School District of Howards Grove

December Parent & Guardian Newsletter 2022

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Superintendent Update

Dear Parents & Guardians:

Now that we have successfully passed the referendum, the real work begins! A core team of administrators, board members, architects from PRA, and the construction team from CD Smith are now meeting bi-weekly to begin the work to design and build and a new middle school, safety and security updates at the High School & Northview, including improved air and water quality, and improvements to our athletic spaces. Our team will be touring two recently built middle schools designed by PRA in Burlington and Waterford later next week. PRA will be spending a full day with the middle school staff for additional staff input for the new building. Please see the graphics below to get an idea of the timeline and process ahead.

Continue to keep an eye on our referendum page on the website ( for updated information as we move forward. A more detailed report will be given to the school board and community at the March School Board Meeting on March 20 @ 6:00 PM.

Have a wonderful time with family and friends as we gather to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year.

Happy Holidays!

Shannon L. Kilton


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Youth Risk Behavior Survey

During the 2021-2022 school year, students in grades 7-12 completed the anonymous Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which is endorsed by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as a national effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor health-risk behaviors of the nation's high school & middle school students. Students across the county take this anonymous survey to help districts assess the universal needs of our students.

Our team analyzed the data and have identified some trends that we have been or will be addressing to help support our students. In addition, some of the data show reasons to celebrate. The survey was optional but both schools had a decent response rate.

High School:

212 Students in grades 9-12

77% response rate

Middle School:

122 Students in grades 7-8

78% response rate

Overall, the trends causing us concern are self reported anxiety and depression in our students, especially from our female students. As a result of this data, our team has scheduled professional development and training on our January 23rd professional development day to assist our teachers in responding to student anxiety and compassion resilience. In addition, students reporting school bullying or online bullying last year, is being addressed by our Second Step Social Emotional Learning Curriculum implementation.

Here is a brief summary of some of the other data points from our schools from the 2021-2022 school year:

Feel Safe at School

85% report yes at the High School

76% report yes at the Middle School

Have a teacher they can confide in

72% report yes at the High School

71% report. yes at the Middle School

Have a supportive adult besides a parent

88% report yes at the high school

89% report yes at the middle school

A full view of the statistics over time from Wisconsin's schools and how we compare to states across the country can be accessed at this link. The data from 2021 hasn't been uploaded to this site yet, but data can be reviewed and compared from the past.

GoGuardian Beacon

This month the School District of Howards Grove has implemented GoGuardian Beacon services as part of our school’s broader suicide prevention program and school safety monitoring for students in grades 3-12.

GoGuardian Beacon is important to us because suicide is now one of the most pressing issues facing youth; in fact, 18.8 percent of high school students in 2019 reported having seriously considered attempting suicide over the past 12 months, according to the Center of Disease Control. Additionally, GoGuardian Beacon may help our district intervene even when children have difficulty asking adults for help. Nine out of ten teens (90%) who report symptoms of depression say they have gone online for information on mental health issues.

In addition, school safety is a top priority. GoGuardian Beacon will help us monitor our students interest in weapons, bombs, or other school safety concerns.

What is GoGuardian Beacon?

GoGuardian Beacon helps notify the principals and counselors if the system detects that a child searches, creates, views, or interacts with online content that could be related to suicide or self-harm, or potential harm to others. Because of this, GoGuardian Beacon helps the district identify and intervene when a child may be at risk of suicide or self-harm or an act of school violence.

It is important to know that neither the district nor GoGuardian Beacon can possibly detect every situation when a child is suicidal.

What is my role as a parent/guardian with GoGuardian Beacon?

Parents/guardians continue to play a vital role in each child’s support network. You can read the GoGuardian Parent FAQs for more information about GoGuardian’s technology. If you need assistance to support your child, please use this roadmap.

We currently do NOT have the parental notification turned on as this type of email alert could be alarming without prior notification. Our system is currently set up to only have certain school personnel (principals, counselors, social worker, and district admin) receive the alerts. The district is able to turn on parental notifications to occur outside of school hours if we choose to. Stay tuned for more information about turning on settings for parents to receive alerts outside of school hours.

How does GoGuardian protect my child’s privacy?

To help your child remain scholarly and safe online, GoGuardian collects certain personally identifiable information about your child. GoGuardian has consulted with privacy experts, participates in privacy organizations, is a proud signatory of the Student Privacy Pledge, and has been awarded certifications by iKeepSafe for complying with both the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and California student privacy laws (which have served as a model for many other states’ student privacy laws). For more detailed information about GoGuardian, you may visit GoGuardian’s website, Trust & Privacy Center , GoGuardian’s Product Privacy Policy, and the attached COPPA Notice and Disclosure Form.

On that note, please read this newsletter section and the GoGuardian Beacon Parent FAQs carefully, let us know of any questions. Another communication will come to parents & guardians when we are ready to turn on parent alerts.

School Report Cards

We believe student success comes by many measures and the report card scores are one of the measures. They are intended to help all schools and districts utilize data on specific measures to target improvement efforts. By doing this, we can ensure that students are ready for the next educational step – including the next grade level, graduation, college, and careers.

The Department of Public Instruction gives each school district an overall rating score based on four areas:

  • Achievement
  • Growth
  • Target Group
  • On Track to Graduation

Schools are expected to focus on the academic outcomes for ALL students in the district. If certain groups of students are not achieving or making growth at high levels, a district's overall score will be impacted.

The School District of Howards Grove, again this year, received an overall 4-Star Rating "EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS". While this is a good rating, we strive to do better and ensure we continue to focus on ways to improve our score in the future.

Districts and Schools receive the ratings shown below based on our performance:

  • Significantly Exceeds Expectations
  • Exceeds Expectations
  • Meets Expectations
  • Fails to Meet Expectations

Please remember, the report card score is only one measure of success.

Volunteer Coordinator Needed

The district currently has an opening for a Scholastic Book Fair Coordinator. This volunteer role helps to coordinate the Middle School Book Fair (held for one week in November) and the Northview Book Fair (held for one week in February). The coordination efforts include arranging the book fair content with Scholastic, securing volunteers to support the sales, and organizing free book credits with our teachers. If this is something you are interested in or would like to learn more, please contact Jennie Cassity at

School Newsletters

Check out each link to find out what's happening in our schools!

High School

Middle School


Mark your calendar!

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 16th at 6:00 PM in the high school library.

In person visitors are welcome, but we also have a virtual link each month.

Join Zoom Meeting

Communication Chain

As questions or concerns arise, please continue to follow this communication chain.

FIRST, Reach out directly to your child's teacher/team/coach.

In the event your concerns are not addressed or you need further support, NEXT reach out to the building principal or activities director.

Jon Hess- High School Principal:

Angie Houston- Middle School Principal:

Sarah Ellinger- Northview Principal:

Tracy Mueller- Athletic/Activities Director & Special Education Director:

FINALLY, if you still need additional support, please reach out directly to me, Shannon Kilton, Superintendent:

In the event, we have all failed to help you navigate your questions & concerns, your last stop would be to reach out to the school board. Here is the actual board policy on navigating this process.

I am personally asking for this communication chain to help us all develop positive and trusting relationships, which are always grounded in open and honest conversations. Most often, concerns can be easily solved when we all talk directly to the person involved with the question or problem.

Thanks in advance for the support and understanding of this process.

School District of Howards Grove

Shannon L. Kilton

Superintendent of Schools

The School District of Howards Grove does not discriminate on the basis of any characteristic protected under State or Federal law including, but not limited to, race, color, age, sex, creed or religion, handicap or disability, marital status, genetic information, citizenship status, veteran status, military service (as defined in 111.32, Wis. Stats.), sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, arrest record, conviction record, use or non-use of lawful products off the District’s premises during non-working hours, or any other characteristic protected by law in its employment practices. (Board Policy 4122)