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December 2019 Kromrey PTO Newsletter

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:

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