Our mission is to engage all of our students in rigorous and relevant learning to maximize their unique talents and abilities, and to prepare them for the challenges of the future.
November 2017
Come see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Nov. 10-12. Get tickets here.
Excellence for All – It’s the Watertown Way!

Dear Parents, Families, Students, Friends and Neighbors,

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is almost here! We have had a lot to celebrate over the past few months including a terrific Homecoming Week featuring our 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Joseph Wimmer. We have many great events coming up for the holiday season, and our fall musical  Jacob and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat promises to be a great show. We hope to see you at one of our many holiday concerts and performances.

As we have kicked off this school year, it is important to take some time to reflect and celebrate many of our successes as we continue to focus the work of the District around our strategic plan:

  • We have improved our graduation rates by over ten percentage points since 2010 from 83% to 94%.
  • We have increased the number of students taking the AP exam from 127 students in 2011 to well over 200 students in 2016.
  • This past school year we had a record-high number of students who qualified as AP Scholars at 66 – up from 24 AP Scholars in 2012.
  • Seventy-three percent of our students graduated in 2016 with a post-secondary experience – a dual-credit course or an advanced placement course.
  • Endeavor Charter School opened its doors in 2014, and our first STEM Elementary School opened its doors at Lincoln STEM School in 2017.
  • In 2017 WHS was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as among the best high schools in the state and nation and was awarded a Silver Medal Award.
  • In 2017 Schurz and Lebanon Schools were recognized by DPI as Title I Schools of Recognition.
  • The WUSD has been nationally recognized as a Best Community for Music by NAMM every year since 2012.

We are also continuing to focus our work around our system priority areas in our strategic plan:

  • Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Every Child Every Day
  • Developing People and Partnerships
  • Innovation

We are excited about so much of the great work that continues to happen in our District, and we hope you will enjoy reading about some of the additional highlights in our Fall Newsletter.

The Watertown Unified School District is committed to our vision of Excellence for All. We believe we can lead the state in our efforts to reach the learning needs of every child, develop people and partnerships, and lead through innovative practices and leadership. We believe that the WUSD is a destination district in the state of Wisconsin, and we plan to build on our reputation as an innovator in education and a great place to live, work and go to school! 

It’s the #WatertownWay!
 
Sincerely,
Cassandra Schug
Superintendent of Schools
Upcoming Events
  • Nov. 3: End of 1st Quarter
  • Nov. 10-12: WHS Fall Musical, 7:30 p.m. Friday/Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Nov. 22- 24: No School - Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec. 1: End of 1st Trimester (WHS Only - Release at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Dec. 3 and 4: WHS Holiday Concert at St. Bernard, 4 p.m. Sunday, 4 and 7 p.m. Monday
  • Dec. 7: RMS Chorus Concert, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 9: ACT Testing at RMS, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Dec. 11: RMS Band Concert, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 11: Business Summit: Healthy Child, Thriving Communities – Tomorrow’s Workforce Develops Today (Please Register by Dec. 4.)
  • Dec. 18: RMS Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 22-Jan. 2: No School - Winter Break
  • Jan. 3: School Resumes

See WUSD calendars to find spring concerts, school events and 2017-18 district annual calendars
More than 100 Students to Present Fall Musical Nov. 10-12
The cast of Watertown High School’s fall musical has been selected and is well into the rehearsal process. More than 80 on-stage performers, 23 instrumentalists and other behind-the-scenes students will perform Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the WHS auditorium. Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber have written this magical musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son. Joseph is full of unforgettable songs including "Go, Go, Go Joseph," "Any Dream Will Do" and "Close Every Door."

The Lead/Supporting cast of Watertown’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat includes: Jonathan Burke (Joseph); Rachel Moldenhauer (Narrator); Zach Zubke (Jacob); Brothers: Solomon Vana (Rueben), Garrett Radtke (Simeon), James Stevens (Levi), Michael DeGrave (Judah), Nathan Volgmann (Dan), Quade Buska (Naphtali), Jaken Loska (Gad), Joshua Vana (Asher), Logan Martinez (Issachar), Nathan Lampe (Zebulun) and Brian Frank (Benjamin); Nathan Lampe (Potiphar); Ana Ruiz (Mrs. Potiphar); Megan Beine (Potiphar’s Assistant); Evan Berth (Baker); Brian Frank (Butler) and Quake Buska (Pharaoh).

The production is led by Ryan Moldenhauer (Director/Choreographer), David Zimmermann (Music Director/Producer), Sarah Hafenstein (Pit Orchestra Director), Chad Martin (Assistant Pit Director), Beth Mueller (Choreographer), Michelle Beine and Cathy Houchin (Children’s Choir), Reid LaDew (Production Assistant/Sound Engineer), Jan Duffy (Costume Supervisor) and Sue Weihert (Pianist). 
 
Performances are scheduled for Friday, November 10th and Saturday, November 11th at 7:30 PM and a matinee on Sunday, November 12th at 3:00 PM. Tickets are available at this box office website by typing in Watertown and selecting Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Reserved seating tickets will be available for purchase at the front office of WHS during regular school hours. Adult tickets are $13, while student and senior citizen tickets are $10. Also available this year is an online credit card option. (Please note: the online option includes a small handling fee.)
Innovation
New Fiber Optic Network Will Increase WUSD Digital Access
WUSD is excited to announce plans to partner with the City of Watertown to co-own a 10GB fiber optic network that would significantly increase internet traffic speeds by Fall 2018. The increase in speed and bandwidth will aid in optimizing and accessing programs, databases, content streaming, video conferencing and file sharing in real time. 

The Board or Education moved to adopt this technology as it looks to the future of the learner and learning spaces in the digital age and as more services move to the cloud. And not only will the upgrade immediately address network bottlenecks that our students and staff often experience, it will also position ourselves and our teachers to think responsively and creatively to new demands and opportunities in an ever-changing education landscape. We are Watertown! 
Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Every Child - Every Day
Watertown Way Grant Project Hones Students' Problem Solving Skills
Proposed by Endeavor teacher Holly Buell through a Watertown Way Grant application, the Future Problem Solvers project was designed to help students progress in their problem solving skills. All of the activities for this project focused on the skills needed to be an effective problem solver. During teaching time, Holly Buell created various activities to help students look for and understand multiple perspectives of a problem, find and analyze multiple solutions, and create reasonable recommendations for the future. Some of these activities included breaking down a problem into many underlying problems, identifying stakeholders in situations, and creating criteria to evaluate the success of tried solutions. Buell also created mini-breakout sessions for the students who did not show proficiency in the targeted skills. Students took these skills and applied them by analyzing a local problem. 

Students came away with ability to recognize multiple stakeholders associated with an issue and push beyond looking at the surface level. Students also spent more time investigating tried solutions before proposing solutions of their own. This helped them to not make the same mistakes that had been made in previous solutions. Students had a much better understanding of the parts of the problem solving process because each part was practiced in isolation before moving on. 

The students did a great job in presenting their work to the community panel. The groups did much better with discussing the multiple perspectives of their problems and the complexities that were related to their problem. The panel of community members that watched our student presentations provided very positive feedback. The community members were impressed with the students’ ability to articulate the complexity of issues and explain solutions that have been proposed. 

Since students learned common language and fundamental skills through the problem solving activities, there was a better transfer of knowledge. We have been able to use the same language in our seminars and in helping students in their individual projects which has improved the work our students have produced. Our students also learned to see an issue from multiple perspectives which was something they had struggled with previously.
Staff Development in STEM, UDL and Special Education Literacy
STEM: The Watertown Unified School District partnered with The Innovative Schools Network to provide an amazing opportunity for our staff looking at exploring or starting Project Based Learning in their classrooms or schools. The workshop was held at Watertown High School, but it was attended by staff from across the District. The day provided valuable insights, information, hands-on experiences and most importantly, time for staff to draft their own goals and steps for ongoing Project Based Learning implementation in their classrooms and schools.

Universal Design Learning (UDL):
Through a state grant, Webster Elementary has been studying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for the past three years. UDL utilizes the research of neuroscience to impact teaching and learning. The three principles included in the UDL framework are: engagement (the why of learning), representation (the what of learning), and action and expression (the how of learning). In UDL, there is no “average student,” so learner variability is addressed through flexible goals, methods, materials and assessment. Webster teachers have implemented various UDL strategies in their classroom such as: flexible seating, goal-setting, providing multiple options for students to learn content, and giving students choices about how to express their learning. Through careful lesson designing and planning around these principles, teachers are working on reducing barriers and optimizing learning for all students. 

Teachers have been learning about these three principles through staff book studies and conferences over the past three years. On the most recent staff development day, Webster teachers were able to advance their learning of UDL with Heather Francis, an UDL implementation specialist from the CAST organization. Teachers had the opportunity to collaborate together, looking at lesson planning through the UDL lens. Webster staff learned more about UDL principles and how to apply them in the classroom to benefit all learners. 

Special Education: 
The special education teaching staff are engaged in a series workshops in literacy. A leadership team met throughout the summer to determine the needs of our teachers and students and to make suggestions about the topics of the trainings. These workshops, led by Nancy Zimmermann, are designed to develop and enhance our teachers’ abilities to meet the needs of our students. In addition to the workshop time, our teachers will be working with an instructional coach to implement the strategies in the classroom setting. The teaching staff has expressed excitement about both the workshops and the ability to work with an instructional coach. According to Joi Lynn Rens, elementary learning strategist, “The training was a great opportunity to review and practice various reading strategies. The team discussion time was powerful and Nancy Zimmermann is an amazing presenter.” 
Developing People and Partnerships
Distinguished Alumni Winner Gives $10,000 to WUSD Scholarship Fund
Homecoming Week was fantastic - even though we were soundly defeated by Stoughton on Friday night! The students, staff and administration were organized, efficient and full of spirit all week, and it was evident in all the well-attended and well-executed events throughout the week. Special thanks to Jamie Koepp for all his efforts to ensure all went smoothly.

In a week full of great events, our Distinguished Alumni winner, Joe Wimmer, was a highlight. He addressed the field house full of staff, parents and students, and at the conclusion announced that he would be giving $5,000 to the WUSD Scholarship Fund, and he would give another $5,000 if the football team scored 11 points in the Friday night game. At halftime - when it looked like we might not score any points - Joe Wimmer modified his promise and handed Jamie Koepp a second check for $5,000.

Joe and his wife Sue are truly what this award is all about. They were joyful, generous and fully engaged in all the activities we had planned to celebrate them. They shared the following:

"Thank you for the wonderful time we had last Friday. The students were very polite and well-mannered, and the staff was excellent. The school is beautiful, and we had such a good time. On Thursday, I played bridge with several of the ladies that were our guests on Friday, and all commented on the wonderful behavior of your students, and how absolutely marvelous your staff was. We just wanted to commend you on your wonderful schools. We are delighted we have two grandchildren in the District. We thank you so much for helping us and being with us on Friday."
NEW: Staff Alumni Spotlight on Nicole Schwager
I graduated from Watertown High School in 1997, UW-Whitewater in 2001 with my BSE, and from UW-LaCrosse in 2003 with my ME-PD. I began my teaching career in Jefferson and then came back to teach in Watertown after just a couple of years. I taught second grade at Lincoln and now I am in my eighth year of teaching first grade at Douglas.

I am proud to be a Gosling and I truly believe that this community is a great place to live, work and raise our family. My husband Jake is also a ’97 graduate of WHS and our daughters are just starting their education in the WUSD. Tessa is a fourth grader and Tenly is a kindergartener, both at Douglas. Our youngest, Delaney (1 year old) is also a future Gosling! We are so thankful for the wonderful teachers our daughters have had so far and it has been my pleasure to work with them at Douglas. 

Growing up in Watertown and going to school in the WUSD was a great experience for me for so many reasons. Some of my best memories include reading books in the bathtub filled with pillows in Mrs. Heinz’s first grade class at Webster; listening to Mrs. Runge (the librarian at Webster) read with her many animated voices; art projects with Mrs. Burns at RMS; and playing softball and volleyball for WHS with Mr. Steve Jacobson as my coach. I could name many more great teachers from throughout my school days who have inspired me to want to teach and give back to my community. 

What I hope all of my students will take with them after our year together: 
Whatever you choose to do, do your best. Always be kind. Never give up. I believe in you.
Certified Staff Spotlight on Mary Pat Boschert
I have been teaching for 24 years, coming from Mayville where I taught for the last 20 years. I currently teach at Riverside Middle School. My husband's name is Bill and we have 2 children, Anna, 22, and Andy, 17. We live in the countryside in Beaver Dam where we have many animals: horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, cats and one dog. Our family is active in Dodge County 4-H, where I am a co-general leader of the Leipsic 4-H club, and a member the Executive Board for the Dodge County 4-H Leaders Association. 

What I most love about teaching is the opportunity to participate in students discovering their own gifts, empowering young people to take control of their own learning, and watching them become interested in the many facets of life and curiosity.

I have many favorite school success stories and each year, working with new students presents a new adventure in itself. One of my favorites: I enjoy incorporating Readers Theatre and short plays into the students' curriculum and even having the students overcome their fear of speaking in front of a small crowd or the rest of the classroom. Our classes performed in front of not just the rest of the class, but a large crowd in the auditorium with parents and many other student classes. With encouragement and grit, many students overcame their fear of public speaking and opened other avenues for them to join the school dramas and musicals after that.

A surprising fact about me... I first taught in Watertown Schools 24 years ago for a year and a half, first at the old high school and then at Douglas. Now 24 years later, I'm returning to the district where I first started. I am very happy to be back in Watertown and share my talents with the staff and students of the Watertown School District.
Support Staff Spotlight on Jaime Caudle
I am a graduate of Watertown High School, attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and DeVry University. This January will mark my 10th year working as an Administrative Assistant at Schurz Elementary School. I have also worked in the Summer School program for the past eight years, with this year taking on the Summer School Administrative Assistant role as well. I am blessed with three amazing children, Austin, 20, Ally, 19, and Olivia, 13, all of whom attended or are attending in the Watertown Unified School District. This past summer I got married to my wonderful husband, Bill. We live in Watertown.

The most rewarding aspects of my work come from sharing the day with my amazing colleagues and getting to interact with our Schurz Tigers and their families. The staff at Schurz School truly are such treasures! They go above and beyond each day to make working in our building such a positive experience. Our Schurz Tigers are the best! Every day I get to see so many smiling faces. The best part has been watching our students grow over the years, along with the connections I have made with their families. When some of our past Schurz Tigers come back to mentor in our building, it is such a treat! It gives us an opportunity to reconnect with them and hear what lies ahead as they begin to pave their way into adulthood.

A surprising fact about me is that I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management at 40 years old! There was a point when there were four of us within our household all attending college at once: Bill, Austin, Ally and myself! I am interested in pursuing a career in Human Resources and am taking the time to acquire additional professional certification.

When my colleagues and students at Schurz School talk about me, I hope they say that I am hard-working and dedicated, a positive presence within our building, organized and detailed, approachable and kind, and always willing to lend a hand to help in any way that I am able. I am part of these Schurz Committees: Yearbook, PBIS School Store Initiative, Book Fair, Generation’s Day and Homecoming Week.

When I'm not at Schurz, I enjoy spending time with my family (always No. 1 on my list), coaching youth sports (I'm currently coaching the Watertown Youth Basketball 7th grade girls team that my daughter, Olivia plays on) and going on adventures/traveling.

A favorite school success story of mine has come from the Charity Days that we have planned during Homecoming Week. The past two school years, the Wednesday of Homecoming Week has been our Schurz Tigers day to give back. Last year we had students bring in needed items for the Watertown Food Pantry and the Watertown Humane Society. This year we adopted a family and helped with some of their financial needs. We will also be helping several families by providing gift cards to cover their holiday meals this season.
Watertown Unified School District | 920-262-1460 |  www.watertown.k12.wi.us