Middle School News

WMS Socratic Seminar Dress Code Policy

Superintendent Dr. Annette K. Freiheit continues to seek student feedback regarding a proposed dress code policy for students in Winona Area Public Schools. On Wednesday, she visited the classroom of Winona Middle School eighth-grade social studies teacher Tommy Sawyer, who used the superintendent’s visit as an opportunity for his students to engage in a Socratic Seminar. 

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Eric Barnard climbing

On Monday, Eric Barnard visited Lisa Palkowski’s sixth-grade language arts classes at Winona Middle School and had the students’ attention from start to finish as he shared stories from his climbing experiences in, showed off his equipment and answered questions — like what happens when you have to go to the bathroom and you’re on the side of the mountain.

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Dress code feedback

The superintendent asked for feedback. And she’s getting a lot of it. Dr. Annette K. Freiheit on Tuesday started the process for gathering feedback on a new dress code policy that will replace the current policy, which was adopted in 2008 and hasn’t been revised since 2014. 

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Kelly Anderson First Student

First Student has collected several lost and found items from students who ride the bus to and from school each day. Starting Monday, Dec. 16, parents can come to the First Student office at 1160 Frontenac Drive in Winona to claim any lost materials. There will be tables set up at the front office throughout the week. 

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Leaders of the Winona Area Public Schools Board of Education and the Winona Education Association said this week that both sides continue to work together in a creative, collaborative fashion toward a contract agreement that is good for the financial stability of the district, rewarding for longtime educators and enticing for prospective teachers. 

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School bus

Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 5, the afternoon transfer for bus numbers 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 32 will take place at Winona Senior High School instead of Washington-Kosciusko Elementary. (Transfers at Jefferson Elementary and Goodview Elementary will not be altered.) 

Read More about Transportation update: Afternoon transfer at W-K shifting to WSHS starting Nov. 5
Tipi Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month. According to the National Congress of American Indians, the month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

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Vaping photo

Seven out of 10 high school students in Winona County think vaping is a great or moderate problem in their school according to listening sessions conducted by Winona County ASAP. Three people in Minnesota have died in the last two months stemming from injuries due to vaping, the Minnesota Health Department said. Companies are marketing vaping products to our youth. 

It's time we are all educated on the issue.

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Dick Mindykowski Tori Thompson

Native American artist, craftsman and trapper Dick Mindykowski visited Winona Middle School social studies classes Oct. 15-16, sharing stories of the Ojibwe culture and encouraging the students to be heroes for others.

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The Winona County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) and co-sponsors Winona Area Public Schools Community Education Program and the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) are presenting the sixth annual Community Collaboration Summit on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. inthe Winona Middle School Commons Area.  

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A statement from Winona Area Public Schools

During Thursday night’s meeting, the Winona Area Public Schools Board of Education voted 6-0 to approve a motion to drop the slander of title lawsuit filed against Save Our Schools. We are hopeful that Thursday’s vote is the final page in this chapter of our school district’s story. 

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mini legislative session winona

Winona Area Public Schools had an opportunity to share its story with several state lawmakers on Thursday morning. The Winona Education Association hosted members of the Minnesota House of Representatives at Winona Senior High School as part of the “mini session” held in Winona and the surrounding areas. 

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Joseph Cynor Earth Science Pleasant Valley Creek

You can find Joseph Cynor’s nameplate on Room 202-1 in the eighth-grade wing of Winona Middle School. But his classroom isn’t limited to those four walls. Not with the “eye-popping” landscape of southeastern Minnesota just outside the door.

Read More about Learning from the landscape: Why one middle school teacher takes his classes outside
WAPS statement regarding transportation issues

We want to be clear: What happened today is in no way acceptable. We have shared our concerns with K12 Transportation, the contractor responsible for coordinating the bus routes. We are committed to working with K12 Transportation and First Student, the local bus company that drives the routes, to make sure these problems are fixed immediately.

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Annette Freiheit Winona all-staff welcome

The school year is underway at Winona Area Public Schools.  New Superintendent Dr. Annette K. Freiheit kicked off the school year with an all-staff celebration on Tuesday morning at Winona Middle School. 

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WAPS new teacher mentorship program

To help new teachers feel comfortable in their new environment — which in turn leads to a better academic experience for the students and families in Winona Area Public Schools — the Staff Development Committee has a mentorship program that matches established teachers with new hires in the district. 

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Winona Area Public Schools Director of Finance Kristy Millering

Kristy Millering, who was raised by public school employees, is the new Director of Finance with Winona Area Public Schools. She believes her range of accounting experiences will give her a solid foundation to tackle a new challenge.

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NEW! Campus Parent and Campus Student web applications

On Monday, July 22, 2019, the existing Campus Portal web application is being replaced with the new Campus Student and Campus Parent web applications. These new applications will provide a more intuitive and user-friendly experience and are designed to be responsive for use on computers or mobile devices. 

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WAPS Community Ed Fencing Class Winona

Eight students recently took part in a fencing class, one of several Youth Enrichment programs offered throughout the year from Winona Area Public Schools Community Education. The class, which was held three hours a day from July 15-18, included those with fencing experience, and others who have never picked up a foil — also known as a sword.

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Construction season: Referendum projects underway across Winona Area Public Schools

In November of 2018, voters in the Winona Area Public Schools District approved a $9.42 million referendum to address critical facility needs. Construction on many of those projects has started. Here's what's happening around the district.

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'I am truly a life-long learner': Back in Winona, new superintendent aims to be role model for students

Dr. Annette Freiheit, the new superintendent of Winona Area Public Schools, is no stranger to southeastern Minnesota. She has also never stopped her passion for learning.

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Student kayaking in pool.

Minnesota seasons provide outdoor opportunities all year long and Winona Middle School Physical Education teachers embrace this by offering Outdoor Education as an option for students. Units in Outdoor Education include but are not limited to fishing, archery, swimming, geocaching, snowshoeing, canoeing and kayaking.

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