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February 16, 2021
by: Special Contribution to the Étude Group

Etude Group Receives New Charter for 5-year Contract

Etude Group has been awarded its fourth charter with the Sheboygan Area School District, which means the elementary, middle and high schools can continue meeting and exceeding their goals for another five years. 

The vote to approve the charter, which came in November, underscores the group’s overall message: that it is educating students well, it’s stable and consistent and it’s providing an important piece of the array of educational options available at SASD. 

 “We want our parents, students and the community to know that we are constantly working to achieve the goals we’ve agreed to with the district,” said Director Ted Hamm. “We’re happy to get the OK to keep moving forward and very proud of our kids and teachers for their great work.” 

The new charter was based on how well the group did over the past five years on the goals it set for each level – elementary, middle and high school. 

Etude High School met most of the goals set out in its 2016-21 contract and continues to work on areas that need improvement. The results over the past five years show that math scores – though not meeting district averages consistently – are on the upswing and the ELA (English Language Arts) are among the best in the district. 

Reports on the standardized scores predictably don’t include scores from the 2019-20 year because those exams were canceled due to the pandemic shutdown. 

“The disruption of their routine is significant, and the disruption of personal connection,” Hamm said. “Etude is about personal connection.”

What the students are learning, however, will last them well beyond this unsettling period. At the beginning of the pandemic, Hamm said he saw a significant drop off in student attendance when the school went all online. Since then, though, it’s turned around. 

“But what we’re starting see is now is they’re starting to pick themselves up, they’re starting to be more resilient in terms of dealing with these things,” Hamm said. “These skills are really going to help them in terms of dealing with adversity. I think what students are starting to realize is a sense of self-efficacy, the confidence that they can do this.”

In addition, video conferencing will probably become the norm for the next generation of professionals, Hamm said, so online schooling is good training. 

Learning from the challenges of the pandemic shutdown isn’t limited to the high school, of course. 

Etude Middle School students are learning the same lessons as they continue to meet benchmarks. 

The school also met most of its goals from the previous contract, and Hamm pointed out the tremendous strides students have made in proficiency in that time. 

Middle school scores have been going up district-wide, he said, and Etude is doing great in that area, particularly in math. 

“We aligned the math curriculum with the elementary math curriculum, putting more focus on mathematic thinking,” Hamm said. “I think that’s been a significant improvement. In ELA, we’re using a project-based approach in all courses, allowing students to integrate reading and writing across the curriculum. I think that is what is helping our reading and ELA scores improve.” 

The elementary school, to no one’s surprise, met every goal in the contract. 

“The main message is the project-based learning, the integrated arts projects we do at the elementary school are working,” Hamm said. “That’s the bottom line.”

The school’s success proves something the people at Etude have known all along. 

“Kids can learn in an engaging way and still score well on standardized tests,” Hamm said. “These are great projects, and yeah, this is the way kids should learn.” 



 

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November 6, 2020
by: Janet Weyandt

Mindfulness Builds Resilience at Étude Elementary

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After lunch at Étude Elementary School, the students come back into the building, pick their favorite spot to sit or lie down and then spend a few minutes breathing, thinking and paying attention to how they feel.

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May 30, 2020
by: Janet Weyandt

Wilderness Wednesday takes learning into the great outdoors

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In the beginning, Wilderness Wednesday at Etude was simply a way for teacher Ali McKeone to get herself and her first graders outside and enjoy a little fresh air.

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April 22, 2020
by: Janet Weyandt

Teachers bring new ‘Mindset’ to math class after workshop

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If there’s one thing that’s become more important than ever in education over the last month, it’s flexibility. Teachers have initiated online learning on the fly, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and students and parents have risen to the challenge.

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September 3, 2019
by: Ted Hamm

First Day of School

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IMG 2332 2 This is my view of the first day of school. Quiet hallways, empty classrooms; not a teacher or student in sight. But, wait! It is the first day of school! The first day and two weeks are an important part of Étude. We use it to intentionally establish our community and culture for the school year. Today is all about culture, building a safe culture.

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March 9, 2019
by: Ted Hamm

Sheboygan Makerspace

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Image result for city of sheboygan

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September 11, 2018
by: Ted Hamm

National Arts Education Week: A Look at Dance

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Our school is fortunate to be one of the only schools in the area that offers dance as a content area taught during the normal school day. We teach dance Kindergarten through grade 12 and use dance/movement as an art form that used to communicate ideas, as well as, a tool for calming students through our yoga and Movement and Learning work. As people become more sedentary in general, it is important that we find ways throughout a students’ school career to remind them of the powerful impact of movement.

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September 10, 2018
by: Ted Hamm

National Arts in Education Week: The Arts at Étude

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As I write this blog, I am surrounded by the sounds of students creating music, the sight of students creating their own dances, and drama students working through their own scripts and improv pieces. At first look, it is a bit chaotic, but after further observation, it is productive chaos. Each student is engaged in doing something; not tacitly learning, but involved in thoughtful dialogue with other students and teachers. The arts inherently do this. The arts engage a child in a holistic approach to learning unlike other subjects. This is why the arts are core to what we do at the schools of the Étude Group. As we kick off National Arts Education Week[https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/images/2015/by_program/networks-and-councils/arts_education_network/BILLS-111hconres275enr.pdf] I want to use this week to share with you the transformative impact the arts have played within our schools.

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August 1, 2018
by: Ted Hamm, Director

Revised Daily Schedule at Étude Middle & High School

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Dear Étude Middle and High School Families:

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June 21, 2018
by: Ted Hamm

Student Engagement & Academic Growth at Étude Elementary

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One cardinal rule we live by in the schools of the Étude Group is Engagement Over Compliance. Engagement a result of our investment in creating inclusive school culture, creating relevant curriculum, and building solid relationships with kids. Compliance, on the other hand, requires kids to follow the rules of others without question or voice. We strive for engagement, and where some compliance is required for schools to function properly, our students participate in developing the rules.

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