Pirate News

News and Pictures from the Land of the Pirates - Fall 2020


Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday 7:00am-4:00pm

Friday: 7:00am-3:00pm

Hydration and Food:

  • Parents, please remind your child that a key to a successful and healthy day at school starts with a breakfast item and drink. Did you also know that food and drink prior to school helps calm the nerves and anxiety, so fuel up to start your day!!!


  • Call 262.268.5501 or email PWHSattendance@pwssd.k12.wi.us to report an absence

  • Attendance protocols on virtual days, students are marked unverified by their teachers if they don’t sign in on time for a google meet/zoom session OR if they missed an assignment.

  • You can monitor students attendance and grades on PowerSchool - https://pwssd.powerschool.com/public/home.html or through the app (enter district code QXMC). You will then be able to view unexcused absences which turn into detentions.

  • Students need to contact the teacher directly to get this cleared. The office can only clear it by hearing from the teacher.

Aspire Testing

  • 11/23 (Monday) – Cohort A (Grades 9-11 ONLY) in person from 7:25am-11:00am & Cohort B is OFF (no virtual learning)

  • 11/24 (Tuesday) – Cohort B (Grades 9-11 ONLY) in person from, & Cohort A is OFF (no virtual learning)

  • 11/25-11/27 – NO SCHOOL.


As covid continues to have a major impact on our learning environment, we are proud of how well many of our students have enhanced our new systems of learning and have put in the time to engage and be successful. And for our staff, teaching in a new environment have proven to maximize student learning through their commitment to learn new technologies and devise new teaching strategies. In comparison to many schools in our area we are extremely proud of what our staff and students have accomplished in a short period of time. Port Washington High School in some respect has become a model for other schools, demonstrating how education can be successful in the hybrid model considering the educational and safety needs of both our students and staff.

Now this does not mean that all students are experiencing success. In fact, we have many that do struggle in the virtual environment. For these students, know that there is support. However, it is the responsibility of every student to attend ALL classes and on time in the In-Person and Virtual setting. When there are internet issues, contact must be made with the office immediately to ensure that attendance can be marked appropriately. In addition, students must Advocate. Waiting until the end of a quarter or semester to ask for help is too late. Be proactive, ask questions and connect with your teacher. Our teachers are available to you before and after school. If you wish to maximize your educational success you MUST:

  1. Attend ALL In-Person and Virtual Classes and be on Time

  2. Engage … participate in class / complete assigned homework

  3. ADVOCATE … ask questions and ask for help when needed

Lastly, we have received several requests from parents to move their child to Virtual Learning. As we look back to the weeks prior to the school year, Port Washington High School devised a Hybrid learning model for our students with an option to go completely virtual. The Virtual component of our educational platform consists of these students attending 100% Virtually through Wisconsin Virtual School. Our students that chose this alternative would not have direct access to the teachers here at our high school. Instead, they have access to teachers that work for WVS. A decision to go virtually needed to be made by the 2nd week in September. If a family did not choose this virtual option, students may NOT simply choose to go virtually at this point in time within our hybrid model. Students can not just choose to log into their class virtually on a daily basis. Students that choose to do so will be marked absent on In-Person learning days and these absences will calculate towards truancy. If a student would like to move to virtual, they can not at this time, but may choose this option at the end of the semester for 2nd semester. Likewise, students that are currently enrolled 100% virtual may choose to return to our hybrid model at the end of the semester.

We do recognize that some families are concerned about the increasing infection rate in our community however, our school district will make a decision to move full virtual when/if it is decided that it is in the best interest of our students but until then it is expected that all students that have initially chose the Hybrid model will remain in the hybrid model. Even as of yesterday morning 54 superintendents and board members along with two renowned physicians from Children’s Hospital met via zoom to discuss health safety in our schools. The Southeast Wisconsin School Alliance consists of 34 southeast school districts. The physicians on the zoom continued to indicate that the virus is not spreading on school grounds; it is outside of school and schools are still one of the safest places because we can enforce masks and social distancing.

As of 11/11/20

  • 1 student has tested positive and is quarantined at this current time

  • 1 teacher and 1 non teaching staff member have tested positive and are quarantined at this current time

  • All previous cases have completed their quarantine and have returned to school.

Many others are currently on quarantine due to close contact or cold/flu like symptoms but the data is conclusive that the spread of Covid is not taking place in our school. Our hybrid model of in-person and virtual learning is working and allows for students to have limited contact with their teachers. This contact is critical in your child's educational success.


The deadline to submit volunteer hours for Port Pride for Semester 1 is December 11. Students must have 15 hours each semester to qualify for the exam exemption.

Are you looking for a great opportunity to get your port pride hours? The Kapco Kids 2 Kids toy drive needs your help! Every day after school this week and next, Kapco needs help at their location in Grafton stringing lights for a Winter Wonderland lights project. They will be hanging over 1 million lights within the next couple of weeks! Please sign up under the "Lighting" section of the day you are choosing. If you have been involved in theater or tech ed classes in the past, then please sign up under the "Building and Painting the streetscape" category, as they need your help creating a specific set. You can sign up using this link https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c48a5a72aabfb6-k2kchristmas.


Parent Teacher Conferences will be held VIRTUALY on Thursday November 12th from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. Please RSVP by November 12th, 2:30pm. You can RSVP and obtain your virtual meeting link by accessing the this link.



In a time that prevents us from social gathering and coming together for so many of our traditional events we are proud to provide you with our virtual experience of this year’s Veteran’s Day Assembly. Traditionally, our veterans and student body come together to celebrate and pay respect to our Veterans on Veteran’s Day. In an effort to keep this tradition alive, we have pre-recorded the assembly to not only share with our students, but also with our parents and the entire community. If you have not seen it already, feel free to use the link below to view the Veteran's Day Program in it's entirety.


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United for Youth is a PWHS student organization that prides itself on developing leadership and serving the community. This student led organization is responsible for many school wide activities that take place each year and in the midst of COVID they are as determined as ever to find new ways to get involved and stay active in their community. Recently, United for Youth provided an opportunity for all Seniors to come out on a Saturday afternoon to paint parking lot stalls and looking to the holidays, they are once again focused on working with Kapco suporting the Kapco Kids2Kids Christmas toy drive. This year, we have been invited to also participate in the first ever Kapco Kids2Kids Christmas wonderland project. When completed, the highlights will include: The Tunnel of Light • Live Nativity Scene and Manger with live animals • Kapco Village Square—a series of themed streets • The Giving Tree—location to drop off new, unwrapped toys • Santa’s Workshop Tent featuring Santa, toy displays, working elves and more. All guests are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys that will be contributed to a child in need in our community. Kids2Kids is truly a celebration of giving!”

Multicultural Advisory Council

The Multicultural Advisory Council is a new club at PWHS whose goal is to promote diversity through education and awareness. We believe all students deserve to feel welcome, included, and safe in our educational environment, and that starts with eradicating racism of every kind. To do this, we have promoted the school’s already established anti-racism policy with posters throughout the school, created a peer mediation program to address racist comments and behavior, and hosted social justice events to educate students on racial inequality. The peer mediation program is based on restorative justice practices and seeks to act as a resource and advocate for peers who need to resolve conflict resulting from racist comments or actions. Additionally, the group hopes to spread awareness by modeling how to correct and confront microaggressions, subtle forms of racism, as well as overtly racist comments. We’ve successfully hosted a rally and a movie night followed by a discussion of social justice issues. Look for more activities and opportunities for education as the year progresses!
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The Tech Ed department has taken the concept of virtual to a whole different level this semester. Students in our engineering classes are able to utilize the district software to connect to the school computers virtually. This opportunity has provided kids the chance to work on drawings and activities remotely from the comforts of their home. Without this access, our students would be missing out on valuable learning time. Our department is excited to utilize this technology and employ it throughout our curriculum in future years.

In the picture, you can see students working in class on computers with computers next to them being remotely accessed by students from the confines of their home.

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Choir has gotten off the ground with a great start. Students are in the process of recording their Holiday Concert pieces. From there we will be branching out and working on audio engineering, video production and producing our songs in a collaborative video project with the TJ choirs for everyone to enjoy in late December.

Concert Choir has just finished their project for the Veterans Day assembly on November 11th. Catch an early viewing here by going to https://www.wevideo.com/view/1891903641

In September “Acapocalypse! A Cappella’s New Note” featuring Port Washington’s A cappella Group Limited Edition has been nominated for a Regional Emmy for the Chicago/Midwest awards in the category of “Outstanding Achievement for Cultural Documentary Programs”

Television stations and production companies from around the Midwest are invited to submit entries for consideration in a variety of categories in the regional Emmys, then nominees are selected from those entries, and eventually one of the nominees receives the award. This year, there were six entries in that category and only two were selected as nominees: “Acapocalypse!” and a documentary called “Chicago at the Crossroad”. Congratulations to all of the students and staff involved in this project.



In lieu of football games and parades this fall, the PWHS Band had their first Pep Band Concert, performing many of their favorite marching band arrangements on the football field. The bands are working to put a video concert together for December.

Back in April the Port Washington Saukville School District was honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants for an outstanding commitment to music education. The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Only 5% of districts nation-wide were recognized with this distinction. This particular award is special as it recognizes not only the work the music teachers are doing across the district but also the district and community wide support for all our students.


The World Studies Classes are presenting a project on the countries of Africa. Extensive research has been done on geography and the effects of colonialism on their respective countries. Students will present the maps they created in class for all to see and learn from.

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Our students are working hard at being creative inside and outside of the classroom. We are providing as much hands-on learning as safely possible and giving students the option to bring their art home for virtual work days. We have prioritized sharing our students' work and found some new platforms to make this happen. Please enjoy some pictures and click on the following links to learn more about Lainey, Danielle and Claire’s first projects- Shapes Paintings.





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Physics classes successfully completed their egg drop competition. The goal of the competition was to make some type of a contraption that would prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from the top of the Snake Slide at Pirate’s Hollow onto the concrete pad below. The contest involved students using physics topics including speed, gravity, force and air resistance. A special thank you goes to Annette Stimac (Mira’s mom) for helping with clean up.


The Yearbook Committee is starting strong this year. The goal? MOVE MOUNTAINS - as our new 2020-21 title suggests. While we may not be photographing the usual events, we are creating a new style to accommodate the year. How will we move mountains as a student body this year while we are so limited? Our students are pretty savvy, and so are you! If you find yourself at one of your student’s events and you are taking pics - send them our way! Encourage your students to join in the fun, too. There are two ways you can be a part of our annual:


Key Club is in full swing! We are a student-led service organization for high school students connected to the parent organization, Kiwanis Club. Our goal is to encourage student leadership through serving others. In late September we elected our officers, Jackson Meyers (President), Isabelle Bright (Vice President), Mahala Heniadis (Secretary), Brynn Peacock and Galena Vartanova (Treasures), and Brielle Bertler (Informant). We did a Halloween Treat Bag fundraiser where we sold halloween themed treat bags for $4, with $1 of that going to the American Cancer Society. Key Club International designated the American Cancer Society as their charity to support this year. So, the club chose to support them right off the bat. We sold all 150 treat bags and were able to donate $172 to the American Cancer Society!! Currently we are connected with the Port Washington Food Pantry, Saukville Food Pantry, and Balance. This month we are running a food and toiletry drive (going on now) supporting both the Port Washington and Saukville Food Pantries. If you would like to donate, please bring a non-perishable food item or toiletry item to the high school’s main office and drop it in our donation boxes there. Later this month we will be cutting and finishing blankets for Balance and their “Blankets of Love 2020 Project”, and next month we plan to have a Giving Tree for the high school students and staff. It is not too late to join Key Club! We meet the first Tuesday of every month, 2:38pm - 3:15pm in Mrs. Cook’s room, 33. Join us and help make a difference in our community and the greater community!


In World Languages we have many exciting things going on in class! Spanish 4 has been working on writing their own “Odes to ordinary things” after learning about Pablo Neruda and reading some of his most famous works such as “Oda al tomate”, “Oda al millonario muerto”. The students did a great job paying homage to ordinary things like socks, their pets, avocados, pineapples, and even plants!

Spanish 2 and 3 students are also finding creative ways to socially distance and still move around. One of our favorite activities is to review vocabulary by taking a ball outside or in the hallway and tossing it among one another to work on our language recall. Of course, we sanitize after playing!

In addition, Sra. Kasza, PWHS Spanish teacher, is receiving the “Profesora Distinguida”/Teacher of the Year award from AATSP-WI this Saturday, November 7. Sra. Kasza has been involved with AATSP-WI and WAFLT (Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers) since 1997 and has held various positions in both organizations during that time. She has taken students to participate in the Spanish Pronunciation Contest and has administered the National Spanish Exam in other districts and is very honored to be receiving this distinguished recognition from her peers statewide. ¡Felicidades!

Concurso Oral de Pronunciación: What is the Concurso Oral?

The Concurso Oral is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their Spanish oral communication skills as well as to develop their general knowledge of the language. Students compete by language level as well as by categories. Students memorize and present the following categories in front of a judge: narración, poesía, teatro. This year there is also one impromptu category: lectura no preparada. In the lectura no preparada category, students have 5 minutes to practice a short paragraph which they then read to a judge. Due to the virtual nature of this year’s competition, there will not be the conversación category for 2021. Students should see Sra. Kasza if interested in participating in the Concurso Oral this year! YouTube Video of 2014 Concurso Oral

Spanish Club is also selling Seroogy’s Chocolates again this fall. Proceeds will go to our future travel fund to offset the cost of the school-led trip as well as toward registration fees for the Concurso Oral held virtually this year! See Sra. Kasza, Sr. Schreurs or the HS office to get your scrumptious Seroogy’s chocolates today!


The Port esports team is off to a great start this year! With thirty students competing across five different varsity and junior varsity teams, we have more than doubled our student participation from last year. Esports is a great way for students to have fun and compete together while developing a plethora of skills such as teamwork, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and analytics. Here at Port Washington, we have students from all four grade levels working together as one on the same team to achieve a common goal in each match. For more than three-fourths of the students participating, esports is the very first group, club, activity, or team of any type that these high schoolers have ever belonged to. It has filled a social gap of the often overlooked student-gamers by helping them fit in with others who have similar interests and passions while also providing them recognition and appreciation for their skills.

The fall season of esports has students competing in the games Overwatch and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Both varsity teams were victorious this past week in their first matches of the season! The week started off with our varsity Smash team narrowly defeating Jefferson High School with a 3-to-2 victory followed by our varsity Overwatch team overtaking Wisconsin Lutheran 3 games to 1. Our first week ended with the JV Smash team competing against Fox Valley Lutheran with another close 3-2 win while our JVA Overwatch team had an easy 4-0 sweep against Whitnall, who was missing one of their six players this week. Port’s JVB Overwatch team also had a great time playing in their first competitive match, despite losing to Waterford 0-4. With seven weeks left in the regular season, all of our students are looking forward to improving their skills and making it to the State Championship on January 23rd. Good luck, gamers!

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DECA at PWHS is up and running! We have a different look this year and will be having competition and various activities. This year we have a working relationship with Camping World and they will be our group sponsor! Students interested in joining should see Mr. Bichler or Mrs. Wellenstein immediately. We will be ordering t-shirts the week of November 9th. Dues are currently $12, which includes: National & State Dues, Competition Fees, DECA T-shirt, and the ability to join us in any activities we are doing!

PWHS Captain’s Quarters! We will be having limited hours this semester as we work through getting an online store setup. If you are interested in ordering from our online store at this point, contact Mark Bichler, Leeann Wellenstein, or visit our site at: http://captains-quarters.square.site/ Additional merchandise and an opportunity to order for the holidays will be coming out shortly.

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Target Based Grading for Learning


We are a High School that exceeds expectations according to the Wisconsin State School report card. We continually strive to find ways to be a better school for our students. Finding ways to raise the bar for all of our students to be better prepared for life after high school in college or career is the challenge. No matter where our graduates go after high school, in the military, in the workplace, an apprenticeship or to a two or four year college, the needs are greater now than they ever have been. We believe that Target Based Grading for Learning provides the clear expectations (clarity), opportunity and rigor to achieve that goal.

Academic grades

PWHS will have Letter grades in Power school and on the report card. Academic grades reflect our student’s measure of learning against the identified learning target and standards. Academic grades will reflect the student’s level of proficiency as measured by specific assessments. The opportunity for reassessment for students is a very important component of this system. Academic grades will be calculated from summative assessments at least 90% in all classes. This includes tests, quizzes, projects, papers, etc.

Behavior/Life Skills Grade

The PWSSD believes that Homework/Classroom work, Attendance and Behavior are important for success in school and life. These important behaviors are not a part of the Academic grade. All students will receive a separate grade for current academic scores and behavioral/life skills scores on the report card.

Homework/Classroom Work

PWHS defines Homework and Classroom work as practice in the learning progression toward proficiency on identified learning targets. Homework and Classroom work should be looked at as a “tool” in the learning process and not an instrument to measure and report a student’s understanding of academic learning targets. When viewed as a tool to help with learning, homework is then not an assessment of the student’s understanding of learning targets/content, but rather a step toward learning it. Homework will count for 10% or less of the overall course grade.


The purpose of ensuring ALL students learn at high levels is not predicated upon the notion that all students learn at high levels at the same time. Therefore, we must offer students multiple opportunities to demonstrate they have mastered identified content at various times in a school year. In relationship to our position on Retesting, we commit to the following statements:

● Reassessment is allowed on all summative assessments that are reflected in what is reporting out to parents on our report cards.

● In order for a student to qualify for a reassessment, students must meet the criteria determined by the department. This includes the completion of homework and classroom work.

● If a student scores lower on the reassessment than on the original test, the test that will be reflected for grading and reporting purposes will be the most recent evidence.

● Reassessment can occur in multiple forms, such as another assessment similar to the first, oral discussion with the teacher, or another method that is mutually agreeable between the teacher and student

Frequently Asked Questions

Do colleges/universities accept this grading system?

The high school transcript will still look like it did in previous years in terms of course grades.

Is there a certain amount of targets required in each curriculum area?

No. This is up to the teacher(s).

How does this system raise the rigor for students?

● Clear targets

● Assessments aligned to the targets

● Expectations for learning is higher for all students

● Greater opportunity for personalized learning

How does target based grading make better students/prepare students better for college?

Our number one goal for our students is to ensure they learn. This process gives students opportunities to clearly understand what they know and what their struggles may be.

By ensuring kids learn, we are confident that will lead to less gaps in their learning as they move onto college or career after high school. Removing behaviors from grading also puts a focus on what each student actually knows in their courses.

What made us identify this a needed change?

Six years ago, we started looking at our grading practices. As we learned, it became more and more apparent that students’ grades should be based on how well they comprehend the key learning targets and not a percentage of work completed or an average of scores from one point in time to the next. Target-based proficiency grading empowers students to understand their own learning strengths and areas that need improvement. Students get direct and timely feedback on the areas/skills that they need to focus on. Our focus is on learning and not on chasing a grade.

Why is homework a smaller part of the academic grade?

Homework is practice. Homework is important and important in all of our classrooms. Homework completion will be a part of the overall report card and tied to reassessment opportunities.


We will be conducting an ACT-Aspire Interim testing of ALL FRESHMEN and SOPHOMORE students during our two day week on November 23-24 in Reading, Science, Math and English. In addition, we will be having ALL JUNIORS partake in the PRE-ACT test. Overview documents regarding this test are included. Please see the schedule for Monday 11/23 and Tuesday 11/24.

Monday November 23rd:

Freshmen and sophomore COHORT A students to do testing (Reading, Science, Math and English).

- Early release date- students will complete testing for that day by 11 a.m.

- Optional lunch for students staying for AP reviews/regular class sessions.

Junior COHORT A students to do Pre-ACT testing practice.

- Early release date- students will complete testing for that day by 11 a.m.

- Optional lunch for students staying for extra AP reviews/regular class sessions.

· **OPTIONAL Reviews/Extra Sessions for AP and Regular classes: Students will have access to optional reviews (as planned by teacher and class) in the building and office hours by appointment that same day outside the testing times.

- Optional lunch for students staying for AP reviews/regular class sessions 11-11:30 a.m.

- Sessions may include, music groups, tech groups, AP classes, etc. as needed by class. Teachers will create schedules with students and be put into PowerSchool attendance through the Adaptive Resource Scheduler.

- Extras Schedule: Session 1: 11:35am-12:35pm Session 2: 12:40pm-1:40pm Session 3: 1:45pm-2:45pm

Tuesday November 24th:

Freshmen and sophomore COHORT B students to do testing (Reading, Science, Math and English).

- Early release date- students will complete testing for that day by 11 a.m.

- Optional lunch that day for students staying for extra AP reviews/regular class sessions.

Junior COHORT B students to do Pre-ACT testing practice.

- Early release date- students will complete testing for that day by 11 a.m.

- We will be running optional lunch that day for students staying for extra AP reviews/regular class sessions.

· **OPTIONAL Reviews/Extra Sessions for AP and Regular classes: Students will have access to optional reviews (as planned by teacher and class) in the building and office hours by appointment that same day outside the testing times.

- We will be running optional lunch that day for students staying for extra AP reviews/regular class sessions 11-11:30 a.m.

- Sessions may include, music groups, tech groups, AP classes, etc. as needed by class. Teachers will create schedules with students and be put into PowerSchool attendance through the Adaptive Resource Scheduler.

- Extras Schedule: Session 1: 11:35am-12:35pm Session 2: 12:40pm-1:40pm Session 1: 1:45pm-2:45pm


- Make sure your freshmen/sophomore student have their chromebook charged for testing! Juniors will need pencils and a calculator

- Get a good night’s sleep and have a good breakfast

- We need all freshmen/sophomore/juniors students to be PRESENT for the tests. Please make every effort to make this happen!

Feel free to call the office with any questions or concerns.