Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Internationally Renowned Education Expert Presenting to School District of Janesville Staff


Dr. Marcia Tate

Dr. Marcia Tate, renowned education consultant and best-selling author, will return to the School District of Janesville on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, and will lead two professional development sessions based on her popular bestseller, Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites.” In both of these sessions, participants will learn about the 20 Best Practice Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain.

The premise of Dr. Tate’s work is if your students are not learning the way you are teaching them, then you must teach them the way they learn. Increasing learning for all students through strategies like drawing metaphors, movement, music, and storytelling will be used to teach curriculum learning targets. Her work is based on brain research and learning theory that maximizes memory and minimizes forgetting.   

Staff will also explore the educational research that shows why these strategies are preferable to others. Dr. Tate works hard to ensure the student brains retain key concepts, not only for tests, but for life.

Reviews from people who have attended Marcia Tate sessions report them as both professionally and personally life-changing and lots of fun as a bonus. School District of Janesville staff members are in for a real treat!

The first session will be from 8:00-11:00 a.m. for middle and high school staff and the second session will be from 12:00-3:00 p.m. for elementary staff. Both sessions will take place in the Parker High School Auditorium. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

National "Farm to School" Month


Guest Blogger: Jim Degan, Food Service Manager

Farm to School, Farm to Institution, Farm to Table – these all have one important thing in common, the Farm. Over time we have lost touch with our roots and understanding the importance of where our food comes from.

The Wisconsin Farm to School Program encourages healthy lifestyles in children and supports local economies. In Wisconsin, comprehensive farm to school programs combine local procurement efforts, nutrition and agricultural education, and student engagement activities such as school gardening, in order to provide students with the broadest benefits. Farm to school activities in Wisconsin have been gaining momentum since 2002, with local food served in more than 235 school districts across the state. Through the commitment of a strong network of partners — including state agencies, schools, farmers, distributors, nonprofits, parents and students — farm to school has become a vibrant movement connecting kids to healthy, local food and connecting farmers to happy, local customers.

The state of Wisconsin has been a strong supporter of farm to school.  In 2009, the Legislature enacted Act 293 to promote the growth of a farm to school program, including provisions for a state advisory council and a state coordinator through the Department of Agriculture.

Goals of Wisconsin Farm to School 

  1. Strengthen local economies by expanding markets for Wisconsin agricultural producers and food entrepreneurs. 
  2. Promote children's health by providing fresh and minimally processed foods in schools and supporting the development of healthy eating habits.
  3. Increase children's and communities' knowledge about agriculture, food, nutrition and the environment. 

The School District of Janesville has been actively involved in growing the Farm to School program in Rock County and the State of Wisconsin over the last 5 years.  Our support has grown from school gardens at Jackson Elementary (Providing a community meal from the garden), Roosevelt Elementary (Serving students spinach and radishes grown in garden at lunch), and a community garden on Rockport Road by Wilson Elementary (Giving families bags of donated vegetables for use at home) to purchasing from Amazing Grace Farms a GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certified farm meeting federal regulations and serving locally grown vegetables in school.


Image result for great apple crunch imagesThe Great Lakes Apple Crunch or Great Apple Crunch is another way we are celebrating Farm to School Month in Janesville. On October 13th the 3rd Annual Crunch will be taking place across the district where all students and staff are encouraged to take a “Crunch at Lunch” from a Wisconsin grown apple. This year the goal is 1 million crunchers from the great lakes states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Ann O’Leary, Alice in Dairyland will be on hand at Marshall Middle School to help celebrate.

In the 2016-17 school year the district will continue to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables when possible from our Farm to School Partners, Amazing Grace Farms (Janesville); Apple Hut Orchard (Town of Beloit); Richland Hills / Sunset Orchard (Richland Hills, WI); Seneca Foods (Janesville); and the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative, all providing locally grown fruit and vegetables for the district. Farm to School—helping students see a connection between Wisconsin agriculture, the economy, education, and building a stronger future for all.