Woodridge in May/June

Think & Wonder . Wonder & Think

Mrs. Thistle's Thoughts...


With only a few more weeks of school left, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you thank you! We appreciate all of your help and support making the 2017-18 school year such a success. As we start to wind down, please be mindful of a few of our goals.

Last year, the PCSD Elementary didn’t meet our goal of reducing the overall number of students missing 10 or fewer days. This was in part because we had many students taking off the last few days of school. While we do have some fun activities and field trips planned, these are still considered instructional days. Please consider planning trips for after school has let out for summer. Also, to help us meet our goal next year, I will attach the 2018-18 school year calendar in this newsletter and give you a summary below of some of our longer breaks. This can help to plan those family vacations outside of school.

2018-19 Summary

September 4th First Day of School

November 21-23 Thanksgiving Break

December 24-January 1st Winter Break

March 18-22nd Spring Break

June 5th Last Day of School

As a district, we are always working towards improving our “summer slide.” We want our kids to have a relaxing and fun summer. However, it's important to create a balance between fun/swimming/vacation and maintaining all of the skills that they acquired this year. A few suggestions for reducing summer slide:

*Sign your child up for summer school, click here: Summer School Registration Form

*Sign up to participate in a public library summer reading program or just make the library a weekly visit for fun!

*Encourage your child to read at least 20 minutes each day. We will be sending a few books home with your child that are at their reading level. This means that they should be able to read the books with minimal assistance. Also, utilizing the public library and local thrift stores can be a great way to get books.

*Practice math facts, here is a resource: Printable math facts flashcards

On behalf of everyone at Woodridge Primary School, we’d like to wish you all a happy and safe summer break.

All the best to you!

Mrs. Thistle

Mark Your Calendars

1: Summer School Registration Deadline

2: PTO Meeting @4:30

4: Circus World Field Trip PERMISSION SLIPS DUE BACK

10: 1st Graders visit Muir 9:00-10:00 am

14: Seal A Smile

16: Cherrydale Fundraiser Carnival 12-2pm @ Woodridge

24: 1st Grade Field Trip to Circus World 8:30-2:30 pm

28: No School - Memorial Day

29: 1st Grade/Multi-age Park Day 9:00-12:50pm

1: Kindergarten Field Trip to Tommy Bartlett & Ducks

4: Last Day of school

5: Full Day In-service

Secretary Notes

Reporting an Absence

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

Lost & Found

If possible, please stop in or have your child check out the lost & found table, located in front of the office windows. We still have many coats and sweatshirts that have not been claimed. On the last day of school, the remaining items will be bagged up and donated to a local thrift store.

Summer School

Portage Community School District

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)

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

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

ABC countdown

We will be celebrating the end of the year with our annual ABC countdown to summer. Your child is encouraged to participate in each day's activities. This is a fun and exciting way to celebrate our 2017-18 school year. Thank you for all your support.
Big picture

Ideas on Ways to Reduce the Summer Slide

Kids can lose some serious ground in reading and math over the break thanks to the dreaded summer slide. But not this year! These super-easy activities are guaranteed to keep your child’s mind powered up all season long.

1. Sneak in Some Science

Try these 3 easy experiments that will give kids a lesson in biology and physics.

2. Kid-Friendly Summer Goals

Want to give your kiddo a head start on homework? Have her learn time-management skills when school's not in session.

3. Start a Kids’ Book Club

Whether your child's a bookworm or a struggling reader, sharing a book with others is way more fun than reading solo.

4. Easy Ways for Families to Exercise

These tips will make it easy for your whole fam to slip in a workout in the back yard or the park.

5. Make Any Car Trip Go Faster

You won't have to hear a constant chorus of "Are we there yet?" with these apps and old-school counting games.

6. Flash Cards That Make Learning Fun

These brain-building cards have plenty of puzzles, quizzes, and fun facts to amuse your little learner, no matter what grade she's in.

7. Skill-Boosting Board Games

All board games can teach kids to focus and follow directions. But these games are tops for teaching many classroom-worthy skills at the same time.

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/motivate-school-success/7-ways-to-stop-summer-slide

Counselor's Corner

Have a safe and wonderful summer!

Mrs. Brown :)

Big picture


WOW! I was so proud of the performance of our Kindergarten and 1st grade students at our Fine Arts Night Concert on April 26. They all stood safely on the risers and sang their hearts out.

Congratulations to our scarf people: Avery Colling, Jennesis Withers, Jacob Wilcox, Mercedes Alves, Ulalia Brown, Audrey Trago, Lincoln Gordon, Kenadie Fingerson, Colton Jahn and Abbie Krueger. You all did a wonderful job!

I also want to congratulate our kazoo players: Parker Schultz, Daylin Turner, Liliannah Westfield, Dominic Harkle-Road, Levi Baxter, Lianna Gilchrist, Caiden Williams, Madison Schmitz.

The last part of the year, the Kindergarten will be work on moving their bodies to different styles of music and continue to work on playing melody bells following notation. Our 1st graders will continue to improve their singing voices using the Mi Sol melodies. They will also be working on echo singing melodies they hear and echo tapping rhythms they hear with rhythm sticks.

Art Warriors

Fine Arts Night was such a success! Congratulations to all of our artists who produced some amazing art work to represent us at Columbia County Fair. The fair takes place at the end of July, so please go see your child’s art during that time.


We have officially raised all of the needed funds for our new kiln. Through combined efforts of our Fused Glass Fundraiser, Artsonia, Woodridge and John Muir Parent Clubs, John Muir Student Council, and private donations we have raised over $6000. THANK YOU!

The new kiln will be ordered very soon.


Our Artsonia portfolios are looking great. Please check out your child’s account for some great Mother’s Day gift ideas. 20% of any items purchased through Artsonia will be donated to our art department for making our department even better! If you haven’t accessed your child’s account yet and need the login information, please send me an email at: adamsc@portage.k12.wi.us

Physical Education

We are closing in fast on the last weeks of school. Weather permitting, I hope to have students out on the track working on different track and field events. Baseball, disc golf, and soccer are a few other activities we will be doing.

The last week of school I always remind students to be safe: Wear helmets if they are skateboarding, riding bikes or scooters; Wear sunscreen; and life jackets if they are out on the water.

I hope everyone has a chance to get outside and be active!

Reading Activity - Story, Snacks and Snuggles

Story: The Very Hungry Catapillar

Snack: Fruit/Veggie Caterpillars

  1. Use celery as the caterpillar body.
  2. Choose a variety of fruit to decorate your caterpillar with (grapes, apples, oranges)
  3. Peanut butter works as the ‘glue’ to keep your caterpillar friend together!
Snuggles: Grab a blanket and curl up with your child, enjoy a story and make memories


Math Activity

Pop + 2

Materials: 1 Dice, 2 colorful counters or tokens, game mat.


  • Players roll the dice and move that many spaces.
  • Solve the addition problem, and cover or color the answer in the center of the mat.
  • If it's already covered you lose a turn.
  • Whoever has the most colored or covered when they are all filled, wins the game!

Have fun!

Big picture

From the Nurse's Station

Wrapping Up and Planning Ahead

At the end of each school year, parents/guardians are asked to pick up any unused medications from the school office. Please make arrangements now for the last days of school for picking up your child’s medication. Medications not picked up by June 8, 2018 will be disposed of properly through the Portage Police Department’s Medication Disposal bin.

The beginning of each school year is really busy for families, clinics, and schools alike. Children entering kindergarten and 6th grade in the fall of 2018 will need to have immunizations. Kindergarten students should also have an eye exam by an eye doctor prior to December 31, 2018. Scheduling appointments for medication renewals, sports physicals and well child exams should take place now for the most flexibility. Remember that Portage has the St. Vincent de Paul Free Medical Clinic on Wednesday mornings if you do not have health insurance. Be sure to include eye examinations and dental check ups while you have your calendar out.

Health plans and medication forms for the fall will be mailed to families in July. The blank medication form is always available on the website under Nursing Services, Medication.


Contact your school nurse for assistance with clinic locations, phone numbers, assistance programs, community resources for care or questions you have. The main school office staff can connect you with the correct school nurse. Stay well!

Health and Wellness

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.


Did you know....The following resources are available to you in our community.

Columbia County Health and Human Services

  • Food Pantries
    2nd Harvest Mobile Food Pantries (open to all Columbia County residents)
    2nd Monday of every month at 11:00am at the Columbia Co. Fairgrounds, Wauona Tr/Griffith St. Everyone welcome. No ID’s needed. Bring your own carts/baskets to carry your food.

    St Vincent De Paul Food Pantry

    Located at 1311 West Wisconsin Street in Portage

    Monday–Thursday 9am–5pm, Friday 9am–8pm and Saturday 9am–5pm

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

  • Park and Recreation
    806 Silver Lake Dr, Portage, Wi, 53901 (608) 742-2178
    Family Resource Center
    2946 Red Fox Run, Portage, WI 53901 (608) 742-8482
    Provides a variety of family services, including scheduled playgroups, parenting support and information series, workshops, and family visiting program. Staff are available to answer questions or provide resources to help families. All services are free.

Community Resources continued....

  • Dental – Free or Low Cost Services - Seal-A-Smile
    Susan Lorenz R.N. M.S. Columbia County Health Officer at 608-742-9227 susan.lorenz@co.columbia.wi.us
    The Columbia County Seal-A-Smile dental sealant program is available at no charge whether or not your child is covered by dental insurance. The program will bill Medical Assistance or BadgerCare if your child is covered by these programs.
  • Free Immunization Clinic
    2:30pm-5:30pm (10/10, 11/14, 12/12 - 2016) No appointment is necessary – Birth parent or legal guardian signature required. Bring immunization records.
  • Library Programs
    Contact the library in your community to inquire about special programs for children and families, such as story hour or summer reading programs.
    Portage Public Library 253 W. Edgewater St., Portage 53901 (608) 742-4959 Hours: Mon-Thurs 9-8:30; Fri 9-6; Sat 10-4 Sat hours between Memorial Day & Labor Day are 10-1 Contact: info@portagelibrary.us Website: http://www.portagelibrary.us/

There are many more resources available to our community, feel free to check out the Columbia County Health and Human Services Website: http://www.co.columbia.wi.us/columbiacounty/Portals/7/Resource%20Guide.pdf

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.

Big picture