Hudson schools RTSA

At the Monday, May 9, Hudson Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Nick Ouellette addressed a concern he has been hearing about – class sizes. 

Right now, there is no relation between class sizes and budget cuts. No cuts have been made that have resulted in larger class sizes. 

“K through second we kind of try to shoot for 18 to 22 students and then in grades three through five we try to shoot for 22 to 27 students,” Ouellette said. “They’re not caps. They’re not perfect numbers because sometimes it doesn't work out that way.”

The numbers are a guideline, not a cut and dry rule. 

According to Ouellette, this year’s class sizes fit into the guidelines better, overall, than 2019-20. Next year is looking good, too. 

Having different size elementary buildings affects how class sizes are balanced, but administration tracks class sizes to provide extra support staff when needed. 

“We do try to bring the resources where they’re needed,” said Dave Grambow, chief academic officer and assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. 

The class size guidelines are not changing for next year.  

“We want to be as open and transparent as possible,” Ouellette said. “We are not in budget cut mode yet.” 

Appreciation of Service

  • The school board elected its presiding officers who will serve a one-year term. Jamie Johnson, recently re-elected to the board, was nominated and approved as president. Bob Baumann will serve as vice-president and Carrie Whiteacre as clerk. Heather Logelin and Rob Brown were nominated for treasurer. The board elected Logelin.

  • The high school and middle school student handbooks were approved by the board, in addition to the activities code of conduct and 2022-23 board of education meeting schedule

  • The social studies curriculum is under review and currently in phase three of its improvement process for grades K-12. This phase focuses on learning experiences, including elements like resources.  So far, the curriculum team has reviewed sample materials from publishers, received feedback from the Teaching and Learning Advisory Council and are now in the board of education review stage. Until the end of the summer, the curriculum, the scope, sequence and assessments will be developed. The final step will be a detailed review for bias. 

The school board provided time at its meeting to present a round of Appreciation of Service awards. These awards will be given out four times each year. 

“The Hudson School District empowers all students to cultivate their talents, embrace their passions and leverage their learning to impact the world around them. The Board of Education recognized the school volunteers, community leaders and organizations who contribute to our vision and mission.” 

The first set of recipients were: 

  • Meaghan White, Hudson Prairie Elementary parent and paraprofessional substitute. 

  • Katie Elwood, community education, daddy daughter dance. 

  • Lisa Bailey, Darcey Kealy and Laura Foster, Raider Network (free closet and pantry for students in need to utilize at no cost, in addition to special requests, projects and more). 

Competitive activities

DECA

“DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.” 

In January, 24 students from Hudson High School competed at the district DECA competition in Menomonie. 

16 of the students who attended districts qualified to compete at the state DECA competition in Lake Geneva. Again, many students earned medals and trophies, including: 

  • Blake Buchholz and Alexander Ewig, third place, start up business plan project.  

  • Blak Buchholz, third place, quick serve marketing. 

  • Emma Hatch, first place, restaurant food service management. 

  • Claire Keech, first place, hotel and lodging management. 

  • Noah LaBlanc, fifth place, automotive services marketing. 

These five students moved on to the international competition to represent Hudson DECA in Atlanta, Georgia, along with 20,000 students from all over the world.

FFA

“FFA is a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” 

Hudson FFA traveled across the state during its season to attend workshops on leadership, agriculture literacy and community improvement. 

There were also competitive opportunities. Two members competed in Leadership Development events at the district level in Discussion Meet and Employability Skills. 

Tori Burger placed second at sectionals. 

Other teams of about four members advanced through regional live and virtual competitions. There were 331 total teams from over 140 schools competing at the Wisconsin FFA Career and Leadership Development contest.  Three of Hudson’s five teams advanced to the state level. 

  • Floriculture, 10th, Michael Arnett, Quentin Bratsch, Kate Lund and Aleicea Rodriguez. 

  • Milk Quality and Products, 24th, Wyatt Johnson, Aiden Magnuson, Kira Skogen and Blake Smart. 

  • Vet Science, fifth, John Boily, Tori Burger, Shailee Jones-Pfannes, Theo Lund. 

Forensics

“Wisconsin High School Forensics Association’s inclusive platform welcomes all middle and high school students to enhance and refine communication skills, to foster creativity and to share perspectives.” 

In April, the Hudson forensics team competed at the Wisconsin High School Forensics Association’s statewide competition in Madison. They returned home with nine gold medals and eight silver. 

As a team, Hudson forensics received the Distinction in Speech award, meaning they placed among the top 10% of all schools competing in the state of Wisconsin. 

Additionally, seniors Blake Buchholz, Ryan Arthur and Anya Getschel competed in a college-level debate at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where they placed first and received a $1,000 prize. 

They were the only high school students among the field of college competitors. 

HOSA

“HOSA is a global student-led organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services and several federal and state agencies…  HOSA actively promotes career opportunities in the health industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.” 

In April, 15 Hudson High School students qualified to compete in the state competition in Wisconsin Dells. They participated in veterinary science, community awareness, CPR/first aid, public service announcement, creative problem solving, and researched persuasive writing and speaking. Three students placed in the top five in the state for creative problem solving.

One-act play

The One Act Play group offers a competitive, fun way to experience theater for anyone interested in acting and theater-related activities like directing, set, costume design and more.

In the fall, students begin their season, followed by a state competition at the end of November. 

Students meet and select a one-act play, which they rehearse to compete at the district level. If they advance, they’ll compete in the sectional competition, followed by the state if they receive high marks. 

Quiz bowl

“Quiz Bowl competitions consist of individual toss-ups in multiple academic areas; mathematics (theoretical and calculation), literature, music, science, history, current events and world politics, art, world languages and cultures, economics, pop culture and more.” 

From October until March, Hudson’s quiz bowl team competed in various competitions. The students qualified for the national championship very early in the season, earlier than any other prior year. The team placed top five in a tournament in November. The team placed sixth in the MInnesota High School Quiz Bowl League, 

Our team placed 6th in the Minnesota High School Quiz Bowl League, a combination of four nights of competition between November and February. 

This year’s active team members were Ayush Bhakta, Lily Van Allen, Shawn Wachholz, Matt Collinson, Ryan Mayr, Alex Kunz, Aaron Marchand, Graham Close, Isaac Marty, Andrea Gravseth, Owen Anderson, Gray Anderson and Lauren Carrier. 

Science Olympiad

“Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing opportunity and diversity in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers.” 

This year’s senior science olympiad members are the first group to have participated in competitive science for all four years of their high school careers. The seniors consist of Ayush Bhakta, Ella Schienle, Esme Mergendahl, Travis Hastreiter and Meghan Ford. 

As freshmen, the group was the 19th best team in the state with one individual medal. 

As seniors, they placed tenth with seven individual medals. 

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