Monday, December 17, 2012

Letter Home

In the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut, we have drafted the following letter which will be sent home with students today; I have also included a link to resources courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education for helping students of all ages deal with grief:

December 17, 2012

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Friday, the nation learned about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and the Newtown community.
We consider the safety and well-being of our students and staff to be a top priority. While there is no indication that this is anything but an isolated incident in a state far from Wisconsin, we do want to remind all of our families that we have a comprehensive emergency response plan in place to ensure the safety and security at our school. Some of our safety procedures include:

·        - During the school day all exterior doors to the school building are to be locked with the exception of the entrances by the elementary office and the high school office. The only point of entry into our schools should be through the school offices.
·       -  Visitors and parents are expected to check in with our school office each time they visit.
·        - We follow a comprehensive crisis plan and conduct emergency drills including practicing lockdown and fire drills during the school year. Emergency drills provide the opportunity to practice preparation and safety procedures.
·        - We regularly review our crisis plans and work closely with local emergency agencies.

We recognize that news such as this can be very difficult for all of us, especially children. We encourage you to limit the amount of media/news coverage of this tragedy; overexposure to media in regards to this incident may heighten any anxiety your child may feel. Attached is a useful resource to assist you in helping your children cope with an event of this nature should it be necessary. Please do not hesitate to contact the school should you have any questions, concerns, or need for support in helping your children to process this information.
In closing, we ask that you continue to assist us as we promote a culture where everyone has a responsibility to be vigilant and focused on safety. Often our parents and community members can be our best eyes and ears in the protection of our students, staff, and school community.


Patrick Olson                                                              Craig Broeren
PreK-12 Principal                                                        District Administrator

Monday, November 5, 2012

8 Player Football Champs!

Congratulations to the Prairie Farm Panther 
Football Players and Coaches

2012 WIAA State 
8-Player Jamboree Champions
Prairie Farm Panthers

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The SAT Report on College & Career Readiness: 2012

Jennifer Karan, the Executive Director of the SAT program at The College Board, contacted me and asked that I share the following link regarding a write-up she did in response to the findings from the College Board's annual "College Bound Seniors Report". The write-up and the links included are worth a read:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DPI Issues NEW High School Report Card

DPI has posted the new HS report card and as we thought, the score is a 67.4 "meets expectations" after the appeal.  I have forwarded this to the area papers in the hopes that something gets printed...  The direct link to the new report card is:

If you attempt to access the report card through the same browser you used in the past, you will likely come up with the "not rated" version; be certain you delete your cookies and browsing history to ensure that you are getting the updated report card if you access it through the DPI School Accountability site. 


Craig G. Broeren
District Administrator
Prairie Farm Schools
715-455-1683 ext. 119
Follow me on Twitter: @SuptBroeren

Friday, October 26, 2012

More on the FB Jamboree

D.C. Everest Senior High School        
6500 Alderson Street
Lee Ann Kitchell,  Athletic Director

To:                         Football Coaches, Athletic Director, Prairie Farm High School, Abundant Life/St.  Ambrose High Schools, News Media

Prairie Farm vs Abundant Life/St. Ambrose

PLACE:          Stiehm Stadium, D. C. Everest Junior High School
                        1000 Machmueller Street
                        Schofield, WI  54476
DATE:                        Saturday, November 3, 2012

GAME TIME:                     7:00 p.m. -     
                                                           6:30 - 30 minutes on the clock
                                                            6:45 - Flip of the coin
                                                            6:55 - National Anthem
                                                            6:57 - Starting lineups
                                                            7:00 - Kick-off
                                                            (Fifteen Minute Half)

OFFICIALS:  Jerry Chepil Crew (Rice Lake)                                 

TICKET PRICES:      $4.00 (Ages 6 and Up) for one game or a $10.00 pass for admittance to all 4 games.  5 and under will be admitted free.

FAN SEATING:        Both teams will be seated on the Home side of the stadium.  Overflow seating is available on the visitor side. Please look for signs upon arrival into the stadium.

TEAM BENCHES:    Abundant Life/St. Ambrose will be on the South Side of the Stadium.
                                    Prairie Farm will be on the North Side of the Stadium.

BUSES:          Please call by Friday noon to let me know how many buses you are bringing.  Reserved parking areas will be set up for them by the gate.

UNIFORMS:              Abundant Life/St. Ambrose will wear light colored uniforms and will be the home team on the scoreboard.
                                    Prairie Farm will wear dark colored uniforms and will be the visiting team on the scoreboard.

WARM UP AREAS:  Prairie Farm will warm up on the West side.
                                    Abundant Life/St. Ambrose will warm up on the East side. (Ramp side)

TEAM LOCKER ROOMS:  Located in the junior high school next to the stadium.  Someone will be present to let you in before the game and at half time.

FILMING:                  One filmer and two spotters with phones from each school will be allowed in the press box. Each school must provide their own phones.

BAND:                       Free admission will be granted to members of the pep band in uniform. Please let me know if you will be bringing a band by Wednesday, Oct. 31st.

                        1) A maximum of 8 cheerleaders in uniform.
                        2) Eight complimentary passes. 
3) Team doctor and trainer.
                        4) Band members in uniform.
                        5) Press must have a press pass.

                        1) Players dressed in uniform and coaches.
                        2) Six additional people (stats, managers, etc.).
                        3) Team doctor and trainer (if present).

RESTROOMS:     Are located next to the concession stand.

CROWD INFORMATION:  No smoking in the stadium or on school grounds.
                                                Remind your crowds that good sportsmanship is expected.
                                                No one is allowed inside the fenced in area.
                                                Please remind your fans to stay off the all-weather track.
                                                No confetti will be allowed.
                                                Any problems will result in removal from the stadium.
Please remind your coaches and players that use of gum and sunflower seeds are strictly prohibited on the turf field and sidelines.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I was just notified from the Office of Educational Accountability (OEA) that our appeal of the HS report card was successful; we will be notified when the "new" report card is available.  See below:


Thanks for the data. Based on our review, we agree that you’ve substantiated the attendance corrections submitted for your 106 students in 2010-11. Prairie Farm Hi will be in the next batch of corrected report cards we run; we’ll let you know when those are finished and available.


Daniel Bush | Educational Measurement Consultant
OEA | Wis. Dept. of Public Instruction

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Last Correspondence from DPI

Following is a copy of the e-mail I received from Laura Pinsonneault at DPI regarding the "issues" with the HS report card:

Dear Craig,

I have attached a statement about the report card release that I invite you to use with your local community.  I hope that the document is of assistance for you.  I agree; people cannot ‘un-see’ what they have already seen, and I apologize again for any confusion created for Prairie Farm High School by this situation.  I am not an IT person, but I have been told that deactivating a single PDF would have taken just as long as loading the correct version, due to the high traffic on the website.  As Phil said, you should find the correct version on the website now.

I am happy to talk with anyone in your community regarding the error in the report card load, if that would be helpful for you. 


I also received the following statement from DPI to distribute:

On Monday, October 22nd, Public Preliminary School Report Cards were loaded to the DPI website.  The Prairie Farm School District submitted an inquiry form for Prairie Farm High School’s Report Card which is currently under review by the Department of Public Instruction.  As such, the School Report Card should reflect a ‘Not Rated’ status.  Due to a technical issue, the report card for Prairie Farm High School appeared with a rating designation in error.  The Department of Public Instruction assumes full responsibility for the incorrect report card posting to the website and apologizes for the inconvenience this has caused.  The correct report card was sent to Prairie Farm’s superintendent on Monday afternoon and was loaded to the DPI website by 5:00 pm that day.

The Latest on the School Report Cards

At approximately 8:00pm last evening, I was notified by the Office of Educational Accountability (OEA) that our HS report card had been updated to the "not rated" version.  It was very disappointing to me that this did not occur until 12 hours after the fact and I have yet to hear any answers to the questions I posed regarding this "technical issue".  The next update regarding these new report cards will be when I am informed of the status of our appeal.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Craig G. Broeren
District Administrator
Prairie Farm Schools
715-455-1683 ext. 119
Follow me on Twitter: @SuptBroeren

Monday, October 22, 2012

Accountability Report Card Update

I have been in contact with the Department of Public Instruction's Office of Educational Accountability (OEA) and have been informed that a "glitch" in their system has caused them to upload the report card for the High School with inaccurate information even though it is currently under review.  I was told by individuals from the OEA that the report for the high school would be listed as "not rated" as I previously posted.  Please see the relevant e-mail below:

Dear District Administrator:

This is to inform you that we have received your inquiry related to possible errors in the data underlying the report card for one or more schools in your district. We are in the process of resolving your inquiry and in the meantime, the rating for the school(s) in question will be “not rated.” We will work with you to resolve the issues as quickly as possible and generate new report cards if we are able to confirm and correct data errors.

If you have any questions or comments please contact Laura Pinsonneault.

Debbie Gaffney Dilley
Office of Educational Accountability
Department of Public Instruction

In addition, I have received the following correspondence from Laura Pinsonneault, the direct of the OEA indicating that the DPI is working on replacing the existing report card with one that reads "not rated" as previously mentioned:

Dear Craig,

Thank you for writing.  As I expressed earlier, we have identified the technical issue that resulted in report cards with rating categories being posted to the web, instead of the ‘under review’ report cards.  It takes about 15 minutes for the new versions to re-load and we are working on that right now.  Again, I do appreciate you drawing this to our attention and apologize for any confusion this may have caused.  As Phil said, we should have the situation resolved shortly.


Laura S. Pinsonneault
Director, Office of Educational Accountability
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Unfortunately, based on my last conversation with the OEA, it looks as though the "technical issue" will not be resolved until as late as 5:00 pm this evening.

I will provide updates as they become available.

School Accountability Report Cards Public Release

You may have heard that the State Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has publically released the new school accountability report cards today Monday, October 22nd; these school report cards are available through the DPI website at:

The primary purpose of this post is to provide you with some information about the new school report cards which can be found at: as well as to inform you that the report card for our high school is under review and will not be released until our appeal is finalized; the appeal and subsequent review are due to a miscalculation regarding absenteeism.  I am uncertain as to when the high school report card will be made available however DPI has informed me that we have until November 9th to submit the data for our appeal; our data was submitted to DPI on Thursday, October 18th.  In reviewing the school report cards you will notice that both our elementary and middle schools are classified as “meets expectations” which is certainly good news while still providing us with data and information on how to continue to improve.  I am fairly certain that when the high school report card is released, it will also be classified as “meets expectations”.

I encourage all parents to go to this site to find the report cards for our schools as well as other information relevant to what is and has been occurring at the State level recently.  You also have the ability to pull up the school report cards for any other school/ district in the State.

Please contact me at any time with questions.


Craig G. Broeren
District Administrator
715-455-1683 ext. 119

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Board of Education Sets Levy for 2012-2013

On the evening of Monday, October 15th, the Prairie Farm Board of Education officially set the levy for the 12-13 school year.  As was reported in a previous post, our equalized property values dropped roughly $5.7 million and our State aid (which was certified and sent to districts on 10/15) decreased roughly $92,000.00.  Both of these factors caused the local levy to be higher than predicted but still lower than in the 11-12 school year.  Our mill rate for 11-12 was a 12.9 due to a overall levy of $1,262,265.00; for 12-13 our mill rate dropped to 12.0 (up from the predicted 11.4- 11.8) due to an overall levy of $1,107,774.00.

The 12-13 overall levy is made up of:
1) $960,844.00 for the General Fund
2) $126,930.00 for the Debt Service Fund (building bonds)
3) $20,000.00 for the Community Service Fund (community education)

Please contact me at any time with questions.

Craig Broeren
715-455-1683 ext. 119

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall (No Pun Intended) Equalized Property Values

The Department of Public Instruction has just informed School Districts that the Department of Revenue (DOR) has released the fall equalized property values*.  The equalized property values are one piece of the Wisconsin school finance puzzle which effects the local levy and corresponding mill rate; in general the lower the equalized property value the higher the levy to raise a similar amount of taxes as the previous year (assuming the previous year had higher equalized property values)- the opposite is also true.  Unfortunately, Prairie Farm did not receive good news for 12-13.  Our equalized property values decreased from $97,905,240.00 in 11-12 to $92,162,287.00 for 12-13; clearly a loss of roughly $5.7 million in equalized property values will have an impact on the local levy.  How much this will effect the levy remains to be determined because the final piece of the school finance puzzle, our State aid amount, will not be released until October 15th, 2012.

*- I have been asked on numerous occasions by folks who wonder why in some cases they were told by an assessor that their property value has increased while the school and possibly other sectors of government claim property values have dropped.  The answer lies in the term "equalized".  The State utilizes "equalized property values" which are determined based on some fairly complex calculations and take more into account than just the assessed property values of the district.

Please check back for more information as it becomes available.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Next Generation Assessment Sample Questions

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has just released some sample questions for Math and English- Language Arts (ELA) at:

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) plans to have the WKCE replaced and the new Smarter Balanced Assessment in place by the 2014-2015 school year.

Monday, October 8, 2012

2012 Speak Up Survey

Prairie Farm Schools will participate in the National Speak Up Survey for 2012.  

Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues. Each year, findings are summarized and shared with national and state policy makers. Participating schools and districts can access their data online, free-of-charge

All schools have been pre-registered and do not need to go through the registration process. We encourage all students, teachers, and parents to participate in this survey to provide valuable data.

If you would like access to your school level admin password so that you can access data for your school beginning in February, please contact Craig Broeren at:

Why participate?

Receive free, online access to your survey results in Feb 2013. You can view results by school or district with national comparisons.

Obtain valuable data with national benchmarks, use the data to design or update programs, secure funding, support grant proposals, engage your business community in new initiatives, and learn what’s important to your students, parents, teachers & administrators.  Use this data towards the evaluation of technology programs and grant evaluation data.

Become part of the national movement to include the views of students, educators and parents in the national, state and local dialogue about key education issues.

Take the Survey!

Directions for accessing the survey are listed below.  The survey can be taken from any computer at any time starting October 3rd through December 14, 2012.

Students, Educators & Parents Speak Up!

Open October 3rd – December 14th, 2012

Get the pulse of your stakeholders about the use of technology for learning through Speak Up, a National Research Project.  The online survey is open to students, educators (including future educators) and parents; it’s quick and easy to get involved.

  1. Go  to this link:
  2. Click on the appropriate survey.
  3. Follow the given instructions to access the survey and enter the school name to find your school.
  4. Students will choose the grade level and enter the Secret Word below.
  5. Administrators/Teachers/Media Specialists will choose the appropriate survey and enter the Secret Word below.
  6. Parents will not need the Secret Word to access the survey.
    Complete the survey.

Your survey Secret Word is:  panthers

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Love and Logic Presentation for Parents

Love and Logic co-founder, national speaker, and author, Foster Cline coming to Wisconsin!
Join Dr. Foster Cline for a FREE 2 hour laugh and learn "stand-on-the-chair" presentation that will leave you with "go home and use 'em" Love & Logic tools and techniques for the most common challenges facing parents, grandparents and anybody who cares about kids! Visit for more information. 
Where: Menomonie HIgh School Auditorium
When: Wednesday November 7, 2012 from 6-8

Friday, September 28, 2012

8 Player Football Information

Since the 8-player format is new this year, I felt it would be relevant to share the information we have been provided by the WIAA.


a. Enrollment average - a 3-year enrollment average of 200 or less for eligible schools to participate in the Jamboree.
b. Declaration deadline of May 1 for the 2012 season and thereafter schools must declare by February 1 for the following season.
c.  A 2-year commitment is required.
a. Jamboree will be scheduled during Week 11 (Level 3 of 11-player football).
b. The top four teams in the north will be paired with the top four teams in the south.
All specifications of Numbers 8 and 15 under SEASON REGULATIONS (pages 12 and 13) will apply.
a. Scheduling of Competition
The Jamboree will be held Saturday, November 3 at a central location.
(1)   The WIAA will contract 5-man crews to work all games.
(2)   Officials will be paid:
(a)   officiating Fee - $60. Checks and contracts will be issued by the host school
(b)   expenses - 40¢ per mile (round trip) for travel.
(c)   officials shall travel together with mileage paid to one official. If officials choose to travel separately, the mileage for the longest trip may be split between the officials.
(d)   There is no separate meal and/or room allowance.
b. Awards
There will be no awards for the 8-player football jamboree.
c. Finances
1.  As the WIAA is only facilitating the Jamboree and the Jamboree is not a WIAA tournament, the following will be used:
(a)   The host school will pay all fees and expenses.
(b)   Host school will retain 60% of receipts beyond expenses.
(c)   Participating schools will divide the remaining 40% of receipts equally.
2.  Ticket Prices
(a)   Ticket prices may be determined by the host school, not to exceed $4 per game.
3.  Admission Policies
(a)   Each school participating in a Jamboree game shall be allowed free admissions in the form of field passes for a party comparable to a normal traveling squad, in uniform.

#4 North v. #4 South - 10 a.m.
#3 North v. #3 South - 1 p.m.
#2 North v. #2 South - 4 p.m.
#1 North v. #1 South - 7 p.m.

Stiehm Stadium, D.C. Everest Junior High School, 1000 Machmueller Street, Schofield, WI 54476
Parking will be at the stadium and at the high school with shuttle busses to help with transportation from the high school parking lot to the stadium.

  1. Qualifying and placement for the Jamboree is based on overall season record of the 8-player schools in 8-player competition.
  2. The top four teams from the north will compete against the top four teams from the south.
  3. The teams will be placed 1-4 in their geographic area.
  4. Teams will be matched against like placed teams (ie:  #4 vs. #4, #3 vs. #3, #2 vs. #2, #1 vs. #1).
  5. When ties exist, the following criteria will be used to place teams.
a.     Head-to-head result (when applicable)
b.    Result vs. conference champion
c.     W-L percentage vs. qualifying field
d.    W-L record vs. common opponents
e.     Defeated opponents (8-player wins only) overall W-L percentage
f.     Defeated opponents (all wins) overall W-L percentage
g.    Overall W-L percentage
h.     First half points allowed/per game average - through Week 9 (8-player)
    1. Coin flip

All specifications of Numbers 8 and 15 under SEASON REGULATIONS (pages 12 and 13) will apply with these exceptions and additions:

Athletes who are ineligible during the WIAA Jamboree (for any reason) may not appear in uniform and participate in warm-ups.

Note 1: Lotteries, raffles, fundraising, contests, campaigns and solicitation are prohibited at WIAA Jamboree.
Note 2: At all WIAA tournament sites, the public address system is only to be used for announcements necessary for the administration of the contest.

a. Game Film Exchange:
Teams meeting in the Jamboree will exchange copies of their 2 most recent games by arrangement of the schools.
b. Rosters
(1)   A school may change its squad make-up from one game to the next.
Note: See reimbursement limitations under Tournament Finances Section in HANDBOOK.
c. Jersey Colors
The following procedure will be used. The first school alphabetically will wear light colored jerseys during the even-numbered years (2012, 2014, etc.), and the second school alphabetically will wear light colored jerseys during the odd-numbered years (2013, 2015, etc.).
d. Game Balls
       For the Jamboree, only Wilson footballs may be used.
e. Coin Toss
The team wearing dark colored jerseys shall be heads. The team wearing light colored jerseys shall be tails.
f.  Only the designated number of players, comparable to a normal traveling squad for a regular season game, will be permitted to enter the playing area and allowed to be on the sidelines during the contest.
g. Game management, with assistance from the WIAA, if necessary, will determine which school will use the home side of field as its sideline at the Jamboree.
h. Space for Teams’ Representative in Press Box/Communication Center
Space should be adequate to provide for (in order of priority):
(1)   Game management personnel, i.e., scoreboard operator(s), announcer, and spotter to assist the announcer.
(2)   One position for each participating team.
(3)   Space to accommodate media personnel that might be expected, i.e., radio, newspaper.
Have equal space available for both teams. It is not required that you provide field phones for both teams. If, for example, you have only one set, you may leave them in place for whichever team is assigned that bench or they may use their own. Ultimately the participating schools are responsible for furnishing their own field phones and filming equipment.
The host is responsible only for being certain both schools have equal “space” available from which to spot and/or film.
i.  Length of Half Time
The half time will be 15 minutes plus the 3 minute warm-up.
j.  Sideline Heaters
Sideline heaters are permissible if the participating schools wish to provide them themselves. They should not be allowed, however, if they cause the host school additional expense, pose any kind of safety problem, or block the view of spectators.
k. National Anthem
The host school decides which school will play the National Anthem. If both schools have a band present and wish to play, a coin toss will decide the school.
l.  Lotteries, raffles, fundraising, contests and solicitation are prohibited at WIAA Events.
m.   Jamboree game ball will be: Wilson GST
Note: For other details see 2012 Football Playoff Manual