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: