Bridges Elementary Newsletter

December 2015


Dear Bridges’ Families,

The warm fall of 2015 has turned white and frosty, and will turn into the cold new year of 2016. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving break with family the last few days. It was a perfect time for me to reflect and be thankful on these last three plus years with the Sauk Prairie School District at Spruce Street and now Bridges Elementary School.

We have amazing students! I am in classrooms, on the playground, in the hallways, in the lunchroom, and at arrival and dismissal times. Our students look out for one another, are kind to one another, and work hard at learning. I see this throughout the building, but especially in the work happening in the classrooms. It is a thrill to watch learning happening from moment to moment.

Our staff is dedicated and caring. I’ve had wonderful opportunities to teach along with staff, serve in the kitchen, clean next to the custodians, and provide service at the the front desk. These opportunities humble me as I watch and grow from each one of our team members. Each team member is a part of creating our Bridges’ learning community for our students.

Our parents are involved and have the best interests of the kids and Bridges in mind. I am thankful to attend GSPIE meetings - among the many parents who attend, be present at our School Board meetings, and during our talks in passing and on the phone. I hear and see how much our parents and guardians care, want to be involved, and how much each one appreciates our staff and school.

Finally, this community is committed to Bridges and the school district; and has the success of our kids as a high priority. This was evident with the support of our referendum and the recent elementary, middle, and high-school additions. Our community supports our kids and education. It feels wonderful to be a part of a community who has high expectations.

Thank you for your continued support of your students, and our staff! Together we make a great team.

Wishing you a warm, winter season!

Chanda Kulow

Bridges Elementary Principal

Notes from the School Counselor - Anne Uphoff

This month, I am sharing one of my favorite principals that I learned from Love and Logic, the “Enforceable Statement.” Many children have an uncanny ability to get us pulled into trying to control what we really cannot. Enforceable statements avoid this trap and tell kids what WE will do or allow . . . rather than trying to tell THEM what to do. This helps us:

  • We avoid looking like a fool when we can’t get our kids to do what we say.
  • We share some control with our children, and so they are much less likely to resist in order to regain control.
  • We avoid getting sucked into trying to control something we can’t control.

Examples of Enforceable Statements are:

  • I’ll listen as soon as your voice is as calm as mine.
  • I’ll provide TV and video games when the jobs are done.
  • I keep the toys I have to pick up. You can keep the ones you pick up.
  • I give treats to kids who protect their teeth by brushing.I have time to do special games with you when we finish getting the kitchen cleaned up.

Contact me at 643-1842 or if you have any questions. Check out for more great ideas!

Grandparent Support Group

Dec. 17, 2015

5:30 – 6:00 PM

Bridges Library

We had our first Grandparent Support Group in November and are offering another one on Dec. 17 at 5:30 PM in the Bridges Library. We will be sharing thoughts and tips on helping raise grandchildren. Come join us for an informal gathering, snacks and friendship.

This group is open to anyone who helps raise grandchildren, even if it is just taking them often on the weekends!

Anne Uphoff

Bridges School Counselor



Wednesday, December 9 - EARLY DISMISSAL
  • Elementary @ 1:30pm
  • MS/HS @1:50pm
  • NO AM/PM K4 or EC

Monday, December 14 - School Board Meeting

  • 7:00pm - Sauk Prairie Middle School

Winter Break

Wednesday, December 23 - Friday, January 1 - NO SCHOOL

Monday, January 4

Students return to classes

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.


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

Holiday Classroom Programs

Ms. Smith's 4K Concert

Monday, December 14th at 9:00am

Mrs. Brings & Mrs. Larson Kindergarten Class

*Tuesday, Dec. 15th: All money is due that is being collected to donate to the Hope House Homeless Shelter.

*Friday, Dec. 18th, 1:45pm: Families are invited to help make gingerbread houses with their child.

Mrs. Thompson's Kindergarten's Gingerbread House Project

Friday, December 11th, 2:10pm.

Mrs. Sprecher's 1st Grade Holiday Program

Thursday, December 17th, 5:30pm

Mrs. Volp's 1st Grade's Family Craft Night: Christmas Around the World

Thursday, December 17th, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Ms. Moher and Mrs. Sailing's 2nd Grade "Shake up the Holidays Program

Thursday, December 15th, 4:30pm

Mrs. Kessenich & Ms. Marr's Reading Group's Books & Donuts Event

Tuesday, December 22nd, 7:30-8:15am


Please park in Visitor Parking on 13th Street or in the Administration Building Parking Lot. Check in and out through the office and get a Visitor Pass. If you take your child home afterward please let the office know as well as the teacher Thank you!.

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.

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 November Bee's Lunch below:

Buddy Classes Raise Money for Outdoor Learning Environment

Mrs. Thompson's Kindergarten class, Mrs. Smith's 4K class, and Mrs. Diaz-Tegen's 2nd Grade class joined together ​​and held a penny war. These Buddy Classes raised 337.37 for the Outdoor Learning Environment. Great teamwork!

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Above the Line Assembly Behavior & BEE Keeper Presentation

On November 13th there was an Above the Line Behavior Assembly and brief BEE Keeper Presentation. During the assembly students sang the Bridges song and reviewed assembly behavior. Here is a photo of the bee keeper that presented.

Fall Harvest Photo Gallery

Author Visit to Bridges

On November 19th, Bridges Elementary had the opportunity for an author to visit. GSPIE sponsored Michelle Nelson Schmidt to come to our school and give a fun presentation about some of her books. Usborne Books supplied a paperback of each of Michelle's books to our library prior to the visit.

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


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.


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.


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.


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

The 6th Annual GSPIE Silent Auction & Gala was a success! We raised over $9500 ($1500 more than last year) to put towards the awesome work you do at Grand and Bridges Elementary!

We're also excited to announce the winners of the creative baskets competition:

Most Aesthetic $50 for her classroom: Bridges 1st Grade - Cheryl Sprecher (Gardening Fun Basket)

Most Creative $50 for her classroom: Bridges 4k - Cindy Rothmann (Hey You Eagle Fans Basket)

Basket with the Highest Bid: Grand 5th grade classes (Gift Card Baskets bid total $520) - $260 to split among their classrooms

THANK YOU for your support of this fundraiser!


GSPIE will be selling the Culver’s Calendars again this year – $5 each. There will be an order sheet in the GSPIE Nov/Dec. newsletter as well as some available at each school.

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