Bridges Elementary Newsletter

February 2016

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Families/Gaurdians at Bridges Elementary,

Happy February! Can you believe we are half way through the academic year?

Thank you to all the Bridges’ families who showed up for the Literacy Night a couple of weeks ago. The night was a success! It was fun watching so many families enjoying literacy and learning together. We hope you enjoyed your time at Bridges that evening. The Math Night and the Literacy Night were two added events this school year. We want our students to celebrate successes with their families and also for it to be informative to parents. Please do reach out and share your experiences with attending the events or how we can improve the events.

Parent/Teacher conferences are coming up soon on March 1 and 4th. Spring conferences are by invite only or as requested by a parent. Your child may soon receive more information in their take home folder. As always, if you do not receive information to set up a conference, and you would like to meet with your child’s teacher, please contact the teacher to set up a time to meet. Communication is a large and critical part of being a parent and school team.

Lastly, I wanted to thank all of your for your patience with our Drop Off and Pick Up procedures. A couple of weeks ago we closed the K4 doors to incoming parents and asked them to come in through the main doors. The purpose was to secure the building at all entrances. This changed the drop off to exit at the path and students now walk to the large playground in back of school. This has been a success! The next tweak will be made this week as one of our assistants will join the main door drop off area to open doors for cars. She will be posted at the bike rack. Cars need to stay in a single line and Sarah will help students get out of the cars. If students can sit on the passenger side closest to the curb, this would be appreciated and help the line to move more smoothly. I am hoping this change will make a great impact on our morning drop off.

Have a fabulous month!


Chanda Kulow, Ed.D

Bridges Elementary Principal

Notes from the School Counselor

Anne Uphoff,

Bridges School Counselor - (608) 643-1842

The new and exciting science of the developing brain is a key component of parenting. It is much easier to withstand conflict and help your child when you KNOW what to expect during the stages of childhood. It’s amazing to realize that 90-95% of brain growth happens in the first 5 years.

The beauty of the human brain is that while it is a wildly complex organism –it is also incredibly flexible and can change or heal at any time!! How does this change happen? Through relationship!

This is great news for everyone! It takes a bit of pressure off attaining the impossible ideal of the perfect parent and allows us to focus on connection. Simply put: the brain needs INPUT. . .Connection. . . .Sensory Experiences. A child’s best development and function are dependent on a connection to a caring, supportive caregiver. You determine which connections are made. The ones that are used over and over are the ones that are strengthened.

What does this mean for you as a parent?

Ø Relationship shapes the developing brain.

Ø LOVE helps GROW a child's brain.


School Board Meetings
  • 7:00pm - Monday, February 8, 2016 at the District Office
  • 7:00pm - Monday, February 22, 2016 at the District Office

100th Day of School - Monday, February 15


  • Friday, February 19, 2016 - Professional Development/Teach Work Day


Dear Parents/Guardians at Bridges Elementary,

Our student's safety and your safety is important to us. We need the cooperation of ALL parents and students to make our Traffic Safety Plan work. Please observe and follow all traffic, parking and pedestrian laws.

A few pointers and reminders during this time of the winter season.

  • Arrive after 7:45 a.m. and before 8:00 a.m. The bell rings at 8:00am!
  • Proceed in a single file line to designated drop off/pick up area.
  • When dropping off at the main doors, pull forward to the START of the drop-off area by the BIKE RACKS. This is where an assistant will help students out of your vehicle in the morning.
  • Please have student sit on the passenger side of the car so that they are always exiting your vehicle onto the sidewalk. We do not want students to exit the vehicle into the second lane of traffic.
  • Students can enter the main doors at the front of the school or the side doors by the bike racks.
  • Do not park or leave your vehicle unattended in the drop off/pick up lane.
  • If you need to enter the building during the school day, park in visitor parking spaces and escort your child into or out of the front doors of the school.
  • Please use crosswalks when crossing to and from the school.
  • Never walk in front of or between buses. This is extremely dangerous since the driver cannot see adults or children that are close to the front of the bus.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 643-1844. Thank you for your cooperation!

How to Parent a Child with Adventuresome Behaviors

Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 5:30 - 7:00 PM

Bridges Elementary/District Board Room

Sponsored by Learning for Life/6:8 – Free childcare also available

Register online at

(You can also register by contacting Anne Uphoff, Bridges School Counselor at 643-1842 or

Children are born with a temperament, which is their most natural way to react to people and their environment. Some children are just MORE . . . they react in a strong "adventuresome" way. What is a parent to do? Come to this workshop to find out! Ideas will be presented and parents can share their questions and ideas with other parents. There will also be time to make a simple project that will help your child learn better self-control at home

Grandparent Support Group Continues

If you are a grandparent that is raising, or helping to raise, an elementary school child, here is an opportunity for you!

When: Thursday, February 11 from 5:30 – 6:00 PM
Where: Bridges Elementary School Library

Our theme for the next meeting will be “Caring for the Caregiver.” We will discuss ways that help grandparents take care of themselves, so they have more energy to help care for the children. There will be free “giveaways” of items that will help you take care of yourself and/or your grandchild! Call Anne Uphoff, Bridges School Counselor at 643-1842 if you have any questions.

Dressing 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.

Updated Phone Numbers at Bridges

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

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.

Summer School 2016


Opens: Wed, April 6 at 6:00 PM through Monday, May 18, 2016 at 10:00 PM

Site link for Skyward Student/Family Access:

Grade levels are based on the grade your child will be entering Fall of 2016. Do not ask us to allow your child to join a class that they are too young for. Questions may be directed to the Community Center staff at 643-8386 or email

New this year!!! We’re starting the 4 Week Session on a MONDAY!:

  • 4 Week Session (Semester 1): June 20 – July 14; No classes, Monday, July 4 or Friday, July 15, 2016
  • 2 Week Session (Term 3): July 18 - July 29, 2016

Open Lab to assist families with Online Registration: Wed, April 6, 2016 from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM; High School, Room 15. 643-8386 will also be staffed to answer questions.

Books will be sent home with Elementary students around March 21st. Middle and High School students may pick one up at their school office or you can check it out online.


400’s = 4 week

200’s = 2 week

500’s = Health & Sport Clinics

600’s = Music Programs

Class Times for morning periods are as follows:

8:15 AM - 9:15 AM

9:25 AM - 10:25 AM

10:35 AM - 11:35 AM.

Busing is provided for Rural Students via online request ONLY. This is done through part 1 of the online registration. Part 1 may be completed beginning March 18.

Grab & Go breakfast and lunch program is offered. Breakfast begins at 7:45 AM.



REGISTRO POR LINEA ELECTRONICA: Miércoles, 6 de Abril a las 6:00 PM hasta el 18 de mayo, 2016 a las 10:00 P.M.

Enlace del sitio Skyward del Estudiante/Acceso familiar:

Los niveles de grado están basados en el grado en que su hijo (a) va estar en el otoño 2016. Por favor no nos solicite que pongamos a su hijo (a) en una clase para estudiantes menores. Cualquier pregunta debe ser dirigida al personal del Centro Comunitario al 643-8386 o por correo electrónico en

¡Nuevo este año!: Vamos a comenzar la sesión de 4 semanas en LUNES.

Sesión de 4 semanas (Semestre 1): Junio 20 – Julio 14; No habrá clases, el lunes, 4 de Julio o el viernes, 15 de julio, 2016.

Sesión de 2 semanas (3er termino): Julio 18 – Julio 29, 2016

Laboratorio para ayudar a las familias a registrarse por línea electrónica: miércoles, 6 de Abril, 2016 de 6:00 PM hasta 8:00 PM; Escuela Preparatoria, Salón 15. En el 643-8386 también habrá personal para responder preguntas.

Los libros de la escuela de verano serán enviados a las Escuelas Primarias alrededor del 21 de marzo para ser enviados a casa con los estudiantes. Los estudiantes de la escuela secundaria y escuela preparatoria podrán pasar por un libro a la oficina de escuela o buscarlo electrónicamente.

El autobús es proporcionado para los estudiantes que viven en áreas rurales SOLAMENTE. Esto es realizado en la primera parte del registro electrónico. La parte 1 debe ser completada antes del 18 de marzo.

Un desayuno de toma y llévatelo y un programa de almuerzo serán ofrecidos. El desayuno comenzará a las 7:45 AM.


400= 4 semanas

200= 2 semanas

500= Clínica para Deportes y Salud

600= Programas de música

Los horarios para las clases por la mañana serán:

8:15 AM – 9:15 AM

9: 25 AM – 10:25 AM

10:35 AM – 11:35 AM

Extra Clothing

Please make sure that your child has an extra full set of clothing here at school. With the snowy weather clothing gets wet easily.

*We are in special need of Boy's pants sizes 4T - 7. If you have any extra clothing we would greatly appreciate it.

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 January Bee's Lunch below:

Literacy Night

Literacy Night was held Tuesday, January 19th. Our families and staff interacted, explored topics relating to Literacy, and discussed how these areas are taught in our school. Below are some pictures that show what a great night it was. Thank you to all of those who participated!

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.

Plans have begun to begin stage one of the environment.

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.

Name_______________________________________________________________ Donation_____________


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

Donations can be sent to the Bridges School Office with the donation slip.

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
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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.

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.

District Transportation / Dismissal Procedure

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.

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!

Family Fun Night is Friday, February 19, 2016.

What's Cookin' in the Kitchen?

We would like to recognize our kitchen staff in this edition of the newsletter. Jean, Lauri, and Noel do a fantastic job every day preparing the meals at Bridges'. They always make coming into the kitchen so much fun for the students. Every holiday the kitchen is decorated with lights, children's books and much more. Thank you for all you do!
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