Welcome to the School District of Luck
Northwest Wisconsin is one of the top areas in which to live in America and the School District of Luck is growing into one of the most dynamic districts in the region. We are initiating a Senior Tax Exchange Program (STEP) that will provide property tax relief to individuals over 55 who volunteer in our schools. Our Community Education program organizes dozens of evening, weekend, and summer courses in virtually any area of interest from bee-keeping to community theater. Both our Community Education program and our Summer School program organize bus trips to locations and events of interest such as the the Como Zoo, the Works Museum, the Science Museum, the Mill City Museum, the Firefighter’s Hall, the Bakken Museum, the Red Wing Pottery Museum, the Landscape Arboretum, Franconia Sculpture Park, the Great Lakes Aquarium, the St. Croix Hydroelectric Dam, the St. Croix Riverboat, Historic Fort Snelling, a St. Paul Saints game, Bayfield’s Apple-fest, Crystal Cave, the Northern WI Railroad Museum, Riverdance, Dramatic and Musical performances, and more.
We opened this school year with a two day program we called Cardinal Academy. Students had the opportunity to observe sausage-making at a local butcher, then return to campus to make their own natural casing bratwurst. Others toured St. Croix Medical Center, Red Iron Studios to observe art welding, or veterinarians focusing on Wildlife Rescue or pet surgery. Students participated in a wide variety of on-campus activities, including dance exploration, construction/engineering activities, science experiments, painting, environmental education, cartoon-making, creative writing, culinary arts, an “escape room” filled with puzzles and other logic barriers, kayaking, historic reenactments, and a history-on-the-road bike trip.
We are completing a $2.3m energy efficiency project that focuses on lighting and air quality to enhance the learning environment, as well as electronic access, camera systems, and controlled vestibules to enhance safety and security. At the same time, we are able to lower our property tax rate for the second year in a row.
Our Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS) program within the school is supported by our Peacemakers Program and Buddy Benches on the playgrounds located behind our school, on the shores of Big Butternut Lake. Our elementary principal is developing a program that very intentionally invites troubled or challenged children to become respectful leaders in the classroom, halls, and on the playground. A full-time reading specialist works with elementary students or small groups to target reading deficits. Our Intervention Coordinator works with students on all levels to identify and design school-day interventions focused on individual needs.
Last year, we implemented two new programs to target both cognitive and affective needs of our students. Our Targeted Intervention Program (TIP) identified individual student learning deficits, particularly with math skills, that are not being addressed sufficiently in the regular classroom or in our Resp0nse to Intervention (RTI) period. Not only does TIP make access to learning more successful for students who previously had been struggling, it improves confidence and attitude for relationship-building and positive engagement.
Cardinal Caravan is the other new program that targets outstanding young people who may not be excelling academically or in extra-curricular activities, who might not otherwise be recognized for their hard work or kindness to staff or students. Each quarter, we visit 4 to 6 students in the evening to provide awards and hundreds of dollars in prizes donated by invested area businesses. We submit to the newspapers and post in our halls photos of award-winning students with their parents and teachers. Other students have asked how they can be included and recognized; demonstrating a raised awareness of students on affirmation for positive behaviors and strong work ethic.
Elementary classes are small, ranging from 14 to 24 students. Beyond the core curriculum, our elementary students have classes in physical education, health and nutrition (grades 1,3,5), choral music, band (grades 4,5,6), and art. We are implementing a K-12 Spanish language program that currently includes K-1, 7-8, and 9-12. Grades 2-3 will be added next year and grades 4-6 the following year.
Our students enjoy unprecedented levels of success for a small rural school. Over the past two years Art, Band, Music, Forensics and Culinary Arts students have won numerous State-level awards, including team championships and individual gold medals. In recent years, Basketball and Volleyball teams and individuals in Cross Country and Wrestling have qualified for Sectionals; Cross Country and Volleyball teams have qualified for the State Tournament. The Football team set a national record for points scored in a season last year. One of our students earned a full ride music scholarship two years ago; another student won a full ride athletic scholarship last year.
Growing our culture for Learning and Success does not stop with our students and community. We implemented a staff recognition program in which individual staff members identify colleagues who “Soar Above And Beyond” (SAAB awards). Most recently, we sought a coaching and mentoring grant that supports SPARK Best Practices Instruction training. Teachers took part in a week-long training last summer and will benefit from globally–recognized coaches in one-on-one, personalized development opportunities this school year.
I returned to the northern Midwest for family and the uncluttered life I enjoyed as a child. What brought me to Luck were the kindness of those in the community and the energy of those I met during the interview process. To suggest that Luck is idyllic is fair but not sufficient. Our community, particularly in its relationship with our School District, continues to grow into a year-round opportunity for learning and support. I cannot think of anywhere else I would want to live.