November 2015

VHE Family Series - Maria Prudnikovich

Maria Prudnikovich was born in Luban, a small village near Vileika in Belarus. This is her third year at VHE: a bilingual teacher in kindergarten and first grade during her first year, a first grade teacher with Ms Mileham last year, and now a first grade teacher again. Maria Prudnikovich is also Ms Masha, her Russian nickname and also how everyone at VHE knows her.

A Note from Our Principal - November 2015

Dear Families,

It’s November, and the first signs of work on our new library at Van Hise are visible now.

The construction equipment has been lined up and ready to go. On October 15th, we held a ground breaking ceremony with Hamilton Middle School. There is more information in the newsletter about this event. The plans for the library and overall remodeling are available on the district website as well as outside our office area. The new library is scheduled to be complete at the end of February! Soon we will have some more space to stretch and learn!

Positive Behavior Support - Be An Ally!

Hello VHE families! I'm so happy to be starting my 6th year as the VHE Positive Behavior Coach. October was bullying prevention month, something we work hard on all year at Van Hise. This year we are working with students to understand what being an ally/upstander looks like, sounds like and feels like. We are rolling out our ally pledge (ask your child to tell you about the pledge) and asking students to help us be bully behavior free at VHE. We are teaching how to stand up to and report bullying behaviors to staff.

Art Project Updates November 2015

Kindergarteners are learning about color theory. Be sure to ask them about primary and secondary colors. First graders are letting their imaginations take them to far off places with a Magic Treehouse project. Second grade is creating their first weaving from a beautiful collection of papers, which will prepare them for fiber weaving in the future. Third grade is starting an amazing project about a turtle that grows a garden on her back. Their love of nature, artistic talents and patience makes this project perfect for this group of kids!

Mosaic Update

I'm so excited to share that just this past week we finished the mosaic mural with visiting artist Megan Cain. The mural is temporarily displayed in the art room window until we see what wall space is available after the school renovations are complete.

Backyard Bites Sign Up

This year marks the 3rd annual Backyard Bites Program at Van Hise Elementary School. Modeled on Farm to School and Homegrown Snack Programs around the country and region, our goal is to provide a healthy snack, created from locally grown and produced fruits, vegetables, dairy products and grains to all 400 plus students once each month. In addition to raising awareness of what foods are grown in Wisconsin, we also hope to introduce students to foods they may not have tried before.

We Love the Hedgehogs!

Our annual fundraising effort is wrapping up, and we want to extend a huge THANK YOU to more than 120 generous families.  As a group, we have raised more than $10,000 dollars to support our hedgehog classrooms and programs.  Your support makes Van Hise a truly special school.

If you still want to make a contribution, it's not too late!  You can return a check, payable to VHE PTO, in your student's take-home folder, or you can click here to donate via PayPal

THANK YOU for supporting our hedgehogs!

Coffee & Buttons for VHE Staff

Jennifer Roth, mom to Nora LaValley in 4th grade, rode her Cadence Nitro Coffee cart to Van Hise on October 6th and served staff coffee and ice cream to celebrate being an Ally during Anti-Bullying Awareness month. "Be an Ally" buttons were available for staff as well. Thank you Jennifer for your generous donation of time, coffee and ice cream! You made our day! 

Lessons from the Library 3rd-5th

October is Anti-Bullying month. Here are a few stories (some that we read) on this topic: Say Anything, The Bully Blocker’s Club, and The Recess Queen.  Please ask your children how they can be an “ally” at Van Hise. Last month we reviewed some important internet safety rules and started learning about how and where to find sources for information in the library. This month the 3rd graders worked on their acrostic poems. The 4th graders started their Important people projects. The 5th graders started their Non Fiction projects.

Plug Into Public Education

Love Jimmy Fallon? Love Lip Sync Battles? Don’t miss the first annual Lip Sync for Schools! Let your inner rockstar shine and raise funds for public education at the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools’ newest fundraiser. Based on popular skits from “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” the event features lip sync battles between community leaders with the audience determining a winner. The night also features a silent auction, photo booth, food and drink. We hope you’ll join us on Friday, November 6 from 7-11pm at the Brink Lounge.


During the month of November Second Grade REACH students will continue to consider the author’s purpose and work to identify if the author is trying to persuade, inform, and/or entertain the reader. Some of the books we will use are: Hey Little Ant (Phillip and Hannah Hoose), The Ant and the Grasshopper (Rebecca Emberley), and Inside an Ant Colony (Allan Fowler). They will use their username and password to login to our school library portal and navigate into Bookflix and Tumblebooks.

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