yogurt, celery sticks and cream cheese, fruit muffin, air popped popcorn.

Lost and Found

Our lost and found is filling up! Please remind your child to stop by the lost and found if they are missing something. There are a lot of hats, mittens and sweat shirts. Thanks!

Cold Weather Information

The weather is getting colder! Please make sure your child comes to school with appropriate winter clothing. In case of inclement weather, and school is delayed or closed, you will receive a message from School Messenger. You can also listen to local radio stations (WBEV-AM 1430 WXRO-FM 95.3 WBKV-AM 1470 WBWI-FM 92.5 WMDC-FM 98.7) or TV stations ( WTMJ-TV (NBC 4) WITI-TV (FOX 6)WISN-TV (ABC 12) WDJT-TV (CBS 58) MADISON WMTV-TV (NBC 15) ).


Thanks to the members of PTO for all of their hard work. We currently have a Milk "Moo"noply challenge going on. Mrs. Duhr's class is in the lead at this time with 409 milk caps brought in! Please continue to bring in your milk caps. Students have already brought in 3,134 caps for a total raised of $156.70!
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December 7 6:30 PTO Meeting In the Community Room

December 11 2:00-4:30 Butter Braid Delivery In the Community Room

December 11 6:00 Citizen Advisory Committee In the PLC

December 14 6:30 Grades 5-12 Band/Choir Concert In the HS Gym

December 18 7:00 Board Meeting In the PLC

December 19 6:30 K-2 Winter Concert In the VB Gym

December 19 7:30 Grades 3-4 Winter Concert In the VB Gym

December 21 2:15 POPS Grade 3 In the PLC

Dec 22 Grade 4 Polar Express In the PLC

Dec 25- Jan 1 NO SCHOOL

Jan 2 School Resumes