Bridges Elementary Newsletter

January 2016

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Families/Gaurdians,

Happy New Year! We had a wonderful December at Bridges. Your children amaze me and the kind and giving attitudes you have developed in them.

I would like to revisit our safety drills that we perform in our district, and most notably at Bridges Elementary. Each drill has a purpose and is a requirement of our institution. A fire drill, that is performed monthly at Bridges, is performed to practice getting out of the building in case of a fire inside the building. Likewise, an Administrator Hold drill would be performed if there was an emergency at the building. For instance if the ambulance needed to be called, the students and staff are instructed to stay inside their classrooms to keep the hallways clear until announced they can move out of the classroom. Safety and security are a huge priority to us so we appreciate any and all conversations you have with your children about our drills and our expectations.

Below are a description of the drills that are performed during the school year.

  • Fire drills - once a month we practice this drill. Sometimes it happens when students are in the hallway or out at recess; at times certain exits are blocked. These different scenarios give us the opportunity to problem solve on the spot, use common sense, and to follow the expectations. Visitors in the building would exit the building with the classrooms.

  • Tornado drills - we practice this drill a couple of times a year. With our new school, we needed to customize our safe zones as well as evaluate the time, space, traffic flow and coordination needed to direct all the kids and staff down into safe areas in an organized manner. We know that seconds matter - thus each of our drills are timed so that we can analyze successfulness of each drill. Visitors in the building would take cover with the classrooms in the safety zone areas.

  • Administrative Hold drills - these are held periodically throughout the school year. Staff and students stay in their classroom or the nearest classroom, close the doors, and resume their lessons. Meanwhile, the halls are quiet to take care of the emergency, such as a medical issue. Visitors in the classroom will not be able to leave until the drill is complete.

  • Lock Down drills - these type of drills are practiced if there, for instance, would be an intruder in the building. Here, the classroom doors are locked, blinds are closed, students and teachers stay away from the windows, and take cover in classrooms. We instruct students that their responsibility is to remain quiet and listen to adult and police instruction. Additionally, visitors who are in the building during this time are asked to take cover and respond with the students and staff.

  • Evacuation and Reunification drills - these types of drills would be practiced if there was a reason to leave the building because it is unsafe, such as a gas leak. During this drill, staff are instructed to go to a specific site off of the school grounds. We have a number of evacuation sites secured in case of these emergencies. Visitors leave the building also. The district office notifies families through Skylert and the district website if they need to pick up their child at the evacuation location. Once that happens, we will follow the Sauk Prairie School District Crisis Plan to complete the reunification process, which would include law enforcement at the doors of the building for crowd control and safety purposes, reunification paperwork completed by the families, runners to connect the adult with their child, etc. To reiterate, in the event of a real emergency, please do NOT come to Bridges School as it would cause significant traffic congestion and block the first emergency responders from getting to where they need to be. In those first moments, that is the priority. Even if parents arrive at the school, you will not be allowed into the building at that time and would need to meet your child at the reunification site, which would be announced by the district through Skylert/ the district website/district Facebook page, etc. at that time.

While it is impossible to anticipate the types of emergencies we may face, we have learned that when people have a well-practiced response, they are better equipped for the emergency situation.

At Bridges, we understand the delicate situations that can be scary for our young students. Talking and listening to children about distress is never easy, but as parents, you play an important role of helping to discuss something that is difficult. Take time to talk and read books about all of the positive people doing good things in the world to keep us safe, such as our firefighters, police officers, teachers, and other trusted adults. We remind our students to “look for the helpers” when you need help. Parents often ask what they can do to help prepare their children for an emergency and the best thing you can do is reinforce with your child to always follow the instructions of the teacher / adult in their classroom / school.

Thank you for your support as we ensure that we create and keep a safe and positive learning environment for students here at Bridges Elementary. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of these drills, please do not hesitate to contact me further.


Chanda Kulow

Bridges Elementary Principal


Notes from the School Counselor - Anne Uphoff

In January, I will be back in classrooms for Life Skills Lessons, focusing on friendship problems.

“MOM! DAD! I was watching TV first and she changed the channel.” “Teacher, she’s looking at me funny.” Tattling versus telling is one of the skills we will be working on during our classroom lessons in first grade. We will also work on dealing with teasing. In kindergarten, we will be learning about cooperation and the importance of working together. In second grade, we will be learning about dealing with anger and making choices.

I often use books in my lessons and the list below shows some of the books I have found beneficial. Many of these books have “Notes to Parents and Teachers.” While teaching the difference between tattling and telling I read the book Don’t Squeal Unless It’s A Big Deal orTattlin’ Madeline. At the end of the book they list several reasons why children tattle (to get attention, to get someone in trouble, to feel more powerful etc.) They also provided suggestions on how to handle the problem at home. If you re-read a book to your child that they heard at school, you can help them learn that skill even better.

A few books that I have used in classroom, small group or individually:

Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal by Jeanie Franz Ransom

Andrew’s Angry Words (by Dorothea Lachner)

Tattlin’ Madeline (by Carol Cummings)

Share and Take Turns (by Cheri Meiners)

Is It Right to Fight? A First Look at Anger (by Pat Thomas)

Hunter’s Best Friend At School (by Laura Malone Elliott)

Simon & Molly Plus Hester (by Lisa Jahn-Clough)

Fill A Bucket (by Carol McCloud)


School Board Meetings
  • 7:00pm - Monday, January 11, 2016 at the Community Center
  • 7:00pm - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at the District Office

Early Dismissal

  • 1:30pm - Wednesday, January 13, 2016

GSPIE Meeting

  • 6:15pm - Monday, January 18, 2016 at Grand Ave.

Bridges Literacy Night

  • 5:00pm - 6:30pm - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NO SCHOOL - End of Quarter 2

  • Monday, January 25, 2016

Grandparent Support Group Continues

If you are a grandparent that is raising, helping to raise or just giving LOTS of support to a grandchild, you might want to join this group! Our next meeting is:

Wed., January 13 from 6:00 – 6:30 PM

Bridges Elementary School Library

Anne Uphoff will be sharing information and materials from a UW-Extension Resource called“Through the Eyes of a Child: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.” Call Anne Uphoff if you have any questions. Her number is 643-1842 or

Preparing for Winter

Please help your children to dress appropriately for the weather. Unless weather is rainy, stormy, or too cold (0 degrees), students have two recesses during the day that are outdoors and they are outside before school starts. Please be sure they come to school with warm coats, hats, mittens, gloves, snow pants, and boots when needed.

Updated Phone Numbers at Bridges

As you know, when we moved into Bridges at the beginning of the school year, our telephone numbers have changed. Here are some important phone numbers to keep handy.

Attendance Line: 608-643-1847

Main Office Line: 608-643-1844

Fax Number: 608-643-1849

Safe Arrival / Attendance

Please call the Bridges Elementary Attendance Line 643-1847 by 8:00am anytime your child will be absent from school.

This is a 24 hour message line. If you are unable to call, please send a note with your child when he/she returns to school.

If your child is late to school or will be leaving early, it is necessary for you to come to the office to sign your child in / out for the day. Also, if your child arrives at school after the bell has rung, please bring them to the office through the front doors of the school. Do not drop them off in front of the school.

Volunteering and Applications

Individuals who wish to volunteer in the School District as a field trip chaperone, classroom volunteer, reading, tutoring or other various school related opportunities, must complete a Volunteer Application and a Disclosure Statement for a background check. Information on the volunteer program and forms are available below or pick up paper copies at any school building. Please note: If someone completes a background check it is good for all schools in the district for three years. If you are unsure if you completed one or not in the past, please call our office at 608-643-1844. Click "English" for the link to the volunteer application in English and "Spanish" for the application in Spanish.

Classified Subs Needed

SUBSTITUTE TEACHING ASSISTANT for support to all levels of students. Assignments may include classroom, study hall, field trips, lunch room, playground, and bus duty. To be scheduled as needed and may occur on short notice. This is a temporary position with no guarantee of hours. Applications only accepted online at WECAN. $10.32/hour.

Summer School 2016


Opens: Wed, April 6 at 6:00 PM through Monday, May 18, 2016 at 10:00 PM

Site link for Skyward Student/Family Access:

Grade levels are based on the grade your child will be entering Fall of 2016. Do not ask us to allow your child to join a class that they are too young for. Questions may be directed to the Community Center staff at 643-8386 or email

New this year!!! We’re starting the 4 Week Session on a MONDAY!:

  • 4 Week Session (Semester 1): June 20 – July 14; No classes, Monday, July 4 or Friday, July 15, 2016
  • 2 Week Session (Term 3): July 18 - July 29, 2016

Open Lab to assist families with Online Registration: Wed, April 6, 2016 from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM; High School, Room 15. 643-8386 will also be staffed to answer questions.

Books will be sent home with Elementary students around March 21st. Middle and High School students may pick one up at their school office or you can check it out online.


400’s = 4 week

200’s = 2 week

500’s = Health & Sport Clinics

600’s = Music Programs

Class Times for morning periods are as follows:

8:15 AM - 9:15 AM

9:25 AM - 10:25 AM

10:35 AM - 11:35 AM.

Busing is provided for Rural Students via online request ONLY. This is done through part 1 of the online registration. Part 1 may be completed beginning March 18.

Grab & Go breakfast and lunch program is offered. Breakfast begins at 7:45 AM.



REGISTRO POR LINEA ELECTRONICA: Miércoles, 6 de Abril a las 6:00 PM hasta el 18 de mayo, 2016 a las 10:00 P.M.

Enlace del sitio Skyward del Estudiante/Acceso familiar:

Los niveles de grado están basados en el grado en que su hijo (a) va estar en el otoño 2016. Por favor no nos solicite que pongamos a su hijo (a) en una clase para estudiantes menores. Cualquier pregunta debe ser dirigida al personal del Centro Comunitario al 643-8386 o por correo electrónico en

¡Nuevo este año!: Vamos a comenzar la sesión de 4 semanas en LUNES.

Sesión de 4 semanas (Semestre 1): Junio 20 – Julio 14; No habrá clases, el lunes, 4 de Julio o el viernes, 15 de julio, 2016.

Sesión de 2 semanas (3er termino): Julio 18 – Julio 29, 2016

Laboratorio para ayudar a las familias a registrarse por línea electrónica: miércoles, 6 de Abril, 2016 de 6:00 PM hasta 8:00 PM; Escuela Preparatoria, Salón 15. En el 643-8386 también habrá personal para responder preguntas.

Los libros de la escuela de verano serán enviados a las Escuelas Primarias alrededor del 21 de marzo para ser enviados a casa con los estudiantes. Los estudiantes de la escuela secundaria y escuela preparatoria podrán pasar por un libro a la oficina de escuela o buscarlo electrónicamente.

El autobús es proporcionado para los estudiantes que viven en áreas rurales SOLAMENTE. Esto es realizado en la primera parte del registro electrónico. La parte 1 debe ser completada antes del 18 de marzo.

Un desayuno de toma y llévatelo y un programa de almuerzo serán ofrecidos. El desayuno comenzará a las 7:45 AM.


400= 4 semanas

200= 2 semanas

500= Clínica para Deportes y Salud

600= Programas de música

Los horarios para las clases por la mañana serán:

8:15 AM – 9:15 AM

9: 25 AM – 10:25 AM

10:35 AM – 11:35 AM

Extra Clothing

Please make sure that your child has an extra full set of clothing here at school. With the snowy weather clothing gets wet easily.

*We are in special need of Boy's pants sizes 4T - 7. If you have any extra clothing we would greatly appreciate it.

School Visitors

To ensure the safety of our students, all school visitors must enter the building using the main entrance to be admitted into the building, check-in-at the school office and pick up a visitor's pass to wear during their visit. All exterior building doors will be locked except for the main entrance doors during school hours. Students enjoy having their parents/guardians visit class. Parents/Guardians are invited from time to time to visit your child's classroom during the school year. Please arrange these visits ahead of time with your child's teacher. When the classroom teacher is aware of your visit, the teacher will be able to give you the day's schedule. We want to make your visit as meaningful as possible.

Bridges' BEE Lunch

Bridges’ BEES stands for:





What is it? Two-three students from each class earn a lunch with Mrs. Kulow each month. They will get a certificate, picture taken, and ice cream in addition to eating lunch together. Each K-2nd grader will have an opportunity for lunch.

Why: Teachers acknowledge student’s individual, hard work in the classroom. This could be meeting individual student goals in the classroom.

When: We are focusing on one time a month, with January having two lunches for the month.

Pictures from our December's Bee's Lunch below:

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Holiday Highlights

School Closure Announcements

Emergency school closings will be announced as early as possible on the District's webpage, radio, and television stations. Information will also be available by calling the school closing line at 643-5990 #2 for a recorded announcement. In addition, a Skylert message will also be sent out. Please check the following stations for information:

  • WTSO - 1070 AM; Z104 - 104.1 FM; WIBA ‑ 1310 AM; WIBA - 101.5 FM; Star Country - 96.3 FM
  • WRPQ - 740 AM
  • WRDB - 1400 AM; WNFM - 104.9 FM ; WBDL - 102.9 FM
  • WOLX ‑ 94.9 FM; Triple M - 105.5 FM; Charlie - 105.1 FM
  • WMGN - 98.1 FM; WJJO - 94.1 FM; WWQM - 106 FM;
  • WHIT - 93.1 FM; WTDY - 1670 AM; WTUX - 1550 AM
  • WISC ‑ Channel 3
  • WKOW ‑ Channel 27
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Skyward Updates

If your child has two households or even if you would like multiple people in your own household to receive general email notifications from the school, such as the monthly newsletter and lunch menu, please log in to Skyward and click on the Skylert link on the left hand side. On that page, you can now add other phone numbers, emails or text message numbers for those who would like to receive emergency messages. If you have additional questions about how to manage your Skylert notifications or need to change your log in and password, please contact Stephanie Tarnutzer at 643-1844 or .

Each guardian has their own Family Access Skylert account. Skylert is used for:

  • Emergency: bomb scares, gas leaks, etc.
  • General: School schedule changes such as late start, closing early, snow day, etc.
  • Low Balance: Food Service account balance is $15 or below
  • Negative Balance: Food Service account balance is below $0

How do you edit your Skylert contacts?

1. Log in to

2. Click on For Parents/Students

3. Click on Skyward Student/Family Access Link

4. Enter your guardian login and password

5. Click on Skylert

6. Make the appropriate changes

7. Click on Save

8. Click on Exit

Note: Each guardian will need to change their Skylert .If you need assistance, contact Jane Wood at 643-5984 or at

Family/Personal Information Changes

Please inform us by calling the office at 643-1844 of any changes that you may have with demographic changes (name, address, phone numbers, employers, etc.) throughout the school year. We try to keep all personal information up-to-date. This makes it much easier for us to contact you in case of a child's illness or emergency.

Family Moves - To Outside the Sauk Prairie School District

When a family moves from within the Sauk Prairie School District to outside the district, students may continue to attend the school where they are currently enrolled if they qualify for a Tuition Waiver (obtain from District Office). Students who qualify for a Tuition Waiver (remainder of Current School year, Additional year, Current Year/Additional Year, or Current Year Permissive) are entitled to continue their enrollment through the waiver period. However, they are required to apply for open enrollment at the next possible time (February-April application period) that the application process is available to remain in the District for the present school year and beyond. See our website at for more information or call Jane Wood, (608) 643-5984 or Transportation is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

Family Moves - Within Sauk Prairie School District

When a family move occurs within the Sauk Prairie School District please notify your school office or contact Jane Wood, Student Records secretary at (608) 643-5984 or with your new address. Parents may request that their elementary child attend a school other than the one in their attendance area in writing to the District Administrator. When families relocate from one attendance area to another within the District during the school year, the children affected may continue their education at their original school if approval is granted by the District Administrator. Transportation can be provided through existing bus routes or parents will provide transportation to/from school.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are becoming a more frequent health concern in our classrooms. As a result, parents notify teachers of their child’s allergies, and the teachers use that information to provide a safe snack list to be followed for the year in their classroom. We ask parents who received a safe snack list at the beginning of the year to monitor the shared snacks they are sending to their child’s classroom. If you are unsure, please contact your child’s teacher.

We also realize that many times children may want to share lunches and snacks in places other than just the classroom. For this reason, we are asking parents to talk with their children about the safety of this “sharing”. Please let your child know that some children could get very ill if they eat food that they are allergic to, and they may not even be aware that a certain ingredient that they are allergic to is in food accepted from a friend or acquaintance.

This same message may also be good to repeat when you are supervising a field trip as a chaperone. Remember, it takes a community to raise a child. Thank you for your help in this matter!

If you need access to a safe snack list, or have other questions, please contact me: Pam Frey, School Nurse (608) 643-5509.

Thank you!

Pam Frey, RN School Nurse

Medications at School

According to the Sauk Prairie School board, certain criteria must be met in order for any medication to be dispensed at school. Before any medication can be dispensed, an Authorization for Medication Administration (AMA) must be completed and returned to the school office. This form is necessary for both over-the-counter and prescription medications and requires both a parent and physician signature.

For example, if your child suffers from migraine headaches, we will NOT be able to

distribute medication to him/her without an AMA on file. Many parents picked up the AMA form at district registration. Additional forms are available at the Grand Avenue

office or online.

In order for medication to be distributed, pills must be in a prescription bottle with proper labeling. Students may carry inhalers with them, however, an AMA form must be on file in the office.

If you have any questions regarding medication distribution, please contact Pam Frey, RN for the district at 643-5509.

Head Lice

Lice are small insects about the size of a sesame seed. They are usually light brown but can vary in color. They move quickly and shy away from light, making them difficult to see. It helps to use a magnifying glass and natural light when looking for lice. Nits (eggs) are tiny, yellowish-white oval droplets attached to hair shafts; they do not come off easily and have to be combed out with a special comb or manually removed. Nits can be found throughout the hair, but are most often located at the nape of the neck, behind the ears, and frequently on the top of the head.

When lice are discovered, a head lice treatment is needed before returning to school. It is important to comb through the hair for 7-10 days following a lice treatment. During this time lice can be removed manually or with a special comb. A second treatment may be necessary if nits or live lice are still found. If you have any questions about treatment please contact your child's physician or pharmacist.

Regular screenings at home can help control the spread of head lice. Please check your child weekly throughout the entire school year. It is also important to talk with your child about not sharing items such as combs/brushes, hats, and hair accessories. Please contact Pam Frey, district nurse at 643-5509 if you have any questions regarding head lice.

Guidelines For Assessing Your Child's Health

· Fever-Temperature should be less than 100 degrees for at least 24 hours (without fever-reducing medication) before returning to school.

· Vomiting/diarrhea – Please keep your child home if he/she has vomited or had diarrhea with the last 24 hours.

· Strep throat – Student should be on prescribed medication for 24 hours before returning to school.

· Pink eye – If your child has red eye(s) and has discharge, he/she will be sent home and asked to be evaluated by a healthcare provider. Student should not return to school for 24 hours or after having used three sets of prescribed eye drops.

· Head lice – We monitor students for itching of the scalp and will check for them if we are concerned. Please notify your child’s school office if you have discovered lice and treated your child.

· Pertussis (whooping cough) - Student will be isolated from school for 5 days if confirmed case while on prescribed antibiotics.

**These are general guidelines to help promote the health and safety of our students. Please follow the recommendations of your child’s healthcare provider.

District nurses are on call for health concerns. We routinely visit each school and will visit as needed for consult. If you have concerns regarding your child’s health or changes in their health, please contact Pam Frey at 643-5509 or Martha Allan at 643-5628.

District Transportation / Dismissal Procedure

Please go to for all general information regarding transportation to and from school. At Bridges Elementary, it is vital that we have your child's dismissal plan in Skyward and if there are any changes that it is updated there and we are made aware of it at Bridges. We follow the dismissal plan that is in Skyward. Students will have tags on their backpacks showing their dismissal plan so the aides can easily check if there is any question. This year, the district is requiring a form that parents need to complete if there are any changes in a student's dismissal plan. This is to eliminate hand written notes and call in changes. Here are some examples of when a form is required:

If Jane is invited to a birthday party on Wednesday and she needs to ride a different bus than what she usually does, a form needs to be sent in to the office.

  • If Jane is being picked up on Thursday instead of riding the bus like her dismissal plan states, the form needs to be sent in to the office.
  • If Aunt Kathy is picking Jane up on Friday instead of her normal dismissal plan a form needs to be sent in to the office.
  • If Jane's normal dismissal plan is that she rides the Grasshopper Bus home, but today she is riding Cherry Bus to Grand Ave, the form needs to be completed and sent to the office.
  • Jack's normal dismissal plan is that he rides the Snail Bus to his home. Today he is to ride the Snail Bus to his Aunt's house down the road. Jack would need a form completed and sent in to the office.
  • If your child is scheduled to be a Pick Up and someone other than you is going to be picking them up, the form needs to be sent with your child ONLY If that person IS NOT listed as an emergency contact. Please update your emergency contacts in Skyward to eliminate any confusion.

The form is accessible on the link above or below as well as in the office at Bridges. The bus driver will collect the form and will not allow transportation without one. If it is a last minute change at the end of the day you can certainly call the office and we can fill out the form for you. If you have a rotating schedule please let the office know in advance what the plan is for your child. For instance, if every month or week is different, please send in a calendar with the correct dismissal plan. Remember to mark your calendars for early dismissal dates as well. The dismissal plan for those days in addition to emergency release days, can be marked in Skyward.


Monday, January 25 from 1:00-3:00

HS Wresting Room

Come and learn wrestling techniques, moves, and drills. High School wrestlers will be working with participants. Bring a pair of gym shoes and wear comfortable clothing. Everyone will receive a t-shirt. Cost is $10 for affiliated communities and $15 for non-affiliated. Deadline to register is Friday, January 15. You can register online at or in person at the Sauk Prairie Community Center.

Food Service

Click on the link below for menus, free/reduced lunch applications, options for making payments and for more Food Service information.

Food Service is excited to announce some NEW features in Family Access. You have the ability to access your child’s meal statement, key pad number and set an Ala Carte limit. When you are logged into Family Access, click on the Food Service tab. In the top right corner is the Meal Statement. To set an Ala Carte Limit, click on it and you can choose an amount to limit per day or do not allow Ala Carte Purchases. If you have any questions please call Tammy at 643-5983.

GSPIE Updates

Click here - (GSPIE) for the link to the GSPIE website. See a list of exciting events that are coming and how you can volunteer!