Thursday, February 9, 2017

High School Make-Up Date

February 9, 2017
Dear Parents/Guardians,
We are hopeful that the wintry days of the season have passed but not without a few snow days already.  Per the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requirements for hours of instruction, the middle/high school students need to make up instructional time due to the two “inclement” weather days off in January.
The school calendar is always a puzzle of minutes and hours.  Per DPI, elementary grades require 1050 hours of instruction and the middle/high school grades require 1137 hours of instruction.  The district calendar and extra hours we build in to the calendar are always based on the DPI requirement for middle/high school students since we share busing and school staff and they require the most hours of instruction.  This year's school calendar included extra hours to cover a little more than one “inclement” weather day.  At this time, the middle/high school students need to make up one day of school to meet the total hours requirement for DPI.
The 2016-17 District calendar indicates potential make-up dates with the first available date being Friday, February 24th.  We will use Friday, February 24th as the make-up day for middle and high school students only.  The middle/high school building will maintain their regular schedule on February 24th with a full day of classes.
The elementary students will maintain the current calendar schedule which is a no school day on Friday, February 24th.
If we should have additional “inclement” weather, we will look to the next dates on the calendar indicated as make-up time which are April 14th and April 17th.  We are hopeful that there are warmer temperatures ahead soon and these dates will not be needed. 
Thank you for your understanding of the schedule changes to the middle/high school calendar.  We will be sending periodic reminders to the middle/high school students and families over the next few weeks reminding them of this change. 
Michelle R. Jensen
District Administrator

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Teacher Feature - Mrs. Kohlwey!

Name: Debra Kohlwey
Hometown: Madison, WI
Position: High School English Teacher, High School Forensics Coach, High School Student Council Co-Advisor with Mrs. George
College(s) attended & degrees attained:
*University of Wisconsin Madison - B.S. degree in the production and technology of fruit and vegetable crops from the Ag. school,  
*University of Wisconsin Madison - B.S. of Education with certifications in biology and English,
*National Louis University - Masters degree in Curriculum and Development
Years teaching: 28
Previous districts: None. I subbed for about a year at Wisconsin Heights High School which is where I did my student teaching.  When I first started in Deerfield, I was hired to teach one class.
Years at Deerfield: 28
What do you think makes Deerfield special? Deerfield is special because the community, school, and staff work together to educate, inspire, and support the students.
Hobbies and interests outside of education: I enjoy reading, gardening, singing in my church’s worship band, and spending time with my family.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a school teacher.
What teams or clubs did you belong to in high school/college? In high school, I was in choir, the musicals, and various student organizations.  I didn’t play any sports but did manage our swim team.
What’s on your bucket list? I would like to visit all of the National Parks.
Is there a teaching tool you couldn’t live without? I grew up using a typewriter, so I’d have to say having a computer and the ability to instantly correct, save, and print as well as communicate with others is something I would never want to be without.

What are your goals for yourself/classroom this year?  Professionally, I’d like to continue to keep in contact with students who have graduated to see if there is something I could do to make them more prepared for life after high school.  Personally, I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren who live in Arlington, VA.

 Finish line of Crazy Legs race 2016

Mrs. Kohlwey and her husband Dave

State Forensics Competition at UW Madison April 2016

Grandchildren: Tallulah and Hugo

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Alumni Video Clip Request

Dear Deerfield Alumni,
I am looking for Deerfield graduates to share a short video clip from your cell phone of your story after leaving DHS, kind of a "Where Are They Now?" clip.  Over my two decades in Deerfield, I've heard great stories about where graduates have gone on to college, careers they've pursued, businesses they've started up, and how people in this school and community inspired them along the way.  I would REALLY like to share those stories with staff and our current high school students at the beginning of the school year so I'm hoping you can take a few minutes to help me out.  My goal is to hear from 100 DHS graduates by Friday, August 26th so please pass this message on to other alumni.  

I've created a Dropbox account through the link below.  (You don't need to have a Dropbox account, you only need to use the link below.)

1.  CLICK on the link 
3,  Select CAMCORDER as your action.  Your cell phone should turn into Selfie mode.
4.  Record the answers to the five questions in 30 seconds or less
5.  After you push stop, you will have the options of RETRY or OK.  If you want a "do over" select RETRY or if you are satisfied select OK.
6.  Once you select OK, type in your first and last name and email address and select UPLOAD.  Once it is uploaded, you are done!

1.  First and last name (can add maiden name if applicable)
2.  What year did you graduate from DHS?
3.  Where did you go after graduation?  (name the college/technical college and/or career you pursued)
4.  What are you doing now?  (share current career position and business organization you work for or if you are still a college student share what you are studying)
5.  Share a favorite school memory or  a shout-out to a school staff member who inspired you along the way.

Don't be afraid to be creative...consider showcasing your profession or place of business in the background, wear a hat or sweatshirt from your college alma mater, or dress for your profession.  (No idea is too corny and it makes it more interesting to watch!)  REMEMBER 30 SECONDS OR LESS

Here is the link:  (if you open this message from your cellphone and click the link it is SUPER EASY!)

Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your story.  (My goal is to hear from at least 100 grads so pass the word.)  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Teacher Feature - Mrs. Leigh!

Name: Mrs. Kristin Leigh
Hometown: Deerfield, WI
Position: 1st Grade Teacher
College(s) attended & degrees attained: Edgewood College, Madison, WI BS of Science in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education
Years teaching: 18
Previous districts: 0
Years at Deerfield: 18 years teaching
What do you think makes Deerfield special? Deerfield is a generous, loving community full of individuals that put children as a priority.  In general, people from Deerfield support each other and are willing to lend a helping hand whenever it is needed.  Deerfield has a hometown feel and is a great place to raise your children!
Hobbies and interests outside of education: I love to spend time with my family and friends at our cabin, as well as their special getaways. I love to read, snuggle with my family, crochet and snowmobile.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve known I wanted to be an elementary school teacher since I was in 2nd grade.
What teams or clubs did you belong to in high school/college?  I was in choir, show choir, musicals, cheerleading, and softball.
What’s on your bucket list? I would love to visit all of the states in the USA, travel to Italy, fish in Canada, revisit Hawaii, and see a NASCAR race.
Is there a teaching tool you couldn’t live without? My students are my tools!  They drive everything that I do; plan, modify, enrich and reteach.
What are your goals for yourself/classroom this year?  I want every child to know that they can do anything they put their mind to if they believe in themselves, like I do them!



Monday, April 11, 2016

Teacher Feature - Mr. Mueller!

Name: Jason Mueller
Hometown: Madison, WI
Position: Middle School Literature teacher
College(s) attended & degrees attained:
UW-Madison -
Undergraduate: Philosophy and Political Science
Teacher Certification: Grades 1-9
Years teaching: 16
Previous districts: Verona (substitute teaching)
Years at Deerfield: 15
What do you think makes Deerfield special? It’s small size. It makes building relationships easier, and that is a large part of what we do as teachers.
Hobbies and interests outside of education: Playing board games, reading, watching movies, and fishing.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Almost anything related to movie-making. I wanted, at various times, to be a writer, a director, a special effects technician, and a stuntman. The only role I had no interest in was acting.
What teams or clubs did you belong to in high school/college? As a freshman, I competed in soccer, wrestling, and gymnastics. By my sophomore year, however, I decided to focus exclusively on gymnastics and joined a year-round club program.
What’s on your bucket list? Three things for sure: 1) Visit Tahiti, 2) Go hang gliding, and 3) Catch a fish large enough to tell stories about.
Is there a teaching tool you couldn’t live without? My computer. It’s only a matter of time before all of my lessons and activities can be accessed online - even if they are implemented in an analog way.
What are your goals for yourself/classroom this year? Find a way to structure my lessons so that I can spend more time consulting with small groups of students. Large group discussions make it hard to have full student involvement, and I like to hear from everyone in the class when we discuss interesting stories.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Teacher Feature - Mrs. Zickert!

Name: Lisa Zickert
Hometown: Iron Mountain, Michigan
Position: Kindergarten Teacher
College(s) attended & degrees attained: St. Norbert College--Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Years teaching: 14
Previous districts: Deerfield was my first teaching position!
Years at Deerfield: 14
What do you think makes Deerfield special?  I enjoy working in Deerfield because of the close-knit community.  I have enjoyed watching my first Kindergarten class graduate high school this past spring!  I’ve even had the opportunity to work with some of my former students as high school mentors and aides in summer school.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know the families and seeing my former students grow and mature into adults.
Hobbies and interests outside of education: I enjoy anything crafty!  I love working on the landscaping and gardening at my house.  When it’s warm, I enjoy being outdoors and running.
What did you want to be when you grew up?   I always wanted to follow in my mom’s footsteps and become a teacher.  My mom was a 2nd grade teacher for many years and she gave me the inspiration to enter the education field.
What teams or clubs did you belong to in high school/college?  I was in band--pep, jazz, marching & concert band, Honor Society, Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, and many service organizations.
What’s on your bucket list?  I hope that my husband and I get to travel more.  My brother and his wife have lived and worked abroad for nearly 15 years.  They’ve lived in Russia, England, Mexico, Istanbul, etc. but we’ve never visited them where they’ve lived.  In 2016, they will be living in the Czech Republic and London.  We *plan* to visit them while they are there!
Is there a teaching tool you couldn’t live without?  My SmartBoard & iPad
What are your goals for yourself/classroom this year?  I want my students to leave Kindergarten with a strong educational foundation and a love for learning that will help them in their lifelong goals.

One of the runs I enjoy participating in is Ragnar, a 12 person relay from Madison to Chicago.  Our team has done the run the past 3 years.

 Mr. and Mrs. Zickert :)

 My family enjoys going to Packer games--whether they win or lose!

  My family in Michigan--my parents, brother and his wife, and Mr. Zickert.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Shoeboxes for Kids Service Project

For 10+ years, students from Deerfield Elementary School have made the holidays a little brighter for those less fortunate in our area. This year was no exception. Deerfield Kindergarten, 3rd, and 4th grade students upheld their service project tradition of Shoeboxes for Kids. Families donated items to fill shoeboxes - toys, personal care items, school supplies, hats and gloves, etc. At school, the students organized all the supplies, divided them up into shoeboxes, wrapped each item, and then wrapped and decorated the boxes. This year, Deerfield students graciously donated, packed, and wrapped 106 boxes. They partnered with Johnson Creek 3rd grade to fill a grand total of 145 boxes! All of the shoebox gifts were brought to the River Food Pantry in Madison, where they will be handed out during their annual Christmas dinner.

The students do this service project in lieu of gift exchanges in their classrooms - showing that giving is the true reason for the season. Thank you to all the students and families for your continued support and generous donations! DES is looking forward to many more years of this partnership with the River Food Pantry. More information about the food pantry and the people they serve can be found at their website:

Mrs. Matheson's Class with their wrapped shoeboxes.

 Beautiful decorating ladies!

 Teaching our 5K buddies how to wrap.

 Lots of 3rd grade and Kindergarten smiles!

 4th graders wrapping items to put in the boxes.

Mrs. Martin's class filled and wrapped 10 boxes!
Santa's sleigh (aka Mrs. Martin's Traverse) packed with 145 shoebox gifts!

A River Food Pantry volunteer excited to help unload all of the boxes!