Friday, March 29, 2013

No school on Monday April 1, 2013

We hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

This message is an attempt to clear up the printed errors in the “All School Calendar”. This is the paper calendar that we hand out at the beginning of the year.

There are three April Calendar errors:
1. There is no school on Monday April 1, 2013
2. Friday April 5, 2013 is a normal school day
3. Monday April 8, 2013 is a normal school day

We deeply apologize for this mix up.

Friday, March 22, 2013

For a little humor: the Tourism Wisconsin Summer Commercial

"As many as one in 50 U.S. school-age children have a diagnosis of autism, up from one in 86 in 2007"

Confirming what we are seeing in school aged children, cases of autism continue to rise. In a Reuters article titled U.S. autism estimates climb to one in 50 school-age children it is reported that "according to the study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, much of the increase in the estimates was the result of diagnoses of children with previously unrecognized autism." Further it is stated that "much of the increase involving milder cases, suggesting the rise is linked to growing awareness and better testing methods".

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Lindsey Ariss has been awarded a $1000 academic scholarship by the WACPC (Wisconsin Association of Cheer and Pom Coaches). She was one of 16 scholarship recipients, out of 90 qualified applicants. 
Also, former Hawkette/Blackhawk Cheerleader Rachel Mezera made the advanced dance team at UPIKE in Kentucky for the next school year. The dance judges told her at her tryout that they could tell that she had competition dance experience because of some of the turns and leaps she was able to execute. 

Submitted by Coach Kelli Saxe

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note: Get the Most Value for Your Dollar; Be Involved in Your Healthcare

Quality healthcare is a team effort. You have an important role to play to make sure you receive the best care possible. Being active in office visits by sharing your concerns and symptoms with your provider and asking questions is crucial. According to the American Society of Internal Medicine, 70% of correct diagnosis depends upon what the patient tells his or her provider. Providers can’t read your mind; they need you to share your symptoms and concerns up front.

Another startling statistic from the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine is that 80% of patients forget what the doctor tells them as soon as they leave the office. And, half of what patients do remember is incorrect! To get the most out of your office visits, practice these tips:

• Write down your questions – Prior to your office visit, decide what information you need from your visit and jot down your key questions and concerns.
• Bring your medications – or at least a list of your current medications. Also bring any over-the-counter supplements or vitamins you take. It’s important your provider knows everything you take.
• Ask questions – and keep asking until you understand the answer.
• Take notes – or bring a support person who can take notes.
• Have it repeated – Ask your provider to summarize the appointment before leaving. Also, to ensure you understand, repeat all directions back to your provider.

For more information on healthcare quality, and a “Build Your Own Question” list, go to the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality at Click on “Consumers & Patients” and select “Questions are the Answer.”

Carissa Wiersma
Freelance Communication Specialist, Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Decorah Iowa meteorite crater

"Buried beneath the rocks, dirt, buildings and roads of the city of Decorah, Iowa, lies a 470 million-year-old meteorite crater."

Click here to go to Live Science article on crater

Friday, March 8, 2013

Clarke University teaching conference 4/20/13

Posted as a courtesy - this is not an endorsement of the program

From: Dr. Paula Schmidt, Chair and Associate Professor of Education, Clarke University, 1550 Clarke Drive Dubuque, IA 52001

Greetings! As the school year winds down, do you need a little inspiration to energize you in your teaching? Would like you like to learn more about using technology in your classroom? Would like you like to learn what other Tri-state area teachers are doing in their classrooms?

Clarke University Education Department is presenting a one-day teaching conference on Saturday, April 20th. In addition to many presentations by area teachers, we have engaged keynote speaker Rafe Esquith, hailed as “the most inspiring school teacher in America.” He's been called "a modern day Thoreau" by Newsday, "a genius and a saint" by The New York Times, and "the most interesting and influential classroom teacher in the country" by The Washington Post. Esquith is the only teacher to be awarded the president's National Medal of the Arts. He has received the National Teacher of the Year Award, and won accolades from Oprah, the Queen and the Dalai Lama. This is an inspirational session you will not want to miss.

The conference includes breakfast and lunch. The cost is only $70 for teachers and administrators if registered before March 29th and $80 after that date. The conference cost includes breakfast, lunch, and an entire day of inspiration!

Visit our conference website . Early registration ends on March 29th. Registration forms can be faxed (563-584-8604) or sent via mail.

We hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare’s Health Note on Stress

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Is this feeling recent or have you been feeling like this for an extended period of time? Both chronic and long-term stress pose many health risks including heart disease, sleep problems, digestive problems, depression, obesity, memory impairment or worsening of skin conditions. In order to manage your stress, you need to identify the stressor. Knowing what stresses you allows you to be more prepared for the stressor and gain control of your response or reaction. A stressor could be external or internal. External stressors are events or situations that cause stress to you, and can be caused by major life changes, the environment, unpredictable events, family/friends and the workplace. Internal stressors can be self-induced, such as fears, uncertainty and beliefs. There are several techniques that you can use to manage your stress, such as counting backwards from ten, deep breathing, or listening to music. Other long term stress-reducing techniques are participating in physical activity on a regular basis, getting a massage, or talking with a counselor or trusted friend.

Carissa Wiersma
Freelance Communication Specialist - Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

ETF retirement seminars in PdC April 11, 2013

The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) is conducting “Group Appointment” retirement seminars in Prairie du Chien and Fennimore on April 11, 2013. A morning seminar is scheduled from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM in Prairie du Chien; an afternoon seminar is scheduled from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM in Fennimore. Registration is required, and can be done by calling 1-877-533-5020. Directions and room number are provided when one registers for a seminar.

To attend a retirement session, a Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) member is required to have their retirement packet in hand upon arrival to the session. It is certainly NOT too late for a member interested in attending to request a packet. One can do so by calling the ETF call center at 1-877-533-5020. (IMPORTANT: Getting a retirement packet from ETF does NOT obligate one to retire. The member simply has their application and packet in case they do decide to retire sometime over the coming year.)

Any WRS member who is within one year of reaching their minimum retirement age (age 55 for non-protective job categories, age 50 for protective categories) or older is welcome to contact our Department to order a retirement packet. Requesting a packet can be done while registering for the retirement seminar.

The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds has tailored Group Appointment retirement seminars for members planning (or considering) retirement over the next several years. Topics covered include the WRS retirement pension, health insurance, life insurance, return-to-work rules, etc. The Group Appointment seminars offer a WRS member the opportunity to ask questions of knowledgeable, experienced ETF staff.

To see a listing of upcoming ETF retirement presentations and group appointment sessions in South Central and Southwest Wisconsin, you can use this link:

You can also receive automatic e-mail updates of upcoming retirement presentations and group appointment sessions by registering at this link:

Roy Donald Raush
Department of Employee Trust Funds
Madison, Wisconsin – the best place to find information about the coming Health Insurance Marketplace

The following is from USDE; this is informational only and is not meant to convey any district policy changes:


The U.S. Department of Education is working to make all schools healthier, safer and more sustainable with initiatives in the areas of school facilities, health and environment. The Department is currently encouraging all communities to contribute to healthy students and schools by making use of exciting new provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act contains important benefits to improve the health care system, and is already making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans, including our nation’s neediest school communities. I encourage you to inform your school community that families, individuals and small businesses will be able to easily compare and purchase high quality health insurance plans starting October 1, 2013, with coverage set to begin January 1, 2014.

Just recently, the Department of Health and Human Services re-launched – the best place to find information about the coming Health Insurance Marketplace, its benefits, and key dates. When enrollment begins, you will be able to go to to buy insurance from qualified private health plans.   If your state is running its own Marketplace, will direct you to the right place.

To ensure that all Americans get the coverage and care they deserve, we need your help.   We need you to engage teachers, stakeholders, parents, and volunteers. We need every student, educator, parent and administrator to take health care into his or her own hands.

Thank you for sharing this information with your school communities.

John White
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach
U.S. Department of Education

Monday, March 4, 2013


I was asked what a snow emergency is; the following is the statement from the city. 

(Prairie Du Chien, WI – March 4th 2013) – Prairie du Chien Mayor Dave Hemmer has declared a snow emergency, effective from 12:01 AM Tuesday March 5th to 6 PM Wednesday March 6th. Motorists are asked to NOT park on city streets during this time, as city workers work to plow our streets.
* Vehicles that remain on the streets risk being ticketed and towed. We thank everyone for their cooperation.
* Citizens that do not have off street parking are allowed to park in City Lots throughout the City to assist with the plowing of the roads. We will not enforce alternate side in the City Lots during the Snow Emergency.
* Downtown residents and patrons are being asked to park in the city lots throughout the downtown, and avoid parking on Blackhawk Avenue during the snow emergency.
* Residents are also being asked to remove all dumpsters, garbage cans and other items from city alleys.

Aaron Kramer - City Administrator – Prairie du Chien, WI

NO SCHOOL 3/5/13 for PdC Public Schools etc.

Based on the latest NOAA briefing, there is a very high confidence level that this coming storm will have snowfall amounts in the PdC area of at least 6 inches and most likely 11 inches over night and into tomorrow. The City of PdC has already put a snow emergency in place. Therefore, there will be no school at PdC Public on 3/5/2013. All evening activities within the school buildings are also cancelled after 7:00 pm on 3/4/2013.

Please drive safe.

Students collect Pennies for Patients; fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

This year, classes at BAK Elementary and Bluff View Elementary (grades 2, 3, 4) participated in a three week fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society called Pennies for Patients. We joined along with 450 other schools across Wisconsin raising funds for lifesaving cancer research. Our students also learned other lessons such as service, leadership and philanthropy which will have an immeasurable impact on many lives.

Students at BAK raised a total of $760.40 with the Michele Bartels afternoon PK class raising $124.31. Bluff View raised $1016.78 with Katie McCullick’s 3rd grade class raising $152.48. The winning class from each school will be treated to a pizza party in the near future as a thank you from the Leukemia Society. Karen Reilly, School Nurse, organized the fundraiser again this year. She wishes to pass along her thanks to all the students, teachers, and parents who helped make this another memorable year.