Bridges Elementary Newsletter

June 2016

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I want to express my thanks to the children, teachers, support staff, parents, GSPIE, and community for another successful year at Bridges Elementary School. What a year it was getting familiar with a new school and some new routines. I feel the students have made tremendous progress and grown so much academically and socially. It is satisfying to see the independence of our 4K and kindergarten students, the cooperation in our first graders, and the committment in our second graders. I am very, very proud of the work our students completed and the many ways they have grown. I wish our second graders the very best as they move onto Grand Avenue.

A couple reminders about the streets surrounding the school. Since it is a school zone, when students are present, the speed limit on the streets is 15 mph. Also, the path surrounding the school is not a sidewalk. Rules are slightly different on paths. Pedestrians need to watch for cars and do not have the right away. If your child rides a bike, please help him/her to be aware of cars pulling into the parking lot. It is best that bike riders stop at each parking lot entrance/exit.

In my final newsletter for the 2015-16 school year I would to again like to express my gratitude for being allowed to work with your children. I feel privileged to have been entrusted with leading a fine school community and am grateful to all who work tirelessly to provide our students with an excellent education and wonderful learning opportunities. I look forward to next school year and the many things we can and will continue to accomplish!

I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing summer filled with family, friends, and a ton of sunshine!


Chanda Kulow

Principal, Bridges Elementary School

Notes from the School Counselor

In classroom guidance, with Anne Uphoff our school counselor, we learned about the “upstairs brain” (thinking brain) and our “downstairs brain” (protecting brain.) The upstairs brain helps us to think, solve problems, plan, control emotions, be creative, be flexible and be understanding of others. The downstairs brain helps us be safe and makes sure our needs are met. It looks out for danger, sounds the alarm and makes sure we are ready to fight, run or hide if something is dangerous. Our brains work best when the upstairs and the downstairs work together. However, sometimes in the downstairs brain “Alerting Allie” spots some danger, “Frightened Fred” panics and before we know where we are, “Big Boss” has sounded the alarm telling your body to be prepared for danger. The downstairs brain “flips the lid” (as Dan Siegel calls it) on the upstairs brain. This means that the stairs that normally allow the upstairs and upstairs to work together are no longer connected. (That’s why it is hard to make good decisions when we are really upset.) The brain isn’t using our upstairs friends: Calming Carla, Problem Solving Pete, Creative Craig and Flexible Felicia. Other points we discussed are:

  • Everyone flips their lids
  • Sometimes flipping our lids is the safest thing to do
  • Our upstairs brain is still growing, so kids flip their lids more often than adults.
  • We can get better at NOT flipping our lid with practice
  • When everyone in the same family uses the same words, it helps kids develop self-control. (“It looks like Big Boss might be getting ready to sound the alarm, how about seeing if Calming Carla can send a message saying ‘take some deep breaths.”)


2nd Grade Visit to Grand Avenue

Thursday, June 2, 1:30p.m. - 2:00p.m.

Last Day of School

Thursday, June 9 - Dismissal at 11:10am


Monday, June 13

7:00pm at the District Office

Monday, June 27

7:00pm at the District Office

Summer School Family Open House

Wednesday, June 15

4:00pm - 6:00pm

4 Week Summer School Session

Monday, June 20 - Thursday, July 14


Monday, July 4

Friday, July 15

Online Registration Sauk Prairie School District 2016-17 Grades PK-12

Saturday, July 9

2 Week Summer School Session

Monday, July 18 - Friday, July 29


District Registration 2016-17 Grades PK-12 Walk-in Event

Wednesday, August 3

Monday, August 8

3:00pm - 7:00pm

Sauk Prairie High School

First Day of School K4 - 2nd Grade

Thursday, September 1

K4 Orientation Night

Wednesday, August 24 - 6:00 - 7:00pm

only for the K4 classes that will be held at Bridges -both AM and PM attend this one meeting

Supply Drop Off

Wednesday, August 31 3:30 - 5:00pm

Parent Night

Tuesday., September 13 PARENTS/GUARDIANS ONLY to meet with teachers. Please note that this is for parents only.

  • (No K4 since they already had orientation meeting)
  • Kindergarten - 5:00 - 5:30pm
  • 1st Grade - 5:30 - 6:00pm
  • 2nd Grade - 6:00 - 6:30pm

Picture Retake Day at ALL SCHOOLS

Tuesday, September 20

Times for each building are not yet determined

Math Night

Tuesday, October 11 - 5:00 - 6:30pm

Literacy Night

Tuesday, January 17 - 5:00 - 6:30pm

Please go to to see all important dates such as early release dates, school start and dismissal times, etc.

Help Support Our Outdoor Learning Environment

Research has shown that if children are exposed to the outdoors by the age of eight through numerous interactions of learning and exploration, they will continue to value it, go back to it and understand it through future encounters.

Ben Futa, the director of the Allen Centennial Gardens at the UW-Madison is designing an environment that includes learning areas directly related to our area of Wisconsin. Plans have for stage one of the learning environment include the following:

  1. A woodland learning area with various shade plants
  2. A prairie learning area with numerous prairie plants
  3. A swamp area with plants that need moisture
  4. A fragrance lawn with herb plants
  5. A boulder rock sitting area with dwarf fruit trees for learning
  6. An edible garden area for planting and eating
  7. A sandpit area that will include measuring, building and exploring
  8. A Sedge and plant area with various birdhouses
  9. An art painting wall for exploration

Each leaf purchased will be placed on the tree in the foyer at Bridges Elementary with each donor’s name. We have raised $12,700. It is a goal to raise $30,000 so we have an outdoor learning area that is functional, durable, and full of numerous learning opportunities for all 4K-2nd grade students. Donations can be sent to Bridges School Office with the donation slip below.

Up to $5.00 Yellow Leaf

$6-$10 Gold Leaf

$11-$20 Orange Leaf

$21-$50 Red Leaf

$51-$100 Burgundy Leaf

Over$100 Brown Leaf


Name________________________________________________________________ Donation________________


Big image

Vickie Yahnke Retires

Vickie Yahnke is retiring after many years of service to the Sauk Prairie School District. She has spent many years at Tower Rock and is currently at Bridges Elementary as a Special Education Assistant. We all would like to wish Vickie well and thank her for all of the work she has done. She will be missed!

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.


We have quite the collection of clothing, hats, gloves, mittens, sweatshirts, coats and much more built up over the months in our Lost & Found. Please look through the items for anything that your child may have lost this past school year. Whatever is not claimed by the last day of school will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul.

Thank you!

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.

Pictures from the May 4th and May 27th Bee Lunch are below:

Mother's Day Tea Party

Mrs. Brings and Mrs. Larson held their annual Mother's Day Tea Party on May 6th. As you can see from the photos below it was a huge success as always.

Field Trip and Classroom Events Photo Gallery

Big image
Big image

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.

Medication Pick Up Reminder

Dear Parents,

With the end of the school year comes the time to clean out our medicine cabinets here in the schools. I would like to remind you that school policy states that medications are to be brought to school by adults. Thus, for safety reasons we cannot be sending medications home with children at the end of the year. For this reason, we are asking for your cooperation in picking up your child’s medication at school prior to the last school day or on the last school day. Those medications, which are not picked up by June 10, will be discarded. If you have any concerns regarding this, feel free to call the District Health Nurse at 643-5509 or email her at . Thank you for your help in this matter. Have a great summer!

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

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!

Thank you to GSPIE from Bridges Elementary!

The staff at Bridges Elementary would like to give a huge thank you to GSPIE for all of the teacher recognition that was given during Teacher Appreciation Week. All of the goodies and some special sidewalk chalk art is seen in the picture recognizing all of our staff!
Big image