AHS Students Awarded Academic All-State

Academic All-State Honorees 

Allison Chomniak
“The Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin(GCAW) has announced that Allison Chomniak, Lauren Lauterbach, Lauren Reed, & Jessica Yost  of Arrowhead High School are Academic All-State honorees for the girls’ golf season that just concluded.  Students are nominated by GCAW member coaches if they meet the following criteria: 1) A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25, 2) participation in at least 75% of their team’s varsity matches, and 3) are at least a sophomore in high school.   These four young ladies are student-athletes who serve as a great examples to others, proving that academic and athletic successes are not mutually exclusive.

Lauren Lauterbach
The coaches association believes it is noteworthy that a record 230 female golfers from around the state have been honored this year for maintaining high academic standards in the classroom while competing in varsity golf.  In fact, the average cumulative GPA of this year’s honorees is an exceptional 3.776.  It is equally impressive that 17 of the top 20 finishers in the state tournament in both divisions are academic all-state honorees.


Lauren Reeg
The GCAW was formed by high school golf coaches in 1986 to help build Wisconsin's reputation for developing quality junior players by promoting golf in our schools and communities. Besides honoring both boys and girls who succeed as student athletes, the association also selects an annual All-State team for boys and girls based on their playing ability.  On March 1, 2012 a newly established award honoring the high school team with the highest cumulative GPA was also begun.
Jessica Yost



CONGRATULATIONS ALLISON, LAUREN, LAUREN, & JESSICA!!!!!!!

AHS Honors Veterans

Arrowhead High School
Honors Veterans

The following is an article AHS senior Brianna Meyer wrote for Living Lake Country Sunday on Arrowhead High School’s Veteran Tribute:

Last year, three teachers from the Arrowhead social studies department decided to honor veterans from AHS or the Hartland area with a showcase in the school hallway. Five months later, teachers Joseph Paul, Ron Reichle, and Craig Haase unveiled the Arrowhead Area Veteran Tribute in the commons. The eight foot tall, thirteen foot wide display will hold artifacts and photographs of over ten different veterans of past wars.

Paul said that he and his Arrowhead colleagues came up with the idea “over lunch one day last year.” Since then, the project has been growing and changing into the glass case it is today.

(Click on the picture to view a video on Arrowhead High School's Veteran Tribute)
 “The main purpose of the case us to recognize veterans from Hartland High School and Arrowhead High School,” said Reichle. “We want to show our appreciation for their service and to create a display case that the entire community can be proud of and will want to visit.”               

Originally just a small project, the veteran showcase started with Paul’s AP classes doing research about veterans from the Hartland area. Students looked on websites, searched army transcripts, and even looked through old yearbooks to confirm the identities of the soldiers.

“It was really fun,” said Arrowhead senior Maddie Klink of the project. She was a member of Paul’s AP US History class last year. “It was cool looking through old yearbooks and finding the veterans, and it was an honor hearing their stories and how touched they and their families were.”

While Paul had small dreams of a case hung on the wall, the three immediately realized they needed more space.

“[Mr. Paul] thought we should try and get in touch with as many of these veterans or their families as we could,” said Reichle. “We explained to them what we had planned and many asked if we would want to display medals or uniforms.  That is when a small four foot by eight foot case turned into the current thirteen by eight case.”

In order to pay for the case, the teachers sold doughnuts on Fridays to students and received donations totaling to $7,500. Even so, there is still room to donate.

We still need about $1,500 to pay for framing, printing and the dinner we have planned to officially open the case and honor these veterans and their families,” said Reichle.

Although there are still some veterans left to talk to, the case is slowly coming together. One part of the display is up, and the rest are on the way.

This first wave of items is not the end to the exhibit. The case will be an open display for anything veterans want to share with the community.

“The official unveiling is December 8th. It will never be ‘finished,’ but it is permenant,” said Paul.

Starting in early November, students at AHS will have the opportunity to have their writing up in the case. Interested students will prepare small write ups about a war being displayed or what Hartland was like at the time of the war. The winners’ writing will be put up in the case.
I think it's important to remember the sacrifice that members of the Arrowhead and Hartland High community have made,” said Paul. “Students today need to see and appreciate what others have done to protect America.”

Students are proud of the display and how everything has materialized. The case provides them with direct access to things relating to the subjects they are studying.

“I really enjoyed working on the project,” said Arrowhead senior Divya Kodali. She also worked on research through Paul’s class last year. “It’s an amazing feeling every time I walk down the hallway past the case and think, ‘Our APUSH class made this possible!’ It makes me feel great.”

There will be a dinner honoring all Hartland area veterans and a guest on Saturday, December 8th. The case will also be opened to the public on that day.

We are hoping that our display case is something that honors the area veterans and they will be proud to be a part of,” said Reichle.

In order to further support the Arrowhead Area Veteran Tribute or to attend the dinner, please contact Paul, Reichle, or Haase through Arrowhead High School. 

Student Senate Recognitions

Arrowhead High School’s Student Senate
Recognizes Students and Staff

Arrowhead High School’s Student Senate sponsors a student and teacher of the month at each campus.  These individuals are selected by student senate members for their outstanding accomplishments in and out of the classroom.  

Please join us in congratulating the following students and teachers of the month for September and October:

SEPTEMBER

Campus                        Student                                  Teacher

North Campus             Stephen Osowkis                  Mr. Dave Olenchek
South Campus             Lara Scheuth                        Ms. Alicia Brinkman



OCTOBER

North Campus            Noah Nethery                       Mr. Andy Zeurcher
South Campus            Jenna Tremmel                    Ms. Rayen Singletary

Arrowhead High School
 DECA's HAWKFEST 2012


(Click on picture to view video of HAWKFEST 2012 events)
Arrowhead High School’s DECA program recently sponsored the annual HAWKFEST 2012.  Steve Melzer, AHS Marketing Instructor, and his DECA students organized and facilitated the Charity Festival event held at Arrowhead High School.  This is an enormous undertaking and an exceptional learning experience for our young people.  


$5,000 I BACK JACK donation
It also generates funds, which are used to support local charities.  Arrowhead students giving back to the community is a trademark of our school and truly demonstrates just how exceptional our students are - - we can all be extremely proud of these young people.  






Over $1,200 raised for HAWS
HAWKFEST 2012 raised money for I BACK JACK(Children’s Cancer Research), HAWS(Humane Animal Welfare Society) of Waukesha County, DECA (Association of Marketing Students) Scholarships, and various other “give back”initiatives at the school .  Over $20,000 was raisedat this years event held on September 21, 2012 and over  6,000 people attended the event.  GREAT JOB MR. MELZER AND DECA STUDENTS!!!!!!

Go HAWKS!!!

Craig Jefson

Superintendent

Staff Efforts to Support Student Needs



What has Arrowhead High School done relative to the Focus School identification?

The DPI has stated that, “Title I Focus Schools must implement at least one of the three types of programs to help students who are at risk of failing to graduate, namely: Response to Intervention (RtI), Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), or Early Warning Systems.  These schools will receive training and assistance from the Wisconsin RtI Center, Department of Public Instruction, and others.”

What has Arrowhead High School done relative to the Focus School identification?
  • AHS is in its 3rd year of implementing RtI.
  • Kelly Schwegal, a member of the State RtI team, has been contracted with and has been working with our staff for the past 2 years.
  • Lynn Boreson, retired DPI consultant, was contracted with and has conducted intervention training with the AHS staff.
  • AHS has developed, implemented, and has in place a PBIS program.
  • AHS has developed, implemented, and has in place an “early warning system.”
  • DPI states, “Title I Focus Schools must implement at least one of the three types of programs to help students who are at risk of failing to graduate, namely: Response to Intervention (RtI), Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), or Early Warning Systems.” AHS has in place all three, has had training and ongoing support, and  has been commended by DPI staff.


Other information related to this matter:

  • The data provided by the DPI, in the Focus School Identification, is two years old. 
  • The DPI staff assigned to work with AHS, as part of the Focus School identification, has repeatedly stated that Arrowhead is far ahead of other State high schools in the implementation of these programs.
  • The AUHSD staff has received intense and individualized training from State experts.
  • As part of the Focus School identification AHS staff is required to attend training sessions.  Five AHS staff members recently attended a two day session (the first of several trainings), which was an Overview Training session.
  • The Arrowhead staff was asked during the training session, based on programming AHS has in place, to formally present to the staff from other schools in attendance.  Since the training, we are receiving several requests from other schools for materials and programming information developed by the AHS staff.
  • AUHSD has made a formal appeal of the Focus School identification to the State Superintendent and State Deputy Superintendent based on the issues identified in our review. (The appeal was made on September 24, 2012; to date no response)
  • AUHSD has also made a formal appeal of the Focus School identification to the Director of the Office of Educational Accountability.  (The appeal was made on October 10, 2012; to date no response)
  • The data used to identify AHS as a Focus School, although not specifically highlighted, will be reflected in the State Report Cards, scheduled to be released on October 22, 2012.


Important points to note related to the Focus School identification and the release of the State Report Cards:

Arrowhead School District is reaching out to the media, parents, community members, Board of Education, and AHS staff in an effort to proactively respond to the complexity of the State-Wide Accountability System communicating out to our stakeholders.  For schools, parents, the community, and the media to truly understand this information, it will require efforts on the part of all.

Arrowhead welcomes the opportunity to gather information and to look for ways we can improve the learning experiences for our students and to better meet the individual educational needs of our young people.

Arrowhead has largely built a strong reputation for high student academic, co/extra-curricular, and community service outcomes for young people based on having outstanding students, highly dedicated and skilled professionals, and strong community support.  The new accountability standards present an opportunity for our school district to challenge our organization to become better. 

“No school is perfect and no school can rest on its accomplishments.”  Taken from a column written by Alan Borsuk (Journal Sentinel Columnist) titled, “Change is coming for good schools, too.”  Arrowhead embraces the new standards as an opportunity and “a call for everyone to aim higher.”  Arrowhead also embraces the additional scrutiny, when the data accurately presents areas in need of attention.

Arrowhead had the opportunity, as a result of the DPI releasing data to our district, to conduct in-depth analysis of this information, to the level of identifying the individual students represented in the DPI data report(s).

Can we get better?  Absolutely!  However, the DPI report(s) are not in enough detail that a school district should respond with any actions, without first truly working to understand what is being reported.  Arrowhead, having had the opportunity to explore further the DPI report(s), has been able to examine the data and make some determinations that will better position our school district to address any areas in need of improvement.  It is imperative, for the benefit of our students and in beingvigilant in maximizing our resources (e.g. staff, finances), that we evaluate and make determinations, responding in a thoughtful, productive, and proactive manner, rather than in a reactionary manner.

We welcome your questions or comments.  Please feel free to contact me directly.  The Arrowhead staff looks forward to both the challenges and opportunities of continuing to make Arrowhead High School an outstanding educational institution.  The mindset of our staff makes all the difference for our students.   We all enjoy working with young people and we believe so much in what they can accomplish. It’s been said many times before; this job is not about books, buses, or buildings. It’s about people. This is at the core of our success. Just how good is this school?  It is as good as our staff and that is pretty darn good in my estimation!! 

Sincerely,

Craig Jefson
Arrowhead Superintendent

DPI Identifies AHS


DPI Focus School Identification – Arrowhead High School

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has identified “Priority” and “Focus” schools in the State of Wisconsin.  Arrowhead Union High School District (AUHSD) has been identified by the DPI as a “Focus School.”

The DPI has defined Title I Focus Schools as “those Title I schools with very low subgroup performance or those with the most significant achievement gaps between subgroups.”  In our research we found that the DPI identified 87 high schools as Title I schools (465 high schools in the State).  In complying with the federal No Child Left Behind waiver the DPI was required to identify 10% of the lowest performing schools, or 8.7 high schools in Wisconsin. The following is the data provided from the DPI to the AUHSD:


School Graduation Rates
State Graduation Rates
Subgroups that met cell size of
20 or more students enrolled:
4-Year
Rate
5-Year
Rate
Avg 4 & 5
Year Rate
4-Year
Rate
5-Year
Rate
Avg 4 & 5
Year Rate
Economically Disadvantaged
67.7%
81.0%
74.3%
74.7%
80.4%
77.6%
Not Economically Disadvantaged
96.5%
96.1%
96.3%
92.0%
93.1%
92.6%
Students with Disabilities
76.3%
73.9%
75.1%
67.4%
74.9%
71.2%
Students without Disabilities
96.2%
97.5%
96.9%
90.0%
92.0%
91.0%

On first blush, the data provided by the DPI would be enough for our school to say we need to look at this situation. The information provided would seem to indicate we are not meeting the standards or expectations of Arrowhead High School. 

Once we were able to identify the individual students found in the DPI data/numbers, some interesting information surfaced.  The following chart provides the specific details on the students used to represent Arrowhead High School as a Focus School:

DPI Measures
AHS Graduation Rates

Economically Disadvantaged
Students with Disabilities

5 year cohort
4 year cohort
5 year cohort
4 year cohort
Total Number of  Students DPI identified

21

21

34

38

Graduated

17

11

22

29
Did not Graduate

4

10

12

9
Non-Graduate Detailed Information
2 AHS equivalency  diploma;
1 returned to complete diploma;
1 dropped out
1 AHS equivalency;
3 returned & graduated 2012;
1 transferred & graduated MATC;
5 dropped out
(2 of which transferred out)
3 AHS equivalency;
2 still working;
4 returned & graduated;
1 transferred & graduated externally;
2 dropped out
3 graduated in 2012;
3 continuing;
1 transferred & graduated MATC;
2 dropped out

In reviewing this matter the following determinations were able to be made:

DPI only recognizes “regular” diplomas.  AHS can consider modifying local policy/practice to no longer distinguish between an equivalency and regular diploma.  This would require modifying the philosophy/beliefs of Arrowhead High School on what it means to be an Arrowhead graduate.  The current AHS belief/practice is to provide options and alternatives for students who may struggle in the traditional class setting towards earning a high school diploma.  A diploma is a physical representation that you have graduated from high school – no more, no less.  Arrowhead can simply do away with the equivalency diploma, award the regular diploma, resulting in 6 students off the “did not graduate” list. What really matters is what is on the student’s transcript.  The transcript will accurately represent the student’s educational experiences and accomplishments.  This appears to be a coding issue with the DPI.  In our research we have found in most instances school districts do not issue Equivalency diplomas, instead choosing to use a single diploma. The District has made a request to the DPI for the identified students to be coded correctly.

Federal IDEA Law: Students with disabilities, under IDEA and through an IEP, may continue their education through the age of 21.  The criteria used for identification as a Focus School does not take this into account.  This is not an area the AUHSD is willing to compromise, at this time, by rushing students through in 4 years when the student(s) may need additional time, simply to gain compliance in meeting the established expectations.

AHS identifies 5 students as having dropped out: Taking into account students who receive equivalency diplomas, those who graduated after their cohort groups, those who leave but graduate elsewhere, and understanding that individual students can be identified as both economically disadvantaged and as a student with a disability (1 student counts twice) Arrowhead High School is left with 5 students who are truly drop outs at AUHSD. 

Arrowhead High School has 5 students out of a cohort of over 550 students and a student body of approximately 2,300 students, which results in the Focus School identification.  Less than 1% of a graduating class – less than 0.25% of the Arrowhead student body.

The next blog will detail more specific information and explain what AUHSD has done relative to the Focus School identification.

Sincerely,

Craig Jefson
Arrowhead Superintendent


Focus School Identification


DPI Focus School Identification – Arrowhead High School

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has identified “Priority” and “Focus” schools in Wisconsin.  Arrowhead Union High School District (AUHSD) has been identified by the DPI as a “Focus School.”

The AHS identification is in the area of graduation gaps.  The following information is directly from the DPI relative to Closing Gaps”:
  • “Wisconsin has a number of specific and significant gaps in reading and mathematics achievement and high school graduation.”
  • The Closing Gaps Priority Area is designated to look at improvement among particular student groups in a way that “rewards schools for contributing toward closing the statewide achievement gaps.”
  • Closing graduation gaps using the high school cohort graduation rate.
  • Each “gaps” group is contrasted with a comparison group as shown below:

“Gaps” Group
Comparison Group
American Indian
White not Hispanic
Asian
White not Hispanic
Black not Hispanic
White not Hispanic
Hispanic
White not Hispanic
Students with disabilities
Students without disabilities
Economically disadvantaged
Not economically disadvantaged
Limited English proficient
English proficient
Supergroup
Not in supergroup

The two highlighted areas were identified by the DPI for students at AHS.  Our next Blog will break down the information and explain what AHS has done to address this matter.