NL schools awarded $1,000 for energy savings
The Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO) and Robert W. Baird recognized the district with an award and a check for $1,000.
WASBO and Robert W. Baird sponsor an award for a school district's effort in implementing an innovative practice which directly benefits students, staff and the community.
"This recognition relates directly to our strategic plan to pursue financial sustainability," Joe Marquardt, Director of Business Services told school board members during Monday's school board meeting.
In part of the district's strategic plan to pursue financial sustainability, it was the administrators goal to pursue efficiencies and cost containment for the 2011-2012 budget. One goal of the strategy was to reduce the districts kilowatt usage by five percent.
To effectively reach this goal, administrators developed a kilowatt challenge contest for each school in the district.
"Overall the utility savings throughout the district for this school year is over $40,000," Marquardt said. "This total does not include the summer months, but the amount will increase because of our energy awareness and shutdown procedures.
The district will use the $1,000 check for other energy efficiency projects or to purchase any energy efficiency items in a classroom.
"The credit goes to all staff members for their participation and effort on this goal," Marquardt said. "As a district, it's our goal to continue the improvement of our energy consumption."
In addition to the district's energy consumption success, Intermediate/Middle School gym teachers Marc Marsh and Brian Yerkey shared with board members the success of a program to help students become more health conscious.
The program entitled Movin' and Munchin' was designed to help students learn more about health and nutrition.
"The program is a way of empowering students to make good choices about nutrition and health," Yerkey said. "We can give them knowledge on these in addition to what they learn in gym class."
The innovative approach was to have students make lists of activities and food choices that can earn them "miles" on "the track of progress." The miles are awarded when the students fulfill the items on their lists.
"If a student takes a walk before school, for every 15 minutes the student walked he or she would earn a mile," Yerkey said.
To make the program interesting, a competition between the fifth and sixth grades was implemented to see which class earned the most miles by the end of the program.
Art teacher Sally Teasdale and her students created an actual track that was hung a wall so students could physically track the progress of each grade.
During the first week of implementation of the program, 64 percent of sixth grade students and 72 percent of fifth grade students participated in the program. After the first week there was a slight decline in participation.
"The decline could be the result of a student not having the willingness to be physical or the process of having to fill out sheets that indicate what healthy food a student ate or activity participated in," Marsh said.
In the five weeks the program ran, about 120-130 students per grade participated in the program as well as 22 staff members.
At the end of the competition the fifth grade students earned the most miles and was rewarded with a "to be active" activity which took place on the last day of school in Hatten Park. The students were allowed two hours to be active in games like kickball or soccer. The idea of the incentive was stay active the entire two hours.
Due to the success and participation in the Movin' and Munchin' program, elementary school gym teachers would like their students to participate in the program next year.
Marsh and Yerkey have received positive feedback from students and parents.
"I had students writing me letters thanking me for helping them learn about fitness and nutrition," Yerkey said.
"This program is a great opportunity for our kids," said Kathy Gwidt, Director of Teaching and Learning Services. "It is something that the kids and families can enjoy."
Student Mental Health Support
The School District of New London will be providing individual and group therapies for students with mental health needs.
Carey Lynn Sorenson, a student working toward a doctorate degree in psychology counseling through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will be working at the high school next year providing these therapies once a week.
Sorenson is able to offer the district her services and expertise through a position at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. This position does not cost the district any money.
"Mental Health is an area where the need is great and the support is few," said Ann Christopherson, Director of Pupil Services. "This will enable us to reach out to students in need and work together to keep them healthy and in school."
According to Christopherson, Sorenson loves the district because her sister teaches at Parkview Elementary School and she wants to give back to the schools.
- Student art on display at Waupaca High School
- Senior Recognition Ceremony at WHS
- Friends of lakes group meets at Holly Center
- Lioness blood drive May 21
- Salon celebrates anniversary with street dance
- City hires new economic development director
- More delays for Iola's bridge project (2)
- Park renamed after Jim Boyer
- Fire department plans fundraisers
- School district recognized for wellness program