Oregon School Board approves grant for fabrication lab

When it comes to attracting and retaining teachers and students, it never hurts to have some state-of-the-art technology in the school district. 

With an eye toward modernizing its growing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum, Oregon school board members voted unanimously Monday night to pursue funding to bring a digital fabrication laboratory, or “Fab Lab” to the Oregon High School. Currently, there is only one known Fab Lab in a Wisconsin high school, at Stoughton High School. 


Oregon High School presenter encourages action to stop sexual assault

Photos by Scott Girard. Presenter Mike Domitrz, right, talks about how egos can lead people astray in romantic situations after Oregon High School students Kardelle Phillips, left, and Addie Schipper acted out a scene. Domitrz’s message to the students was that a “look” or “gut feeling” can be misinterpreted, but a question offers everyone a choice.

“Can I kiss you?”

That question, asked by a role-playing Oregon High School student to another on stage Monday morning, brought plenty of laughter from the audience.

But it shouldn’t, said presenter Mike Domitrz, who was at the school to share his story of his sister, who was raped, and explain how students can help ensure that rape and sexual assault don’t happen in their community.

The idea started with a simple step, but one perhaps not commonly used in many romantic interactions: Asking a question.

“Body language is interpreted by your ego,” Domitrz told the students, after they said a “look” tells them if their partner is interested in kissing. “Your ego will lie to you just to make you feel good.”


Journey into the past at Oregon Middle School Madrigal Dinner Feb. 12 and 13

Imagine yourself back in the time of the Renaissance, dining with the king and queen and their royal court in the great hall of a castle. You sit back and enjoy a five-course meal brought to you by the royal servants, and as you feast, you are entertained by songs, the humor of the court jester and theatrical entertainment.

All this and more is part of the pageantry and fun of the annual Oregon Middle School Madrigal Dinner, performed by seventh and eighth-graders at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 and 13 at the OMS cafeteria. OMS teacher Heather Rattman (who along with Julie Hutchinson is the event co-director) said that historically, a madrigal dinner was a celebration of the coming spring, with the king and queen inviting their subjects to share a feast and be entertained by the royal court. 


Public school open enrollment period starts on Feb. 1

Wisconsin’s public school open enrollment application period, which allows parents to send their children to any public school district in the state, runs from Feb. 1 to April 29 for the upcoming 2016‑17 school year.

Traditionally, children in Wisconsin are assigned to public school districts based on the location of their parents’ home. 

The state’s open enrollment program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and began in the 1998-99 school year with 2,464 students transferring from their home district to a nonresident district, according to a DPI press release last week. The program has grown over the years, with 53,188 students transferring during the 2014-15 school year.


Oregon, Brooklyn students score better than state averages on Badger Exam, ACT

While it was the only year they will have to take the “Badger Exam,” students in the Oregon School District fared better than their state counterparts in testing last year. OSD juniors also outscored the state average in the ACT test last year, the first taken by all public high school juniors in Wisconsin. 

Test results were provided to school districts last summer but were embargoed to the public until last week. 


New concealed carry law proposed at state level

A proposed state law would allow the carrying of concealed weapons on school grounds but would allow school districts to prohibit them inside school buildings.

Wisconsin does not currently allow weapons on school grounds, and the bill’s co-authors said it would make Wisconsin’s law “compatible with federal law” by “clarifying the law about concealed carry within a school zone.”

On Jan. 13, state Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and co-author state Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) introduced the Wisconsin School Zone Empowerment Act, and Lazich said the bill “expresses the intent of the federal Guns Free School Zone law by permitting concealed-carry licensees to carry on school grounds.”


OHS’ Kindschi named Wisconsin ‘Global Educator of the Year’

Photo submitted. Oregon High School teacher Lou Kindschi traveled to Russia in 2014, about five miles from the Ukraine border, where she toured small rural schools to exchange folk stories with residents.

It’s not unusual for Oregon High School social studies teacher Lou Kindschi to be away on an educational trip to Europe, Asia or South America, but Friday, her journey took her just a while east along I-94. 

The morning of Jan. 22, at the Joint State Education Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction superintendent Tony Evers presented the globe-trotting teacher with the inaugural “Wisconsin Global Educator of the Year” award. 

According to a DPI news release, the award will be given annually to recognize educators who “demonstrated excellence in the area of Global Education.”


Oregon School Board members seek summit on health, drug issues

Seeking to get a better grip on mental health, alcohol and drug issues among middle and high schoolers in the district, Oregon School Board members voted Monday to sponsor a summit to gather information.

The release in October of the Dane County Youth Survey, conducted every three years among thousands of students in grades 7-12, spurred the board’s action.

Board member Barb Feeney said she would like to present the survey findings to community residents to “hear about these results, talk about what we’re doing in the district now, and eventually do some brainstorming and come up with what we could or should be doing.” She said there could also be some “follow-up” as needed after such a session.


Burst pipe causes student shuffle at Rome Corners Intermediate School

Photos by Scott De Laruelle. A burst water pipe flooded the “Yellow A” classroom group (pictured below) at Rome Corners Intermediate School early Monday morning before students arrived, necessitating moving around 50 students and teachers to another part of the building for about a week until repairs are completed.

Frigid weather might have been a bit late arriving this year, but Old Man Winter worked his magic Monday morning on an unsuspecting water pipe at Rome Corners Intermediate School.

A burst water pipe caused a “significant amount of water” to spread throughout one of the school’s classroom groups, forcing staff and students to relocate for around a week.

In an email to the Observer Monday, Oregon School District superintendent Brian Busler said a water pipe serving an outside water outlet on the south wall of the Yellow 1 classroom broke around 6:45 a.m. Monday morning. He said Yellow 1 includes two teachers and around 50 students. 

Students were moved to other classrooms for the day, and will stay there until the damage is repaired, likely sometime next week, he said.


Vogeler will not seek re-election

Citing ongoing commitments to care for ailing family members, Oregon School Board vice-president Rae Vogeler will not seek re-election in April. 

In an email to the Observer last week, Vogeler said she wanted to devote more time to her family and her role in as caretaker in the past year for “a number of relatives who have had serious medical conditions.”

“I expect this situation to continue in 2016, so I am stepping back from my life as an elected official,” she said. “I may consider public office in the future, but right now need to put my family first.”

Vogeler thanked district residents for electing her to the board in 2013. 


Comment Here