Parent Tiger Talk

February 2019

Happy February!

We have much to celebrate across the district this month!

Congratulations to the high school staff for successfully completing state ACT testing under the pressure of the weather this week. Whew! What parents may not know is that had we called a snow day on Wednesday, we would have been required to return all test booklets and labels to ACT (because the booklets would have been in the district too long for test security reasons). A new version of the test would have been sent to the school creating a great deal of additional work. I hope the high school team can rest this weekend knowing everything is shipped out and complete. Also, 100% of our students arrived to take the test on the test day which is unprecedented. That is excellent effort on our students’ part as well.

On Monday, the Board of Education approved applying for two CLC grants totaling more than 1.25 M over five years to enhance our BRAVE (Building Resilience and Values in Everyone) after school program at the elementary level. Grant funds would support an after-school bus for students across the district as well as fund additional days of programming during the school year and morning care amongst other things. Thank you to BRAVE Program Director Ashley O’Kon for her leadership in writing the grant.

Also on Monday, the Board of Education approved applying for a grant for close to a 1M in funding over five years to Barlow Park Elementary to become a competency-based school similar to schools in Finland, New Zealand, and Ontario. Though common in private school circles, this school concept is very new in the public school realm. The Barlow staff will be working to help parents understand the concept and to build support for the school over the next few months. The staff, with some initial Governance Board members, will seek final approval for the school from the Board yet this spring in anticipation of securing the grant in June. K-2 could be the first level in our district to be all charter. Thank you to Tanya Sanderfoot and her Barlow staff as well as Journey Charter staff for supporting continued innovation in their building for our youngest learners.

With Tiger Pride!

Your Superintendent,


February Board Brief

Attached is a summary of business conducted by the Board of Education at the February 18, 2019 meeting. Full agendas for all Board meetings are available on the District website under the Board tab.

Parent Reunification

Last week we hosted two Parent Reunification Information Sessions. We understand that not everyone was able to attend so as promised, we have linked the presentation and associated materials on our website under the Parent tab "Special Notices" section. The information includes a 20-minute video of all the information provided at the sessions. You can view the video and the handouts from the sessions on the tab anytime.

Being prepared for an emergency is important. Thank you for taking the time to review this material. If you have questions please contact us.

Barlow Park Pick up and Drop Off

All district parents received an email and/or Infinite Campus mailbox on February 19 about changes in the logistics of student drop off and pick at Barlow Park Elementary/Journey Charter Schools. The changes (included in the attachment below) are effective on Thursday, February 21, 2019. This not only will affect BPES/Journey students but any students who ride a shuttle bus. Students who walk should use the identified safe route which is Newbury Street. The city has moved the location of the crossing guard to the corner of Newbury and Griswold Streets (effective 2/21). The changes being made have been determined in part from the feedback we have received from parents.

We ask that as a family, you review these changes. We know that this will take an effort on everyone’s part but are confident that if we work together we can improve drop off and pick up. Your partnership and direct communication will be vital as we navigate this change. Please know that we will continue to review and refine this process to make it as efficient and effective as possible. We greatly appreciate your patience and flexibility as we are seeking solutions.

Thank you!

Thank you to all our Barlow Park/Journey Charter parents for their support, flexibility, and patience as we are all adjusting to the new drop off and pick up logistics at the school. Trying something new can sometimes be challenging but parents have been marvelous in helping our students with the transition. We are continuing to refine the process to make it as efficient and smooth as possible. Working through this change together has made a huge difference for our children. Thank you!

Snow Make Up Days

The Ripon Area School District WILL HAVE SCHOOL on Monday, April 22, 2019. We understand that families may have made plans already for those days. If your student will not be attending school on those days please notify your child’s school so we know they are safe with you. It is important to know that if your child is not able to attend on either of these days they will be marked as EXCUSED WEATHER-RELATED ABSENCES so the days will not count towards their total days absent for truancy purposes. We know that this change greatly affects families and staff, so your partnership in making this decision is truly appreciated and of great value to us. Of the 223 comments received, the overwhelming comment of survey participants was“Thank you for asking for our input.” Others inquired about using Late Starts in exchange for instructional minutes. Unfortunately, Late Starts cannot be exchanged for instructional minutes because those are professional development minutes per teacher contracts. We also want to convey our appreciation for everyone’s understanding and flexibility to find the best solution to address the need to make up snow days.

RHS Ideal Graduate

The Ripon Area School District is seeking your input to help us define our ideal graduate. As part of our strategic planning review process that began last spring, the district has worked to refine our mission and vision, establish our core values, and review our guiding principles to ensure alignment with our mission and vision. We are in the final steps to determine what traits constitute lifelong learning to help us develop our portrait of the ideal graduate. We hope you are able to join us for this important discussion.

Thursday, February 28 and Thursday, March 28

RHS Community Room

6:00-7:30 PM

Upcoming Events

February 23- RHS Swing Jazz Concert, 7:00

February 25- RMS/RHS Conferences

February 25- Lumen Showcase Night, 5:15

February 25- Odyssey Academy Information Session, 5:30

February 28- Journey Gallery Walk, 5:30

February 28- Ideal Graduate Session, 6:00

March 5- Kid Concoctions Outreach Night, 5:30

March 7- MP/Q Family Fun Night, 5:15

March 8- End of Second Trimester

March 12- Music in our Schools Concert, 7:00

March 14- MP/Q Conferences and MP Literacy Night

March 18-22: Spring Break

March 25- School Board Meeting, 6:00

March 28- Ideal Graduate Session, 6:00

Ripon Area School District

RASD Mission Statement

Empowering learners, engaging community, enriching the world

Nondiscrimination Policy

The Ripon Area School District Board does not discriminate on the basis of race; color; national origin; age; sex (including transgender status, change of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity); pregnancy; creed or religion; genetic information; handicap or disability (in accordance with Policy 3123, AG 3123A, and AG 3123B); marital service; citizenship status; veteran status; military service (as defined in 111.32, Wis. Stats.); national origin; ancestry; arrest record; conviction record (in accordance with Policy 4121); use or non-use of lawful products off the District’s premises during non-working hours); declining to attend an employer-sponsored meeting or to participate in any communication with the employer about religious matters or political matters; or any other characteristic protected by law in its employment practices.

The district encourages informal resolution of complaints under this policy. If any person believes that the Ripon Area School District or any part of the school organization has failed to follow the law and rules of S.188.13 Wis. Stats., or in some way discriminates on the basis listed above, s/he may bring or send a complaint to the Administration Office at 1120 Metomen St, P.O. Box 991, Ripon, WI 54971.