From the Principal
I hope this email finds you well and that you were able to spend time with family and friends over the extended weekend and Thanksgiving holiday. Mr. Feldman and I have been able to get into classrooms and we are observing some amazing things! Our teachers, EAs, and all of our support staff are working very hard to keep moving learning forward.
Just a few things to share:
Parent Input Committee:
We had our first meeting on Thursday, November 18th. It was so nice to come together and hear support from this group of parents. In fact, in one day, they offered to help prepare and plan a gratitude breakfast for ALL staff at WSHS that was held on Wednesday, November 24th. Staff members, Jaime Duffy and Jennifer Walters also contributed by making egg bakes, too. It was a team effort and truly appreciated by all!
School Culture: Thes following issues have been occurring more all over the country this fall. This is not unique to Winona Area Public Schools, but we need to address them together as a school community.
Bullying and Harassment: Overall, the majority of our students are kind, respectful, and make the right choices each and every day. Our previous weeks and months have involved investigating several bullying/harassment incidents and several physical incidents. Most incidents had a component that started outside of school and carried over to WSHS. Some of the incidents involved racist behavior, cultural appropriation as well as harassment toward students identifying with the LGBTQ community. This behavior will not be tolerated and we will continue to work on inclusivity and will do so until we have ZERO incidents. We do address any and all incidents with consequences, but cannot share what those are with students, parents, and staff. Some of the incidents happened via social media, again starting outside of school and then were brought into school.
Vandalism: We have also had incidents of vandalism in several classrooms and in bathrooms (where we do not have cameras). This negative behavior is inspired by the social media outlet, "Tic Toc." Here is a link for you to see what is happening: https://www.
What can you do to help with each of these things:
1. Please talk to your student(s) about reporting behavior to a trusted adult (even anonymously) or to building administration as soon as an incident occurs. They can email us via Schoology or come directly to the office.
2. Please talk to your students/children about responsible and kind posts on social media. Social media has many positives, but we are seeing more and more negatives here at school.
We have an obligation to educate our students on racism and implicit bias at WSHS. Rather than a slide show to teach this important topic, it was important to me to have an engaging, expert speaker for our students to learn from. On Friday, December 10th the equity coordinator from Rochester Public Schools will be speaking to our students.
New Social Studies teacher:
Miss Sarah Fowler is our new and has taken over for Linda Pfeilsticker will be moving on to her new role. She is excited to start her teaching career here at WSHS!! Ms. Pfeilsticker will be missed dearly by her students and our entire staff, but excited for her new position.
Master Schedule Committee Update:
We have a small group of staff devoted to exploring a new master schedule that will best meet the needs of our students. We definitely want your feedback, so please look for a survey prior to our winter break.
Friends of Rachel:
This is the student activity group that was initiated by Craig Scott (Columbine survivor). The plan is for them to meet and decide on at least one activity per month to spread kindness and love to others throughout the building. This has been so nice to see, as it is completely driven by the students!
Family Engagement Plan:
We have put together a plan to engage with families, but need more ideas. If you have any thoughts or input, please feel free to reach out to me: email@example.com.
Thank you for all you do to support Winona Senior High School!
Ms. Heather Fitzloff
We had another great week overall at WSHS! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I was able to spend last evening at the WAPS Foundation Nosh in Nashville Gala. Wow. I cannot thank the Foundation and the sponsors enough for their support of our schools. It was clearly a lot of work and if your family or your employer was a part of the planning or donating, THANK YOU!
Hopefully you all received the October Newsletter on Friday. We will send one newsletter out monthly that will have some duplicate information, but will include celebrations that will not be in my weekly email communications.
Now a few pieces of information as we head into the week!
Special Schedule Wednesday:
We have a special schedule on Wednesday due to our guest speaker, Craig Scott. ALL students need to be in their Guided Study Hall on Wednesday morning. You will see the schedule below. Attendance will be taken in GSH. I have attached a reminder of his message.
This survey is designed by the National School Climate Center (NSCC) to provide school leaders with an in-depth profile of our strengths, as well as areas for improvement. The results of the survey will be used in our school climate improvement work done in partnership with the Regional Centers of Excellence and the School Climate Center at the Minnesota Department of Education. Students will be taking this survey in GSH (Guided Study Hall) on Wednesday of this week.
Grade check for Activities:
Grades are up to date as of Friday and will be printed on Monday. Those students currently involved in Activities need to be certain they are not failing a course to remain eligible. AD Indra will be communicating with students on Wednesday, October 13th if they are failing a class.
New Social Worker:
Hi everyone! My name is Chelsea Scott and I am the new Social Worker at the Winona Senior High School and the Winona Area Learning Center. I am originally from Winona, and graduated from the Winona Senior High School as well, so I am very excited to be back in the WAPS family! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. I will be happy to assist you any way I can.
Testing and staying home when sick are the best actions to prevent illness from spreading to other people and jeopardizing in-person learning, sports, and activities. We ask that students and staff members stay home when experiencing any signs or symptoms of illness. Thankfully, WAPS now has free rapid testing available for students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Testing for symptoms: BinaxNOW Over-the-Counter (OTC) at-home test is a rapid antigen COVID-19 test that utilizes a nasal swab. These tests are recommended for people experiencing symptoms and results are available within 15 minutes after finishing the test.
Parents/guardians may request a testing kit for their students when calling in their absence to attendance or when their student leaves during the day due to illness.
For questions or more information regarding WAPS free testing options for students, please contact Jacqueline Henderson, WAPS COVID-19 Coordinator at (507) 494-0867 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Free COVID-19 Testing at Winona Mall (1213 Gilmore Ave.)
Monday-Thursday, 11 am- 6 pm
Beginning October 17, the testing site will also be open on Sundays from 11 am - 4 pm
Tic Toc and Inappropriate Behavior at WSHS:
With all of the positives, unfortunately we need your help in talking with your student(s) about the Tic Toc Challenges. In September, it was promoted to destroy school bathrooms. I will not list the planned, monthly, Tic Toc Challenges, but I will say we have had consistent damage and vandalism in our boys bathrooms in September and it is continuing. I sent out a Schoology message asking students to anonymously let administration know who might be responsible. Please encourage your student to report any student(s) that might be responsible. We are continuing to investigate. Any help and conversation regarding this and other Tic Toc Challenges would be appreciated. There is a SMALL number of students responsible. Most students respect our school property and others. I just want you to be aware of the trend.
Have a GREAT week everyone!!
Ms. Heather Fitzloff
Winona Senior High School
Hello Winhawk Families!
It was an awesome Homecoming 2021, ending with the dance last night. We sold over 500 tickets and had quite a crowd of happy students. They were so well behaved and had the chaperones smiling from ear to ear. There may have been a tune or two that were "old school" that had us "busting a slight move" on the peripheral. As one chaperone said, "It is hard not to dance!" Just a fun time and seeing the kids back making classic high school memories again, just warmed my heart.
The Student Council and their advisor Jackie Stevens did an exceptional job of planning and organizing all of the events throughout the week!! So much fun was had by all. There are a lot of exhausted Winhawks today! Now, for the week ahead.
Parent Teacher Conferences:
This Thursday, October 7th we will host parent teacher conferences. We have scheduled conferences and walk in times. If you would like to schedule a time, please reach out to your student's teacher. Teachers may reach out to you directly to schedule an appointment, too. Remember, you can always email teachers if you have a question or concern any time! There will be childcare available in the concourse provided by NHS students!
Scheduled: 7:30-8:30 AM and 4:00-5:00 PM
Walk in: 5:00-6:30 PM
Student Support Services News:
Some important information that we would like you to relay to your students. If they have questions, we ask that they please make an appointment to meet with their Guidance Counselor. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.
1.) Students should be making appointments to see us throughout the month of October for their Senior meetings. Until then, here is some important information that we want all of them to hear from YOU.
2.) FAFSA Informational Session:
Thursday, October 7th at 6-7pm in room 107 with a Financial Aid representation
This is all about financial aid for college.
3.) October is College Knowledge Month:
Most schools in MN waive college application fees during the month of October. Here is a list of schools: https://drive.google.
Presenter October 13th:
We are excited to be able to bring Craig Scott, a motivational speaker and survivor of the Columbine High School shooting, to Winona Senior High School and Winona Middle School on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Craig was in the library at Columbine High School where 10 of his classmates — including his sister, Rachel — were killed in a horrific school shooting. Craig has channeled the pain, anger and grief from that tragedy into an inspirational message for others. In the two decades since the shooting, Craig has spoken to more than one million people, sharing his message of turning pain into purpose, of becoming emotionally resilient, and how people of all ages can value themselves and others.
The event is sponsored by Winona Area Public Schools, the Winona County Attorney’s Office and Hope Harbor.
There will be an all-school assembly for students from 9-10:00 AM. We are working on developing a list of student leaders (all grade levels) to work directly with Mr. Scott in a training session from 10:20-11:20 AM. If you think this is something that would be a great experience for your child, please let me know!
Thank you to those of you that completed the survey so far.
In my past districts, I communicated quarterly (sometimes monthly) with a small group of parents. I would like to do the same at Winona Senior High School. First, I'd like to see how many parents would be interested in meeting (in person) in an informal way, to talk about what is going on in the building. What are the teachers working on, what are our building goals, and what is our vision to live out the mission of WAPS! If you are interested in being a part of such a group, please let me know by filling out the survey below.
Thank you, everyone! Hoping to continue to meet you all!
Ms. Heather Fitzloff
Winona Senior High School