District E-Newsletter                   August 2017
Hello Wauwatosa School District Families, 

I hope this finds you enjoying your summer. It's hard to believe we are less than a month away from the start of school!

While our students have been away, we've been hard at work preparing for the new school year. Our focus this year is lasered in on improving both equity and instructional practices, which translates to improved learning and experiences, for all of our students. Both are among our strategic goals on our strategic plan.

This Back-to-School themed newsletter is full of tools to equip you for a successful new year of school including registration information, new text message alerts, before and after-school care, new meal options, summer successes and an update on our Facilities Advisory Committee. We hope you'll take the time to read.


Phil Ertl

Upcoming District Events
R.A.C.E. Parent Network 
Wednesday, Aug. 9 --  6-7 p.m.
West High School
School Board Meeting
Monday, Aug. 14 --  7 p.m.
Fisher Administration Bldg.
Conf. RM C

School Board Meeting
Monday, Aug. 28 -- 7 p.m.
Fisher Administration Bldg.
Conf. RM C
First Day of School
Friday, Sept. 1

Labor Day -- NO SCHOOL
Monday, Sept. 4
Your Educational Community News
Equipping our teachers for changes in elementary math
It has been a summer of planning, preparing, and yes, learning for elementary math teachers in the District. As we implement our new board-adopted curricular resources for elementary math, we’re working to equip our teachers with the tools, knowledge, and support they need for a successful year.

Our math and special education teachers participated in 2.5 days of professional development this summer and worked side-by-side with district instructional coaches, as well as trainers from the resource provider to learn the ins and outs of our new curricular resources we will use this year.

Teachers also learned about best practices for teaching elementary mathematics and worked with their grade level colleagues to study the first unit they will be teaching. Throughout the year, the instructional coaches will bring grade level teachers together to study each unit that is a part of the new series.

Be on the lookout: We will send additional information later this month about Elementary Math Family Success Sessions scheduled for late September which will cover an introduction to the new resources as well as walk through what students will learn, how students will learn, and how families can help at home.

Registration Reminder
If you have a child who will be a first-time student in our district this year, please remember you must register them before they can attend classes.
Do you know someone with a JK-age student? Make sure they know about our JK program that offers wrap-around day care.

There is still room to register for the Rec Department's Tosa Tots , an early learning program for three-year-olds. Click below for details.

Before and After-school Care
As a reminder, the District has partnered with Right At School as the provider for onsite Before and After-school Care at each of our elementary schools. Below are links for further information about the services, including information about tuition assistance for families. 

Back-to-School Quick Links
As you start your back-to-school shopping, a list of each school's supplies list can be found on their website homepage. For a list of ALL school supply lists, Health Services and Food Services information and forms, and printable PDF versions of the 2017-18 District Calendar, click on the link below.

New communication tool for parents
Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, the Wauwatosa School District will add text messaging as a tool to communicate time-sensitive or urgent information to parents in the event of school closures, weather-related cancellations, or emergency situations. In our annual communications survey of parents, text messaging was the top preferred method of communication behind email. 

In most cases, text messages from the District will direct parents to check their email
(the address you have on record with the District) for additional or follow-up communication when needed. Text messages from the District will not be utilized for routine communication. Standard charges for text messaging will apply. 

How to use: If you would like to receive text alerts, simply make sure you have a mobile phone number, capabale of receiving text messages, provided in your contact information for your school.
Sodexo Food Service brings new options to the table this school year
Over the summer months, Sodexo's Food Service team has worked on bringing some exciting new options for in-school meals this year. From a Farmers Cart of new fruits and veggies to explore, to a Smoothie Bike that allows kids to pedal while they make a smoothie, Sodexo has some great plans for engaging students in healthy eating. Also, Free and Reduced Lunch applications can now be filled out online. You can read more in the link below.

Longfellow welcomes new leadership for 2017-18 school year
The #MightyOrioles will be under the guidance of two new leaders this year with the promotion of Mark Carter to Director of Secondary Education. 

Seth Larson, former associate principal at Longfellow, will assume the role of principal. Steve Behrendt, a new addition to Wauwatosa, has been hired as the associate principal.

Facilities Advisory Committee Update
Our Facilities Advisory Committee continues to work through the details of the facilities study on behalf of our community - learning, analyzing, and evaluating identified needs.

Since May, the FAC has reviewed mechanical costs of the District, reviewed the results of a staff survey related to building space and needs, and learned about public school finance. Did you know five of the District's schools have the original boilers running the buildings with an age range of 50-62 years? (A picture from Wilson Elementary is included.) As a result, maintenance and repairs are both costly and time-consuming.

You can follow along with the FAC process and progress under the "Community" tab of our District website.

A note from the Wauwatosa School Board President
What makes you - our Wauwatosa families and the Wauwatosa School District - distinct? We live life with purpose and on-purpose. We are a plan-penning, goals-driven, forward-looking people across-the-board. Our School Board spent the summer months reviewing and refining the district's 2016-2021 Strategic Plan . Read it to see where we're focusing.

Wauwatosa has exceptional schools - but everyone in our school community believes tomorrow must be better than today.

Parents - want to help advance the strategic plan? Read to children. Studies show that literacy is like oxygen for opportunity. Make reading an everyday habit in your home. And if you "see something, say something!" If you see opportunities for improvement, please raise ideas for consideration. Start with your child's teacher or principal.

On behalf of the Wauwatosa School Board, welcome back to school! 

-Shawn Rolland, School Board President

Summer Highlights
District welcomes new teachers for the school year

The Department of Human Resources and Communications has had an active summer ensuring that our schools remain staffed with highly effective teachers in 2017-18. Among the numerous educators who will be joining us, some individuals of note include the following:

  • A Wauwatosa East graduate whose experience includes one year teaching at an elementary school in American Samoa;
  • An orchestra teacher with over a decade of experience who recently earned her master of music degree in string development from UW-Madison; and
  • A high school counselor who has worked both in a secondary counseling role in Illinois and in the admissions department at Marquette University.

We'll be introducing you to some of our District staff throughout the year on social media and in our newsletters.

New classes among summer school's most popular
Wauwatosa Summer School wrapped up another successful summer of learning last week. Did you know we are one of the largest summer school programs in the state?

More than 3,200 students enrolled in classes from enrichment courses to classes to improve reading and math skills. A student art show to benefit patients at Children's Hospital and two new class offerings - Camp Invention and Computer Coding - were this summer's big hits!

The Building & Grounds Department used the summer months to complete some renovation projects. The more visible work includes the resurfacing and reconstruction of West High School's parking lot. Thanks to a large grant from the Milwaukee Metro Sewage District, the project is also environmentally friendly. This is expected to be completed in the next week or so.
Work on the Longfellow Site Improvement project continues to progress. Crews are installing a new artificial turf softball field, new tennis and pickle ball courts, concession stands and an improved playground area. This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.

Rec Department summer activities serve more than 8,000 people
The 2017 summer recreation programs have been a tremendous success with over 8,000 unique registrations! Classic community programs including Summer Playgrounds, Safetytown, Summer Adventure Club and swim lessons were supplemented by new programming including Tree Climbing and Adventure Bike Camp. Thank you to the community for your continued support! 

Fall Session Sneak Peek:
  • Second annual Trunk or Treat, October 21st.
  • Food for Life cooking classes, Sept. 7; Oct. 17; Nov. 16.
  • Lambeau Field and the Tundra Lodge Waterpark Trip, October 20th.

Be on the lookout: The fall program guide featuring new programs and your fall favorites will be mailed the week of August 14th.
The Trendiest Tosa Tidbits
GE volunteers help Tosa schools prepare for the year
We were thrilled to partner with GE Healthcare for its employee Community Service Day! Combined, they had nearly 250 employees volunteering at McKinley and Washington Elementary on Aug. 2, alongside staff and parents working to get our schools ready for the return of our students. This is the second year GE has included Wauwatosa Schools in their service efforts. 
In case you missed it: East girls soccer team finishes second at state
Players and coaches of the Wauwatosa East High School girls soccer team were recognized for athletic excellence during a July School Board meeting.

The team took home the second place trophy in the 2017 Division II WIAA Girls Soccer State Championships. It was the first time East’s team had been in the state final since 2003.

Tosa Schools - Moving Forward Together
12121 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53226(414) 773-1000