10:50 a.m., Oct. 21, Power Outage Update

As of 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, the power has been restored to all school buildings. Our communications systems are coming back online. Lunch service may be delayed in our schools due to the outage, but lunch will be served.

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10:30 a.m., Oct 21, Power Outage Affecting Schools

A power outage in the city of Delavan is affecting the Delavan-Darien School District.

As of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October, 21, the outage is affecting DDHS and Wileman Elementary schools, which are without power.

Also, district-wide communications are currently limited, including internet and phones.

We are hopeful to have power and services restored in short order. Stay tuned for updates.

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LOCKDOWN UPDATE #3: Oct. 17

Dear Delavan-Darien School District parents and students,

Thank you for your patience and cooperation with us today as we had a very rare, but very scary situation that affected all of our schools this morning. Rest assured that all students were safe in our schools today and we will work to ensure that they always are.

Yesterday afternoon, police in East Troy received word that someone threatened to “shoot up the school” on a social messaging phone application called Yik Yak. The Yik Yak application sends text messages out to other people using the same application who are in the vicinity of where the message originated.

When the investigation revealed that the message originated near East Troy, East Troy Schools gave their students the option of staying home from school today.

We here at Delavan-Darien schools did not learn of this threat until just before the start of the school day. We took precautions by having extra police presence in our buildings at the start of school.

Shortly after the start of school, police informed us that the person who allegedly originated the message may be in Delavan-Darien High School. We then immediately initiated a lockdown for all of our school buildings. The suspected student was taken into police custody. After the questioning of this student and several others, it was determined by police and school officials that the school days could resume as normal. The lockdown was lifted for all schools by 9 a.m.

East Troy and Delavan police continue to investigate the situation and this is considered a police matter.

We encourage you to talk with your students about appropriate behavior while using technology. We also encourage you to have them delete the Yik Yak application from their phones and prevent them from downloading it. The district has taken steps to prevent the use of the application on school grounds.

See below for further information about the Yik Yak application, and again, thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

 

WHAT IS YIK YAK?

Yik Yak is a mobile social media application that allows for users to make anonymous posts online and within the app. When registering for an account, users only need to provide a cell phone number. Yik Yak allows for 200-character texts to be sent and seen by other app users within the vicinity. The app uses GPS and cell phone towers to determine the texter’s location. The app, according to the maker’s website, is intended for use by those 17 or older.

From Delavan-Darien School District internet networks, users cannot access or download the “Yik Yak” app. However, because this is a cellular application, students may be able to access and use the app using cellular internet connections, which we cannot control.

 

Cooperation and Vigilance

This situation shows the importance of constant vigilance by all involved to use technology appropriately. Cooperation between districts, schools, communities, families and students will help to ensure that unfortunate situations like these are kept to a minimum. We encourage parents to talk with students about appropriate use of technology. This includes making threats, cyberbullying, “sexting” and other behavior that may not be appropriate for students.

The Burlington School District recently had a letter home to parents about this very type of issue, which read:

A significant way that we can deal with this Yik Yak app and others is to promote digital citizenship at home and at school. This is a learning opportunity for students on how their behavior and choices they make can have an impact others and their own future in a digital world. We ask that you have a meaningful conversation with your son/daughter. We also recommend deleting the Yik Yak app and reviewing the apps on your child’s phone. Together, we can continue to make our school district a safe place for all students to live and learn.

App has caused problems elsewhere:

Today’s incident is not the first of its kind as it relates to the Yik Yak app. Here are some articles about the app.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/07/tech/yik-yak-app-high-school-problems/

http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-opinion/2014/09/yik_yak_app_represents_a_deep.html

Learn more

The Delavan-Darien School District has embedded internet safety in its curriculum for all students, K-12. We teach it regularly. For more information about internet safety, please visit these sites:

www.netsmarts.org

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School | Leave a comment

LOCKDOWN UPDATE #2: October 17

Dear Parents and students:

This morning, just prior to the start of the school day, Delavan-Darien School District officials were informed of an online threat of a potential school shooting. The threat was non-specific, but was possibly made to schools in the Walworth County area, including Delavan-Darien Schools.

This threat came through a mobile social media application called Yik Yak, which allows individuals to send messages anonymously.

Delavan-Darien School District officials were made aware of this threat just before the start of the school day. The threat originated in the East Troy area.

Upon learning of the threat, police checked the entrances of all buildings and worked with district staff to facilitate a district-wide lockdown at the start of the school day for all schools.

The threat, as reported by area media outlets, was that someone was going to “come shoot up the school.” Again, this was a not specific to any school.

Through police investigation, it was learned shortly after the start of the school day that the threat was allegedly made on a phone possessed by a Delavan-Darien High School student. The student is in custody and the police investigation into the situation is ongoing. East Troy police are leading the investigation and Delavan Police are working closely with them.

After the student was identified by police, the district and police decided that it was safe to lift the lockdown order at all schools. School activity returned to normal by 9 a.m. at all schools.

Delavan police will provide an increased presence in and around school buildings throughout the day and at tonight’s varsity football game. We feel students are as safe as any normal school day and police are handling the matter appropriately.

Please stay tuned to our website for more information on the social media Yik Yak.

Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School | Leave a comment

LOCKDOWN UPDATE: October 17

Good morning Delavan-Darien School District Families,

This message is to inform you about a district-wide lock down conducted this morning at all of our school buildings. This lockdown was a result of a police investigation into an online threat made to schools in the Walworth County area, including Delavan-Darien Schools. We are working with Delavan Police and Walworth County Sheriff’s deputies in keeping all of our students, staff and school visitors safe. As a precaution, district administrators chose to lock down all buildings. The lockdown ended for all schools by 9 a.m. when police gave the all clear. School activities have returned to normal.

Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School | Leave a comment

Who let the D.O.G.S. in to Turtle Creek Elementary?

Heroes-of-the-Hallways-Rotator1

DELAVAN — A herd of “D.O.G.S.” is expected to soon make its way into Turtle Creek Elementary School. Fortunately, there’s no need to place a warning sign on the school’s front lawn.

WatchDogsLogoThese “D.O.G.S.” are very welcome inside the school. They’ll be a part of the new volunteer program that’s starting early in the second quarter called Watch D.O.G.S., or Dads Of Great Students.

Watch D.O.G.S. is an innovative father involvement and educational program crated by the National Center For Fathering (http://www.fathers.com/).

There are two main goals of the program:

  1. To provide positive male role models to students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important.
  2. To provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.

VIDEO: Watch and learn more about Watch D.O.G.S.

“We’re opening our doors even wider to our community,” said Turtle Creek Associate Principal Ramon Reyes, who has worked to bring Watch D.O.G.S. to the school. “Our parents get to come in and be a part of their kids’ schooling. There’s nothing more meaningful than that.”

Reyes said the school does get volunteer help already, but it’s primarily from females. For example, the R.E.A.D.S. mentoring program, the school PTO and the handful of classroom volunteers who come in already are mostly women, he said.

“The research shows that it’s women who are more involved in the educational aspects of their children’s lives,” Reyes said. “We’re looking to reach out to the dads and other male role models and get them involved, too.”

The “D.O.G.S.” volunteers are often the “heroes of the hallways,” according to the program’s website. Reyes said the volunteers come to school for a full day and are essentially put to work. They’ll be helping in the classroom, monitoring hallways and the cafeteria, providing playground supervision and other duties as assigned. Anything to help teachers teach and students learn, they’ll be doing. Reyes said. It is not just an observation program.

SEE HOW THE PROGRAM SUPPORTS EDUCATION

“What I have heard from other parents, is they love the opportunity to spend a full day in their son or daughter’s classroom,” said Reyes, who participated as a Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer in his son’s former school. “It gives them the opportunity to see and participate in the everyday routine the kids go through. It also gives parents a piece of mind, knowing what their kids go through on a daily basis and seeing that they are safe and learning. It really helps build our connections between parents and the school.”

The program is currently seeking out and vetting volunteers. Each volunteer is screened and given a background check before they officially become a part of Watch D.O.G.S. It is open to any male figure who plays a significant role in a student’s life, Reyes said. This includes grandfathers, uncles, adult brothers, step-dads and other role models who are considered part of a student’s family.

Volunteers are given a T-shirt and informed of expectations and school rules at an orientation session prior to starting their work.

Volunteers are asked to provide a minimum of one day in the classroom over the school year. Often though, volunteers return for additional days and they’re welcome to, Reyes said. As programs grow, some employers even allow volunteers to take days off work so they can be in the schools, he added.

“For the kids, they feel really proud that their dads are there in school with them,” Reyes said. “As a parent, when I did it, it just made me extremely happy that I could be helping out in my son’s school.

“I look forward to seeing that from our students and their dads. I hope this program grows here at Turtle Creek and eventually in the other schools in our district.”

WANT TO BE A WATCH DOG?
Contact Watch D.O.G.S. Coordinator and Turtle Creek Associate Principal Ramon Reyes, rreyes@dschools.org, or 262-728-2642 x4399.

 

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DD schools continue to meet state standards

DELAVAN — All schools in the Delavan-Darien School District continue to meet student expectations set by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

This is the second straight year that all schools have met expectations set by the DPI, as indicated on school and district report cards. Three years ago, when the school-rating report cards first came out, two Delavan-Darien schools (Turtle Creek Elementary and Delavan-Darien High School) were in the “meets few expectations category.”

“We’re pleased that all schools continue to meet DPI expectations, but we’re not satisfied with our scores just yet,” said Cora Rund, district director of instruction. “We need to continue our on-going curriculum work to ensure we are improving in all areas year-to-year.”

FIND THE FULL REPORT CARDS HERE

The report cards released in mid-September examine the data from the 2013-14 school year. Comparing the current year report cards to the 2012-13 school year data, Delavan-Darien Schools saw slight decreases in the overall scores of four of the five school scores. The district score also went down slightly, but all schools and the district remained in the “meets expectations” category along with much of the rest of the state. In Wisconsin, 88.3 percent of schools and 98.1 percent of districts had ratings of meets expectations or higher.

“Over time, Delavan-Darien Schools continue to demonstrate an upward achievement trend. We are always seeking to improve achievement for all students,” said Rund, who noted that the report cards examine multiple areas — student achievement, student growth, closing achievement gaps, on-track and postsecondary readiness, and student engagement indicators.

“In the 2013 – 2014 school report card, we observed some incremental gains in our student achievement scores and there were no point deductions for the student engagement indicators,” Rund said. “However, we will continue to focus on our identified high needs areas, including our student growth and the achievement gaps that exist between sub-groups of students.”

Rund said the district has taken steps to maintain and improve its achievement levels and close achievement gaps, starting with the overhaul of the reading and math curricula in grades kindergarten through grade 8 in the last two years, and in grades 9-12 this year.

“The full implementation of the new programs covers a five year cycle,” Rund said. “During this time, teachers are learning the components of the program, developing new instructional strategies to meet students’ needs and monitoring students’ progress. Over the cycle, students experience increased rigor of content and application that builds their capacity to understand, problem-solve, and transfer knowledge to other content areas.

“As student achievement scores continue to climb, I expect we will improve our state report card growth scores and start to close achievement gaps, as well. Also, when using other in-district testing measures to gather data on student achievement — outside of what the report cards analyze — the district is seeing steady growth in many key areas of the core subjects.”

The new curricula are the start of foundational improvements to the academics taught in Delavan-Darien schools, Rund said. Now, the district is getting into building upon the curriculum foundation with better data analysis to identify priority areas, an increased number of early release days to provide improved staff development (which also keeps regular teachers in the classroom as much as possible), and creating teacher leadership teams to thoroughly implement and deliver the curriculum.

“One of our goals is to continue to see that our report card scores remain strong and meet or exceed state expectations,” Rund said. “We’ve done that the last two years. In addition to this, we have much to be proud of in this district, and we are working together to bring about the continued improvements we seek.

“It will take time, but we will get there. The support of our staff, students, families and community is crucial to making that happen.”

Delavan-Darien Scores

School

Score

Darien

72.1

Turtle Creek

64.4

Wileman

68.8

Phoenix

64.3

DDHS

64.4

District

65.1

Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School | Leave a comment

Online donors help out elementary music teacher, students

Some of the music education items Turtle Creek music teacher Katie Campbell received through the DonorsChoose website.

Some of the music education items Turtle Creek music teacher Katie Campbell received through the DonorsChoose website.

Money’s tight. So, teachers are looking to other resources outside of district coffers to get the classroom tools and supplies they need to effectively educate our Delavan-Darien students.

New Turtle Creek Elementary music teacher Katie Campbell recently got a helping hand from an anonymous donor and U.S. Cellular for some musical instruments and other supplies she sought to keep her classes engaging and fun.

Katie Campbell

Katie Campbell

In early September, Campbell made a post on the online giving site DonorsChoose.org, a website where public school teachers post classroom project requests. Donors can decide which project or projects to fund. When the project reaches its goal, the site ships the materials to the teacher.

Donors receive photos of the project taking place and a breakdown of how every dollar was spent. Their donation is also tax deductible.

Campbell had sought more than $700 in musical instruments (drums and shakers) and performance extras. She reached her goal about a month after making the post.

“I couldn’t help but yell out a ‘whoo hoo, my project was funded,” Campbell said of learning the news that she would get her items soon. “I was grinning from ear to ear… I was like a kid in a candy store. It is so exciting to have new supplies for your classroom and knowing what they will do for my students is even more exciting.”

Here’s what Campbell wrote on her DonorsChoose.org proposal that led to her successful quest:

“I refuse to only sing, sing, sing as a music teacher. Singing is an important piece and I use it but that’s just it; it’s a piece. My students rarely sit still. I keep them motivated, moving and physically manipulating music! I think it’s important in this day and age to keep children moving!

“My students will use these items daily. Scarves and shakers have been a staple of my music teaching for the past 5-7 years. They get kids moving and feeling creative on their own! They don’t need many prompts from me when they have a scarf in their hand. Students are motivated to be responsible when everyone has the opportunity to play all at once. Drums will also be used regularly but mainly in the upper grades as they work on form and composition. Drums are a great building block for these activities and are again, motivating!

“My students will be thrilled to have their hands on these new items! It’s an opportunity to move and interact in a way different from the traditional classroom. I get to offer something unique and your gift of these items will certainly allow me to do just that. I will be able to continue my methods of teaching success with the items that you will gift to my classroom. I love to play with these items as much as my students and it allows me to join them on the floor and feel free and be the example.”

Way to go, Ms. Campbell!

Posted in Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Turtle Creek Elementary School | 1 Comment

Find Your Next Job at Manufacturing Job Fair

Walworth County Job CenterJob seekers looking for a job in manufacturing are invited to attend the Walworth County Manufacturing Job Fair. It will be held from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm Thursday, October 30, in the Geneva Room at Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 East Geneva Street (Hwy. 50) in Delavan.

October is Manufacturing Month. There is no charge to attend but you will need to pre-register and be pre-screened prior to the event.

Companies currently planning to meet with job seekers at the job fair include: Birds Eye/Pinnacle Foods; Brunk industries; Custom Service Plastics; DuPont Nutrition & Health; Generac Power Systems; Lavelle Industries; MicroPrecision; MPC; Ocean Spray; Plas-Tech Engineering; Precision Plus; Professional Power Products; Prop Shaft Supply; Protect-All; SwissTech, LLC; and Wisconsin Oven.

Stop in at the Walworth County Job Center (WCJC) or your local job center for assistance in getting registered and receiving your free ticket. The WCJC is at 1000 E. Centralia St. near Gateway Technical College’s main buildings and just off of County Hwy. H in Elkhorn. Call (262) 741-5194 for more information.

Posted in Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Technical Education | Leave a comment

TimberRidge Waterpark hosting fundraiser for free clinic

OpenArmsFreeClinicTimberRidge Lodge & Water Park (7020 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva) is hosting a Family Fun Waterpark Wristband fundraiser from noon until 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 2,  to benefit Open Arms Free Clinic, Inc.

Wristbands are limited to the first 150 attendees and will be sold for $15. Wristbands can be reserved by calling 262-949-2971 or RSVPing on Facebook.com/OpenArmsFreeClinic. Remaining wristbands will be sold day-of at the door. A portion of each wristband purchased ($5) will be donated to Open Arms Free Clinic.

TimberRidge Lodge & Water Park has 35-foot-high slides that take you on an epic 300-foot adventure of twists and turns, which finally come to an end in a heated pool. For a tamer ride, The Lazy River drifts more than 500 calm, relaxing feet. See park details at www.timberridgeresort.com/.

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About Open Arms Free Clinic

Open Arms Free Clinic, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit volunteer medical clinic located in Elkhorn across from the high school. Open Arms Free Clinic, Inc. offers non-emergent care to individuals who live or work in Walworth County who otherwise would not have access to these basic health services.

Eligibility Screenings: Wednesdays, 2-7 p.m.

To learn more about OpenArmsFreeClinic, Inc., please visit: www.openarmsfreeclinic.org or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OpenArmsFreeClinic

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Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School | Leave a comment