District Projects Expand Learning Opportunities for Students

Over the past several months, the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District has been hard at work on several key projects funded through a successful referendum last spring. These projects will help expand learning opportunities for our students across the district, significantly enhancing their college and career readiness. 

Check out the progress we have made on these efforts:

Chippewa Falls STEAM Lab

Through STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, our students learn incredibly valuable skills that prepare them for a highly competitive world after graduation. Our new STEAM Lab, on which we broke ground in May, will feature equipment, spaces and technology through which students can explore a wide variety of interests. 

Chippewa Falls Middle School renovations

The referendum projects also include a renovation of Chippewa Falls Middle School. This encompasses the repair and improvement of the existing building, along with an expansion to provide better technology and more space for students.

At a May event, students, administrators and parents took part in a groundbreaking ceremony, marking the start of the third and final phase of our district's referendum projects.

New Stillson Elementary School

Ground broke in May on the new Stillson Elementary School, which is being built on a 36-acre site in Lafayette. The increased space of the new property provides room for parking, playgrounds and athletic fields for our students, families and staff. Plans are underway to widen the road leading up to the new elementary school to ensure safer transportation for drivers, cyclists, buses and pedestrians.

We would like to thank the entire Chippewa Falls area community, including our alumni, for your support of our students and schools. These exciting projects would not be possible without you! #MightyCardinalsNation

How to Beat the Class Reunion Jitters

Seeing that invitation for your class reunion can stir up a lot of emotions, including excitement, nostalgia and (perhaps) some anxiety. You may not have seen these people in a long time, and the prospect of walking into a room with your old classmates makes you feel like an awkward teenager all over again.

If you are a little nervous about attending your upcoming reunion, below are some tips to help you out:

Do some research

Bust out your yearbooks to jog your memory of names and faces. There may be people you’ve lost touch with, but are hoping to see at the reunion. If you feel comfortable, reach out to people on social media ahead of time to learn who plans to attend and build a group of familiar faces you’ll be eager to talk to during the event.

However, don’t expect everyone to have done this. Be prepared to re-introduce yourself to classmates. After all, it has been a long time since you've seen one another!

Use the buddy system

The buddy system worked for you in school, and it will certainly work for you now. Reach out to a school friend to see if he or she will attend, and make a plan to go together. Chances are, your friend has the same anxieties and will be eager to hear from you.

Be prepared with questions

When in doubt, ask people questions about themselves. What have they been up to since high school? How did they enter their career path? What do they miss about living in your hometown? If you’re nervous to open up yourself, steer the conversation to others.

Leave past grudges behind

If your nerves stem from childhood drama with an individual or clique, try to leave those feelings in the past. It’s been a long time since high school, and hopefully everyone has grown. Chances are, that person regrets his or her past behavior. Be kind to everyone—and you may even leave with new friends.

Have fun!

Class reunions provide an opportunity to reconnect with a group of people with whom you had a unique, shared experience. You’ll relive hilarious memories and forge new bonds with old friends. Keep an open mind and appreciate the evening for what it is: a celebration.

Would you like to get more involved with the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District? Join Mighty Cardinals Nation today!

Want to Be More Civically Engaged? Here are Some Simple Tips

There are many reasons why it's important to be civically involved, from contributing to your community in meaningful ways to the health benefits often found in those who actively serve as volunteers and on boards and committees of nonprofits and government agencies.

Although you may want to be more civically involved, it can be difficult to know where to start. Work, family and various other responsibilities can make it feel as if you don't have time for anything else in your life. However, civic engagement can be easier than you might think. There are several simple things you can do to support your community without a huge investment of your time, energy or money.

Below are six simple ways you can get more civically involved today:

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Great Things are Happening in Chippewa Falls!

There are always exciting things happening in the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District!  From new construction planning to charitable initiatives from our wonderful students, we have a lot of exciting news to share. Below are a few recent highlights:

Design phase for Stillson construction, CFHS renovation complete

Plans have been finalized for the construction of Stillson Elementary and the renovation of Chippewa Falls Middle and High Schools. The $65 million project will expand facilities for students, teachers and faculty members and enable the district to enhance its programs and services. The projects are moving forward after community members approved a referendum question on the ballot last November. Track the progress via the district's website.

Students honored for charitable work, community engagement

The Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls, an organization focused on investing in charitable efforts and encouraging young people to get involved with the community, has recognized two CFHS students. The Kiwanis Club donated $50 in honor of each of the students to the charities of their choice.

We are proud of the great work of these students, as they have contributed to their community in meaningful ways!


Students collect donations for Recovery Court

Two CFHS students collected a wide variety of donations for the Chippewa County Recovery Court, an intensive rehabilitation and recovery program. The students collected donations of clothes, backpacks and toiletries from the community to give to participants in the program. Great job on an impactful community service effort by these students!

Former CFHS student folds hundreds of paper cranes

When Alan Fox was a senior at Chippewa Falls High School, he came across a college admissions essay example that referenced the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was affected by the bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Inspired by her goal to fold 1,000 paper cranes, Fox decided to take on the challenge for himself.

Now in college, he has steadily been working his way up toward his goal.

There are so many great things happening in Chippewa Falls, it's difficult to cover them all on the Mighty Cardinals blog. Please stay tuned for further news and updates from your alma mater!

What's the Value of a Great Education?

Whether it’s at an international conference or a local school board meeting, education is one of the most widely discussed topics at every level—and for good reason. The quality of education children receive can make a huge difference in the rest of their lives.

Education is about more than just whether a person attended a school—it’s about what the quality of his or her educational experience was. Understanding the implications of education can help motivate you to pursue and support the achievement of young people in your own community.

In the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, our students, alumni and community members know full well the impact a great education can have.

Education and personal wellbeing

Education affects individuals in very personal and lasting ways. In fact, it is one of the primary determining factors when it come to lifetime earnings and overall success. An individual’s chance of securing a good-paying job increases dramatically based on the level of education received. It has a lasting impact on financial wellbeing and can determine a person's earnings potential for decades.

Because so many full-time positions require applicants to have earned a college degree, employment rates tend to be lower among those without. The jobs available to people with a high school diploma or less tend to be less lucrative and less consistent than those available to college graduates.

However, this does not mean that everyone has to get a four-year degree. Those with specialized vocational training—such as radiation therapists, electricians and web developers—can make high salaries and work in field with low unemployment.

Global effects of education

Education influences so much more than just an individual’s success and earnings potential—it also affects society on a national and global level. Communities with greater access to education and a more educated population tend to have healthier economies, lower levels of poverty, less crime and better quality of life. Education also promotes innovation and creativity within a community, sparking new ideas to advance technology and make the world a better place.

To ensure that future generations are given greater educational opportunities, it’s essential for people at every level of society to support educational organizations and institutions. This starts with local school districts like CFAUSD.

We're fortunate to live, work and learn in a community that supports its public schools. If you would like to get more involved, whether it's through volunteering, mentoring or making a financial contribution, we encourage you to contact us.

Enjoy These Spring Events in Chippewa Falls Schools

While we still may be in the dead of winter here in Chippewa Falls, spring is just around the corner! Our students are hard at work preparing for a wide variety of concerts, performances and other events in the coming weeks and months.

We would like to send a special invitation to our alumni, supporters and community members to check out these events coming up:

Orchestra Golden Ticket Night

Thursday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Chippewa Falls High School

Attend a wonderful performance from the Chi-Hi Orchestra.

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Want to Reconnect with Old Friends? Here are Some Tips.

Nowadays, people have access to more tools for connecting and communicating than ever before. However, that does not make it any easier to break the ice with a friend you haven’t spoken to in years—or even decades.

It’s quite common to feel nervous or even stressed out at the thought of getting in touch with an old friend, but reaching out to someone who you haven't spoken to in a long time gives you the opportunity to rekindle a friendship you’ve been missing.

How to reach out

There's no magic formula that will guarantee your success when you attempt to make contact with an old friend, but there are several steps you can take to make the process as easy as possible.

  • Set your anxiety aside: If you feel nervous about contacting an old friend, you’re not alone. Even best friends can drift apart with time. The important thing is that you want to reconnect. Your friend might be just as anxious as you are about reaching out to you, so don’t let nerves get the better of you.
  • Send a brief message: There’s no need to write a novel chronicling everything that has happened since you last spoke with your friend. Keep your message short, sweet and to the point. Start off with something like, “I know it’s been a while since we spoke, but I’d love to catch up." You might include a simple question to get a conversation started.
  • Ease into an in-person meeting: It’s exciting to finally get in touch with an old friend, but you shouldn't jump straight into an in-person meeting. Continue corresponding online, via text or over the phone until you both feel comfortable enough to get together.
  • Consider the circumstances: It’s important to think about what your friend has experienced since you last spoke and how they might feel about you reaching out. If you and your friend had a falling out that caused you to lose touch, an apology or reconciliation could be in order. If you don’t address pain or hurt from the past, your friend may be skeptical of your motives.
  • Keep your expectations in check: Even with all your best efforts and intentions, you might never hear back from your old friend. The reality is that not everybody is open to rekindling friendships with those they have lost touch with. Don’t get discouraged by a missed connection and try to understand why your friend might be uninterested in reconnecting.

Communicating with old friends isn’t always easy, but it can be well worth the effort. Putting yourself out there can lead to the revival of meaningful friendships you have lost over the years.

Planned Giving Opportunities Before the End of the Year

A great education is critically important for our children, community and society as a whole. Chippewa Falls students, parents and alumni are well aware of the impact a strong K-12 education can have in preparing young people for life beyond the classroom.

During this season of giving, you can make tax-deductible charitable contributions to support Chippewa Falls, just like you would any other organization or cause important to you. Our donors allow us to expand our programs and services, providing our students with the best educational experiences possible from pre-K through high school.

If you’re thinking about making a contribution to support Chippewa Falls schools, now is the the perfect time of the year to do so. Not only does charitable giving in December give you the opportunity to spread some holiday cheer, but it also allows you to enjoy some benefits come tax time in April.

Getting involved with holiday giving

Contributions to the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District Foundation are tax deductible. You can find out more about how to give a one-time gift by contacting Sharon Barkley at cfausdfoundation@yahoo.com. If you’re interested in establishing a scholarship fund, you can fill out and send in a donor data sheet.

No matter how big or small your contribution, you can rest assured knowing that it's going toward quality educational opportunities for the children attending Chippewa Falls schools. Even if you cannot make a financial contribution, we welcome those who want to get involved with our schools to volunteer at our events and after-school programs.

You can find out more about how to get involved and contribute to Chippewa Falls schools and students by contacting us today.

Fall Into Fall with These Chippewa Falls School District Events!

As the leaves fall off the trees, the temperatures drop and we start to see the first flakes of snow hit Chippewa Falls, our students are getting ready for a variety of great events in the coming weeks. We would like to invite everyone in our school community, including our alumni, supporters and community members, to check out and attend these events this year.

Here's a rundown of what's in store from now until the holiday break:

Theater Performance: "No Mother to Guide Her"
November 9-11
Chippewa Falls High School Auditorium
Students perform "No Mother to Guide Her," a melodrama in Victorian-era style, with lots of funny modern twists. Come boo the villain and cheer the hero as the whole cast plays out a ridiculous tale of love, greed and deception. Live piano accompanies the action. Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults; tickets are available at the door. Performances start at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Chippewa Falls High School Auditorium. Contact director Molly Barnes at Chi Hi with questions. 715-726-2406 x 1217

Halmstad Culver’s Night
November 13
Culver’s in Hallie
Teachers and parents serve Culver’s customers to benefit the Halmstead PTO.

Jazz Band Winter Concert
November 30 at 7 p.m.
Chippewa Falls High School Auditorium

Voyagers Play
November 30 at 6:30 p.m.
Chippewa Falls Middle School
Students of Chippewa Falls Middle School's after-school program perform.

Jim Falls Deck the Halls
December 6 at 6 p.m.
Jim Falls Elementary School
Jim Falls hosts a PTO-sponsored holiday event.

You can check out a full list of our upcoming events here. If you want to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on with the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where you can check out photos, news and more events.

Thank You for a Great Homecoming 2018!

Homecoming is a special tradition here in Chippewa Falls. This year's festivities took place the week of September 24-29, and it was yet again a memorable event for our students, parents, community and our wonderful alumni.

Unfortunately, the Mighty Cardinals fell to a tough River Falls team on Friday night by a score of 34-21. Still, it was wonderful to see so many of our alumni out and about at the game and the other great events throughout the week. This included the homecoming parade, where students' floats were on full display.

We are also proud of the student council members at Chippewa Falls High School, who planned a number of fun activities throughout the week that made Homecoming 2018 another milestone event.

Immediately following the game, students, staff, community members and alumni headed out to the annual bonfire and pig roast. As always, it was a great time for all, and it reminded us once again of what makes Chippewa Falls such a special community.

For all the alumni who took part in this year's homecoming events, it was great to see you. Thank you for being such an important part of the great traditions we have here in the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District. Go Mighty Cardinals!