District Communications

Students in Classroom
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    Stevens Point Area Public School District
    1900 Polk Street
    Stevens Point, WI 54481 

    Phone 715-343-6629
    Fax 715-345-7302

    Director of Communications
    Sarah O'Donnell

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  • We Made It!

    Posted by Stevens Point Area Public School District at 7/27/2017

    Second Grade Students Read Around the World - Twice

    Final reading minutes are in, and we are excited to share that across the elementary programs students read 390,396 minutes -- enough miles to travel more than 15 times around the earth!


    We had a great visit at ‘Madison’ Summer School this week. This program had to be relocated to P.J. Jacobs Junior High for the summer following storm damage in June. Staff pulled together to ensure that students had what they needed by bringing over supplies, furniture, materials...and a LOT of books!


    P.J. Jacobs has a wonderful library, but it is not stocked with elementary level reading materials. A huge thank you to Ms. Vlcko for making sure students had appropriate and engaging material throughout the program.


    Ms. Vlcko Reads to Students


    With all that reading, Madison Summer School second grade students had no problem traveling around the world (twice!) for the Mile-A-Minute reading challenge and enjoyed ‘visiting’ other countries as their reading minutes progressed them forward.


    Students Playing Game at Summer School

    Today is the last day of summer school and we wish you a safe, relaxing and rejuvenating August.


    Week 6 Newsletters 

    Madison Elementary 

    Jefferson Elementary

    McKinley Elementary


    The 2017-18 school year begins Tuesday, September 5, 2017 (2017-18 School Year Calendar | School Supply Lists | Back to School Nights)

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  • Visiting Kennedy Summer School

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 7/21/2017



    Students at Kennedy "Fly" Around the World



    We continued our summer school visits this week and headed to Kennedy Elementary. Week 5 of summer school highlighted Asia for students as they continued learning about other cultures across the globe within the "Mile a Minute" reading challenge.


    Students had a special visit from Five Rings Martial Arts who, after carefully reviewing safety and when to defend ourselves and when not to, students were taught basic drills and tenants of disciple necessary for success within Taekwondo.


     Student Practices Drill


    Student Learns Stance



    Students also learned about fireworks, where they come from and how they are made, 


    Students observing 'fireworks'


    and we sat in on a paper folding lesson where students could follow the steps to make their very own origami!


    Students learning paper folder.


    Students following along while paper folding


    There is only one week left of summer school and we can't wait to stop by and visit "Madison" Summer School that has been taking place at P.J. Jacobs after storm damage earlier in the summer.

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  • Visiting Jefferson Summer School

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 7/14/2017

    We had a great fourth week of summer school and this week visited Jefferson Elementary School, serving over 300 students 4K-4th during the six-week program. Students shared what they've been learning so far and how their "Mile a Minute" reading is adding up to learning around the world.


    Kindergarten students have been enjoying Tuesday S.T.E.M lessons with activities that focus on science, technology, engineering and math.


    Bridge Builders


    Week 4 focused on problem solving and working together to building a bridge that could span a gap between two table using only playdough and popsicle sticks.



    Bridge Builders



    Classes also continue to focus on their Mile a Minute reading journey and tracking their reading minutes in school and at home to keep traveling around the world.


    First graders visited the Stevens Point Fire Department as part of their journey to 'Build a Better World"' and learned about how people in our community protect and serve us each day.


    Students Visit SPFD


    Jefferson students have been doing a great job reading at school and at home - they have already read enough minutes to get them around the world...TWICE! Congratulations to students, staff and family on your hard work!


    Students with Giraffes


    Learn more about what Jefferson students and staff were up to during week 4 in their newsletter.

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  • Visiting McKinley Summer School

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 6/30/2017

    We had a great second week of summer school across the district.  This week, we visited McKinley Elementary School, serving over 400 students 4K - 4th during the six-week program.  Students were eager to share what they’ve been learning in their classrooms and how their summer school experience is going so far.


    We visited students working on drawings of the water cycle,


    student with water cycle


    Focusing on sorting ‘like’ sounds,


    Students work with instructor


    And spent time with a classroom during a readers theater lesson.



    Reader's Theatre students


    While in their groups, students worked on reading with expression by gathering clues from punctuation and what was happening in the story. “You can’t always tell just from the punctuation,” one student shared. “You have to pay attention to the story too.” Their teacher also shared that parents can help practice reading at home over the summer and encouraged focusing on fluency and comprehension over speed.

     readers theater students


    For more summer school week two highlights, view our summer school newsletters (not available for all sites or programs).


    Friendly reminder - No Summer School on the 4th of July.


    Have a safe and fun holiday weekend.

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  • Looking Back, and Ahead

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 6/5/2017 4:00:00 PM


    As I greeted the excited and promising faces of graduating students in the SPASH Fieldhouse, I could not help but think about their journey to that stage. From kindergarten drop off, to junior high growth and senior high success. Congratulations to our parents of seniors from  SPASH, Charles Fernandez Center and Project Search. As they continue on their path, may they find much success and happiness. 


    Thank you for your contributions, volunteer hours, support at home and in the classroom. We are more successful when we work together on behalf of our students and our community.


    I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank our dedicated teachers and staff members for the work they do each day on behalf of our students and community. Thank you for the dedication, care, and energy you bring to work each day.


    We look forward to seeing our returning students at the start of the 2017-18 school year, and we are excited for our summer school programming to begin! Over the summer, I encourage you to read with your younger children and please encourage your older children to spend time with a good book. You may have heard the term 'summer slide' associated with the loss in learning that can occur for students between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. This gap can widen as students don't have access to educational opportunities in the same way they do when school is in session. The greatest thing you can do to lessen this gap and avoid summer slide for your student is to tap into opportunities for your students to read over summer break.  


    While students have a break after the last day of school, June 7, we will be busy providing summer programming, preparing learning environments for their return, delivering and receiving professional development and working with our school board as we move forward with our five year strategic plan. The school board will be discussing goals developed as a result of the strategic plan at their June meeting and I look forward to sharing more after the strategic plan has been adopted by the Board.


    My sincere wishes to you and your family for a safe, fun and restful summer.




    Craig Gerlach, Ed.S. 

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  • Enjoying Summer While Staying Ahead of Summer Slide

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 6/5/2017



    (Photo: Bob Mosier)


    Summer in the Stevens Point Area is a special time of the year. We enjoy long bike rides on the Green Circle Trail, the rope swing at Iverson Park, paddling the backwaters, the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings and time spent with family, friends and our community. We look forward to seeing our returning students at the start of the 2017-18 school year, and as we prepare to kick-off summer, we encourage you to read with your younger students and please encourage your older students to spend time with a good book. 


    You may have heard the term 'Summer Slide' associated with the loss in learning that can occur for students between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. This gap can widen as students don't have access to educational opportunities in the same way they do when school is in session. The greatest thing you can do to lessen this gap and avoid summer slide for your student is to tap into opportunities to read over summer break.


    Just as the Stevens Point Area offers us a wonderful summer experience, it also offers us many summer educational opportunities. Our educational summer programming will begin June 19 and we are excited for the students who will be joining us. The Portage County Public Library offers programming during the summer as does the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County. If you're looking for books that will come to you, check out the Book Cycle program through Central Wisconsin Reading Council, which makes stops in several Stevens Point neighborhoods.


    Don’t forget, your students still have access to many of the resources we provide during the year. Resources vary by building, so head to your school’s library page for resources including Scholastic Freedom Flix, Scholastic True Flix, Scholastic BookFlix, K-5 QuickStart Collection, Mackin E-books , Overdrive, Tumble Books, Epic and more.  


    Thank you for your contributions, volunteer hours, support at home and in the classroom. We are more successful when we work together on behalf of our students and our community. 

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  • Plover-Whiting Elementary Raises Funds to Support Childhood Cancer Research

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 6/5/2017

    Students Purchase Lemonade to Support Childhood Cancer Research


    If you're headed to Hoover Avenue today, bring your quarters. Students will be selling lemonade throughout the day to support childhood cancer research and awareness. Alex's Lemonade Stand is a non-profit organization whose mission, in part, is to empower children to help make a difference for children with cancer. Students were inspired to get involved when cancer touched the lives of a former Plover-Whiting student. Listen to Hanna tell Brianna's story below. 





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  • Ben Franklin Teams Up With Local Professionals for Mock Interviews

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 5/30/2017


     Volunteer Participates in Mock Interviews


    Thirty-three local business professionals teamed up with Ben Franklin Junior High to provide eighth grade students an opportunity to practice their interviewing skills on May 23, 2017 at the Portage County Business Council.  The interviews were part of the College and Career Readiness course final exam, and students learned more than just how to tweak their resumes. “We practice not only the written and one-to-one communication skills our students need to be successful in the interview process, but the details of making a good first impression too,” said Kate Kaster, business teacher at Ben Franklin Junior High School. Art Greco, business teacher at Ben Franklin, also highlighted the importance of helping students finesse their ‘soft skills’. “We learn the importance of presenting our best selves, tying ties, ironing clothes, shaking hands, introducing ourselves; we focus on putting our best foot forward and the students do a great job.”


     Volunteer Participates in Mock Interviews


    Junior Achievement volunteers invested time ahead of the mock interviews with a seven week course titled, “JA It’s My Future” in the classroom and working with students as they prepared. “Many business owners tell us they can teach the technical aspects of the job but it is the soft skills they see as missing in their new employees,” said Serena Sblendorio, Junior Achievement district director.  “As we prepare these young people for their futures we have the ability to inspire and teach them so they are able to succeed. I believe the experiences between JA It's My Future and the mock interviews are helping to do just that.”


     Volunteer Participates in Mock Interviews


    The mock interviews were made possible with support from Junior Achievement and Partners in Education, a program of the Portage County Business Council Foundation. “Many of the interviewers were impressed by the professionalism and caliber of these 8th grade students,” stated Kayla Rombalski, director of talent development at the Portage County Business Council. “Partners in Education programming, such as mock interviews, is a unique opportunity for the Business Council and the District to connect the business community with our future employees.”


     Participating Students

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  • Congratulations Charles Fernandez Center Graduates

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 5/26/2017

    Congratulations to all 2017 Charles Fernandez Center graduates! View images from the graduation ceremony


    CFC Student Walks Across Stage

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  • District Honors 2017 Retirees

    Posted by Sarah O'Donnell at 5/26/2017

    2017 District Retirees

    View More Photos from the Retirement Dinner

    The Stevens Point Area Public School District honored its 2017 retirees on Tuesday, May 23 at the Sky Club in Plover, Wisconsin. The district’s 24 retirees contributed 577 years of service to district students and the community. Back row from left: Lori Knepfel, 30 years, Shelly Johnson, 20 years, Laura Smith-Neuwirth, 33 years, Charles Upthagrove, 28 years, Paul Alm, 23 years, Lee Pliska, 29 years. Front row from left: Pat Biga, 18 years, Sharon LaBlanc, 27 years, Jean Parsons, 30 years, Susan Van Dreser, 29 years, Roberta Laine, 29 years, Lynn Evans, 26 years, Tori Flury, 29 years. Not pictured: Connie Blarek, 22 years, Kay Goddard, 13 years, Alan Gumney, 28 years, Julie Johnson, 36 years, Catherine Jones-Ferk, 30 years, Beth Krein, 10 years, Lori Lampert, 17 years, Diane Richter, three years, Barbara Ruesch, 12 years, Mona Stehle, 27 years, Dale Wayerski, 28 years.

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