October 2015

Lessons from the Library - October 2015

We have had a wonderful start to our new year in REACH/Library class despite the warm weather (students have enjoyed coming into the cool LMC to read and check out books:) All students are learning about the Dewey Decimal System to organize non-fiction books. Third and Fourth graders can continue to check out 2 books each week. Fifth graders will be allowed to check out up to 3 books once we start our non-fiction projects in October.

Van Hise Open House Information

We are busily getting ready for our Open House on Tuesday, October 6th from 5:30-7:00pm! Open House is a wonderful chance to visit your child's classroom and get to know Van Hise. It is also a great social opportunity to have dinner with your child's friends and their families. Thanks to our fabulous Parent Teacher Organization, free pizza will be served in the cafeteria.

In order to make sure that we have room in the hallways and common areas for everyone, we organized the evening into “shifts” by grade level to do different things at Van Hise during this event:

VHE Families Series: Peng Kangzhou

Peng Kangzhou, also known as Daniel, moved to Madison with his daughter in April. They come from Chongqing, China, a city with around 20 million inhabitants encompassing over one thousand towns and smaller townships. Viola Yang, now a VHE first grader in McGuire’s class, arrived with him to join the full year experience. His wife Angela “commutes” between Chongqing and Madison. Here, they live with the Veto family, who welcomed them at the airport and since then is sharing their year-long life in the US.

We Love the Hedgehogs!

Thanks to the AMAZING support from 67 families, we have already raised $5,795 for classroom stipends, literacy materials, art supplies, and other items that create TOP-NOTCH learning spaces for our hedgies! The support from our families and community is truly inspiring - THANK YOU!

Jottings From the Gym

We have been busy playing outside in this beautiful fall weather and learning how to "play fair." Learning all the rules of the playground and being a good sport is hard work but we do it so well here at Van Hise! Ask your child what their favorite playground activity we learned in PE is and let them teach it to you!

Music Note - October 2015

As you might have heard, Opera For the Young is coming to VHE this year! Though we typically have them every three years, we are getting an extra performance in this "off year" thanks to a generous donor. The opera we are studying is Mozart's The Magic Flute. We are learning four choruses in music class that we will sing along with the opera as a school.

October K-2 REACH News

During the month of October, Second Grade REACH students will use the book Never Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book- Book Care Guidelines from the Library Secret Service (Karen Casale) to review how to check out and properly care for books. Later in the month students will consider the author’s purpose as they listening to The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (JonScieszka) and Once Upon a breath, The Story of a Wolf 3 Pigs and Asthma (Aaron Zevy).

From the Desk of your School Social Worker


We know that achieving success is, in many ways, based on just being present: for grabbing opportunities, making connections, and learning new information and new skills.

One of the main reasons that students fail to succeed at school is that they don’t “just show up”. Student who miss more than 10 days of school per year end up missing so much academically! That is why Madison Metropolitan School District has a policy that strives to have every student achieve at least 94% attendance for each and every school year.

Garden Parents Needed!

Come get your hands dirty! You don't have to have a green thumb to help your child's class get some time in the outdoor classroom. Parent volunteers are still needed to pair with classroom teachers and assist facilitating taking kids outside for learning in the garden. No experience necessary - guidance and ideas for projects are offered.

Fall projects you could assist with include helping kids collect seeds to plant next year, planting garlic, harvesting, spreading mulch, and writing observations in a garden journal.

New Outdoor Classroom

We invite you to walk under the green bean arch just north of the playground to enter our new outdoor classroom – there are so many exciting things to discover. Each grade has a raised garden bed full of veggies they planted last spring, grown around a different theme: K – pizza garden, 1st – pickle garden, 2nd – sweet and regular potatoes, 3rd – veggies to eat with dip, 4th – salsa garden, 5th – quesadilla garden. Students will be busy harvesting and preparing their dishes soon.

Parents Night Out 2015

Mark your calendars!

Friday, December 11th will be our annual Parents Night Out Fundraiser.

Kindergarten and first grade teachers will babysit your children and feed them dinner while you go out. This event will be from 5-8 p.m. in the Van Hise gyms and cafeteria. Flyers will be sent home in November to RSVP for this wonderful event. This year we will be eating macaroni and cheese* from Noodles & Company!

*Gluten and dairy-free options available upon request!

PBS Updates October 2015

Hello VHE families!  I'm so happy to be starting my 6th year as the VHE Positive Behavior Coach. October is bullying prevention month, something we work hard on all year at Van Hise. We are working with students to understand what being an ally looks like, sounds like and feels like. We are rolling out our ally pledge  and asking to students help us be bully free at VHE! We are teaching how to stand up and report bullying behaviors to staff and working with students to learn to not be a bystander and to know what to do when different situations arise.

News From the Art Room October 2015

Welcome back VHE families!  So far we are off to a great start in the art room. We're currently working with our visiting artist Megan Cain to finish our garden mosaic mural. It's been so amazing to see the mural come together over the last few weeks. Our mural has been years in the making. From fundraising, planning, designing, and laying each piece of glass our students have been part of it all, and I'm so proud. After the mural is finished it will be stored in the art room until the construction on our building is complete and we can find the best place to install it.

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