March 2016

A Note from Our Principal - March 2016

Dear Van Hise Families,

It's March and we are almost finishing up 3rd quarter!  Time sure flies when you are having fun learning!  This month we have our Multi-Cultural Night on March 4th.  If you haven't come to this event in the past - or are new to our school this year, take the time to bring the family!  I am always inspired and amazed at the diversity of our school, the delicious food from so many cultures, and the beautiful traditions that are shared through dance and music.  We also end our month with Spring Break beginning on March 21st through March 28th.

REACH March 2016

5th Grade: The fifth grade VHE Book Bowl is on Thursday, March 17th at 1:45 in the Van Hise Cafeteria - families are welcome to attend! The fifth graders completed their state reports using google slides. They are presenting them to their peers in Library/Reach class.

Great Dane Night & Papa John's!

Monday, March 14 from 3-8pm
with Entertainment by our VHE Kids

It's time again for our night full of entertainment at the Hilldale Great Dane! We will have musical performances by our VHE kids and alumni students from 4-6 p.m. To kick off the night the entire 4th grade class will perform a special number so don't be late.

Come eat, drink, be entertained while supporting our school. The Great Dane will give 15% of all proceeds to our VHE!!Come, eat, drink and have fun!

VHE Families Series: Gonzalo Merino Arévalo

Sílvia and I are from a region in the north east of Spain called Catalonia. I am from Barcelona, the capital, with a metropolitan area of close to 3 million people. Sílvia is from a much pleasant place called Ponts. This is a small town with 2,500 inhabitants in the middle of a region that could be the “Wisconsin of Catalonia”: far from the sea–in European distances–, cold, and with plenty of farms.

Playground Community Meeting March 30

The Van Hise PTO invites you to a community meeting about the playground Wednesday, March 30th, 6:30-8:00pm in the cafeteria! Put on your play hat, bring your kids and take a look at a variety of options from landscape architect firm ZDA to refurbish or move current playground equipment, while also considering some nature based play options that can help control water issues like seasonal Lake Van Hise near the swing set.

Save the Date for Parent Education: Growth Mindset

Based on the research by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dwesk, learn how teaching a growth mindset in your child helps them build motivation and creativity wherever they are in their academic and personal development. Tuesday April 9th, 6:30-7:30pm. Childcare will be provided. Learn more here:

The PTO invites you to stay for the business meeting after Parent Ed, 7:30-8:30pm. Childcare will be provided.

PTO Treasurer Needed

The Van Hise PTO is looking for a Treasurer to serve on the board for the 2016-2017 school year. If you enjoy working with numbers and are comfortable with Excel and Quicken, the PTO could use your skills to support Van Hise teachers and students. Time commitment is about 8-16 hours a month. Please contact our current Treasurer Dana McCloskey at to learn more about the position!

Jottings from the Gym March 2016

One of our curricular strands for Physical Education is gymnastics and every year we have four weeks with "the equipment." This "equipment" travels to every elementary school in Madison and is a highlight for many of our students. The equipment includes large metal A frames that hold up bars, ladders, beams, trapezes, rings and a cargo net. We also have some stand alone boxes we use for exploring mounting and vaulting. Students use the time on the equipment to explore gymnastic basics like rotations, balances, vaulting and climbing.

4th Annual VHE Art & Craft Fair

Attention all student and adult artists! It's time to claim your spot at the 4th annual VHE Art & Craft Fair!

The fair will be May 7, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Student artists (K-12) can reserve a booth space for just $10. Booths for adults are available for $50. Artists keep 100 percent of their sales, and are welcome to share a booth with a friend. A booth consists of a 10 x 10 foot space inside the school, and a table.

Music Notes March 2016

March is Music in the Schools month! As a tribute, I thought I'd share a little of my philosophy and planning process.

As many of you may have heard me explain, at any given time, I design three outcomes (or goals) for the students in music. They are specific for each grade level, but often they are related in a general way, as I always hope that students (and their siblings and parents) can take joy in meaningful music conversations!

Our current outcomes (or learning goals):

Order Your VHE Yearbook Now!

Memories like this come once in a lifetime!

Remember all your friends, favorite teachers, classes, games, fun, music, art, events, fashion, field trips and everything in between with your very own VHE Yearbook.

The price of the book in full color is $10.

To place your order, complete this order form and return it to your child’s teacher with your payment in an envelope marked “Yearbook,” by Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

2016 5th Grade Graduation

Dear VHE Parents of 5th Grade Students: the 2016 5th Grade Graduation committee is forming now. The ceremony takes place on the last day of school and usually lasts about an hour. Committee members will help plan this casual yet important event in conjunction with Principal Peg Keeler and 5th grade teachers.

We are in need of general committee members. Responsibilities will be decided when the committee meets.

Stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities:

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