4K Connect

WSD 4K Newsletter - October 22, 2021 - Issue 4

Kara Rakowski, 4K Principal krakowsk@wausauschools.org

Program office: 714.261.0265

First Student: 715.842.2268

4K Administrative Assistant: Jess Napiwocki jnapiwoc@wausauschools.org

4K Administrative Assistant: Kellie Messman kmessman@wausauschools.org

WSD 4K and Early Childhood Program Website: http://www.wausauschools.org/schools_facilities/4_k_programming

Link to WSD E-Flyers http://www.wausauschools.org/e-_flyers Click on the E-flyers tab to see a listing of all current school activities flyers.

Link to District Handbook: http://wausauschools.org/parents/parent_student_handbook/english

Principal's Piece...

Thank you for your continued partnership in your child's education. As we approach the end of the first quarter please know that we appreciate your partnership, patience, and support - you make a difference in your child's learning!!

Did you know that pointing out various things while reading to your young child may make the difference to your child being a successful adult reader? Visit the Raise Great Kids website to learn more about giving children the best start possible by doing four simple things: Talk. Sing. Read. Play. Every Child, Every Day.

Print awareness is a child's earliest understanding that written language carries meaning. The foundation of all other literacy learning builds upon this knowledge.

Right now, the children are being taught the basics about books - that they are read from left to right and top to bottom, that print may be accompanied by pictures or graphics, and that the purpose of reading is to gain meaning from the text and understand ideas that words convey. At home, as you begin reading a book with your child, ask them to show you:

  • The front of the book
  • The title of the book
  • where you should begin reading on each page
  • The back of the book
  • Pictures that show what was just read

Reading aloud is important at any age. By asking your child questions while reading, they will begin to develop an understanding of basic story concepts (character, setting, plot, conflict and resolution). Stick to the basics: "who's in the story? Oh, a cat? Yes, the cat is the main character. That means the most important animal in the book! what do you think will happen next?" Asking simple questions will prepare your child to transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn."

Thanks for your partnership in your child's education.

Kara Rakowski, Wausau School District 4K Principal

Willow Spring Pictures

Enjoy the Pictures throughout the Newsletter

Mark Your Calendars


October 26: Parent/Teacher Conferences at Thomas Jefferson and GD Jones

October 26: Parents Connect to School - YMCA trip to Monk Gardens

October 27: Parent/Teacher Conferences at Jefferson, Hawthorn, Riverview and GD Jones

October 27-29: No school


November 2: Parents Connect to School - Hawthorn Hills trip to Monk Gardens

November 3: Parents Connect to School - WCC, St. Michael trip to Monk Gardens

November 4: Parents Connect to School - GD Jones (Ms. Michele, Ms. Melissa) trip to Monk Gardens

November 5: Parents Connect to School - Riverview trip to Monk Gardens

November 8: Parents Connect to School - Jefferson (Ms. BreAnne, Ms. May) trip to Monk Gardens

November 9: Parents Connect to School - Jefferson (Ms. Samantha, Ms. Renee) trip to Monk Gardens

November 10: Parents Connect to School - GD Jones (Ms. Cha, Mrs. Frey) trip to Monk Gardens

November 24-26: No School

Parents Connect to School

Parents/guardians (or another family member) are invited to join a learning activity lead by the classroom teacher each month. During the Parents Connect to School event, your child's teacher will present a short lesson that you will observe. You will then get to play and work with your child one on one with an activity planned by the teacher. This year these events will vary each month with some in-person events and some virtual events. Your child's teacher will not be available to speak specifically about your child at this time.

Parents Connect to School is a special time for students and their parents; for this reason, please make other arrangements for younger siblings for in-person events.

The November Parents Connect to School events will take place at Monk Botanical Gardens. Please look for details from your child's teacher regarding date and time. For parking at the Gardens, families should try to park in the overflow parking lot at the corner of 1st & Campus Dr. It is a large grass field and there are signs for parking on 1st Ave.


When families and schools work together we provide the best education possible for our children!

We try to go outside to play everyday. Please have your child dressed for the weather!

Please consider joining PTO at your 4K academy or your home school. Please check the school website or contact the school directly for more information!

Curriculum Corner

We will be finishing up our Three Bears unit on November 5th.

Pyramid Model and the Leader in Me (LIM)

The 4K social emotional learning target is: I can point to pictures of faces showing six different feelings. (Emotional lit 2.1). This 4K benchmark aligns to the following Leader In Me Habits.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind

Habit 3: Put first things first

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

"Behavior Tracking Forms"

Our 4K program has a strong emphasis on building school readiness behavior by intentionally teaching social emotional foundations of early learning. We use evidence-based practices to teach identifying feelings and managing emotions.

Some of the strategies used related to behavior include;

  • Teaching the rules of the classroom
  • Providing students with positive recognition when the expected behaviors are demonstrated
  • Actively engaging everyone during instruction
  • Using visual cues and structuring the environment to clarify routines and expectations
  • Providing positive, immediate, frequent, and explicit feedback

We also have consistent program wide system of data collection. When a student is having difficulty with a specific behavior, in addition to re-teaching the expected behavior, 4K staff members will document the specific information using an electronic "Behavior Tracking Form" (BTF). Analyzing and collecting data provides the staff with an opportunity to create additional goals and activities and/or adjust the environment.

We give the students several weeks at the beginning of the school year to adjust and transition to our school routines. After that time has passed, your child's teacher will fill out a BTF when necessary. It is our goal as a program to use the data to focus on positive "next steps" in the problem solving process.

You are a critical part of this process - so we will continue to keep you informed of strategies that we are trying in the classroom.

Tucker's Friendly Reminders


Breakfast and lunch are note served to 4K students at the 4K academies (Hawthorn, Jefferson, Jones and Riverview). Your child does receive a snack and milk/water while at school.
Please remember to call your 4K office if your child is going to be absent from school due to illness or another reason. When you call in, please give the reason for the absence. Please also call First Student at 715-842-2268 to let them know your child will not be riding the bus that day.

G.D. Jones: 715-261-0265 Jess Napiwocki

Hawthorn Hills: 715-261-0055 Kellie Messman

Jefferson: 715-261-0185 Amber Channel

Riverview: 715-261-0040 Jackie Keller

AM Class arrival is at 8:20, instruction begins at 8:25am, dismissal at 11am

PM Class arrival is at 11:35, instruction begins at 11:40am, dismissal at 2:15pm

Tucker's Helpful Tips

Tucker Tip - Friendship

Teaching children the steps to making friends is the most critical and first social skill that children need. Teaching friendship skills includes showing children appropriate ways to get another child's attention as well as how to appropriately join other children in play.

We teach children to get attention by saying the other person's name or gently touching them. We teach the child to join play by offering a play suggestion to another child. "Do you want to build a tower with me?", "Here's a car for you." or "Let's play with playdoh." Model sentences that start with "Let's... "Do you want to..." or "I have an idea."

Attendance Matters!!

Regular attendance at school is an essential and basic component for students to attain learning, achievement, and success during their schools career.

You may find it helpful to educate your child about the importance of school attendance, and that ATTENDANCE MATTERS now and in their future. Here are some important facts that are supported by research.

FACT: Good attendance habits students develop while in school will carry over into good work and attendance habits after graduation in employment.

FACT: Students who attend school and graduate have greater incomes than students who do not graduate.

FACT: Regular school attendance can also help students who are learning English by giving them the chance to master the skills and information they need more quickly and accurately even in other subjects!

FACT: Just by being present at school, student learn how to be good citizens by participating in the school community and they learn valuable social skills.

AND ONE MORE: A high attendance rate is more predictive of student graduation than standardized test scores!!

Notes from the Nurse


If your child has been out on quarantine, please make sure that you are sending in the results to your building's administrative assistants and/or their teachers. We need to have the negative results before your child can come back to the classroom. Thank you!!


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When to keep your children at home

  • Fever (temperature 100 degrees F or greater) child should be fever-free, without medication for 24 hours before returning to school
  • Diarrhea (4-5 loose stools within the previous 24 hour period)
  • Vomiting (within a 24 hour period before school starts)
  • Upper respiratory illness with frequent cough/drainage
  • Strep throat (until 24 hours after treatment has begun
  • Pink eye (until 24 hours after treatment has begun
  • undiagnosed or untreated skin rash or sores that cannot be covered

You can help your child stay healthy by encouraging frequent and thorough hand washing. Hand washing is the single most important defense against disease. Be sure to notify school if your child is going to be absent an the bus company if your child rides the bus.

Important Reminders

WSD Emergency School Closing Plans for 4K Students at Academy Sites:

School Closing: All AM & PM classes cancelled. No evening activities.

Yellow Bus Delay: All AM & PM classes cancelled. No evening activities.

District Wide Emergency Closing After Students Are At School: If morning 4K students are already at school, parents will be responsible for picking them up at school. There will not be bus service. No evening activities.

The 4K class times fit in between the pick-up and drop-off times for the rest of the school district. The same buses transport the older students to school before transporting the 4K students and likewise, take the 4K students home before taking the older students home.

In rare occasions, the Wausau School District is forced to cancel classes during the school day, usually due to inclement weather. If classes are cancelled after 4K students are already at school, this creates a problem for the bus company as they don't have enough buses to take the 4K students home as well as the rest of the district's students.

Due to the number of students involved, the bus company will transport the elementary, middle and high school students home on days that school is cancelled. This eliminates the possibility for transportation for the 4K students. Therefore, it will be necessary for parents to have a plan in place for school cancellations. Each family will need to designate a person who will be responsible for picking up their 4K student at school.