Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Field, Track, and Bleacher Referendum Project Update

In the spring of 2015, the Greater Mauston community supported the opportunity for the School District of Mauston to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $2,500,000 to pay for a district-wide facility improvement program that would consist of:

  • Roof Replacements on Grayside and West Side Elementary Schools
  • Security and Intercom Safety Upgrades in all buildings
  • Restroom improvements at Olson Middle School District of Mauston
  • HVAC Automation system improvements at Mauston High School
  • Replacement of outdoor bleachers to meet current safety codes
  • Track replacement for safety improvements
  • Athletic/Community Field re-grading, irrigation and lighting safety improvements

As of November 30, 2016 here is the progress to date on these projects:
  • Roofs at Grayside and West Side Elementary Schools have been replaced.
  • Security and intercom safety alarms have been installed in all District schools along with camera replacements.
  • Restroom construction is completed in four student bathrooms at Olson Middle School
  • HVAC automation system parts have been replaced at Mauston High School
  • Bleachers have been ordered and a concrete bleacher pad has been poured to support the bleachers that will be installed in Spring 2017
  • The athletic/community field has been re-graded, drainage and irrigation infrastructure has been installed and field soil prepared for grass growth to begin in Spring 2017
  • The old running track has been removed and new track will be installed in Spring 2017
  • New light poles will be installed in Spring 2017
  • A new sound system will be installed in Spring 2017 compliments of the Golden Eagle Athletic Booster Club
We are thankful to the Greater School District of Mauston community for its support in the referendum and the opportunity to make these safety improvements in our schools and grounds.

We are PROUD of these improvements and delighted to say that all of these safety needs would not have been met without the support of our community. Thank you!

We will continue to keep the community and district staff informed of all progress related improvements either through the Superintendent Blog or the District web page. Please feel free to call Superintendent Christine Weymouth with any questions or comments you may have at 608-847-5451.





Friday, October 28, 2016

We Continue to Learn From Carol Dweck's 'Growth Mindset'

By now most of us have read Carol Dweck’s book Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success.  It is a very influential book and one that I think is a foundation of our human interaction.  I recently came across an Education Week article that Dr. Dweck wrote in September 2015 about her original book. 

Since Dr. Dweck’s book grew in popularity some have criticized her for what they see as an overuse of praise for students in their learning.  In the Education Week article Dr. Dweck clarifies that the growth mindset was intended to close achievement gaps in students, not hide them.  It is about telling the truth about a student’s current achievement and then, together, doing something about it.  She goes on to say that she fears that the mindset work is sometimes used by professionals to justify why some students are not learning: “Oh, he has a fixed mindset.”  In other words, blaming the child’s environment or ability. 

Dr. Dweck goes on to say, “Must it always come back to finding a reason why some children just can’t learn, as opposed to finding a way to help them learn.”


As the Superintendent of Mauston Schools, I am proud to say that I work alongside teachers and support staff who understand the power of growth mindset and they do all that they can to unlock the learning for their students.  I encourage all of us to continue to watch out for our fixed-mindset triggers when we face challenges each day with our students.  We all have fixed mindsets from time to time and our ongoing challenge is to work through our feelings and defenses so that our students learn to grow and adapt.  Our work is complex, not simple and I applaud all educators for seeing that we hold the most important role in applying our mindsets.   

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Welcome Back to School - Year 2016-2017!!

There is no doubt that one of the most amazing things about being in education is that every one of us has the opportunity each new school year to begin anew and to start fresh.  We communicate this sentiment to our students as well.  We tell them, “Every year is a new opportunity to be your best”. 

This is why education is the best profession ever.  We get to influence and change the lives of young people.  This year approximately 250 School District of Mauston staff (teachers, support staff, administration and substitute staff) will embark on a new year with the opportunity to build on the success and accomplishments of the last school year.  We get to embrace 1495 students when they walk through our school doors filled with anxious expectations and enthusiasm to see you.  Truly, in my opinion, I am not sure what is better than this. 

With all of our flaws and imperfections we each represent the core values of our school district.  We know that it is important to be what we teach our students: to be respectful, to demonstrate responsibility and to have courage and compassion with others.  I am proud to say that I get the opportunity to work alongside all of you.  I hope that my contributions to our school district reflect these characteristics.  And I wish the same for you.  WE are the faces of courage and respect to our students. 


Thank you to all staff for committing to teach in our District!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Welcome to Brian Bauer, New Olson Middle School Principal

Good Afternoon Everyone:

It is with pleasure that I let you know that the Board of Education officially approved a two year contract for the new Olson Middle School Principal, Brian Bauer.  

Brian comes to Mauston from the Baraboo School District.  Brian was a Mathematics and Health teacher at Jack Young Middle School in Baraboo for the past two years and prior to that a grade five teacher for seven years.  Brian has held a number of leadership positions in his teacher role that have prepared him for this new role.  He has a Master's Degree from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.  Along with his principal's license he also holds a Director of Instruction license and various teaching licenses.  

Brian has been in the District several times over the past two weeks and took part in the National Leadership Social Justice Institute that many of our staff attended on June 6, 7 and 8.  We very much look forward to Brian being in the District as he starts with us officially on July 1.  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Improvement Projects Happening this Summer and Fall

In a previous blog, I highlighted the referendum and non-referendum improvement projects that the District is undertaking over the next year.  Here is a summary of what is happening in the District this summer and fall. 

West Side Elementary Roof


The entire roof at West Side Elementary School will be replaced this summer.  Construction on the roof will begin immediately once school is dismissed in June.  Although staff will be able to enter the school while the roof is being replaced, we have suspended any outside groups from using the facility.  It will be safe to enter the building but we ask that individuals pay close attention to safety instructions that are posted as workers work.  The West Side roof replacement is being paid for by referendum money.

Grayside Elementary Roof

The entire roof at Grayside Elementary School will be replaced this summer as well.  As part of the roofing improvements, there will be inside-the-school construction going on as reinforcing steel joists will be placed just above the ceilings at various areas around the building.  The reinforcing joist construction will take place the first week in June and will continue for 4-7 weeks this summer. 

The roof replacement construction will begin in early August (maybe earlier) and continue through the month of September.  It is common to do roof construction while school is in session and we are told that it has a minimal sound disruption but we are also hoping to move the roof replacement date sooner than August. The Grayside roof and joist construction is being paid for by referendum money.

As a result of this construction at Grayside, Summer School in June and July will be held at Mauston High School.  There will also be no other outside community activity happening at Grayside.  Staff may enter the building, but like West Side, we ask that you follow all safety precautions while in the building.  Because of the joist work that is happening inside the building in June and July we ask that staff do not spend any amount of time inside the building.

Olson Middle School HVAC System Replacement


Olympic Builders have been inside OMS for a couple of weeks now organizing the space to replace the old HVAC system that is there.  Asbestos removal will begin on Monday June 6 and all other HVAC work will begin in intensity on June 6.  There are small amounts of asbestos in the furnace area in the basement at OMS and in the upstairs boys and girls bathrooms.  The asbestos removal will be highly contained and will take about one week to be removed.  OMS is not open to the general public and we ask teachers to not spend any amount of time in the building due to the construction.  The main office will remain open over the summer however.  The pool is closed beginning Monday June 6 and will reopen in early September.

Track and Field Improvements in Late Fall


Once the football season is over in mid to later October, the construction on the field and track will begin.  My March 10 blog highlights the construction work that will be happening.  The old bleachers will be removed (not exactly sure whether they will be removed in late October or early Spring) and new grandstand bleachers will be put up. 

The District has a working committee entitled Campus Field Advisory Committee made up of staff, school board and community.  This committee is oversight to this project and other future field/outdoor space projects.  It meets generally about once every two weeks and will continue to meet and advise the full school board on campus field improvements. The Board of Education will spend time at its June Regular Board meeting discussing the pending approval of the new grandstand project.  The track, field and grandstand projects are being paid for by referendum dollars, one-time Fund 10 dollars and donations from the Golden Eagle Athletic Booster Club.  I will continue to keep the District informed as to the progress of this work. 



It will be a busy summer for improvement projects.  If you have any questions about any of these projects please feel free to contact me personally.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Personalize the Learning

It seems now more than ever the educational literature has a plethora of information on the importance of personalizing the learning for our students.  As I pass through classrooms in the District, I see teachers personalizing the learning and utilizing their individual talents to create a culture of personalization.  Next week, a dozen Mauston teachers and administrators will take part in the first session, in a series of sessions through the fall 2016, about ‘how to personalize learning in our schools and classrooms’. 

Learning how to design personalization in schools and classrooms is very much a part of our larger District Vision 2020 under the area of Quality Instruction and Achievement for All.  We know a great deal about how to do this and we still have so much more to learn.  Here are a few ideas from Eric Jensen’s new book, Poor Students, Rich Teaching: Mindsets for Change.  I have listed this book under suggested readings as well. 

Share Progress on Goals

In Chapter Four of Eric Jensen’s book he talks about the idea for teachers to share their personal goals with their students.  Students love the idea of you sharing your goals with them!  This is a very effective way to foster a relational mindset with your students.

Post your personal goal in the classroom (since you are asking students to do the same), and share your progress all year (or semester) long.  Sample goals include:
  • Starting new eating and exercise habits Participating in a community project
  • Helping your parents with a goal
  •  Completing a teaching improvement list
  • Running a half-marathon
  • Losing weight
  •  Mentoring someone
  • Growing a garden
  •  Learning a new skill or sport
  • An Educator Effectiveness goal you have set for yourself



Share your key milestones and celebrations and how you overcame issues along the way.  When you share all the micro-steps forward and the nearly predictable setbacks you experience, students will see that mistakes are OK and make way for improvement.  Your journey over the course of the year will be a drama akin to must-see TV show.  In short, as you make progress through obstacles, students can see themselves succeeding and that they are contributors to your growth.  This is an exciting way to influence students!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

District Referendum and Non Referendum Improvement Projects

It seems now more than ever the educational literature has a plethora of information on the importance of personalizing the learning for our students.  As I pass through classrooms in the District, I see teachers personalizing the learning and utilizing their individual talents to create a culture of personalization.  Next week, a dozen Mauston teachers and administrators will take part in the first session, in a series of sessions through the fall 2016, about ‘how to personalize learning in our schools and classrooms’. 

Learning how to design personalization in schools and classrooms is very much a part of our larger District Vision 2020 under the area of Quality Instruction and Achievement for All.  We know a great deal about how to do this and we still have so much more to learn.  Here are a few ideas from Eric Jensen’s new book, Poor Students, Rich Teaching: Mindsets for Change.  I have listed this book under suggested readings as well. 

Share Progress on Goals

In Chapter Four of Eric Jensen’s book he talks about the idea for teachers to share their personal goals with their students.  Students love the idea of you sharing your goals with them!  This is a very effective way to foster a relational mindset with your students.

Post your personal goal in the classroom (since you are asking students to do the same), and share your progress all year (or semester) long.  Sample goals include:
  • Starting new eating and exercise habits Participating in a community project
  • Helping your parents with a goal
  •  Completing a teaching improvement list
  • Running a half-marathon
  • Losing weight
  •  Mentoring someone
  • Growing a garden
  •  Learning a new skill or sport
  • An Educator Effectiveness goal you have set for yourself



Share your key milestones and celebrations and how you overcame issues along the way.  When you share all the micro-steps forward and the nearly predictable setbacks you experience, students will see that mistakes are OK and make way for improvement.  Your journey over the course of the year will be a drama akin to must-see TV show.  In short, as you make progress through obstacles, students can see themselves succeeding and that they are contributors to your growth.  This is an exciting way to influence students!