It is the start of the school year.
And with it.
brings new curriculum, programs and schools.
A first-of-its-kind program in Wisconsin that will
engage students in global learning is being rolled
out in the La Crosse School District.
a new science, engineering and math school is opening
in the Sparta School District.
students at Tomah Middle and High School are getting
a personalized lesson in math and foreign language.
We begin tonight's special presentation of Assignment:
in La Crosse.
where the doors to a new high school are now open.
Seven Rivers Community High School is housed within
the Hogan Administrative Center.
The school is made up of almost 40 ninth and tenth
graders from communities throughout the La Crosse
The high school is focused on project-based learning.
Students will design their own curriculum through
projects that interest them.
while meeting the same standards as high school students
at Central and Logan.
Our students will manage and structure a lot of their
There is a lot of independence and a lot of responsibility
on the students part to be able to mange their time
to get to that outcome at the end of their project."
The new La Crosse High School will expand to include
11th and 12th grade over the next two years.
The social studies curriculum in the La Crosse School
District receives an update.
There are also some big changes to the second grade
which focuses on the history of La Crosse.
The History of La Crosse
It was written with the help of some La Crosse teachers.
The book includes information on the many different
cultures that make up our community.
:25...One of the main outcomes that we want students
to understand is the diversity that makes up La Crosse.
And that they really understand that the first people
here were not the Europeans that were here.
they were the Ho Chunk that were here.
And then all the different groups that have come to
La Crosse and settled and how that diversity is growing
and to celebrate that."
The fourth grade social studies curriculum in the
La Crosse School District is also getting a pretty
major overhaul this year.
The revision requires teachers to include more information
about the Hmong Population in their lessons.
One way to do that is through a hands-on program which
uses the arts to tell the story of the plight of the
The villages in Laos were once quiet.
Lemon trees, garden beds, and yard tools.
This was home.
:12..They were peaceful here pause until they got
involved in the war.
So begins the story of the Hmong people.
We've been spotted so go.
Forced from their homes and into the jungles of Laos.
They ran from communist soldiers from North Vietnam
who were angry with the Hmong for helping American
Soldiers during the Vietnam war.
It was a really harsh time.
The reality of the difficulties Loatian natives faced
in the 1960s and 70s.
is being taught through an interactive learning experience
called the Hmong Education Project.
I was born in Laos.
Tony Yang is one of the project's facilitators which
is designed to give 4th grade students in the La Crosse
School District a learning experience outside of a
The opportunity for students to actually step into
an environment and to become.
actually step into role.
that it really feeds the
mind and the heart in understanding
the delemas that different people have faced in their
The project is made up of four learning stations and
was developed, in part, through authentic stories
from the Hmong elders and Hmong children like Tony.
Many Hmong people, for their own safety, they had
to move their family to the jungle.
At the age of 6, that is what Tony's family did.
Cover our tracks.
And when they escaped the jungle, :40.
This is a bamboo raft.
the Hmong families had to cross the MeKong River to
reach the refugee camps in Thailand.
I lived there for 8 years.
All of you guys are now refugees.
So, I experienced everything in the refugee camp.
This is all the space we are giving you.
Families lived in tight quarters the size of these
Make sure no feet touching the floor.
and you couldn't leave the camp.
You're not living in there.
You're basically trying to survive in the camp.
A lot of people get sick.
Especially kids and children.
which were eye opening for the students.
Lisa Q-Can you imagine what that would have been like?
it's just too horrible for me to think about.
They had to live there for many, many years before
they can register with the United Nations to come
:02...students come out of these experiences with
more questions and they also have empathy for experiences
that people in our community today have experienced.
And we have found that to be the heart and soul of
And where there is empathy.
there is peace.
much like the Hmong once had in the villiages of Laos.
The Hmong Education Project is located inside the
Hmong Cultural and Community Center in La Crosse.
Expanding a students knowledge of other cultures goes
beyond a change to the curriculum in the La Crosse
Beginning this year.
the district is one of the first in the state to offer
the Global Education Achievement Certificate for high
The hope is the certificate will encourage more students
to start thinking globally.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction was
hearing from colleges and businesses about the importance
of students understanding the world outside of their
So, the state created the Global Certificate as a
way for school districts to give credit to students
who have these skills.
These students that are currently persuing the global
certificate are very excited.
These are the students that are curious about the
That are persuing this course of study to learn about
other cultures, other traditions, other economies.
And they want to take that outside of the school building
and teach others and be involved in projects and possibly
live abroad, work abroad and educate others as to
what the world is like."
There are currently more than 100 students enrolled
in the program at both Logan and Central High School
La Crosse is among 25 districts across the state now
offering the Global Education Achievement Certificate.
The certificate will be noted on a student's transcripts.
A new middle school is opening up in Sparta.
We'll tell you about the school's focus on science
And Tomah is exploring the opportunity of opening
a montessori school.
Those stories and more when we come back.
Some students in the
Sparta School District are experiencing
education in a new way.
A new middle school opened this fall called *Innovation
The new school is made up of four classrooms within
Meadowview Middle School in Sparta.
The school serves students in grades six and seven.
and will expand to include 8th grade next year.
The focus is on science, technology, engineering and
Teachers in the school feel this type of learning
experience will show students the relevance to their
education and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.
We will be doing some hard, upper-level math and science
And so when our kids walk in the first day.
you're expected to do this, but we're going to help
Because we do have kids of all levels that enrolled.
We're really happy about our diverse population that
The school is running on the same schedule as Meadowview
The Tomah School District is now offering personal
lessons in math and foreign language to its middle
and high school students.
Beginning this year.
students in grades six through eight will be using
a computer-based math program called Think Through
and a computer-based foreign language program called
High school students are using the same programs.
This type of personalized learning will change the
look of a classroom from the traditional model where
teachers share one lesson and all of the students
are learning at the same level.
to a more individual approach.
When you walk in the classroom you see 25-30 students
engaged at their own pace, at their own program.
at their own time.
You dont' see a teacher standing up in the front of
hte classroom as you see in many of our classrooms
sharing a lesson to the whole class.
Every student is receiving individual instruction
at their own pace whether it's in math or world language."
The personalized learning programs are being funded
through a 600-thousand dollar.
three-year grant from the United States Department
To be eligible.
a certain percentage of the student population within
the school district must have a military connection.
A completely different learning style may also be
coming to the Tomah School District.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction gave
the district a 150-thousand dollar planning grant
to develop a montessori school in Tomah.
A committee of parents, teachers and a consultant
working with the district will spend the next year
designing the possible new school.
The hope is for the school to open next Fall with
40 students in grades four-year-old kindergarten through
with plans to possibly expand to 5th grade.
The district's superintendent says offering families
an option is one of the key reasons the district is
looking at montessori education.
Choice is extrememly important in this day and age.
We know that parents want options.
Parents know what they beleive their child needs and
what is most important to them.
So, we have to diversify.
We have to find ways to provide opporunities for kids
to learn in different ways that causes parents to
boy tomah school district.
Theyr'e doing good things and we want our kids going
There are no plans on where the school would be housed
at this point.
It's important to note.
this planning grant doesn't mean the Tomah District
is getting a montessori school.
The implementation of the school is dependent upon
the district's finances and the possiblity of future
News 8 would love to know what's happening in your
child's school district.
Our weekly Assignment: Education reports begin next
If you know of a new program, cool project or important
issue impacting education in our region.
please contact me by email, Facebook, Twitter or phone.
News 8 will also continue celebrating exceptional
teachers throughout our area.
Our Top Notch Teacher program has been running for
and still going strong.
If you know of an outstanding teacher who is making
you can nominate him or her on our Top Notch Teacher
page on our website.
Our website is also a great resource for school closing
To see the list of the latest school closings.
click on 'school closings' under our 'Weather tab'
That is also where you can sign up to receive emails
or text alerts with school closing information.
That will do it for this special edition of Assignment:
We wish each of you a successful school year.