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movedHowdy, Comet Fans!

Our news blog has moved into a nice new home on our main district website!

All of the latest news headlines can be found on our news page!

We will no longer be updating this blog.


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

Delavan-Darien offering free summer feeding program for kids

UPDATE: Date of Summer Feeding Program’s last day is now July 15 for ALL SCHOOLS

Summer Lunch programStressing the importance of offering nutritious meals to children during the summer months, the Delavan Darien School district announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, provides nutritious meals to children during the summer, when free and reduced-price school meals are typically unavailable. Free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and under who live within the district boundaries. Persons over 18 years of age who are determined by a state or local public educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the regular school year may receive free meals as well.

The following locations will be serving the free meals this summer:

  • Phoenix Middle School, weekdays, June 20- *NEW END DATE* July 15, 2016  July 29, 2016 – breakfast from 7:30-8 a.m.; lunch from 11 a.m. until noon.
  • Turtle Creek Elementary, weekdays, June 20- July 15, 2016 – breakfast from 7:30-8 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. until noon.

The only weekday that the sites will be closed is July 4.

  • Meals will also be provided at Aram Public Library in Delavan on Tuesdays: June 14, June 21, June 28, July 5, July 12, July 19 from noon to 1 p.m.

Meals are provided to eligible children regardless of race, color, national origin, age, gender or disability and there will be no discrimination in the course of meal service.

“This program fills a void created when school lunches are not available,” said Tina Hudy, Delavan-Darien Child Nutrition Director. “Helping parents meet the nutritional needs of their children is the strength of this program.”


Non-discrimination Statement: In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


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

VIDEO: Scenes from this summer’s STEAM Camp at Phoenix

VIDEO: Check out our short video on this summer’s week-long, girls-only STEAM Camp, which taught nearly 30 middle school girls about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math!

The campers were the first to use the brand new Phoenix Middle School FAB Lab, and they had quite the experience! It was the only grant-funded, girls-only summer STEAM camp in the state of Wisconsin, organizers said.

For more info on the STEAM Camp, click here.

Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Technical Education, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Videos, Wileman Elementary School

DDHS adds entrepreneurship college credit option for juniors and seniors

Students in the Exploring Entrepreneurship course will use the new Comet Creations FAB Lab at DDHS for part of their work.

DELAVAN — Delavan-Darien High School can now offer college credit from the University of Iowa for its new Exploring Entrepreneurship course.

Kristine Slawson

Kristine Slawson

Business education teacher Kristine Slawson completed the university’s BizInnovator Teacher Certification program and can teach this college credit-bearing course to juniors and seniors starting this coming school year.

In the class, students will explore and assess their entrepreneurial attitudes and ability, learn how to assess business competition and create a business plan. Students will learn from entrepreneurs, who will speak in class and offer advice on how students might complete their semester-long business plan project. The class will also use the school’s new Comet Creations FAB Lab for various course projects.

Students must score a 70 percent or higher on a comprehensive exam taken at the end of the course to receive the three credits from the University of Iowa. Those credits may be transferred to other post-secondary institutions.

The Exploring Entrepreneurship course is an introduction to entrepreneurship, including identifying characteristics of the entrepreneur, evaluating opportunities, engaging in customer discovery, design thinking, feasibility, financing and planning for success.

The course is ideal for students who have a passion to pave new paths, create new things or solve problems. Exploring Entrepreneurship provides students with the framework to apply these interests to the world of business. They use the BizInnovator.com curriculum as the foundation for the course work.

The course was developed at the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa. The online curriculum enables educators to teach the entrepreneurial mindset, encouraging creativity, innovation, critical thinking and problem solving. It also prepares students for success in their chosen field.

Another priority for the course is to boost student interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that jobs in these areas will grow 17 percent by 2018, nearly double the growth for non-STEM fields. There may be as many as 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs because of a lack of qualified workers, the department estimates.

For more information about BizInnovator, visit www.bizinnovator.com.


Posted in Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Technical Education

2016 Bookmobile to make its rounds June 23-Aug. 11

The Delavan-Darien Bookmobile will be making the rounds this summer starting June 23 and running weekly through Aug. 11.

The Bookmobile will make stops for students in grades 4K-5 this past school year on Thursdays at the following locations:

  • 11:00-11:45 a.m., Turtle Creek Elementary
  • Noon – 12:30 p.m., Pioneer Estates Office (Creek Road)
  • 12:40-1:00 p.m., Darien Ice Cream Shop
  • 2:45-3:25 p.m., Town Hall Apartments (Delavan Township)
  • 3:40-4:10 p.m., Delavan Fest Park
  • 4:15-4:35 p.m., Wileman Elementary School
  • 4:40-5:10 p.m., Elmhurst Apartments
  • 5:15-5:45 p.m., Phoenix Park
  • Here is an interactive map

Dates are as follows:

  • June 23 and 30,
  • July 7, 14, 21, and 28,
  • August 4, 11.

A pamphlet of all the locations was sent home with students. Students will be able to check out books at their reading level to prevent summer slide. Students who participate will be part of the Bookmobile celebration at their respective school in the fall. Staff will also have snacks for students.

For more information click here.

Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School

DUE TO CONSTRUCTION: DDHS Access Restricted Over Summer


Due to construction and energy-efficiency renovations throughout the building, access to Delavan-Darien High School will be restricted the entire summer.

The only area accessible to staff and the general public is the main office and commons areas via the main entrance along the circle drive.

The office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday. There will be some days where construction will also close the main office, potentially on an unannounced basis.

Staff will have very limited access to other areas of the building, so those needing items from restricted areas may have to wait (for example, requesting a copy of a transcript may take a week or longer).

The building should be fully open by the beginning of the school year.

Posted in Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases

Delavan-Darien Comets/Youth Football golfing fundraiser is Aug. 13


The Delavan-Darien Comets/Youth Football Program’s annual golf fundraiser is set for Saturday, Aug. 13, at Delbrook Golf Course.


The event supports youth in our community from youth all the way through high school.

In addition to the 18 holes of golf, come out for the games, buffet dinner at Greenies Clubhouse Restaurant, silent auction, prizes and live entertainment provided by New Image. There may also be a few celebrity guest appearances.

If you are not a golfer but would like to join in the fun there is a dinner-only option available, which includes opportunities for prizes and silent auction bidding.

The event is the community’s main football fundraiser for the year. Attendees will get the chance to talk football with the coaches from our high school and youth programs. It is also a great way to get to know the Comet Football Family and get more involved in the programs.


Posted in Darien Elementary School, DDHS Sports, Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School

All Delavan-Darien schools recognized for positive behavior programs

rti-centerDELAVAN — All five Delavan-Darien School District schools have shown they provide quality environments that foster student learning and safety.

The Wisconsin RtI Center (Response to Intervention) recognized each school in this year’s round of RtI awards, which focus on how well schools implement the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) behavior education system.

Delavan-Darien High School, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School and Wileman Elementary School earned School of Merit awards, while Darien Elementary received a higher School of Distinction award.

Principal Kelly Pickel

Principal Kelly Pickel

“The Darien staff has worked extremely hard the last few years establishing and reinforcing positive expectations for each of the areas of the school,” Principal Kelly Pickel said.

Pickel cited working with the bus company to establish and reinforce expectations on the bus, which has helped reduce the number of behavior referrals there. Also, the Peaceful Playgrounds project greatly reduced the number of referrals on the playground by providing more opportunities for activities.

Pickel said the school’s PBIS leadership team meets regularly to review data and make adjustments and determine focus areas where improvement is necessary based on behavioral data.

“The students have been learning and practicing our behavioral expectations and are rewarded frequently for their positive choices,” Pickel said. “We are blessed with the commitment of the leadership team, the dedication the staff has given to PBIS, support from the parents, and the students’ diligence in following the expectations.”

At the school and throughout the district, PBIS is known as “The Comet Code.” The code is the set of rules and expectations for all students in all areas of our buildings and campuses. It calls for everyone to “Be Respectful,” “Be Responsible,” “Be Safe” and “Be a Learner” at all times.

PBIS is a proactive approach that establishes safer and more effective schools not only in Delavan-Darien, but throughout the country.

Darien was one of 162 recognized as a School of Distinction by the Wisconsin RtI Center.

There were 222 schools statewide recognized as Schools of Merit, with DDHS, Phoenix, Turtle Creek and Wileman among them.

Robert Crist, Ed.D.

Superintendent Robert Crist, Ed.D.

To have an entire district recognized is quite an accomplishment, said Superintendent Robert Crist, Ed.D.

“These awards are the result of not just one person or a handful of staffers, but all staff contributed to this achievement,” Crist said. “We have worked diligently for the last four-plus years, implementing this proven system in our schools. We have seen positive results each year since we began and these awards recognize the hard work of our building teams. I am very proud we have received these honors.”

Turtle Creek received a Merit award last year and Phoenix in the 2012-13 school year.

Delavan-Darien High School first piloted PBIS and The Comet Code in the 2010-11 school year. The program has since grown to all five of the district’s schools.

As a result of The Comet Code being in all Delavan-Darien schools, the district has seen improved student behaviors and reduced office visits, said Dr. Sara Halberg, Delavan-Darien’s director of pupil services.

Staff frequently reviews student data and identify behavior concerns and areas where re-teaching is needed. School counselors and psychologists are involved in developing behavior plans for students who are more frequently in the office.

Schools often use a pre-determined calendar of teaching expectations and behaviors so that, virtually daily, students and staff were “on the same page” in learning about different expectations at the school. Also, the language is consistent across all schools so as students get older and progress through the buildings, there is familiarity with behavioral expectations. Teachers, too, have a common understanding of school-wide expectations.

By in large, students have also bought into the Comet Cash reward system. When students are “caught” doing something positive, they were rewarded with Comet Cash, which could be used to buy items (posters, gift cards, pencils, etc.), or special privileges such as having lunch with a teacher, reading to another classroom or having special show-and-tell days. The Comet Cash can also be used in drawings for bigger raffle prizes in the middle and high school.

“As a result of the staff’s commitment and dedication to enforcing the Comet Code, we witnessed our behavioral referrals and discipline consequences reduce from 2014-15 to 2015-16,” said Phoenix Middle School Associate Principal Jim Karedes, who will be principal at DDHS in the fall. “We continue to make changes to best meet the needs of our building and students.”

In addition to behavior improvements, the district has seen some improvements in attendance rates over the years. The school cultures have improved and teachers are more receptive to acknowledging and encouraging both good academics and good behavior. Beyond that, parent involvement in school activities has also increased.



For more about the award and its requirements for consideration, visit the Wisconsin RtI Center website:


Posted in Darien Elementary School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School

Phoenix announces 2015-16 4th quarter honors students

honor_rollYahoo! Look at all those names on the Phoenix Middle School High Honors and Honors lists!

GPA requirements are as follows:

  • 3.00-3.49 – Honors
  • 3.5 and up – High Honors

Phoenix Middle School 2015-2016 School Year

4th Quarter High Honor Roll

6th Grade High Honor Roll

Faith Allen, Alexander Andreoni, Sydney Aranda, Mariel Armenta Valle, Melynna Arreola, Acacia Butteris-Anderson, Isabel Calhoun, Estevan Colin, Cheyenne Corning, Naomi Delgado, Gavin Ebbert, Tija Eglite, Jaiden Elliott, James Finley, Diamond Garcia, Eliana Gluchman, Justin Graham, Katelynn Gums, Max Hennessey, Adrian Hernandez, Nathally Hernandez, Barbara Honish, Erick Huerta, Alisandra Hutchison, Michael Kiem, Melody Kilroy, Kylie Kummer, Brianna Lara, Hazerim Lechuga, Dakota Mead, Jazmin Melendez, Dia Patel, Kush Patel, Eleashah Petersen, Adante Raby, Victor Ramirez Escobar, Elimarie Ramos, Yuniel Rodriguez, Elizabeth Sanchez, Maria Shackett, Kennedy Shepard, Scott Sirkman, Emilie Smith, Jacob Solis, Cesar Soto, Eli Stickney, Marissa Torres Raby, Jaqueline Urias, Brian Valdez Chavez, Jason VanDeBogert, Marianna Vieyra, Julianna Wegleitner, Adrianna White, Alton Wimer, Sophia Winn, Pamela Zamorano, Gracellen Zomer.

7th Grade High Honor Roll

Gwendolyn Acheson, Lithzy Aleman, Camrin Bosworth, Katie Bradley, Sophia Brandt Reinhart, Emily Cameron, Amir Castillo Cano, Heather Charter, Michael Cobb, Christina Crawford, Davyn Elliott, Sylvia Elliott, Hadyn Emmerich, Alyssa Fonseca, Brisa Gamino, Desiree Green, Rosalba Hernandez, Alizon Hernandez-Espinoza, Juliana Huerta, Emily Iniguez, Molly Jedlicka, Caitlyn Karbash, Gracie Laue, America Lavdas, Morgan Lock, Myles Lockhart, Brianna Manriquez, Nayeli Mercado, Tanya Mollado Martinez, Jaxon Moore, Naitaly Napodano, Hannia Nevarez Martinez, Maria Oliveros, Kathryn Pehkonen, Collette Riviere, Enrique Rizo, Allison Rosencrans, Ariana Ruiz, Francheska Sandoval, Anna Sorg, Perla Valadez, Rudolfo Villarreal, Britain Woloszyk, Breanna Yartey, Joshua Ziolkowski.

8th Grade High Honor Roll

Alyssa Cardenas, Isaac Castillo Cano, Alexis Contreras, Oscar Garcia, Joseph Gonzales, Connor Gove, Lidia Griep, Leah Hamell, Michelle Huerta, Brittney Huth, Maira Leep Simental, Samuel Markling, Jr., Gabriela Montelongo, Liliana Nunez, Dieonte Orth, Kody Parks, Judith Perez, Pablo Perez, Jacob Prado, Johanna Quintero, Madeline Robertson, Minerba Rodriguez, Samantha Romine, Alyssa Sanders, Karina Torres, Jordane Torres Raby, Yasmin Valadez, Stephanie Vaughn, Alexis Washington, Nika Weyrough, Nicholas Zikuda.


4th Quarter Honor Roll

6th Grade Honor Roll

Diego Arellano, Abby Cavaliere, Owen Chelminiak, Angel Duran, Ryan Flitcroft, Hector Flores Jr., Madison Gordon, Christopher Hamell, Hector Hernandez, Giselle Huerta, Ismael Jaramillo, Samuel Jaramillo, Hunter Kastning, Alex Katzman, Ryan Kritz, Luke Lenz, Sarai Manriquez, Alan Mendez Arjon, Moises Montelongo, Bobbie Neal, Angeline Nolasco, Josue Ortega, Luis Perez II, Jose Perez, Hailie Pollard, Kyle Reese, Sabrina Sandhu, Kolby Schmuck, Marshall Shupe, Emily Soto, Zachary Swiatlowski, Aiden Valadez, Jr., Luciano Villarreal, Lance Warrenburg, Matthew Whaples.

7th Grade Honor Roll

Ketzia Alvarez, Stacy Alvarez, Paige Arnold, Kelly Beckman, Abigail Beles, Salma Cano, Tyler Conley, Erica Curbelo, Xandria Dreksler, Cristal Duran Cruz, Haley Fischer, David Flores, Adrian Fonseca, Nataly Galvan Fonseca, Daniel Geary Jr., Logan Griffin, Dakota Hanson, Seth Helm, Jayra Hernandez, Mark Anthony Hernandez, Alejandro Hernandez Reyes, Gabriela Jacobo, Eri Jaramillo, Jonathan Jaramillo, Brianna Jasso, Jovanni Lemus, Justin Loewe, Charlie Lopez, Marissa Maldonado, Lahzris Markling, Joshua Mick, Chloe Mohr, Benjamin Petersen, Xochitl Prado, Alyssa Rakowski, Cristal Valadez, Sophia Valadez, Raul Villegas, Hayden Vogt, Kaia Warner, Hunter Warren.

8th Grade Honor Roll

Ivan Aranda, Jasmine Arias, Nicholas Armstrong, Alexander Balas, Cody Bliss, Benjamin Butke, Hope Childers, Nina Colunga, Elizabeth Craig, Javier Cruz, Silvia De La Cruz, Ronnell Fleming, Payton Gordon, Marlee Hartlieb, Lisette Hernandez, Oliver Hetzel, Casey Huerta, Kimberly Huerta, Yadira Huerta, Monica Huth, Joshua Johnson, Paige Johnson, Kaitlyn Kraayeveld, Frederick Krablean, Daphnie Navarro Otero, Patricia Nova-Sanchez, Shannon Piecha, Dakota Quarzenski, Heather Ream, Yadira Rizo, Madelyn Santeler, Alysia Smith, Moses Solis, Audriana Valadez, Isaiah Valadez, Kevin Valadez Olivares.

Posted in Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School

Girls getting into science, technology at Delavan-Darien this summer

DDHS Math Teacher Steven Cervantes works with a group of middle school girls at the new STEAM Camp at Phoenix Middle School. Click pic for more images in our gallery.


DELAVAN — A weeklong summer course has nearly 30 Delavan-Darien middle school girls getting into science this summer.

A summer “STEAM” Camp, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, will have 28 sixth, seventh and eighth graders from Phoenix Middle School making metal flowers, vinyl sticker designs, nametags, bridges and much more.

They’ll be the first users of the brand new Fab Lab at Phoenix Middle School, putting newly-installed machines such as laser engravers, vinyl cutters and 3-dimensional printers through their paces. (RELATED: https://ddschools.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/governor-invests-in-delavan-darien-for-fab-lab-equipment-training/)

An approximately $5,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will fund the course, aimed at getting more females into technology, engineering and math courses at the high school level.

“We’ve seen a relatively small number of girls in our engineering courses or having career goals in engineering,” said DDHS technical education teacher Mike Fellin. “We felt this grant really fit our goal of getting more girls interested in those types of courses. We haven’t had a robust middle school program, so we felt this was a way we could maybe get that going, too. We’re trying to generate interest in the middle school so we can strengthen that program again, which will further strengthen our high school programs.”

Fellin said he was influenced by a television news report of an after-school woods club for girls going on at a school district north of Milwaukee. That program saw continued growth and interested, and Fellin is hoping for similar results.

“We’re going to be introducing them to the same tools we use at the high school, including our Fab Lab equipment, Inventor 3-D drafting programs and other graphic arts programs and applications,” Fellin said. “It really is a crash course, and I hope it generates a lot of excitement for our incoming high school students in the coming years.”

“The summer camp will include a variety of activities for the girls that will teach them basic concepts about engineering, and going along with that, have math and arts are incorporated into those activities,” said Cindy Yager, district director of careers and occupations. “There are a number of hands on projects they’ll be doing in the school’s new Fab Lab.”

Joining Felling in teaching this summer program are DDHS teachers Alexus Metten, science; Carl Grunewald, technology education; Kris Slawson, business and engineering; Amanda Vogt, art; Steven Cervantes, math; and Terri Brown, a family and consumer education teacher at both DDHS and Phoenix Middle School.

About a half-dozen DDHS upperclassmen from the Engineering Design and Development class will also be volunteering to help out.

Posted in Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan-Darien School District, News Releases, Phoenix Middle School, Technical Education, Turtle Creek Elementary School, Wileman Elementary School