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March 31, 2024
by: Ted Hamm

A New Spin on Engineering at ÉHS

Up to now, STEM students at Étude High School have immersed themselves in robotics and traditional engineering themes. This semester, things are a little different. 

Instead of what they might have expected, engineering students are learning principles of high-level engineering and how they relate to the world around them. 

Instructor Heather Cleveland has had several careers before this one. Now the owner of the Green Bicycle Co. in Sheboygan, an urban planning/community development organization, Cleveland has a degree in civil engineering and worked for 15 years in the environmental engineering field.. 

Cleveland’s path to the engineering classroom at ÉHS was not straightforward, she said. She took all the STEM classes she could take in high school: pre-calculus, drafting, science, etc., but she wasn’t ready for the rigor of pursuing an engineering degree.. 

“Nothing prepared me for what was coming when it comes to (post-secondary) engineering classes, like calculus, statics, fluid mechanics and dynamics,” she said. “I wanted the students in this class to have heard those terms. I believe in tying it to the environment, something they’re passionate about as young people. The type of engineering I’m teaching is about being human.”

In Cleveland’s environmental engineering class, students (everyone from freshmen to seniors) discuss current events related to the environment and work at tying that to engineering concepts. 

The idea, she said, is to give students the most well-rounded taste of what’s ahead as possible, because if they go on to study the subject later they’ll need a better foundation than she had. 

“There are basic classes everybody takes regardless of engineering specialty,” Cleveland said. “Core foundational classes, whether they go on to environmental, civil, structural, electrical, chemical engineering, etc., they all have a foundation. I’m tying it into things they recognize to understand the application so when the time comes, they know what path to take.”

Cleveland was a past executive director at Nourish, and her degree in urban planning sparked an interest in community engagement, she said. She was also briefly on the Étude Group board, which cemented her commitment to the Étude educational model. 

“I believe in it,” she said. “I believe in project-based work, and I’m familiar with the Exhibitions of Learning. My challenge is, how can I weave that in?”

Though it’s a brand-new class at the high school, Cleveland started right away planning ways to incorporate interdisciplinary lessons, including science and math, and even writing. In fact, students are currently working on individual research projects, using all their language arts skills along with what they’re learning about environmental engineering.

Cleveland is working with language arts teacher Addie Degenhardt to learn the subtleties of the Étude method, and honing her skills in the workaday teaching tasks of grading, attendance, classroom structure, etc. 

Planning for the end-of-the year group project is well underway, and Cleveland said she is looking forward to ongoing partnerships with her fellow teachers. 

“I’m looking for collaboration,” she said. “The math and science folks – we’re going to speak the same language.”

Cleveland said she has high hopes for her engineering students this semester. 

“I want them to understand engineering concepts and be able to explain them,” she said. “I want them to connect engineering with equations, not be afraid of them, and I want them to have a glimpse into what engineering in college and the community looks like.

“I want the students to see themselves as problem-solvers and to know that they can make a difference as individuals and as future engineers,” Cleveland said. “I’m doing what I wish would’ve been done for me.”

February 28, 2024
by: Ted Hamm

ÉHS students to take part in Madison Model U.N. Conference

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In March, the students of Étude High School will have an opportunity to do something brand new for the school: Participate in a Model U.N. program with students from all over Wisconsin.

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January 29, 2024
by: Ted Hamm

Founders Scholarship gives students opportunity to continue learning

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The Étude High School Founders Scholarship offers Étude students the opportunity to continue exploring their creativity, innovation, and passions during the summer break. This scholarship is distributed to students entering Étude High School grades 9-12, for full or partial tuition for summer pre-college experiences, camps, and programs. Last summer the Founders Scholarship was awarded to senior Liliana Heinen.

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December 29, 2023
by: Ted Hamm

Celebrating a decade of teaching at Étude

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Last spring, nine Étude Group teachers were honored for a decade of service to the charter school organization. Étude Group is grateful for the hard work and service of Beckah DeYoung, Drew Fredrichson, Michael Hanlon, Courtney Kissinger, Molly King, Allison McKeone, Kara Pasche, Nicholas Scharenbroch and Dan Stenz.

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November 8, 2023
by: Ted Hamm

New program gives EHS students access to artistic professionals

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A new collaboration between Étude High School and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center will give students new artistic insights for special projects.

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November 8, 2023
by: Ted Hamm

Collaboration with South High is muy bien for EHS students

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A collaboration with Sheboygan South High School has opened up Spanish education to Étude High School students for the first time.

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June 20, 2023
by: Ted Hamm

Teachers adjust their lesson planning to encourage ‘Science as Thinking’

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Every school teaches science to every student, but how can teachers make sure students are really learning and not merely memorizing? Last spring, four Etude teachers leveled up their delivery of science curriculum by participating in a “Science as Thinking” workshop.

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May 10, 2023
by: Ted Hamm

Putting the ‘through’ back in K-12

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Usually, when a student moves from fifth grade to middle school, she kicks the dust of that elementary school off her feet and never looks back. The same thing happens again when she moves from eighth grade to high school.

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March 31, 2021
by: Ted Hamm

Flags of Resilience

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As you look down 9th St. at Étude Middle School, you will see something a bit different flying from our flag pole. Flying just under the American flag are flags our students created in partnership with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. The flags represent resilience. Or, I should say the flags represent what our students view as resilience.

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

Etude Group Receives New Charter for 5-year Contract

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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.

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