Friday, May 1, 2020

May 2020

Appleton Area School District’s (AASD) Elementary English Language Arts (ELA) Curriculum is based on Wisconsin’s State Standards.  This month’s Literacy Corner will focus on how parents can support their child with summer reading. 

Say Hello to Summer Reading!

Why Summer Reading?
Summer is a great time for students to relax and recharge.  One great way for them to spend time relaxing is by enjoying great books.  While children often feel that reading is just for school, it is important that they continue to read throughout the summer months to avoid what many call summer slide.  Summer slide refers to the loss of reading skills over the summer months that happens when children don’t continue to practice reading and using the strategies they learned over the course of the school year.

What can you do?
Providing interesting reading material over the summer months will help to keep your child engaged in reading. This can mean reading books, magazines and even online articles.  Keep in mind, it isn’t enough to just provide material, it is also important to match your child with just right text on topics that they will enjoy reading about. Also, talk with your child about what they are reading to promote comprehension and read along with them!

Read alouds for young readers
Max and Ruby - Rosemary Wells
McDuff - Rosemary Wells
Little Bear - Else Homelund Minarik
Elephant and Piggy - Mo Willems
Olivia - Ian Falconer

Grades 1-3
Henry and Mudge - Cynthia Rylant
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle - Betty MacDonald
The Magic Treehouse - Mary Pope Osborne
Ricky Ricotta - Dav Pilkey
Keena Ford - Melissa Thomson
Ivy and Bean - Annie Barrows
Notebook of Doom - Troy Cummings
Owl Diaries -  Rebecca Elliott
Princess Pink - Noah Jones
Fly Guy  - Tedd Arnold

Grades 4-6
I Survived… - Lauren Tarshis
Kidnapped  - Gordon Korman
Hatchet Series - Gary Paulson
Among the Hidden - Margeret P. Haddix
Alvin Ho - Lenore Look

Additional May Newsletter Articles:

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 2020

10 Parent-Tested Educational Apps for Students

Sunday, March 1, 2020

March 2020

Plans for Next School Year

What Is the Process for Letting WCA Know Your Plans for Next Year?
Beginning on March 1, 2020 enrolled families need to indicate their plans for next school year. Caretakers need to check their Enrollment Details area of the Caretaker Home Page on March 1. Please select the Continue button in the Enrollment Details area and follow the directions provided. Step by step instructions on submitting enrollment (or withdrawal) information will appear in the Enrollment Details area of the Caretaker Home Page.

Data View and Timeline
When Caretakers select Continue to indicate their Plans For Next Year  in the Enrollment Details area, they are taken to a Data View, where they will indicate if their decision for returning the following school year is Yes, No, or Undecided.

Caretakers need to complete a separate ITR Data View for each of their students.
If a Caretaker conveys a decision to a teacher over the phone, teachers can record the decision in the student’s end-of-year Data View. Caretakers should make their decision by April 30, 2020.

What Are My Next Steps?
If the decision is YES, Caretakers will need to complete Returning Student Tasks, such as completing online forms and submitting documents if required. These tasks will appear in the Enrollment Details area of the Caretaker Home Page.                        

If the decision is NO, Caretakers will be asked to enter their student’s plans for schooling for the following year and their reason for not returning. If Caretakers would like to change this decision, they must contact the school to change their decision.

If the decision is UNDECIDED, Caretakers will be asked to enter information as to why they are undecided. Upon entering their reason, Caretakers will be asked to complete the Returning Student Tasks as if the decision were YES to help facilitate a family’s return when their decision is finalized.

Where Do I Go for Help?
Before the last day of school, Caretakers are encouraged to reach out to their student’s homeroom teacher with any questions or concerns about the process.

After the last day of school, if a Caretaker wishes to change their decision, they must contact Connections Education at 1-800-382-6010.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

February 2020

School Spirit Week

WCA students and staff are invited to participate in school spirit week. Below is the theme for each day.    Share your school spirit by taking a picture and emailing it to Jesse MacDonald in Connexus.

February 17: Crazy Hair

February 18: PJ Day

February 19: Talent Show / Formal Day
Dress in your best and join us in a “live” viewing of our first virtual talent show at 9 am in our WCA virtual classroom.

February 20: Mismatch Day

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

January 2020

Connecting With Students

Every year the staff looks for ways to improve our school.  One area that the staff wanted to improve on was their connections with all of their students. Since WCA is a virtual school, there is not always the opportunity to connect with the students as in a traditional schooling environment, especially when the students are not part of their homeroom.  This connection is important so that the students feel a part of the school and are comfortable reaching out for help when needed.  Therefore, the teachers are calling every one of their students at least one time per semester.  These calls allow the teachers and students to get to know each other, discuss what is happening in the course, and to offer suggestions and/or  ways they can support the students.  The teachers have received positive feedback with regards to these calls from students and their families.  They do need some help from you on building this connection.  Many times the teachers need to leave messages for their students.  Please encourage your student to call the teacher back or email the teacher a good time to be reached.  

In addition to above, the staff has been working on increase positive communication with WCA families. To date, the staff has sent 3,714 positive communications to students and their families. Starting second semester, Mrs. Mueller will be calling families at random or talking to them at testing to gain insights on what is working well and what areas the school can improve in.

Together, we can make a difference and open the door to a world of possibilities for all of our students at Wisconsin Connections Academy.

Monday, December 2, 2019

December 2019

WCA's First Cupcake Wars

On Friday, December 13 during our Winter Open House, WCA had it First Annual Cupcake War.  Students were able to submit their cupcakes both online and in-person.  Thank you to everyone who participated.

The winners of our in-person submissions, from left to right:

Artistic: Sophia N.
Festive: Savana R.  
Presentation: Sofia
Creativity: Aiyah M.   
Effort: Mrs. Johnston

The winners of our online submissions, from left to right:
Most Festive: Grace O. (Winter Wonderland)
Best Theme: Penelope O. (Chocolate Explosion)
Most Creative: Elias O. (Big Josh the Cupcake)
Artistic: Megan F. 
Most Colorful: Rachael P. (Nerd Vanilla Cherry)

I would like to thank our judges. From left to right: Ms. Graf (Mrs. Miller's daughter),
Mr. LeMahieu (Dean of Students), and Ms. Shaffer (School Secretary)


Friday, November 1, 2019

November 2019

2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Essay Contest

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter…”
                               -Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Young writers who are motivated by Dr. King’s life and his vision of uniting people for the good of all are invited to enter the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest.

Essay contest winners will have the opportunity to read their essays at the 29th Anniversary of the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration to be held on Monday, January 20th, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel on College Avenue in Appleton.  Each winner in the four age brackets will be awarded a $75 check and gift certificates courtesy of Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities and IndUS of the Fox Valley.

Contest Guidelines:
Administrators, teachers and parents are asked to encourage students to think about and write an essay on the following theme: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  How does remaining silent about racial injustices and social issues impact your life, school, community and our world? 
  • Contest categories by grade are: 2nd and 3rd, 4th through 6th, 7th through 9th, and 10th through 12th. 
  • Submissions may be in essay or poetry form and should not exceed one page.  Do not write names on essays.  Essays must be completed on 8 ½ x 11 sheet paper, loose leaf not accepted…it does not copy. 
  • Students should submit their essay along with the Information Cover Sheet containing the writer’s name, home/family email address, telephone number, school, grade, and school principal’s email.  Electronic copies are not allowed.
  • Please do not use staples to attach the name and essay sheets.
  • A panel of judges will critique the essays.  Originality will be a critical factor in the judging process.

To Apply:
  • Essays are accepted starting in October with contest deadline at 4:30 p.m. Friday, December 6th, 2019.
  •  Please submit entries to:
         2020 King Essay Contest, c/o United Way Fox Cities, 1455 Midway Road, Menasha, WI 54952
  • Call Tony Gonzalez at (920) 954-7211 with questions or if you need to arrange for drop off of an essay before 4:30 on December 6th.
  • Winners will be notified by phone or email.  If the student’s family does not have access to a phone/email address, please make sure the home address is included on the sheet accompanying the essay so that the judges may notify the winner by post mail.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is sponsored by African Heritage Inc, Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities, Lawrence University, and a number of area churches, religious organizations, businesses, social service agencies and individuals.  The King Celebration has been a unifying tradition in the Fox Valley since 1992.  It is free and open to the public.

Additional November Newsletter Articles: