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August 22, 2017
by: Ted hamm

More than Just a Party

Today is a day of celebration for our schools. A day to unify our schools under one name, to unveil our new look (see our social media sites), and to celebrate 10 years as a public charter schools in the Sheboygan Area School District. Today also represents a year’s worth of behind the scenes work that culminates our schools working to solve an issue that has been challenging us for some time.

Following our first contract renewal for Mosaic and IDEAS and our second renewal for ESAA (Elementary School for Arts and Academics), it was time for us to do some organizational soul searching (sometimes called strategic planning) and start to refine what type of organization we wanted to be for the next contract renewal. Over the course of the year we have built a strategy map, started a balanced scorecard and, as a result, have a much clearer view of the organization we will become. But, there was something bugging us…

It is easy to become insulated when you are so immersed in a process such as starting an organization like our schools. We live and breathe our work everyday. What is common knowledge to us, is not apparent to others. Through a process of focus groups and interviews it became obvious that our past communication work was not garnering the continuity we were looking for. We faced two issues: First, people did not understand we were three schools part of a network governed by the same philosophy and approaches. Second, people often misunderstood what our philosophy entailed.

These issues have brought us to the where we are today. A fully rebranded set of schools under a common name with a specific meaning, common mission and credo, and a unified look. The thinking around rebranding offers many insights into when an organization should make the move to change its name versus change reposition itself. We have taken on this rebranding process in order to affirm our identity; no financial gains come from this. We work hard every day to be a viable educational option for our community. We believe in a community that offers numerous, diverse options for learning. Options that allow people to choose learning method that work best for their needs. We can’t do this if people don’t know we exist or don’t understand who we are.   

The past ten years have given us much to celebrate. We have created a k-12 network of schools, created the Étude Sessions as a sustainable fundraising instrument for our schools, and developed Maker Break as a means to bring a piece of our educational experiences to all of the Sheboygan community. Each of these moves was brought about by a demand we saw in our community and are part of our continual effort to use our organization to help improve our community. We look forward to more years of growth as the Étude Elementary School, Étude Middle School and Étude High School.

We hope everyone enjoys our party today. It will showcase what we have accomplished over the years, but this party is also a way of showing gratitude to all who have helped us move forward. I want to thank our amazing staff (past and present), our families, our alums, the Sheboygan Area School District, and our community. You all have helped our schools be a part of a greater educational mosaic that supports our community.

 

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November 24, 2016
by: Ted hamm

A Thanksgiving Reflection

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A friend of mine recently reminded me of the history of the Thanksgiving holiday. In thinking about the original Thanksgiving meal I am quick to forget that the origins of the this day becoming a national holiday go back to the Civil War. I have put the original proclamation below for you to read. Putting these words in the context of the time they were written, one of the most divisive times in our national history, reminds us of the intent of the day. We are to take a day, put our differences aside, to simply gather peacefully. I hope today is a day for all of us to gather peacefully and consider those things we have to be thankful for.

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October 10, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Good Music: This is How we Fundraise

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Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

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May 22, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

IDEAS Students Shape Tradition

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Many of you have noticed that we changed the name of Morp this year to May Ball. As with any decision in our school, this was not a decision made without student voice and research.

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April 3, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

A Parent Maker Night Primer

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends:

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March 8, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Presentations of Learning: Trimester 2

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Each trimester we take a day and a half have our students reflect on their learning. I feel it is important to share a few thoughts about this. I wrote in depth about this last trimester in a blog[directors-blog/presentations-of-learning-thoughts-as-a-parent-and-advisor/] sharing my perspective as an advisor at IDEAS and a parent at ESAA.

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February 26, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Implementing the College Work Readiness Assessment at IDEAS

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends:

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February 22, 2016
by: Susan Griffiths

Charter Contract Renewal: ESAA School Goals

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Dear Parents, Staff, and Friends:

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February 21, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal: The Mosaic School's Goals

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends:

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February 21, 2016
by: Ted Hamm

Charter Contract Renewal: IDEAS Academy Goals

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff, and Friends,

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