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The Kromrey PTO Newsletter is part of the Kromrey eNews Newsletter.

Please subscribe to Kromrey eNews for PTO announcements and news!

Mr. Ricks Welcomes New Staff to Kromrey

Mr. Ricks updated the PTO Board on how the District has partnered with Kromrey’s administrators to add more staff to help improve overall behavior and safety. Recall from our November newsletter that Kromrey’s larger size and extensive network of “unstructured spaces” (i.e., hallways and the cafeteria) justified adding more administrative coverage. Brandon Tewalt joined the staff in December in a second Dean of Students position. Mr. Tewalt’s emphasis will be on behavior for 5th grade, promoting PBIS, and providing a dedicated presence in unstructured spaces. Brittney Plowe is Kromrey’s first Dean of Students and she will be focusing on behavioral challenges in the 7th grade wing. The PTO welcomes Mr. Tewalt to Kromrey and we offer our appreciation and encouragement to both Ms. Plowe and Mr. Tewalt as they strive to create the best possible learning environment for all Kromrey’s teachers and students.

Kromrey was Recognized as a Gold Award Winner by The Healthy Kids Collaborative of Dane County

The PTO thanks the administrators, teachers, and students who promote all aspects of health and wellness in our schools and our community!

In addition to the great academic results we highlighted last month (, we also applaud our school's emphasis on achievement in: healthy foods in schools, being active in school, and healthy and well in school. Park, Sauk Trail, West Middleton, Glacier Creek and Kromrey received gold recognition and Elm Lawn, Sunset Ridge and Clark Street Community School received silver recognition.

The link to the Kromrey-specific article is here:

For more information about The Healthy Kids Collaborative, please see their website: Their mission is “Connecting health champions to create a Dane County where every child from every neighborhood has the opportunity to be healthy.

Mr. Ricks Highlights Early Successes with the Passport System

Mr. Risks provided the PTO Board with a brief update on early results implementing the “Passport System”. As a reminder, Mr. Ricks introduced the Passport System this year to clarify expectations regarding students leaving the classrooms during instruction. The program works by giving students a passport with a fixed number of passes per quarter. They use their passes to gain access to the halls during class time, and once they use all their passes for the quarter, they can’t leave the classroom unless it’s an emergency. Prior to the passport system, there was no formal system to track accountability and some students abused the privilege of leaving the classroom during class. Data gathered from problem areas where there have been more “reflections served” helped inform where the two Dean of Students and two Campus Support staff are focusing their time.

Mr. Ricks Adds a New Monthly Communication

In November's PTO newsletter we highlighted that a top priority for the PTO Board for the 2019-2020 school year is improving our communications so that Kromrey's parents and teachers have better visibility all the great initiatives we're implementing together.

Mr. Ricks is beginning his own monthly communication and we're very excited to include his message here in its entirety:

Hello Kromrey Community,

My name is Dom Ricks and I am the Principal of Kromrey Middle School. I am a community member and parent right here in the district as well. I am extremely excited to be sharing this first year with you as principal of Kromrey! We have big plans for Kromrey and its students. The theme on the building level this year has been community and connectedness. I believe a critical part of our service to students and families is communication, which is why we will be moving forward with a monthly communication to parents and guardians, updating you about some of the amazing learning and leading going on in our building!

New to the student experience this year are quarterly pep-rallies planned by students in the Be Kromrey Club, lunchroom DJ time once a month, and student planned and painted murals are popping up around the school. I had a chance to meet with Kromrey’s Student Council last month and we discussed a “ Kindness Campaign.” Stay tuned to hear what the student council comes up with! Be on the lookout for communication regarding a poetry slam this coming spring! You can plan on monthly communication from me being your gateway to many of the wonderful things going on daily in your student’s school life.

Student Council Raises Money to Help Students in Need in Honduras

Please join us in congratulating the Kromrey Student Council for raising $3,400 during the 2018-2019 school year. The student council raised money to help a small rural school named Escuela Las Mieles in Trojes, Honduras. This school was in serious need of hygienic bathroom and handwashing facilities. The money raised by Kromrey went toward completing this project, as well as funding educational programs for hygienic practices for students. As of now, kids can go to school in a facility with clean water.

Thank you to the Student Council for your hard work and commitment to helping Escuela Las Mieles.

Thank you to Mr. Miles for advising the Student Council.

Thank you to the Kromrey Community for making this possible!

Please save the date for the Kromrey Poetry Slam!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at 6:30 pm (please note this new date)

The winter break is the perfect time to start thinking about the Poetry Slam! Take a few minutes to find a published poem that “speaks to you” or try to write your own poem. is an excellent site for written poetry and poetry videos.


The Kromrey Poetry Slam is a non-competitive poetry reading event. Students may recite original poems or poems written by published authors.


Students: All Kromrey students are invited to participate in the Kromrey Poetry Slam. Families: All families are welcome to attend the Kromrey Poetry Slam as audience members to support and encourage the students.


Students will recite their pre-approved poetry on the Kromrey stage for an audience of family & friends. The collaborative and non-competitive nature of the Kromrey Poetry Slam means that the audience listens, supports, and encourages the students. In keeping with the tradition of a typical poetry slam, audience members will snap their fingers instead of clapping. The atmosphere will be warm and inviting for everyone.


In January, please check the Kromrey E-News, the Kromrey PTO website, the Kromrey PTO Facebook page, or visit the Kromrey Library for sign-up forms.

Kromrey Spirit Night is Coming on Friday, March 13, 2020

Spirit Night is an after school event filled with fun & healthy activities for Kromrey students. Last year, over 700 students attended. It is Kromrey's most popular annual event! To make Spirit Night possible, a group of dedicated parent volunteers is needed to plan, organize, & run Spirit Night.

Are you interested in joining the committee?

If so, please contact Carly Knoche or Lindsey Harmon

  • Carly Knoche: or 608-829-9608

  • Lindsey Harmon: or 608-829-9543

The 1st Spirit Night Planning Committee meeting will be on Wednesday, January 22th from 5:30-6:15 pm in Student Services at Kromrey Middle School.

Thank you for helping the PTO create a special celebration for your kids!

The PTO Partners with Inspired Teachers on Enrichment Events & Activities

PTO funds are supporting the following events & activities:

  • Patricia Sutton will be visiting the 5th grade in February 2020 to share her book Capsized! The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster during the 5th-grade historical fiction unit. Students will learn about Mrs. Sutton's writing process, including the research she conducted to write the book. To learn more about Patricia Sutton and Capsized! The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster, please visit

  • All 6th-grade science students will have owl pellets to dissect as a part of their ecology unit to better understand food webs. For those of you wondering "What's an owl pellet?", it's the indigestible material left in the owl's gizzard such as teeth, skulls, claws, and feathers are too dangerous to pass through the rest of the owl's digestive tract. To safely excrete this material, the owl's gizzard compacts it into a tight pellet that the owl regurgitates. The regurgitated pellets are known as owl pellets.

  • 5th-grade students will be utilizing the Breakout EDU program. “This program is an immersive learning games platform that brings the challenges of an escape room to the classroom.” This program is aligned to the current Kromrey 5th-grade curriculum to enhance the classroom learning experience. It encourages teamwork, thinking in different ways, problem-solving, and creativity.

  • For the first time, 70 students were recognized with a lunch organized by the ESL/Bilingual Resource team for taking the ACCESS assessment. The event included a presentation, reflection on last year's assessment, goal setting for this year's assessment, and pizza. This event is very special for the students. The ACCESS assessment is an extremely long test that measures English proficiency. Students take this test every year, and since it takes five days to complete the test, the pizza event makes it a much more positive experience.

SCHOOL SPIRIT TASTES GREAT! - Restaurant Night, Wed, Feb 5th at Chipotle

Please join us for a fundraising restaurant night at Chipotle on Wednesday, February 5th to support Kromrey. 33% of profits will go toward PTO teacher funding requests.

See the PTO website for more details:

If you would like more information or to volunteer, please contact Fran Priddy

Fundraising is a 24/7 Preoccupation for the Kromrey PTO

In addition upcoming fundraising events like our spring 2020 Chipotle Restaurant Night - and earlier events like the fall 2019 Kromrey Spirit Wear sale - our donation website is always available!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to donate, please follow this link to the PTO website and click on the red "PTO Donations" button. It’s quick, it’s easy, and your gift produces great results for your kids. Thank you!!!

Communications Tools and Resources

There are many ways to stay connected with everything happening at Kromrey

· Kromrey PTO website -

· Subscribe to the Kromrey PTO e-mail list -

· PTO Monthly Newsletters -

PTO Board Members

President - Danielle Boorstein

Treasurer - Sam Garlock

Communications – Chris Jones

Sunshine Fund – Melissa Dale

Events – Rebecca Charles

Fundraising – Fran Priddy

We'd love to hear from you! Please contact us at:

From the Kromrey PTO Board ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Congratulations to Kromrey for Performance on the School Report Cards!

The PTO Board would like to pause and recognize the great work our teachers, our administrators, our children, and their parents are doing at Kromrey. While all of us push ourselves every day to improve, and we hold ourselves to very high standards of performance, it’s valuable to take a moment to acknowledge that our middle school, and all the schools within our district, either “significantly exceeded expectations” or “exceeded expectations”. We can always do better and we’re always striving to improve, but we also want to express our appreciation to the people who make it happen all day, every day. Your tireless efforts are producing results. Thank you to teachers, administrators, students, and parents!

A few highlights directly from the district’s announcement:

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) School Report Cards were issued on Tuesday, Nov 12th. For the fifth time since 2012, at least half of all Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District schools “significantly exceeded expectations”. The district’s two middle schools – Kromrey and Glacier Creek – both “exceeded expectations”.

“State-issued district/school report cards serve as important pieces of information as we consider our overall success with students,’’ Superintendent Dana Monogue said. “Our District and school-based teams use the data provided in the report cards to identify celebrations and successes as well as opportunities for reflection and improvement. We have much to celebrate as a school District and our report card ratings are something to be proud of. Our ratings reflect the dedication and commitment of our staff, the engagement and interest of our families, and the talents of our students.’’

Kromrey’s detailed report card:

Partnering with Mr. Ricks and Mr. Engel on High Priority Opportunities and Challenges

Each month the PTO Board meets with Mr. Ricks and Mr. Engel to collaborate on the Principals’ highest priority opportunities and challenges. In November, there were three areas of focus 1.) new staff positions at Kromrey 2.) cyber sessions and 3.) improving communications

Adding new staff positions

Kromrey is adding two new staff members. The first new role is for campus support. This person’s primary role is to act as a first responder for behavioral issues. Kromrey is a large school that needed the extra staff to cover the entire length of the building.

Kromrey is also adding a second Dean of Students. 90% of the new Dean’s time will be targeted at behavior challenges. The Dean will help students and teachers with improving proactive approaches to addressing behavior issues. At Mr. Engel’s suggestion, we will add a “new hires” section in the December newsletter to introduce new staff members to the PTO community.

Cyber Session “Like” Was Shown on Nov 19th

As we reported last month, Kromrey and Glacier Ridge partnered with the PTO to bring the documentary “Like” to both middle schools. The goal of showing “Like” is to help students and parents understand healthy vs. unhealthy uses of social media. The documentary included a discussion guide to help the Kromrey staff navigate questions from the students. The film was shown to all 8th graders on November 19th and it was open for a public viewing later that evening. For parents with 8th graders, please ask them to provide you some feedback on “Like” and then pass that information to our administration and PTO Board so we can improve future Cyber Sessions.

Improving Communications

The Kromrey PTO’s mission is to promote open communication and understanding between parents and staff, and to provide resources to support the school in offering outstanding curricular and enrichment opportunities for our students. In past years, the PTO board invested most of its time and effort in the second part of that mission (providing resources), but feedback from both parents and teachers was that key stakeholders lacked visibility into the PTO’s actions and results. In response to that feedback, the PTO board made improving communications a top priority for the 2019-2020 school year. To that end, we launched a new monthly newsletter in September and posted it to our website ( In October, we took the extra step of emailing the PTO newsletter directly to parents who had submitted their email addresses to our distribution list. If you haven’t signed up, go to “Subscribe to PTO News Emails” at the bottom of our home page. In November, we will go further and email our newsletter directly to the Kromrey teachers. It’s our hope that this monthly newsletter can help foster better awareness of shared successes and build a platform for future collaborative opportunities among Kromrey’s teachers, administrators, and parents.

In the spirit of continued improvement in communication, Mr. Ricks expects to launch his own monthly newsletter beginning December. More to come from Mr. Ricks in December.

The Kromrey administration and PTO board welcome your continued feedback as we strive each month to improve our communications tools and techniques. We’ll do our best to add enhancements that produce the best results for our audience (i.e., parents, teachers, administrators).

The PTO Provides Funding for Ms Weiss to Purchase Innovative Computer Science Teaching Tools

Brenda Weiss teaches computer literacy and computer science to all four age groups. She concluded that The has the best tools and wanted to purchase the “Circuit Playground” for $350. Briefly, the advantage of a Circuit Playground is that it combines multiple types of learning - physical coding to go along with abstract coding. It includes lights, sensors, motion, temperature, speakers, and sounds. The students learn better by seeing their programming do things in the real world. The PTO board was inspired by her willingness to add innovative tools to her classroom and we are optimistic that our $350 investment will yield a great return for her students.

PTO Fundraising Update

The PTO board has an annual goal of raising about $10,000 per year to support Kromrey’s 1,200 students to fund events including:

- 8th Grade Science & Engineering

- Youth Playwrights for Change

- Like, the documentary

- Be Kromrey Awards

- Be Kromrey Student Group

- Web Leader Celebration

- Mentor Dinner

- Artist in Residence

- Garden

- Owl Pellets

- Eighth Grade Celebration

- Poetry Slam

- Admin + Staff Kickoff Dinner

- Staff Appreciation

Thus far we have only raised $6,000 and we are identifying new ways to raise the remaining $4,000. Two ideas that are promising:

1.) Restaurant night – The PTO is sponsoring a restaurant night at Chipotle in Middleton in early 2020. We will announce the date in our next newsletter.

2.) Possible Fun Run - The PTO board is exploring options with Mr. Ricks and Mr. Engel. More to come in future newsletters.

Our donation website is always available. If you haven’t had the opportunity to donate, please follow this link to the PTO website and click on the red "PTO Donations" button. It’s quick, it’s easy, and your gift produces great results for your kids. Thank you!!!

Staff Appreciation

On behalf of the PTO and the Kromrey staff - a big thank you to Staff Appreciation co-chairs Chris Laufenberg and Jennifer Stewart and their entire committee for contributing and organizing refreshments for Kromrey staff during each evening of fall conferences.

Scholastic Book Fair

Thank you to Kerry Ostreng for organizing another successful book fair! Thank you to the many volunteers who set-up, cleaned-up, and sold books! Thank you to the students, staff, and families who purchased books! The book fair was able to raise almost $3,500 for the Kromrey library. The Spring Book Fair will be held the week of April 27th. It will be a Buy One Get One Free Book Fair.

Kromrey Spirit Wear

The Spirit Wear fundraiser earned about $300-400 profit on almost $5,000 in merchandise sales. The PTO intentionally priced spirit wear near our cost (about $5 per t-shirt) because our primary goal was fostering school spirit, not making money. Feedback from our “customers” is that they have all the spirit wear they need for this season. The PTO will be back for the next fashion season with new and innovative designs.

Thank you to Jen Park Mroch and the Spirit Wear Committee for coordinating the sales and distribution of over 800 pieces of Kromrey Spirit Wear.

Calendar – Upcoming Events

Dec 20 – Winter Break Begins

Communications Tools and Resources

There are many ways to stay connected with everything happening at Kromrey

- Kromrey PTO website -

- Subscribe to the Kromrey PTO email list -

- PTO Monthly Newsletters -

PTO Board Members

President - Danielle Boorstein

Treasurer - Sam Garlock

Communications – Chris Jones

Sunshine Fund – Melissa Dale

Events – Rebecca Charles

Fundraising – Fran Priddy

We'd love to hear from you! Please contact us at:

From the Kromrey PTO Board

THANK YOU to the many Kromrey families who have already signed up to volunteer as a chairperson or committee member. Your help is sincerely appreciated!

There are still many spots to be filled so please check the volunteer sign up to get involved. Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to Kromrey, meet new people, and help support the PTO events & programming.

Please check for information such as the *NEW* Kromrey PTO Newsletter, donation links and volunteer links.

Partnering with Mr. Ricks and Mr. Engel on High Priority Challenges

Each month the PTO Board meets with Mr. Ricks and Mr. Engel to collaborate on the Principals’ highest priority challenges. In October, there were two areas of focus that merit further engagement. 1.) Bullying and 2.) Cyber Sessions (primarily related to social media)


Mr. Ricks identified Bullying as one of his primary challenges and encouraged our PTO Board to help raise awareness and encourage parents to utilize the district’s resources. Specifically, bullying should be reported via the district website: links for parents--> parent resources--> report bullying

This confidential report is immediately directed to all necessary school counselors and administration.

Parents are encouraged to watch for all forms of bullying and report problems as they arise. Bullying can take many forms including one-time events, recurring events, microaggressions, and cyber bullying.

For parents interested in learning more about microaggressions, Danielle Boorstein recommends this brief video that was produced by Middleton High School students.

Cyber Sessions

Mr. Engel is partnering with the PTO and Kromrey teachers to sponsor Cyber Sessions to raise awareness to realities of healthy and unhealthy use of social media and video games. In the past Kromrey hosted the documentary called Screenagers. For 2019-2020 there are additional events planned. Kromrey’s health teachers are also enhancing their curriculum to help students – especially 8th graders - make informed choices.

Mr. Engel and the Kromrey/Glacier Creek PTOs want to extend the impact of Kromrey’s initiatives to parents and community. Please donate to the Kromrey PTO to help us pay for activities such as:

  1. Student and parent screenings of a highly rated documentary film on social media

  2. Kromrey classroom visits from high school students to share their experiences and advice on navigating social media

  3. Parent and student roundtables so you can learn how others are successfully managing social media

Related Messages from the MCPASD Superintendent and MHS Principal

Superintendent Dana Monogue recently produced a video that touches on many of the same issues and challenges that Mr. Ricks and Mr. Engel addressed. Here’s the link to that message:

Finally, this video message from the MHS Principal Shoemaker addresses micro aggressions and explains the steps the high school administration is taking to foster an inclusive, safe, and campus for all students.

PTO School Supply Drive During Conferences

The PTO will be holding a supply drive during from 11/7-11/12 around parent/teacher conference time. The goal of the drive is to gather materials and donations to help teachers with supply needs that arise after the beginning of the school year. A complete list is being compiled by teachers so please watch for future communications as we update the list with staff needs. All items can be dropped off at the supply drive table during parent teacher conferences. We will have a table set up at conferences on 11/7 and 11/12.

Currently, the school has a need for:

  • 1" and 1.5" binders

  • lunch boxes

  • sharpies (fine black)c

  • composition notebooks

  • TI 30x calculators

  • 3 subject notebooks

  • backpacks

  • ear buds

Items are also needed for the Sunshine Fund Snack Closet that provides snacks to students in need at the discretion of staff. These items are specifically approved accommodate food allergies:

  • JackLinks Big Beef Jerky

  • Nature's Bakery Fig Bars

  • Goldfish Crackers (plain, 1 oz packages)

  • Cheez-Its

  • belVita Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Biscuits

  • Frigo Cheese Heads String Cheese Sticks

  • GoGurt Simple

Scholastic Book Fair

The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to the Kromrey Library November 7th through November 12th. Please encourage your children to stop by before or after school and during their lunch periods. We will also be open during Parent/Teacher Conferences on November 7th and November 12th.

NEW digital payment option: Book Fair eWallet! Your student can now shop the Book Fair cash-free! Simply set up a free account and have funds immediately available for your student to shop the Book Fair. Visit our Book Fair homepage to learn more and to create an account.

We need volunteers to assist with the Book Fair. If you are interested in helping, please sign-up at:

Book Fair Hours

  • Thursday, November 7th – 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  • Friday, November 8th– 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • Monday, November 11th - 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, November 12th – 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

All proceeds from the Book Fair are used to purchase books and learning materials for the Kromrey Library. Thank you for your support!

PTO Fundraising Update

We are 60% toward our PTO fundraising goal to support your students at Kromrey in 2019-2020. Thank you if you have already donated! If not, can you please help us meet our goal?

Did you know that Kromrey teachers and staff submit requests to PTO throughout the year to fund all types of classroom projects and student enrichment? Your donation supports these valuable enrichment activities and saves teacher/staff time so they can teach. Some specific examples of how your donations benefit students are:

  1. Science and tech enrichment – Structural engineering project for 8th grade science. Outdoor science lab supplies.

  2. Arts – Children’s Theater of Madison playwriting mentoring and competition. Poetry Slam event.

  3. Students in need – The Sunshine fund provides essential school supplies for students in need identified by the school social workers. Snack closets that enable teachers to provide students in need with healthy snacks.

  4. Staff appreciation – The PTO is sponsoring luncheons during the November parent/teacher conferences.

  5. Cougar community connections - A series of informative talks will be beginning soon.

Boxtop$ for Education Fundraiser

Did you know you can raise money for Kromrey every time you shop?

The Boxtops program now has an app that simply scans your grocery receipt. Get it at Kromrey will receive 10 cents for each eligible item. (Traditional box top clips will still be accepted - please send them to the front office). Check out the app and share with other family members who want to support Kromrey. Our goal this year is to raise $500 through Boxtops.

For more information on the program, see:

Kromrey Spirit Wear

Thank you to everyone who purchased Kromrey Spirit Wear!

We look forward to seeing all of you proudly wearing your bright red Kromrey Cougars this fall and winter. The PTO is considering adding new pieces to our fundraising clothing line. Watch for the fashion reveal coming soon!

Calendar – Upcoming November Events

Nov 4 – No School

Nov 7-8, 11-12 – Scholastic Book Fair

Nov 7, 12 – Fall Parent & Teacher Conferences

Nov 7, 12 – PTO Supply Drive

Nov 27-29 – Thanksgiving Break

Communications Tools and Resources

There are many ways to stay connected with everything happening at Kromrey

Kromrey PTO website -

Subscribe to the Kromrey PTO e-mail list -

PTO Monthly Newsletters -

PTO Board Members

President - Danielle Boorstein

Treasurer - Sam Garlock

Communications – Chris Jones

Sunshine Fund – Melissa Dale

Events – Rebecca Charles

Fundraising – Fran Priddy

We'd love to hear from you! Please contact us at:

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