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A different approach to the first day of schoolSubmitted: 09/03/2013
Story By Lex Gray

A different approach to the first day of school
RHINELANDER - The first day of school usually means a long day of new schedules and different expectations. But teachers at Rhinelander High School mixed it up this year.

Dozens of high schoolers running around a field doesn't look like a typical first day of school. That's exactly the point.

"We decided it would be a great way to ease the kids into the school year," said Allie Johnson, an English teacher. "[We can] get our expectations out, walk them through procedural changes that have happened, go over the rules, and also give them some time to bond."

Time to bond doesn't just mean catching up on what happened over the summer. Students did team-building exercises with their classmates.
"We were working together to get across the line," said junior Morgan Blaser. "We all have to move at the same time, act at the same time, and react at the same time, and by doing this, that might help us build stronger relationships in the classroom, and help us learn how each other works."

Teachers hope the day will set the tone for the year. They're rolling out a second year of PBIS, or Positive Behavior Intervention Systems.

"The focus is on teaching good behavior and expectations," Johnson said. "So walking kids through these areas in school, teaching them the behaviors, hopefully will reinforce them, and then everyone gets the same message, the same expectation is out for everybody. So to start the school year this way will definitely have an effect in the hallways and in the classrooms."

Blaser says the school felt more like a family because of PBIS - and it helped the whole school behave a little better.

"Our focus last year was tardies, and tardies went down immensely. I think the number was 15 percent over the course of the year, and so it has had a great effect," Johnson said. "It's also affected the school climate. I think kids are much more positive. Kids are more respectful and responsible because those are our key values in PBIS."

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/17/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Last spring a nursing home in Crandon closed down. Now the facility is expected to open up again thanks to a new local owner. You'll hear from the Forest County Economic Development director on what that means for the area.

We'll show you the progress of the Vilas County Courthouse expansion project and tell you when it's expected to be finished.

And we'll tell you about a new schedule for students at the Rhinelander middle school and talk to school officials about the reason for the changes.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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CRANDON - A new local owner could reopen Crandon's shuttered nursing home facility.

Peg and Jim Houle officially bought the former AGI Healthcare facility, which announced its closing last April. All 37 residents were moved by May.

The Houles replace Milwaukee-area lawyer Robert Roth, who shut down the nursing home when it was no longer profitable.

The Forest County Economic Development Partnership helped coordinate the sale to the Houles.

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RHINELANDER - Local veterinarian, Dr. Alison French, actually sees a decrease in vet visits in the winter months due to less outdoor exercise and fewer injuries. But less time outside with pets is not necessarily a good thing.

French recommends you give your pets plenty of water and take walks outside even in the coldest temperatures.

Just like humans, animals dehydrate faster in the cold. Make sure you refill your pet's water bowls.

"Make sure they have fresh water. So if they're outside all the time make sure they have a heated water dish," said French.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander middle school students could experience a new class schedule this fall.

School administrators have worked for a year and half to change the 20-year-old master schedule.

James Williams Middle School Principal Richard Gretzinger says the main focus of a new schedule is to give students a 30 minute free or "enrichment" period.

"Sometimes students get caught up in getting to go to one class to the other to the other. If we can break up that day for those students and give them some movement, brain breaks and activities… Studies have shown that they will be effective through the day," said Gretzinger.

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MILWAUKEE - A historically red district in Wisconsin that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in 2016 has voted in a Democrat in a special election.

Patty Schachtner beat GOP state Representative Adam Jarchow to become the first Democrat to represent the 10th Senate District in at least 16 years.

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RHINELANDER - Stocking your cabinet with vitamins and supplements can take a toll on your wallet, but doing so can keep you healthy.

There are five fundamental supplements you can take to get your health on track.

That includes a multivitamin, a probiotic, vitamin D, omega 3, and fruits and greens.

Our Northwoods climate can leave many people lacking Vitamin D in particular.

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MILWAUKEE - The first case of chronic wasting disease has been found in Milwaukee County.

The Department of Natural Resources says the disease was found in a four year old deer in West Allis.

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