Friday, April 20, 2012

What Every Parent Should Know About Common Core Standards

The state of Wisconsin is currently in the process of adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The CCSS are a coherent progression of learning expectations in English language arts and mathematics designed to prepare K-12 students for college and career success (1).  Wisconsin currently has model academic standards in all subject areas, however these standards will be replaced by the CCSS.

Why the change?
The CCSS communicate what is expected of students at each grade level, putting students, parents, teachers, and school administrators on the same page, working towards shared goals (1).  The change will standardize the content covered, and the level of rigor, which with current standards can vary widely from state to state.

Who developed the standards?
The CCSS initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (2).  The standards were developed by a diverse coalition of educators, parents, college professors, and civil rights groups.  The goal of CCSS is to define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs (2).

What are the key features of the English Language Arts Standards?
Reading:  Growth in text complexity and comprehension.  The CCSS will emphasize providing challenging reading opportunities and development of the skills needed to comprehend (1).

Writing:  Text types, responding to reading and research.  The skills of planning, revising, editing, and publishing will applied to many types of writing.  Specific types of writing (arguments, explanatory, narratives) will addressed (1).

Speaking:  Flexible communication and collaboration.  Students will be required to develop a broad range of useful oral communications (1).

Language:  Grammar, effective use, and vocabulary.  The CCSS include the essential rules of standard written and spoken English, but also include language as a matter of craft (1).

What are the key features of the Math Standards?
There are two types of math standards in the CCSS:  one for mathematical practices and one for mathematical content.   The standards for mathematical practices will be stressed throughout the K-12 mathematical scope and sequence.  They include:
1. Making sense of problems and perseverance in solving them.
2.  Abstract and quantitative reasoning
3. Constructing viable arguments
4. Modeling
5. Strategic use of tools
6. Precision
7. Looking for and making use of structure
8. Looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning (1)

How will the standards be assessed?
In 2014-15 a new standardized testing system will be implemented.  This system will replace the current Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE).  The new test will be multi-faceted and include formative data that will be available to teachers and parents sooner then the current model.

What we are doing to prepare for the change?
Teachers at all levels and in all content areas are already actively investigating the CCSS.  The process of realignment includes study of the standards,  reorganization of curriculum, and content-specific training.  Teachers in all content areas will focus on embedding literacy in their disciplines.  The district plans to use curriculum companion software developed by CESA 7 as a framework for aligning our local curriculum with the Common Core Standards.

Related Resources
1.  What Every Parent Should Know about Common Core Standards
2.  Common Core Standards Website
3.  Cashton Public Schools Transition to the Common Core

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baseball Team Allows Just 9 Runs In Their First 7 Games.

The Eagles are off to an excellent start to the 2012 season.  They are currently 6-1 (4-1 in the Scenic Bluffs).  The team has been led by strong pitching, good defense, and a balanced hitting attack.  The squad iscurrently ranked 5th is Division 4.  The LaCrosse Tribune recently featured the team in an article (LINK)

Caleb Fernholz

Dominic Flock

Hans Stennes-Spidahl

Hans Stennes-Spidahl

Meeting on the mound

Dylan Scharping

Brandon Schmitz

Softball team scores 33 runs in last two games, improves record to 4-2

The cold spring weather has not prevented the softball team from swinging some hot bats.  The Eagles have been led by a balanced group of hitters.  Kelli Schmitz, senior catcher, is hitting .524 and leads the team with 19 RBI. Kesha Janzen (.455), Lane Dickman (.462), and Mariah Campton (.429, 15 RBI) are also off to excellent starts at the plate.  Mackenzie Daines, senior pitcher, has done a great job as the Eagles only pitcher this year.   The team was recently featured in the LaCrosse Tribune (LINK).

Mariah Campton

Mackenzie Daines

Lane Dickman

Crystal Felch

Ashley Hurtz

Jackie Hanson

Kesha Janzen

Meeting at the mound

Kelli Schmitz

Track and Field Athletes Start Strong

The track and field season is in full swing and Cashton athletes have already posted some impressive results.
Click on the link to each meet for complete results:

West Salem Invite at St. Mary's

If you are interesting in tracking results throughout the year, Mr. Mosley continually updates his website with results, information, and pictures throughout the season. (LINK)

Sarah Gronemus

Amber Dahl

Betsy Schreier

Chloe Kaiser

Brandon Gabrielson and Josh Hemmersbach

Marisa Schaldach

Drew Pieper

Brett Von Ruden

Quarter 3 Honor Roll

The following Cashton Middle/High School students made the A-honor for Quarter 3:

12th Grade
Mariah Campton
Sonia Cummings
Amber Dahl
Mackenzie Daines
Dillon Flock
Megan Flock
Brandon Geier
Sarah Gronemus
Whitney Hanson
Allison Hemmersbach
Chloe Kaiser
Amelia Korn
Clare Leis
Alex Mlsna
Robin Muenzenberger
Sam Roamer
Kelli Schmitz
Mark Steger
Hans Stennes-Spidahl
Brian Swiggum
Amber Tway
Cody Von Ruden

11th Grade
Lane Dickman
Morgan Dickman
Caleb Fernholz
Megan Hemmersbach
Ashley Hurtz
Kesha Janzen
Robert Lutz
Hannah Peterson
James Slattery
Ashley Thornton

10th Grade
Kala Arentz
Katrina Bjornstad
Kole Campton
Jacky Dickman
Nichole Gaethke
Troy Muenzenberger
Nick Schreier
Carrie Urbanek
Casey Urbanek
Tanner Von Ruden

9th Grade
Mark Gronemus
Brooke Muenzenberger
Betsy Schreier
Clare Slattery
Tabitha Swenson
Brandon Vieth

8th Grade
Jocalyn Carpenter
Lindsey Kramer
Ethan Leis
Jamie Schmitz
Lauren Thornton

7th Grade
Rose Adams
Avrie Butzler
Emma Freiberg
Rebecca Gronemus
Harley Hundt
Breanne Huntzicker
Angela Klinkner
Olivia Pieper
Noel Schmitz
Stephanie Tirado Mendoza
Abby Wendland

6th Grade
Brady Butzler
Ethan Cook
Kyah Flock
Taylor Flock
Taylor Hanley
Madaline Leis
Tayloe Menzynski
Autumn Ritter
Emily Swenson
Laura Zinnel

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cashton High School Recognized by US News and World Report

Cashton High School has been recognized by US News and World Report as a Bronze Medal school in their annual review of the "Best High Schools" in the United States.  The magazine analyzed 21,786 public high school in 48 states plus the District of Columbia.  A three-step process was used to classify high schools.  The first step compared Cashton students' performance on the WKCE (Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam) to other students in the state.  Statistically our students perform better than average on the reading and math exams.  The second step in the process is to analyze the achievement gap between average students and those students in traditionally under-performing groups.  At Cashton the achievement gap is significantly lower than the state and national average.

It is due to the strong performance in both of these areas that Cashton was recognized as a Bronze Medal school.  To be recognized as Gold or Silver Medal school students must perform exceptional on Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate tests.  Due to our size, we do not have enough of a student sample on these tests to be considered.  It is important to note all Cashton students who express an interest in taking an AP course, in any subject area, have access to these classes through online or distance learning.  Although it is not considered by US News and World Report, I believe our ACT data indicates our students are ready for a successful college experience.  Our 2011 graduates' average composite score of 23.2 is the 2nd highest in the Coulee region, and higher than state and national averages.

While testing data is not the only performance indicator we use to judge the success of our school, this recognition is a positive reflection of our efforts to foster a nurturing and engaging learning environment that empowers all students to reach their fullest potential.

For more information US News and World Reports' methodology for identifying top-performing high schools click HERE