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Board Reviews Handling of Gun at High School

MIDDLETON–The Board of Education Monday reviewed what went right and wrong on Jan. 24 when Middleton High School (MHS) and two nearby schools were locked down in response to a report of a student with a gun.

The 15-year-old student was located and taken into custody within 45 minutes, but no gun was found on the student nor at the school, Superintendent Dana Monogue said at the time.

When staff received credible information about a student possibly having a gun, it decided that constituted a safety threat and the whole building locked down within five seconds, said Jim Blodgett, director of technology services.

After that, many protocols were correctly followed.

Middleton police responded quickly, and command posts were established for the school district and police.

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Alumni Group Proposes New MHS Stadium

MIDDLETON–While the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) is proud of its high school’s athletic playing fields, it acknowledged that facilities for athletes and fans have fallen behind other schools in the Big 8 Conference.

That prompted a group Middleton High School (MHS) alumni to present an $8-$13 million plan to construct new locker rooms, concessions, ticket office, and most important, ADA compliant restrooms at a special meeting held Monday night.

Verona and Sun Prairie have new athletic facilities and a recent referendum in the Madison Metropolitan School District means upgrades to its high school facilities, Tim Cleary, of Ideal Builders, told the Board of Education at special meeting.

However, the condition of MHS’ facilities communicates a message to the students and the community that doesn’t reflect the on-field success of its athletic teams, said Mike Borden, who has the title of prime investor on the 12-member planning team. 

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UPDATED: Schools Released from Lockdown for Student with Gun, No Weapon Found

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District released a statement today, announcing that a lockdown at Middleton schools had been lifted after police were called to an unnamed incident at the high school, which was later reported to be a student with a gun.

The statement read:

"At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, Middleton High (School), Clark Street Community School, and Kromrey (Middle School) were placed under a full lockdown. Middleton Police arrived on the scene shortly after, and the situation, which took place at Middleton High School, has been resolved.

The high school is still under a “building secure” status out of precaution, which means classes have resumed as normal, but the building is locked.

Clark Street, Kromrey, and Sauk Trail are resuming normal operations. Since Sauk Trail was nearby, they were placed under a “building secure” status. Again, the situation has been resolved."

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MHS Theatre Presents Sense & Sensibility in Black Box Theatre

MIDDLETON–On December 9-11 at 7:30 p.m., Middleton High School (MHS) Theatre will present its production of “Sense & Sensibility,” adapted by Kate Hamill. The performance will be the first full length production in Middleton High School’s new Black Box theatre and is directed by Katrina Brunner.

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District Will Not Need to Increase Walk Zone

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) will not have to eliminate busing students living less than two miles from a school as enough parents have opted out of district-provided transportation, Superintendent Dana Monogue said on Nov. 15.

Due to a chronic shortage of bus drivers, district administrators last week asked the school board to change the walk zone policy that buses students living 1.1 miles from a school to two miles, effective in Jan. 3.

Board members found the timing to be disruptive to families and asked administrators to poll them about opting out of having their children bused to school. Also, if there was any interest in becoming a bus driver.

The response this past week was “gratifying and overwhelming,” said Monogue, as families of a combined 907 students have opted out of taking the bus,“ plus, there was significant interest in driving a bus route.

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MHS Marching Band Steps into Second Place at State Competition

WHITEWATER–On the weekend of Oct. 16-17, the Middleton High School (MHS) Marching Cardinal Band placed second at the marching band state championships. The competition took place at UW-Whitewater and hosted approximately 30of the best marching bands from around the state of Wisconsin. Middleton returned to their competitive marching band program in 2016 for the first time since 1992. At their state championship debut in 2018 they placed sixth, followed by fourth in 2019. 

“We couldn’t be more proud of this achievement by the students. After all the difficulties they have been through the last year including a season off due to covid, we’re so happy for all of our students and the legacy our seniors will be leaving behind,” said band director Eric Rothacker.

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Board Approves 2021-22 Budget and Certifies Tax Levy

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council approved a $1.2 million TIF agreement for a 54-unit apartment which will include 45 subsidized units for people earning less than the area median income (AMI). The council also got a first look at a new long-term plan from Madison Metro for bus service and approved funding for the design of an asphalt bicycle pump track part of the city’s newly expanding bike and cross country skiing park. 

The affordable housing project, which is part of Tribeca Village, located at3 725 Tribeca Dr., was originally approved by the council in late 2019. The project, titled 38ten and proposed by JT Klein, a local developer specializing in Section 42 tax credit projects, consists of two three-story buildings with a combined total of 125 multi-family units in the Tribeca Village development between Parmenter St. and Tribeca Dr. Ten units would be market rate while the rest would be income-restricted for a period of 30 years.

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School Board Approves Vaccine Mandate for All District Staff

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate for all district staff. Staff must provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 15 or be tested weekly. 

Superintendent Dana Monogue explained to the board that the vaccine and testing mandates announced by President Joe Biden on Sept. 9 applies to businesses with more than 100 employees but does not include school districts.

Monogue said with no news of a mandate for school districts on the horizon it is up to school boards to approve mandates for their districts. Monogue’s recommendation to the board is that all district staff be required to provide proof of vaccination or rationale for a religious or medical exemption by Nov. 15 or be required to be tested weekly.

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School Board Reviews Start of Year

School Board Review Start of Year

MIDDLETON–The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Board of Education met for the first time since the start of the new school year and reviewed the successes and challenges while continuing to operate under COVID-19 safety protocols and staffing shortages.

Superintendent Dana Monogue said the year is off to a great start, but many students are needing more support, love, attention and guidance as they transition back to a structured schedule. 

“Our educators are being patient and kind while they help anxious students acclimate while they are also dealing with the realities of the ongoing pandemic,” Monogue said.

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Mask Madate Back for Schools

MIDDLETON–Students and staff of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) will be required to wear face masks indoors at district facilities, on school buses and at as spectators at indoor athletic events, the Board of Education mandated Monday.

In-person instruction will begin Sept. 1, five days a week with about 100 students participating in the district’s fully virtual program.

The mask mandate was made retroactive to August 2.

Superintendent Dana Monogue said it is “our ethical and moral obligation to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, care for our most vulnerable students and staff, and keep everyone as safe as possible.

“Our operations will likely be able to continue largely without interruption if we continue to require masks in all of our schools,” Monogue told the Board.

Some parents asked the board not to impose the mask mandate and questioned their authority to do so absent an emergency public health order.


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