Keep up with what is going on at Van Hise!  In addition to our news and information below, you can also find recent PTO newsletters by following the links below.  

Updated:  January 14, 2022

Check out January Meeting Minutes!

Updated:  November 3, 2021

Parent Engagement Groups


Purpose: To connect VHE families with children who experience learning challenges. Students may have an Individual Education Plan and/or diagnosed learning obstacle such as dyslexia/dysgraphia, etc.

  • Bringing families together to discuss successes, challenges, hopes, goals and to exchange ideas.

  • A safe and comfortable place where frank and honest discussions can take place and are encouraged.





Purpose: Provide an opportunity for families with Black and Brown children at Van Hise to connect and share time. 

  • Lift voices for underrepresented students

  • Foster a sense of belonging and community

  • Share successes and challenges



*No groups in December.

Updated:  October 13, 2021

Check out October Meeting Minutes!

Updated:  September 2021

Back to School Info

Zoom recording of PARENT INFO Q&A from 

AUG. 31st HERE passcode: @bM2peh#

Slides updated 8/26 with new start & end times, soft start info, and more!
Updated:  June 5, 2021

VHE Car Parade 2021

Make sure to check the map for the route and head outside on Monday, June 7th to see the VHE faculty and staff drive through the neighborhood. Fifth grade teachers will launch t-shirts to the 5th graders in celebration of their graduation from Van Hise. Congrats, 5th graders!


FUN SUGGESTIONS: Wear Hedgie gear, decorate your yards/spaces, do a little dancin', and join in the celebration!  

*Note:  The last turn onto Odana will be east instead of west.  

Click on the map for a printable pdf version!

VHE Car Parade 2021.jpg
Check out our
June 2021 CAR PARADE!
Updated:  May 12, 2021

Check out Principal Seidl's May PTO Meeting Slideshow

Principal Seidl's May PTO slideshow.

Zoom recording of May's meeting HERE.

Passcode: h$s62BF&

Updated:  February 5, 2021
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Scratch Programming: Creating & Sharing Interactive Media

Create your own animations, games, stories, and interactive art using Scratch, a highly visual programming language developed for beginning programmers. Scratch helps young programmers learn how to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Returning students welcome! Open to 4th & 5th Graders only. *Taught by UW Computer Science students, supervised by Mrs. Drenk. Scholarships available! Contact for information. $37 Class Fee (indicate "Scratch" in the note) Wednesdays, 3:30-4:15 PM Feb 17, 24; Mar 3, 10, 17, 24 (no class 31); Apr 7, 14, 21, 28 (No class Mar 31!)

Updated:  February 5, 2021

Parent Empowerment Group Meetings


FAMILY CONNECTIONS: Our group for families of struggling learners meets the second Thursday of the month. In February, we will meet on February 11th at 6:30 (Join Zoom Meeting)


FAMILY EMPOWERMENT: Our group for families of black and brown learners meets the third Thursday of the month. In February, we will meet on February 18th at 6:30 (Join Zoom Meeting)

Updated:  February 5, 2021

Materials Pick-up:  February and March

We have identified dates for our materials pick up for February and March. These dates are for grades 1 through 5, kindergarten has a separate schedule. Obviously this may change for various grade levels depending on the status of our return, but please mark your calendars just in case. Pickup is in the VHE parking lot off Segoe.



February 17th March 17th

Updated:  January 10, 2021

Parent Empowerment

Group Meetings

Please join Principal Seidl for January's parent empowerment groups. This month we will include a discussion on re-entry planning and supporting success for all of our hedgies in the new year!


Purpose: To connect VHE families with children who experience learning challenges. - students may have an Individual Education Plan and/or diagnosed learning obstacle such as dyslexia/dysgraphia, etc. Bringing families together to discuss successes, challenges, hopes, goals and to exchange ideas. A safe and comfortable place where frank and honest discussions can take place and are encouraged.

When: January 14, 2021, 6:30-7:30 (Join Zoom Meeting)



Purpose: To connect VHE families with black and/or brown children to:

  • lift voices for historically marginalized students

  • foster a sense of belonging and community

  • exercise a commitment to racial justice

For our kids...


When: January 21, 6:30-7:30 (Join Zoom Meeting)

Updated:  December 1, 2020

New! Parent Empowerment Group: 

Family Connections

Bringing together families of children with special needs and learning challenges in our school community


Dear Families of the VHE community,

Virtual learning has presented many challenges for students at VHE, and these challenges may be multiplied for students with special needs and learning lags. Providing the necessary educational support for our Hedgies is a tremendous task, with parents and/or guardians playing a critical role from home. We want you to feel supported and know that you are not alone in this journey. 


Earlier this year we launched a parent empowerment group for parents of black and brown students at Van Hise. It is a way to build connections for families while also lifting the voice of those in our community. We recognize a need to build this connection for other families in our community, and our family connections group will do this. 


If you are interested, we invite you to join a new VHE Family Connections group to bring together (virtually) families of children with special needs and learning challenges in our school community. This space could evolve to best suit the needs of families: social connections, peer support, etc. Principal Seidl will join the first meeting to provide introductions for those who want to attend on December 2 at 6:30, Join Zoom Meeting link.


Principal Seidl and the Van Hise PTO


Purpose of Family Connections Group:

     To connect VHE families with children who experience learning challenges - students may have an Individual Education Plan and/or diagnosed learning obstacle such as dyslexia/dysgraphia, etc. Bringing families together to discuss successes, challenges, hopes, goals and to exchange ideas. It will be a safe and comfortable place where frank and honest discussions can take place and are encouraged.  

     If, during discussion, parents have ideas for how Van Hise PTO could help to support your Hedgie’s learning, they should please feel free to reach out to

Updated:  December 1, 2020

2020-21 is requiring us to get creative and do things a little differently. Please sign up to lend your energy and ideas to any of the following committee opportunities. If we all pitch in a little, we can accomplish so much!  We currently need help with:

The Yearbook

Teacher Appreciation & Recognition

Online Community Building

Volunteers Needed!

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Updated:  December 1, 2020
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Pick Up Good Eats & Help Raise Funds!

Chipotle Restaurant Night

December 9th, 4 - 8:00 pm - University Avenue location only.

 Online ordering for pickup is available.

*Click on Learn More to see the fundraiser flyer!

Updated:  December 1, 2020
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PTO Direct Appeal Fundraiser 2020-21

THANK YOU to our community for your incredible generosity.  We are thrilled to be able to offer so much help to the teachers, classrooms, and families in our community with the donated funds.  Though our fundraiser has officially closed, we always welcome donations.  If you missed the fundraiser but still wish to contribute, click on the button below.   

Updated:  November 3, 2020

Scholastic Book Fair

The 2020 VHE Scholastic Online Book Fair will be 11/9-11/22. There is free shipping with book orders of $25 or more to your home address. Van Hise receives a portion of the sales to use toward buying more books!


Here are video links to some of the books that are available, K-2 and 3-6 (links open now to preview)

· Grades K-3: Grades K-3 Online Scholastic Book fair video

· Grades 4-6: Grades 4-6 Online Scholastic Book fair video


Print copies of Book Fair flyers will be available in the next VHE materials pick up on November 4th. Thank you in advance for your purchase and Happy Reading!!!

Questions - please contact me!


Dana Prager, Van Hise Library Media Tech Specialist

Beginning Nov 9, order books from the VHE Scholastic online Book Fair at:

Updated:  November 3, 2020

A New Very Special Little Library at Van Hise

We are excited to welcome a new little library to our school grounds. This “not so little” Little Library is a special one. It represents solidarity and support for our communities of color. It represents the desire to expose our community to literature and illustrations of Black and Brown struggles in history and currently the Black Lives Matter movement, because, as we know, knowledge is power, which is why we parents strive to offer our kids the very best education possible.  As our understanding of how people of color and children have historically not been allowed the same rights to education, jobs, housing , and other opportunities as the White population, we understand systemic racism. As we learn of unequal rates of imprisonment, harsher sentences for our community of color, we understand institutional prejudice that often can be fatal.  

This library is offered as a beacon of light in the playground with hopes that our little hedgies develop the empathy and courage to make change and become allies to those whose only crime is to want equality and justice.   



Background information: 

This library was donated by a parents of Van Hise group called “A is for Anti-racism”. It was formed in outrage and sadness after more names were added to fatalities of black people at the hands of police which left a mark on our souls. We wanted to take some kind of action and books and education came to mind.  


The person who started this group is hedgie teacher, Ms. Mileham.  

The person who created the library is Zafer Gruel, a father to a Hedgie. 

The artist who painted the library is Lilada Gee, who is known for her lifelong dedication as an advocate for black girls. 

The person who placed the post and library at the playground is Joseph Clark, who is also a father to a hedgie.

The group members all contributed funds, time, effort and talent. We hope and invite others to join us. We will have T-shirts with our logo for sale with all profits going towards charities and foundations that matter to make change.  


Our website will be going up soon so you can follow our events and post photos of what you and your hedgie are doing to make change, even if it’s just reading a book from our anti-racist library.

-A is for Anti-racism Group

Updated:  October 1, 2020

Classroom Reps Needed!

Are you looking for a way to help out our amazing, hard-working teachers and you child's class?

We need 2 Reps for EACH class at Van Hise to:

  • Help coordinate families to support teachers

  • Help with parent communication

  • Attend PTO meetings & share important info

In previous years, reps attended and reported back from PTO meetings and coordinated a group gift for teachers.  This year, Class Reps may also help coordinate families to meet other classroom needs as they arise.  Our Van Hise teachers continue to go above and beyond for our kids, but we are stronger together.  You can support our teachers and our Hedgie community by signing up to be a classroom rep.  Estimated time commitment:  1-3 hours of fun per month.  Grandparents and other adult family members are welcome!  


-Andrea Olson, VHE Classroom Rep Coordinator

Email Andrea with questions!

Updated:  October 1, 2020
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The Fall Box Tops Challenge is on!  The Box Tops program helps us earn free money for our school.  Clip Box Tops off participating products or download the app and simply scan receipts.  The class that collects the most will be celebrated during Ms. Seidl's Wednesday announcements.  

The contest will run through October 28, 2020.  To save paper, we are not sending home collection sheets.  Just send clipped Box Tops in a baggie labeled with your child's teacher's name, and either drop them off in the mail slot at 5201 South Hill Dr. or drop them off at the October materials distribution day at school (date coming soon.)  If you are using the app, put a note in your Ziplock stating how much you collected this fall.  It will be added to your child's class total.  Than you for collecting and supporting VHE!

Box Tops for Education

*Click the logo for more info from the Box Tops' official website!

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Meet Our Amazing Teachers & Staff!

*Don't forget to click "Present"

Thank you, teachers and staff, for all of the amazing work you have done and continue to do for our kids and our Van Hise Community. 

Updated:  Sept. 14, 2020

Watch our September PTO meeting!


Since we are having our meetings via Zoom these days, we have the ability to record them.  If you weren't able to attend or if there's something you'd like to see again, you can watch our meeting by playing the video to the left.  Thanks, and hope to see you the second Tuesday of October for our next Zoom meeting!

Updated:  Sept. 5, 2020

Principal Seidl & Ms. Chanel Announce New Parent Group


Next Meeting Oct. 8th at 6:30

Empowerment Group Starting for Parents of Black & Brown Students


At Van Hise, we value the voices of all families and want all in our school community to experience a sense of belonging. We understand that in our school there are significantly less students of color, and this may bring unique challenges. We also know that historically our black and brown children have lacked voice, and we want to support practices that will lift this voice. For these reasons, Van Hise is welcoming parents of black and brown children to a shared parent forum on Thursday, September 17 at 6 PM. This empowerment group will provide a space for parents to share their experiences and gather together. We welcome you to attend. Ms. Chanel and I are hosting this event. If interested, please click here to sign up for additional information to join our conversation. 


-Principal Seidl

Updated:  August 29, 2020

Sign up and be part of the fun! We need volunteers for the following shifts:

  • Grade Level Tables 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

  • Grade Level Tables 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

  • A couple of super-volunteers from 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM

We Need your Help with

Materials Distribution!

On Thursday, Sept. 3rd, there will be a reverse Teacher Parade, where families can say hello to teachers along Waukesha St. to celebrate the beginning of the school year.


In conjunction with the parade, families will pick up classroom materials and 1st Day School Supplies (if you ordered a supply box at the end of last year). 5th graders will also pick up music instruments and the contents of their desks and lockers from last year.


Grade Level Table Volunteers will distribute classroom materials from a safe distance to families in cars as they drive through. Masks and gloves for volunteers will be provided.

Updated:  August 18, 2020
School Notebook

Town Hall Meetings

At the August PTO meeting it was suggested to provide additional opportunities for information sharing and addressing parent questions.


We have scheduled two Town Hall Meetings as follows:

Tuesday, Aug 18, 6 PM: Grades K-2: Zoom Link (8/18, 6 PM)

Wednesday, Aug 19, 6:00 PM: Grades 3-5 Zoom Link (8/19, 6:00 PM)

Last Updated:  September 1, 2020

Device Distribution

As we launch Virtual Learning 2.0, it will be important for each student to have an updated device to access instruction. Those who currently have a device from last year will need to exchange it for a new one. 


Devices Distribution Dates:

  • Now until 9/4 from (M-F) 8-3pm -- VHE Chromebook Pickup at Wright Middle School

More dates for device pick up just added:

  • Tuesday, September 8, 8am-3pm

  • Wednesday, September 9, 12-7pm

  • Thursday, September 10, 12-7pm

  • Friday, September 11, 8am-3pm

Time:  8:00am - 3:00pm 

Location: James C. Wright Middle School, 1717 Fish Hatchery Rd, Madison, WI 5371


For more information regarding device distribution & updates please visit our district website:

​MMSD is committed to ensuring all students can access the internet for virutal learning. Find internet access options here.

Keyboard Closeup

Updated info!

Updated:  August 12, 2020

Stay tuned for upcoming Q&A sessions with Principal Seidl.

Virtual Learning 2.0


At our August 11th PTO meeting, Principal Seidl shared a great deal of information with families about how virtual learning is shaping up for the start of school.  Click on the button below to see the slide deck she shared as she talked through what teachers and staff are planning.  


August PTO Meeting

All are welcome to join the next PTO meeting!  We will be meeting via Zoom, in light of Covid -19.  Keep an eye out for the Zoom link, which will be emailed out to families before the meeting.  We hope to see you there!

Date:  Tuesday, August 11

Where:  via Zoom link

When:  6:00 PM  (with an update from Principal Seidl)

2020 Handout Student Science Night Proje
Join us in the Van Hise gym.

Calling all students who love science... Or having fun exploring science!

All Van Hise students are welcome and encouraged to prepare a ​hands-on project​ or an exhibit about a ​scientist.
This is a chance for students to explore and share something about science that they think is fun and exciting! All student projects will be demonstrated.
There will also be fun, hands-on exhibits from local science experts to explore.

Need ideas? There are a TON of resources to help students (and parents) available online. The Van Hise’s librarian is also available to help with resources and ideas.


Due to Covid-19

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MOD Pizza PTO Fundraiser

Head to MOD Pizza at 7015 Sligo Dr. by West Town Mall on March 16th to help raise money for our school!


Due to Covid-19

20200129 Carnival is Coming Overview Bou
  • Food will be available for purchase starting at 5:00.  

  • Buy tickets for great raffle prizes and Carnival games - advance tickets available at school starting at 8am on Carnival Day.

  • Donate to your Classroom Basket or to the Silent Auction - Check back for a complete list of prizes

  • Volunteer to help with your classroom's game (everyone can help, from toddlers to grandparents!)

  • Donate cupcakes for the Cake Walk.


DATE: February 21

WHERE: Gym & Cafeteria

DINNER:  5:00

GAMES:  5:30 - 8:00 PM

​Get the whole family involved and sign up for a 30 minute shift at the event. Many volunteer roles can be done with your child--it's a great way to teach them how to give back to their own school!




The winter Box Tops Challenge is on! Collect Box Tops, send them to school, and earn money for Van Hise. The class that collects the most will earn a special prize! 


You can also collect digitally using the Box Tops app. Click here to learn more. By downloading the app on your phone, you’ll be able to scan store receipts and the app will identify participating products and instantly add Box Tops to our school’s earnings online. 

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