November 2019 Kromrey PTO Newsletter
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!
See the full article on Kromrey’s website: https://mcpasd.k12.wi.us/kromrey/news/district-fares-well-school-report-cards
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.
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 (https://www.kromreypto.org/). 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 Code.org 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
- 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!!! https://www.kromreypto.org/donate
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
- eNews signup - https://mcpasd.k12.wi.us/kromrey/enews-signup
- Kromrey PTO website - https://www.kromreypto.org/
- Subscribe to the Kromrey PTO email list - https://www.kromreypto.org/about
- Kromrey PTO Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KromreyMiddleSchoolPTO/
- PTO Monthly Newsletters - https://www.kromreypto.org/news
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: https://www.kromreypto.org/contact