Schools

Mon
23
Nov
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MCPASD Educators Share How Teaching Has Changed During Pandemic

MIDDLETON–To get ready for her classes each morning, MHS English teacher Kris Cody-Johnson settles into the workspace she’s set up in her basement, pulls up a greenscreen curtain as a backdrop, onto which she will cast a photo of her classroom, and starts a Zoom meeting. This is how she opens the door to her classroom before the bell for class rings this year.

But before she does this, Cody-Johnson spends her morning responding to emails from students and colleagues, grading, and doing prep and planning.

Glacier Creek sixth grade math teacher Amy Imoehl goes to school to start her day in her classroom. “I get my computer on and check my email, which to be honest I usually check at home in the morning before I even get here as well. Depending on what kids were working on in the evening, I sometimes can head something off before they’re waiting too long for me to get into school,” she said.

Fri
13
Nov
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MHS Theatre Presents ‘War of the Worlds’

MIDDLETON–In a year in which district students have less access to clubs and activities, Middleton High School (MHS) Theatre has been working to center student self-expression during uncertain times. Like so many educators and artists, MHS Theatre Director Katrina Williams Brunner, Performing Arts Center Director Zane Enloe and frequent MHS Theatre guest director Tim Gittings of American Players Theatre find themselves in the position of learning flexibility.

“Our goal,” says Brunner, in her third year as MHS Theatre Director, “is to stay creative and collaborative along the way.”

The 2020-21 MHS Theatre theme “Out of Chaos” references Steven Sondheim, the lyricist and composer who has explored a rich diversity of material in his complex productions. Sondheim himself experienced some very difficult events in his childhood, later reflecting that, “Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.”

Fri
30
Oct
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Board Discusses Data, Medical Advisory Board

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Board of Education reviewed the district’s virtual instruction model as the first quarter comes to an end. The board also reviewed the latest COVID-19 local health data, discussed establishing a medical advisory board and approved wage increases for all district staff. 

Superintendent Dana Monogue said the district is doing the best it can to respond to feedback from students and families about virtual instruction and tweak the process along the way.

“This pandemic has put another spotlight on the inequities that are present in our schools and has demanded that we work together in some ways to make sure we are reaching every student in our care,” Monogue said. “Our resources are being maximized, our educators are working very long hours and we are all feeling the impacts of this pandemic.”

Monogue acknowledged the significant burden virtual instructions puts on families. 

Thu
22
Oct
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School Board Hears of Three COVID-19 Cases at Elm Lawn

MIDDLETON–Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) Board of Education member Bob Green asked Superintendent Dana Monogue to comment on the closure of Elm Lawn Elementary following three individuals testing positive for COVID-19 at the board’s regular meeting Oct. 12. 

Monogue said three staff members tested positive at the building and all quarantining and contact tracing protocols have been used. The district is working with Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) to determine the best course of action.

The building is closed through the end of the week for deep cleaning. All staff at the building have been alerted, Monogue said. The families of a small number of students attending Elm Lawn in-person were also contacted.

Green said going forward he would like any cases and closures included in the pandemic planning discussions.

Thu
01
Oct
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Virtual Learning to Continue Through Semester

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) Board of Education voted to continue virtual learning through the semester or until health metrics for returning to in-person learning put out by Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) are met. The board will revisit the decision at its Dec. 7 meeting or schedule a special meeting in the event PHMDC metrics are met.

Superintendent Dana Monogue presented two options for the board to vote on at its Sept. 28 meeting: 

Option one: Remain in virtual model until PHMDC/CDC guidelines are met.

Option two: Bring PreK through second grade students into schools in a blended model starting on Nov. 2 and delay bringing 3-12 students into schools until PHMDC/CDC guidelines are met.

On Aug. 21 PHMDC released health metrics for in-person instruction, which the board committed to following at its Aug. 24 meeting.

Thu
01
Oct
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Elm Lawn Garden Certified as Monarch Waystation

MIDDLETON–The garden at Elm Lawn Elementary has been a collaboration between parents, students, staff and the Plant Dane Native Plant Program, and now the space has been certified a Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch.

Elm Lawn parent Nicole Westphal, and the PTO re-envisioned the space that first became a garden in the 1990s as a Girl Scout Gold Project. Over the years it was also a BSA Eagle Scout project and has fluctuated back and forth from being a vegetable garden to an ornamental garden, even sitting idle for a while. Now the space is home to vegetables, herbs and perennial, annual and native plants.

Sun
16
Aug
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School Board Reviews Fall Planning

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Board of Education reviewed the latest developments in the district’s planning for students returning to school in the fall. The board chose to have all grade levels begin school virtually, but will revisit the decision at its Sept. 28 meeting based on new data and experiences of schools that are offering in-person instruction.

Superintendent Dana Monogue said a shift to in-person instruction will be guided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Public Health of Madison and  Dane County. She noted no guidance had yet been given from either agency specific to schools but is expected imminently. 

Thu
23
Jul
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City Council Reconsiders Then Tables SRO Agreement with School District

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council tabled an agreement with the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) to provide police officers at Middleton High School (MHS) and Kromrey Middle School after voting to reconsider it. The agreement for the SRO (Student Resource Officer) program has come under scrutiny since its approval by the school board at the June 22 by community members, students, parents and alumni who are calling for suspending the program while it is reviewed. 

During the council meeting two members from the School Community Partnership committee presented a plan to suspend and review the program. School district administrators and Middleton police presented on the history of the program, its benefits and a review plan to be completed by January.

Tue
21
Jul
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School Board Approves Virtual Return to School, Modified SRO Agreement

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a plan to begin the year with a strictly virtual instructional model and pivot to full-time in-person instruction or a hybrid model later in the year based on local health data.

Superintendent Dana Monogue acknowledged the plan will please some families and disappoint others, but said the health and safety of students and staff is the district’s highest priority. 

“Schools have been placed in the middle of an impossible decisions, one where we must weigh the health and safety of our students and staff against concerns regarding the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students,” Monogue said.  

Monogue said under the current rate of COVID-19 infections locally staff or students would inevitably contract the virus. 

Tue
21
Jul
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School Board Approves Virtual Return to School, Modified SRO Agreement

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a plan to begin the year with a strictly virtual instructional model and pivot to full-time in-person instruction or a hybrid model later in the year based on local health data.

Superintendent Dana Monogue acknowledged the plan will please some families and disappoint others, but said the health and safety of students and staff is the district’s highest priority. 

“Schools have been placed in the middle of an impossible decisions, one where we must weigh the health and safety of our students and staff against concerns regarding the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students,” Monogue said.  

Monogue said under the current rate of COVID-19 infections locally staff or students would inevitably contract the virus. 

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