Muskego-Norway News September 2019 - Please Scroll Down to See Contents

2019 Summer School Enrollment

Our summer school programs across the District continue to see a high rate of participation, noting we have reached an all time high for students who took at least one class during the summer of 2019 (2,267 students). When you compare this number to our year round enrollment, nearly 50% of our students are engaged in at least one course during the summer months (chart below). Since 2013, we have more than tripled total participation in our summer programming. We appreciate the extended opportunities to engage the minds and hearts of our students.

Student Home Internet - Opportunity

Digital equity and access have become challenging issues as schools provide more of their students with mobile devices to take home. On average, 20% of Wisconsin households do not have reliable high-speed access to the internet. The Internet Discount Finder, created by the Wisconsin Public Services Commission, can help low-income households find discounted internet service. In some cases, discounts are as deep as 80% from standard retail pricing.

Bus Transportation Services

Beginning the 2019-20 school year, the District is contracting with a new transportation provider, Dairyland Buses Inc. This is a critical service to our schools and families and we are fully committed to a successful transition. To date, the service has not reached the level of quality service we expected or that we were promised. On behalf of the district and Dairyland we apologize for the inconveniences the transition has caused students and their families. We are working closely with Dairyland, Transfinder (routing software) and Infinite Campus to improve service to our students and communication with our parents. We continue to have a standing meeting daily to discuss progress, continued concerns, and resolutions moving forward.

If you have not done so already and you are interested in providing feedback regarding the transportation services, please consider completing the survey, linked below by Wednesday September 25. The intent of this survey is to gather feedback around services provided by Dairyland over the last week. We are requesting contact information in order to follow up with you should the need arise. If you have more than one child in attendance, feel free to fill out the survey more than once. 2019 MNS Transportation Feedback Survey. We will ask for your feedback again to track progress.

Storm Ready

Over the last two years, the Activities and Buildings and Grounds departments partnered with Meteorologist Mark McGinnis to improve and create a weather hazard plan. Through the plan, several areas were improved and addressed, including:

  • Storm sheltering adjustments and signage;
  • Ice mitigation and snow locations;
  • Outdoor event protocols;
  • Facility rental rules;
  • Hurricane shutters at select locations;
  • Weather radios in all offices;
  • New sheltering rules for "Severe Thunderstorm Warnings;"
  • Second shift "Weather Monitors;"
  • Lightning detection equipment and electronic notifications.

These procedures have been reviewed with all administrators, our district Emergency Response Team, custodians, and our main facility renters. We are proud to have invested time into this process, and believe that we are now on the leading edge of our response to severe weather.

School Safety

Last year, the ​Wisconsin Department of Justice made grant funding available to schools across the state with the goal of enhancing safety. MNSD was awarded approximately $300,000 to improve security. Priorities were determined in partnership with local police and our District's Emergency Response Team (ERT). Projects include:

  • Safety film applications on glass in strategic areas around all schools;
  • Additional surveillance cameras at Muskego High School, Lakeview and Bay Lane Elementary;
  • The purchase of portable metal detectors for random/strategic use;
  • Upgrading the PA systems at Bay Lane Elementary and Muskego High School.

Please note that Muskego-Norway Schools have safety plans and practices in place to prepare our school community for a crisis. Safety efforts and practices include:

  • Three (3) Muskego Police Officers, serving as School Resource Officers in our buildings. We lead Waukesha County and all rural school districts in southeast Wisconsin when it comes to staffing police in our schools.
  • District and school-level Emergency Response Teams who meet regularly with the Muskego Police Department to research and implement the most up-to-date procedures in protecting our students and staff from dangers in a crisis, as well as disseminating to staff at all buildings our safety procedures and protocols to follow.
  • Safety plans are reviewed and approved annually by the Muskego-Norway School Board.
  • All external doors ​are ​locked during school hours and we have supervised main entrances ​at all of our buildings.
  • Visitors need permission to enter school buildings using an official ID.
  • Annually, MNSD conducts all state mandatory drills, including two "lockdown" drills.
  • Background checks are required for volunteers and staff member to enter into our schools and work with students.
  • Students who leave the learning environment during school hours and return are required to check-in through the front office.

We know that schools are safer when students, staff, and families work together to reduce violence and address potential safety issues. We are asking that you continue to monitor your child’s and others’ online and social media activity and report any school safety concerns to law enforcement and school officials immediately. We are grateful for your partnership as we work together to keep our children safe.

The Dangers of E-cigarettes or “Vaping"

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and local health departments have observed a significant increase in youth using e-cigarettes, otherwise known as vaping devices. Students may not understand the long term, damaging effects to their lungs and brains caused by the use of e-cigarettes. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW) released a report in July of 2019 indicating eight youth were admitted to CHW with severe lung damage as a result of vaping.

Vape devices may contain a high level of nicotine, a powerfully addictive drug that can sustain dependence. Some vapes also contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. You may hear youth refer to e-cigarette use or vaping as "JUULING." JUUL is a brand name of an e-cigarette that releases a lighter vapor level and dissipates very quickly compared to other devices. This vapor often goes undetected. This vaping device looks less like an e-cigarette and more like a computer flash drive. These devices have charging docks that plug into USB ports on laptops. “Pods" are sold separately and insert into the device. They contain especially high levels of nicotine along with different flavors. Pods and JUULING devices are easily purchased online or at local stores for around $40.

Any use or possession of e-cigarettes, nicotine or THC is a violation of our District’s AODA policy and Activities and Athletic Code.

Click here to find additional information and resources. Please review these articles and resources and talk with your children.

2019-20 Focus

The list below highlights some of the district’s key focus areas for the 2019-20 school year. They are aligned to our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and our 2019-20 Eye On The Goal (available HERE)

  • Re-articulating our guaranteed and viable curriculum;
  • Sharpening Professional Learning Communities;
  • Strengthening teacher expertise in high-leverage practices;
  • Embedding Education for Employment (E4E) efforts into student experiences, Academic and Career Plans, and business partnerships;
  • Enhancing strategies to close the achievement gap;
  • Deploying Safety Grant requirements;
  • Aligning potential funding sources to our prioritized Master Plan needs.

2019-20 Parent Advisory Team

If you are interested in being part of the 2019-20 Parent Advisory Team, please contact me directly at (kelly.thompson@muskegonorway.org). Agendas are available HERE. Meetings are held at the Educational Services Center from 5:00-6:30 PM on the following Mondays: September 30, November 25, March 2, and May 11.

Conversation with the Superintendent

I will be hosting 2019-20 Conversations with the Superintendent at the ESC as follows:

  • Morning of September 26 (Thursday) at 7:00 AM
  • Noon on November 25 (Monday) at 12:00 PM
  • Morning of February 26 (Wednesday) at 7:00 AM
  • Afternoon of April 27 (Monday) at 4:00 PM

If these dates/times do not fit your schedule and you are interested in meeting, please contact me to schedule an individual meeting.

Award of Excellence

The Muskego-Norway School Board recognized Ryan McMillen on leading Muskego High School to be honored as one of the 27 high schools in the state to meet the criteria to be named recipients of the WIAA Award of Excellence. This award recognizes member schools for their efforts and achievements in the areas of sportsmanship, ethics, integrity, leadership and character

Follow Us

Follow Us on Facebook (Muskego Norway Schools) and Twitter (@MuskegoNorwaySC) for up-to-date information about our district’s celebrations and events.

With Gratitude,

Dr. Kelly Thompson