Letter: State cuts would hurt

Concerned about the negative effects Gov. Walker’s recently proposed budget would have on education in Oregon, the school board is drafting a letter to send to district parents and guardians. 

The idea is to get their help bringing the district’s case to state lawmakers, who will finalize the 2015-16 biennial budget later this spring.

At Monday night’s board meeting, Oregon School District superintendent Brian Busler said district officials had been considering sending a letter to Gov. Walker and the state Legislature. He noted, however, that in recent years, “that approach hasn’t been super-successful.”

So instead, he proposed communicating with voters.


Residents help with flu study

The more that’s known about the flu, the better the chances of fighting back.

That’s the idea behind the current medical research study going on with significant assistance from Oregon School District students. The project is headed by Dr. Jon Temte, a long-time Oregon resident and professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

His research team was recently awarded a $1.5 million three-year grant by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to better determine what role influenza plays in student absenteeism and correlate that to influenza data in clinics to see what patterns emerge.

“If the project is successful, the new system may serve as an early predictor of flu outbreaks in communities,” Temte said.


Meyers resigns from high school

Two months after she was arrested for drunken driving multiple times while on medical leave from the Oregon School District, high school principal Kelly Meyers resigned Tuesday. 

Earlier this month, Meyers was convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, with two similar charges pending from incidents in December. 

In a letter sent to district parents and guardians Tuesday afternoon by superintendent Brian Busler, he said the resignation is effective immediately and that district officials wish Meyers the best “as she continues to address her medical concerns.” Meyers had been on a medical leave of absence since August 2014, a status that was changed to administrative leave in December after district officials learned of her arrests. 


School district, police help solve driving issue near RCI

Photos by Scott De Laruelle. A Rome Corners Intermediate School student uses a green flag to help alert drivers that students are using the crosswalk on South Perry Parkway after school last week. The flags were added as a safety measure earlier this year after the school got several complaints about drivers not stopping for students waiting at the crosswalk. Below, students head home from school using the crosswalk.

When he looked out his window toward Rome Corners Intermediate School to watch his daughter walk home to and from school, what Robert Zimmerman saw instead was trouble.

A resident of South Perry Parkway, Zimmerman lives in front of a crosswalk established a few years ago when athletic fields were moved closer to the school. The area had been set up to give students the right of way to cross before and after school, but what Zimmerman and his wife were increasingly seeing were drivers instead plowing through the intersection while students waited.

It was an accident waiting to happen, and he wasn’t about to let one occur.


School board approves teacher contracts

If getting the teachers’ contract done earlier in the year is any sign of recent progress between the school board and educators, things are looking up.

Still, board members were starkly divided on which staff should get a supplemental pay increase, shedding light on an issue some say is causing “friction” among teachers.

The board unanimously approved a contract with the Oregon Education Association at its meeting Monday night, about four months earlier than last year’s deal, which had been reached just weeks from the end of the school year. The district’s human assets committee and OEA had reached a tentative agreement in December during a session with a Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission mediator, which was ratified by OEA members last month.

Under the agreement, all teachers in the OEA will receive a 1.46 percent base wage increase, the maximum amount allowed by the state law under Act 10.


OMS dodgeball tournament photos

Oregon Middle School held a dodgeball tournament Friday, Jan. 30,  as part of an all-school assembly that included some awards, the choir singing the National Anthem and a spoken word group performance.


Going global in Oregon

Photo by Scott De Laruelle. OMS seventh-graders Ethan Williams, Emma Halverson, Oyunzaya Batbaatar and Tanner Sergent talk strategy during a “mystery Skype” assignment last week. Students in Pernille Ripp’s class had to guess the location of the other classroom, using only yes or no questions, without any help from the teacher. Ripp said besides learning geographical skills, students also learned how to work as a team to solve the problem.

Oregon Middle School teacher Pernille Ripp is only in her first year in the district, but she’s already gained national recognition for her novel approach to connecting students to classrooms around the world.

Ripp, a native of Denmark who teaches seventh grade, was recently named a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for 2015 for “excellence in using technology to help students learn and achieve more,” according to a press release from the company. She was selected for creating the Global Read Aloud
(, a literacy initiative that has connected more than 500,000 students since 2010 through the use of technology.

“These educators are transforming learning environments and delivering more personalized education to students, allowing them to do more and achieve more,” said Microsoft Worldwide Education vice-president Anthony Salcito.


Meyers investigation nearing end

In the wake of her conviction last week of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the Oregon School District’s investigation of OHS principal Kelly Meyers is nearing completion, said district superintendent Brian Busler.

“It’s our hope to have the matter resolved within the next weeks,” he said Tuesday.

Meyers was convicted of first-offense drunken driving last week in Stoughton Municipal Court, which handled the case due to a possible conflict of interest with a municipal judge in Oregon. According to court records, Meyers’ driver’s license has been revoked for one year and she was fined $750. When she is able to drive again, she will be required to have an ignition interlock device in her vehicle. 


OHS DECA heading to state competition

Photo submitted. Around 50 Oregon High School marketing students competed at the recent District 3 DECA Conference held at Sun Prairie High School.

More than 50 Oregon marketing students competed at the District 3 DECA Conference held at Sun Prairie High School on Jan. 10, with 45 students placing in a variety of events, collecting 85 medals. Fifteen OHS students are moving on to state competition in Lake Geneva on March 10-11 for a shot at the DECA national competition this spring in Orlando, Florida.

DECA advisor John Curkovic said students won more medals at district competition than ever before, with several students’ business plans moving on to state competition and three students running for state office, which is “generally unheard of.”

“Students are performing amazingly,” he said.

Curkovic said marketing students competed in multiple business events covering topics in economics, finance, marketing/business, math and management. 


‘Piece of the Peace’

Photos by Scott De Laruelle. Prairie View Elementary School fourth-grader and “POP Patrol” member Belinda Akale helps Callum Burkholder at the lunch line last week.

Elementary school can be a tough transition for kindergartners not used to being in a big building all day with four grades of students older than them. 

But under a new program at Prairie View Elementary School, a group of fourth-graders is helping younger students get around the hallways and lunchrooms while learning some valuable lessons about mentoring at the same time.

A new theme at the school is “Be the Good,” noted PVE principal Heather Sveom, and the 23 fourth-graders who make up the school’s POP (Piece of the Peace) Patrol are showing their colleagues how to do just that. The students take time out of their day to greet others at arrival time, help in the breakfast and lunch lines and generally make sure everyone is safe in the hallways.