Woodridge in April

Think and Wonder. Wonder and Think.

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Mrs. Thistle's Thoughts...


I hope that your spring is off to a great start. All of us at Woodridge Primary School are extremely happy to be cleaning up our hallways, as all our snow gear is being sent home until next winter. Because it’s springtime and there are at times puddles on the playground, please be sure that your child has a spare set of clothes in their backpack or school bin.

This week you will be seeing a placement letter coming home with your child. This document helps us to make sure that we are placing students in a classroom where they can grow in their learning and social-emotionally. Please include information about your child that you think will be helpful when we place him/her into first or second grade. Thank you for providing us with this valuable feedback. These letters are due back to the Woodridge office by May 4th.

On April 18th, all Woodridge students have been invited to watch the High School performance of Cinderella. We are very grateful to the HS Music Teacher, Holly Atkinson for inviting us to this special performance. Portage High School students will be performing in the musical April 19th-21st at 7:30 pm and April 22nd at 2:00 pm if you would like to bring the whole family.

Students have been getting prepared for their Fine Arts Night concert for many months. The theme this year is “Disney.” Our spring concert will run the same way our winter concert did. Both performances will take place at Portage High School. Students will meet their teacher in the commons area and perform in the auditorium. Kindergarten students should be dropped off at 5:45 to their teacher and they will perform at 6:00. First-grade students should arrive at 6:45 and they will perform at 7:00. After students perform they will meet you back where they were dropped off in the commons area, with their teacher. Please be sure to sign your child out with their teacher when you pick them up.

Have a wonderful month!

Salina Thistle

Woodridge/Endeavor Principal


608.742.3494 ext. 3002

Mark Your Calendars

16th: No School - Full Day In-service

18th: All students go to HS performance of Cinderella

20th: Fun Friday

26th: Fine Arts Night Concert at Portage High School

  • K - 6pm (arrive at 5:45)
  • 1st - 7pm (arrive at 6:45)

Secretary Notes

Reporting an Absence

Please contact Ashley Gumz in the Woodridge office before 8:15 am if your child will be absent. 608.742.3494


The Portage School District has a 24 hour fever, vomit and diarrhea policy. If your child is sent home for any of these reasons, they may not return to school until 24 hours has passed since the last episode. This is the best way to keep the illness from spreading and reduce the possibility of prolonged absences. All of our policies are listed in the Woodridge Primary School Handbook as well as on our district website. Thank you for your cooperation.

Change For Change

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My name is Sophia and I am in first grade this year at Woodridge and this is my 3-year-old sister, Stella. Stella was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of two after spending a month in the hospital.

This means that not only does she have arthritis in her joints, it also can attack her organs and eyes. She has more good days than bad so we celebrate those. Stella currently goes to Children’s Hospital twice a month for 3 to 6-hour infusions to help with her symptoms.

On May 5th in Madison, Wisconsin Stella is participating in the Cure Arthritis Walk. She so far has 20 of her friends and family raising money to fight for a cure or at least a way to make things better for her. By the way, our team is #1 in raising money out of 47 currently registered teams.

In the month of April, our school is going to have a “Change for Change” drive for Stella‘s team. Bring in your change to class and help Stella to raise money for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis research to make her future better.

If Woodridge can "fill a bucket" full of change by the end of April, we will have a dance party for the whole school. Thank you for helping Stella stand tall through it all. If your family would like to join Team Stella and walk with us or donate money please go to https://events.arthritis.org/participant/Natasha-Mordini.

Art Warriors

Our Kiln Fundraiser has currently raised over $2000, and the amount is still increasing. Thank you so much to all of those who helped.

Kindergarten students have been working really hard on their cutting skills. They also made the beautiful Pinata papers pictured below.

1st Graders have done a fantastic job weaving and making their Primary colored collages.

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Physical Education

Last month we had our Jump Rope For Heart Event and I am very happy to say we were able to raise just over $2,500!! Thanks to all who participated, and a special thanks to Natalie Denman and her family who came through in a big way for the second year in a row! Natalie raised over $1,000 for the American Heart Association! Way to go Natalie!!

This month we are working on throwing discs and balls (stepping with our opposite foot). I love disc golf and would love to see more students out on the course at Collip-Worden Park. They also have several awesome basketball courts at the park, and as March Madness is upon us, we will be doing some basketball activities.


The Kindergarten and First Graders are working hard getting ready for their Fine Arts Night performance on April 26. Our performance times are 6PM for the Kindergarten and 7PM for the First graders. The time is fast approaching. Our theme this year is Disney so wear your Mickey Mouse Ears and come and join us.

The First Graders will be learning about the syllables Mi and Sol and how to sign them. This is the way they learn how to start reading notes off the musical staff. They are also playing melody bells using the bells C, D, E, F, G and A.

The Kindergarteners are continuing to work on singing on pitch when I ask them to sing back a short melody. They are also working on being able to move their bodies to the beat of the music when listening to songs.

Counselor's Corner

Getting a good night sleep is crucial for children. Sleep impacts learning, focus, behavior, and overall health. Our Woodridge students should be getting 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night.

Below are some great suggestions for creating healthy sleep habits for our children!

All children thrive on a regular bedtime routine. Regular sleep deprivation often leads to some pretty difficult behaviors and health problems—irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypertension, obesity, headaches, and depression. Children who get enough sleep have a healthier immune system, and better school performance, behavior, memory, and mental health.

Healthy Sleep Habits

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the AASM guidelines and encourages parents to make sure their children develop good sleep habits right from the start.

  • Make sufficient sleep a family priority. Understand the importance of getting enough sleep and how sleep affects the overall health of you and your children. Remember that you are a role model to your child; set a good example. Staying up all night with your teen to edit his or her paper or pulling an all-nighter for work yourself isn't really sending the right message. Making sleep a priority for yourself shows your children that it's part of living a healthy lifestyle—like eating right and exercising regularly.

  • Keep to a regular daily routine. The same waking time, meal times, nap time, and play times will help your child feel secure and comfortable, and help with a smooth bedtime. For young children, it helps to start early with a bedtime routine such as brush, book, bed. Make sure the sleep routines you use can be used anywhere, so you can help your child get to sleep wherever you may be.

  • Be active during the day. Make sure your kids have interesting and varied activities during the day, including physical activity and fresh air.

  • Monitor screen time. The AAP recommends keeping all screens—TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, and phones out of children's bedrooms, especially at night. To prevent sleep disruption, turn off all screens at least 60 minutes/1 hour before bedtime.

  • Create a sleep-supportive and safe bedroom and home environment. Dim the lights prior to bedtime and control the temperature in the home. Don't fill up your child's bed with toys. Keep your child's bed a place to sleep, rather than a place to play. One or two things—a favorite doll or bear, a security blanket—are okay and can help ease separation anxiety.

  • Avoid overscheduling. In addition to homework, many children today have scheduled evening activities (i.e., sports games, lessons, appointments, etc.) that pose challenges to getting a good night's sleep. Take time to wind down and give your children the downtime that they need.

  • Learn to recognize sleep problems. The most common sleep problems in children include difficulty falling asleep, nighttime awakenings, snoring, stalling and resisting going to bed, sleep apnea, and loud or heavy breathing while sleeping.

  • Talk to your child's teacher or child care provider about your child's alertness during the day. Sleep problems may manifest in the daytime, too. A child with not enough, or poor quality sleep may have difficulty paying attention or "zoning out" in school. Let your child's teacher know that you want to be made aware of any reports of your child falling asleep in school, as well as any learning or behavior problems.

  • Talk to your child's pediatrician about sleep. Discuss your child's sleep habits and problems with your pediatrician, as most sleep problems are easily treated. He or she may ask you to keep a sleep log or have additional suggestions to improving your child's sleep habits.



Stories, Snacks and snuggles!

Story: The Very Funny Frog

Snack: Oreo Frog

Snuggles: Grab a blanket and curl up with your child, enjoy a story and make memories

Story: The Very Funny Frog

Snack: Oreo Frog

Snuggles: Grab a blanket and curl up with your child, enjoy a story and make memories

  1. Use an oreo for the body of your frog.

  2. Use pretzels as legs.

  3. Use green M&M and Skittles for eyes.


Summer School 2018


Students going into grades:



1 and 2

3 and 4

5 and 6


AM: Elementary will be having a "STEAM" summer school program for 4 weeks,

M-Th, 8:00 am-12:00 pm. During these 4 weeks, students going into grades 1-6, will be exposed to theme based science, technology, engineering, art and math activities, while adding a reading component such as Daily 5 rotations like read to self and work on writing. Getting Ready for Pre Kindergarten and Getting Ready for Kindergarten will also be available.

PM: Afternoon enrichment will be offered at John Muir and Rusch from 12:00 pm -3:00 pm. Students will participate in three different courses, one every hour. Some enrichment courses do have a fee.

WHEN: July 9-12, July 16-19, July 23-26, July 30-Aug 2

There will be no summer school the week of July 3-6.

WHERE: Muir, Endeavor, and Rusch based on enrollment numbers.


*Transportation is not provided.

*Breakfast will be available for purchase at each school.

*Enrichment NOT available at Endeavor.

*More information will be coming regarding lunch availability. Last year Rusch partnered with the Summer Food Program for lunch at the Splash Pad and Endeavor’s lunch was at the public library. We are looking into those partnerships again.


Summer School Registration Form (Click Here)

If you are not able to register your student online, please call the Summer School office - 608.742.7376. ext. 6005

SEND PAYMENT TO RUSCH ELEMENTARY, Summer School Office, 117 W Franklin, Portage, WI 53901 or turn into your school office.

Contact: Amanda Gonzalez, 608-742-7376

Parent Climate Survey


We are looking for your honest feedback about your feelings toward your child's school. This short survey will help us measure our parent's satisfaction with climate. Thanks for your time!

Click Here to Take


When sending lunch money with your child, please make sure to write your childs first and last name along with their teachers name on the envelope. This will help make sure that the money ends up in the correct place. You can check your child's lunch account balance on their Infinite Campus account.

Parents and other family members are more than welcome to come have lunch with their student. Please make sure to call ahead so we can add you to the lunch count and check in with the office upon arrival to get your pass. Adult lunches cost $4.15 and must be paid in cash. Money cannot be taken out of the student's lunch account.

From the Nurse's Station

Head Lice

Everyone dreads these two words, “head lice”. Head lice are a nuisance and do not spread disease. Portage Schools protocol is when students are found to have live head lice and or nits, parent or legal guardian contact will be made to notify you of the finding and to come pick your child up from school. A child must be treated before returning to school. Upon return to school, the child must have a head lice check in the main office. If live lice are found, the child will again be sent home. Please call the office or send a note with the type and date of treatment used. Follow all directions on the package of the head lice treatment product each time you treat.

All people in the household should have their heads checked for lice. Often, it is the adults in the house who also have head lice but are overlooked in the treatment process. Cleaning of the environment is critical. Vacuuming and washing fabric items should be done for areas the person with lice has been in the past 2 days.

The custodians have cleaning schedules for each area in our district. This process includes washing hard surfaces and vacuuming floors.

Please talk with your children about your expectations not to share hats, combs, brushes, hair items, and to be considerate of personal space. A high five is a great alternative to a hug. For students with long hair, consider a braid or holder to keep the hair pulled back. Parents should develop a routine for checking their child’s head for lice daily or at least every few days.

The school nurse is available to you as a resource, please do not hesitate to call for support and guidance. Mrs. Hon covers all elementary buildings and may be reached at 608/742-4867, ext 4131, 608/697-4912, or honv@portage.k12.wi.us


The Portage Community School District believes that nutrition and physical activity influence a child’s development, well-being, and readiness to learn. The District will promote healthy schools by supporting wellness, good nutrition and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment. The District supports a healthy environment where students and staff members learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices. By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, our schools contribute to the basic health status of students and staff. Improved health optimizes student performance potential and contributes to the success of all students.

Classrooms/School and Celebrations:

  • Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will meet the District Nutrition Standards (Healthy Snacks for Children).
  • During occasional celebrations (i.e. birthdays, holidays) items that do not meet the District Nutrition Standards may be acceptable for student consumption within moderation. However, the District will encourage a healthy snack item to be offered in conjunction with other offerings.
  • Strong consideration should be given to nonfood items (see Non-Food Rewards for Children Guide) as part of any Teacher-to-Student Incentive programs. If a teacher feels compelled to utilize food items as an incentive, they are encouraged to adhere to the District Nutritional Standards.
  • The School District is concerned with the dietary and lifestyle practices of its staff, as well as its students. In order to promote wellness among its staff, the district will continue to provide opportunities for staff to become physically active. Staff is also encouraged to model ideal behavior for students by making food and beverage choices that align with the District Nutrition Standards outlined in this policy.

The Board Policy 537 is the official wellness policy of our school district.

Please feel free to visit the website to read our wellness policy


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Did you know...

These resources are available to you...

Touched Twice United at St. Mary's Church

On April 29th from 10am until 2pm the following services are provided for free to families: *Healthcare *Clothes *Haircuts *Lunch *Music *Family Photos *Budgeting *Eye Care and so much more!

St Vincent De Paul Food Pantry

Located at 1311 West Wisconsin Street in Portage

Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm

Friday 9am – 8pm

Saturday 9am – 5pm

*You will need to bring photo ID, proof of residency and your own bags. Applicants are eligible every 30 days.

Portage Community School District Goals

1) Create a great climate for parents, students and staff. (Action steps in italics)

Parents: We added a digital newsletter in hopes of reaching more parents.

Students: We are looking at our school environment and asking- where and how do students learn best? We are creating a lego wall, "Maker space" area and dry erase wall for students in the library.

Staff: Celebrate staff members at our weekly assemblies, discuss things that we can take off of teachers plates and planning monthly potlucks.

2) Reduce the number of students that are absent from school. "10 days or less is success." Students who are present at school are much more likely to be successful academically.

*We have classroom incentives for when all students are at school (extra recess, game day, free choice.)

*Students are celebrated at the end of each quarter when they have perfect attendance.

*Please let us know if there is anything that we can do to help your child get to school in the morning.

3) Increase student achievement.

*Teachers collaborate for one hour each week looking at our assessments and helping each other to meet student needs.

*We are using our district programs, pacing guides and our observations to ensure that all students are learning and growing.

*We have incorporated the social-emotional curriculum, Second Steps to help us explicitly teach social skills.

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