September 5, 2017

Enrollment tops projections

School officials projected enrollment would increase about 70 students annually for the next five years, but enrollment will likely top those estimates for the 2017-18 school year. As part of a study of community growth and facility needs last spring, enrollments were projected through the next five years. Based on the number of students who were enrolled one week before school started, however, the district will likely see more than 100 additional students when enrollment is officially reported to the state instead of the projected 70. More information about enrollment will be available after the third Friday in September – the date school districts use when reporting enrollment to the state.

Watton presented with state teaching award

Templeton Middle School eighth grade social studies teacher Rhonda Watton was recognized at the Sept. 5 School Board meeting for being named the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History 2017 Wisconsin History Teacher of the Year.RhondaWattonDPIconsultant

The award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers throughout the United States.

Department of Public Instruction social studies consultant and the Gilder Lerman state award facilitator Kristen McDaniel presented the award to Watton at the School Board meeting.

Along with recognition at a state award ceremony, Watton is the recipient of a $1,000 honorarium and Templeton will receive a core archive of American history books and educational materials. Watton will also receive an invitation to a 2018 Gilder Lehrman weeklong seminar that offers teachers daily discussions with eminent historians, visits to historic sites and hands-on work with primary sources.

Two school site plans presented

Marcy Elementary School Principal Michele Trawicki and Assistant Principal Katie Ritchie reported on their school’s site planning process. Trawicki highlighted work of the past year and noted the school’s achievements including being recognized as a school that “significantly exceeds expectations” on the state report card. Very few Marcy students perform below the 40th percentile on standardized tests and those who do typically did not start at Marcy, but enrolled after attending another school, according to Trawicki.

“Overall, we are very pleased with our test scores, which continue to remain stable or increase,” Trawicki noted in her report. “Our action plans reflect the work our staff is doing to continually improve instruction.”

Ritchie described future work that Marcy staff will address. Again, Marcy’s tactics will focus on literacy and mathematics goals. Literacy action steps identify that teaching staff will:

  • use Reader’s Workshop and Writer’s Workshop to continue best practices in balanced literacy instruction; and
  • explore formative feedback using conferring, rubrics, anecdotal notes and informal practices.

To address the school’s mathematics goals, the staff will:

  • continue quarterly math fact assessments at each grade level;
  • focus on at-home resources and understanding of why math fact fluency is crucial to mathematical success;
  • develop a deeper understanding of math vocabulary through exposure, understanding and application;
  • implement common problem-solving procedures, strategies and vocabulary through purposeful instruction, visible resources and application in multiple content areas; and
  • explore formative feedback rubrics for problem solving.

Both tactics include deepening the definition of student success to include positive habits of mind such as disposition, grit, perseverance, and student ownership of learning and behaviors.

Woodside Elementary School Principal James Edmond, Jr., Ph.D., and Assistant Principal Linda Hake updated the School Board on Woodside’s site plan that reflect the priorities of the district’s Strategic Plan.

Edmond reported that the school continues to make steady academic gains and was recognized as a school that “significantly exceeds expectations” the past two years that a state report card was issued. Test data show more than 40 percent of Woodside students perform above the 80th percentile in literacy and mathematics and less than 10 percent of Woodside students are below the 30th percentile.

In action steps developed to address systems of learning and assessment goals, staff will:

  • align curricular standards and implement common assessments at each grade level;
  • use formative assessment tools to monitor student understanding and provide timely feedback to students;
  • identify strategies and a common language to empower students;
  • personalize learning to include learning styles inventories, class and individual goal-setting and student conferencing;
  • focus on instructional planning and student data analysis at team meetings.
  • experience best practices modeling from reading and mathematics specialists; and
  • deliver consistent instruction and intervention through use of Benchmark Literacy, Being a Writer and Everyday Mathematics.

To tackle social and emotional wellness goals, staff will:

  • use all tiers of Positive Behaviors Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and analyze behavior data to provide interventions;
  • focus behavioral instruction on being a respectful, responsible, safe and friendly school citizen;
  • explore science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics topics;
  • implement a behavioral screener to identify social and emotional strengths and areas of need; and
  • continue behavioral planning and student data analysis at team meeting.

To achieve workforce and organizational wellness goals, staff plan to:

  • personalize professional development that aligns with the district strategic plan and best practices;
  • use teacher release time to observe instructional practices in district; and
  • connect with other staff routinely recognize accomplishments.

One student admitted into kindergarten early

One student was admitted early into kindergarten for 5-year-olds last year, according to a report presented by Special Services Supervisor John Peterson. Two students participated in the early admission 5K screening process. No parents requested early admissions for first grade. District policy indicates children must be four, five or six years old by Sept. 1 to enter four-year-old kindergarten, regular kindergarten or first grade, respectively. While procedures exist for early admission to regular kindergarten and first grade, no early admission is granted for four-year-old kindergarten.

Other reports presented

In other reports, the School Board learned that:

  • Curriculum areas that will be reviewed in 2017-18 are applied engineering and technology, business education and elementary science.
  • After many years of state assessment changes for school districts, the testing schedules appears to be settled with no major disruptions announced in the last two years. The testing schedule includes: PALS early literacy screener for grades K4-2; ACCESS for English language learners; ACT with writing and WorkKeys for juniors; ACT Aspire for freshmen and sophomores; Dynamic Learning Maps – English language arts and mathematics in grades 3-11, science in grades 4 and 8-11, and social studies grades 4, 8 and 10; and Forward Exams – English-language arts in grades 3-8, science in grades 4 and 8, and social studies in grades 4, 8, 10.
  • Summer professional development included Skyward training for business office staff, Hamilton edCamp hosted by Marcy teachers, elementary Next Generation Science Standards workshop, Microsoft Office certification for high school business education teachers, eduClimber data visualization tool training for administrators and interventionists, assessment workshop for administrators, instructional leaders and other interested staff, disciplinary literacy review, new teacher orientation and crisis training.
  • Summer curriculum and instruction projects included middle school mathematics resources training and curriculum development in applied engineering and technology, elementary science, business education and freshman fitness.
  • More than half of all certified staff collaborated with instructional and literacy coaches last year, according to a report from Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D. Reading specialists’ roles changed to include literacy coaches. Half of their time is used to serve the most needy students as interventionists and the other half provides literacy coaching to staff. Little noted in her report that the coaches have found it challenging to find a balance between the two roles, but they creatively work to establish a schedule that meets the need of students and teachers.

Personnel action

In personnel business, the School Board

  • accepted the resignations of Templeton clerical paraprofessional Mary Beth Wilichowski and Hamilton social studies teacher Eric Ebert; and
  • appointed Michelle Mattheis as a Templeton special education paraprofessional, Jamie Brzezinski as Maple Avenue cook, Kara Duehring as a Maple Avenue physical education teacher, Jennie White as a Lannon associate kitchen employee, Kimberley Seher as a Maple Avenue Title I paraprofessional, Lisa Fleisner as a Woodside special education paraprofessional, Diane Jakubowski as a Templeton special education paraprofessional, Molly Zajac as a Maple Avenue Title I paraprofessional, Annamaria Fuhr as a Templeton clerical and supervision paraprofessional; Brian Groth as a Hamilton social studies replacement teacher; and Ryan Dow as a part-time Templeton custodian.