Dear Wauwatosa School District Friends & Families -

Happy New Year! I hope all of you had an enjoyable Winter Break and holiday season with friends and family.

As we kick off 2019, we will be continuing our work on the design process of the new Lincoln and Underwood Elementary schools, with anticipation of a groundbreaking toward the end of the school year.

Before we get there, we have one more neighborhood meeting for each school. Later this spring, we will begin the design process of the new McKinley and Wilson/WSTEM schools. More details can be found below along with a thorough update on the Referendum process.

We also have Kindergarten Registration this month. We'd love to have your help sharing that information with your friends and neighbors who might not yet have children enrolled in the District.

And, lastly, don't forget to purchase your tickets for the EFW's Black & White Gala! We're thankful for the support and fundraisers the foundation plans and hosts each year to help provide awesome opportunities for our students and teachers.

Information on each of these items and much more can be found further on in the newsletter.

Phil Ertl
1/7 -- Special Education Parent Advisory Meeting , 6:30-8:00 p.m. Fisher Administration Bldg. RM A
1/8 - Raising Achievement & Cultural Excellence Parent Network , 6:00-7:00 p.m., Longfellow Middle School
1/14 -- School Board Meeting , 7:00 p.m., Fisher Administration Bldg. 12121 W. North Ave. Rm C
1/16 -- Kindergarten Registration, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at ALL Public Elementary Schools
1/17 -- Kindergarten Registration, 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. at ALL Public Elementary Schools
1/21 -- NO CLASSES, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Elem. Professional Learning/Secondary Work Day. EFW No School Bowling Day .
1/28 -- School Board Meeting , 7:00 p.m., Fisher Administration Bldg. 12121 W. North Ave. Rm C
Community provides feedback on site layout of new Lincoln and Underwood Schools
Dozens of community members, parents, and staff provided input about potential site layouts for the new Lincoln and Underwood Elementary Schools during the second neighborhood meetings December 17 & 18, hosted by the District and Plunkett Raysich Architects (PRA).

At this second meeting, attendees broke into groups to discuss potential options for the layout of the sites, including where drop-off and pick-up could be, front entrances, and outdoor green/play spaces. The groups used charrettes to visually work through their thoughts and then reported out what their discussions and conclusions were. Dialogue about the pros and cons of options were then discussed.

The third and final neighborhood meeting to gather community feedback will be:

Tuesday, January 15; 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Lincoln Elementary School
*Time updated from previous communication due to scheduling conflict. 
Wednesday, January 16; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Underwood Elementary School

At this third meeting, PRA will present preliminary drawings of the building exteriors and the proposed site layout.
Hundreds participate in online community conversation about school designs
Thank you to everyone who took time to participate in our online Thoughtexchange last month as we worked to gather community input about the design vision for Lincoln and Underwood Elementary Schools.

A combined total of 426 people participated between the two exchanges!

The top thought themes for the Lincoln exchange include:

  • Timeless exterior aesthetic
  • Safe outdoor and green outdoor spaces
  • Access to natural daylight
  • Improved student drop off
  • Safety and security
  • Creating a welcoming entrance

The top thought themes for the Underwood's exchange include:
  • Flexible learning spaces
  • Accessible outdoor learning spaces
  • Safe student drop-off
  • Blended traditional and modern aesthetic
  • Playground/sense of community
  • Access to natural light

The feedback gathered will help the architects as they move through the design process of the projects. All new buildings will meet the district-wide base-level standards established during the facilities planning process in the priority areas of Safety & Security, HVAC Systems Improvements, Updated Classrooms and Improved ADA Accessibility.
Wauwatosa School District hires third-party consultant to help manage referendum projects 
The Wauwatosa School District has hired an independent third-party Owner’s Representative to help the District manage all referendum-related projects over the next three years.
During its meeting on Monday, December 10, the Wauwatosa School Board approved the contract for Curt Wiebelhaus of Building Solutions. An Owner’s Representative works to represent the interests of the District throughout a construction project and in conjunction with the construction manager and architectural firm.

2019-2020 School Year Calendar Approved
The 2019-2020 school year calendar has been approved by the school board and was sent to all District staff and parents at the end of December in a BlackBoard email.

You can also print it here.

As a friendly reminder, spring break is for the year 2020. Spring Break for this school year is listed in the 2018-2019 calendar .

Spring Break is again a "common" break scheduled in alignment with districts across our region, per parent and staff input on the topic last year.
District to offer new career-based courses via partnership with Elmbrook
Do you think your child may be interested in authentic, profession-based learning opportunities that could launch them into a successful future?

Come learn about an exciting new program the Wauwatosa School District is partnering with Elmbrook Schools on: LAUNCH.

In collaboration with businesses and community partners, LAUNCH Instructors develop real-world, project-based learning opportunities that bring value to area businesses and simultaneously, provide students with essential skills needed for future success. These interactions enhance the learning experience, preparing students for college and career. Because LAUNCH desires to create a unique professional academic experience for students and teachers, we utilize a multi-site approach for our program, including the Wauwatosa high school locations as well as an off-site facility. LAUNCH in Wauwatosa will be offered in the Fall of 2019. 

Innovation Specialist Tina Koch will host a special information session for parents of incoming juniors and seniors covering all the details of the elective program.

East High School
Thursday, January 24; 6:30 p.m.
Library Media Center

West High School
Wednesday, January 30; 6:00 p.m.
Steiner Center
District hires new director of Wauwatosa Recreation Department
The Wauwatosa Recreation Department - which operates beneath the umbrella of the Wauwatosa School District - has a new director.
Superintendent Phil Ertl named Janelle McGee the new director on December 19, following a comprehensive and competitive interview process.
McGee has worked for the Wauwatosa Recreation Department for the past 13 years - most recently as a program coordinator for the department. During her tenure, McGee has created the annual activity guide, which is published three times a year, coordinated programming for numerous activities and helped maintain and update content on the recreation department’s website.

Kindergarten Registration January 16 & 17
Registration for four-year-old and five-year-old kindergarten will be held Wednesday, January 16 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m . and Thursday, January 17 from 9 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Parents can register their children during the hours listed above at ALL district elementary schools.
To register for 4-year-old kindergarten (junior kindergarten), your child(ren) must be 4-years-old on or before September 1, 2019. To register for 5-year-old kindergarten (senior kindergarten), children must be 5-years-old on or before September 1, 2019.

For application packets and information about the STEM and Montessori House dates and upcoming lottery period, click the link below.

District Equity Team developing an equity-themed resource guide
As part of their ongoing work to support the implementation of the District’s Equity Plan, the District Equity Team is developing a Resource Guide that will be available for teachers and principals.

The goal of the guide is to connect WSD educators to a comprehensive database of equity-related resources for activities, events, and information that they can incorporate in their buildings and classrooms. Resources are aligned to each of the five pillars in the District Equity Plan to ensure consistency for the outcomes and goals the District is working to achieve. Each school has also developed its own building-level equity team this year to help address issues that affect student learning and behavior.
Parents invited to chat with school leaders about student experience
Pillar Five of the District’s 2018-2020 Equity plan is to strengthen parent and community relationships, through the lens of equity. 

One way we’re hoping to do this is through good old-fashioned face-to-face, two-way dialogue. This year we’ve implemented “Parent Chats”, which will occur at all District schools over the course of the school year. The first chats were held at Roosevelt, McKinley, Longfellow and West High School in December. The goal is for school leaders to listen to feedback, hear what they’re doing well, allow parents to share their challenging experiences, and allow time for suggestions or ideas for improvements related to creating equitable learning opportunities and environments. Moving forward, each school will host three Parent Chats a year and will have them planned as part of their school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year.

As we talk about equity, it’s important to know what we mean when we use this word. For purposes of the Wauwatosa School District, equity is defined as a commitment to the empathetic understanding of everyone’s needs and perspectives, even those that differ from our own. Equity is the non-negotiable implementation of professional learning, school policies/practices and the redistribution of power that values all stakeholders and promotes human flourishing.

Learn more about the District's work as it relates to equity by visiting our Diversity & Equity website page.
Registration now open for EFW's Black & White Affair
Get your tickets before they're gone for the Education Foundation of Wauwatosa's (EFW) annual Black & White Affair!

NEW THIS YEAR - the event will be held at the Milwaukee County Zoo's Peck Pavillion on Saturday, February 2nd from 6:00-11:00 p.m.
  • Registration is now open. Tickets are $100 per person.
  • Food will be catered by Chef Jack's and Sound by Design will provide the music.
  • The silent auction will open a few days before the event and non attendees will be able to bid/win.
  • Additionally, for those attending the gala, there are some exciting Live Auction items including a framed and signed Christian Yelich jersey and a week stay in Sister Bay that sleeps 8-10 guests.
  • Only attendees may bid and win the Live auctions. 

Tosa student named delegate to U.S. Senate Youth Program
Wauwatosa East High School student Layne Donovan has been selected as a delegate to the United States Senate Youth Program – a leadership program that dates back to 1962 and is for high-achieving high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service. She will head back to Washington D.C. in March of 2019 to learn more about the inner workings of our national government and this time, Donovan's expected to participate in meetings with the president and a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Donovan served as a U.S. Senate Page in the fall of 2017. She was also recently sworn in as one of four student representatives to the Wauwatosa School Board for the 2018-2019 school year – a first for the District.

All-City Read contest entries due January 25
Do you have an avid reader, creator, writer, budding artist at home? The All-City Read Essay and Visual Arts Contest is a fun way to support and engage the lessons they're learning in the classroom!

Students in 3rd grade through high school — and parents - are eligible to participate. 

ESSAY CONTEST THEME:  “What would you miss most if modern-day civilization collapsed?” In  Station Eleven  and  City of Ember  (our middle reader selection), a small group of survivors is coping with a world that’s very different from the one we know today. This year’s challenge is to write an essay about what you would miss most in a similar situation. Essays may be no longer than 1,000 words.

VISUAL ARTS CONTEST:  Your entry should be inspired by this year’s book selections:  Station Eleven  or  City of Ember.  Please create an original two-dimensional visual response to the one of these themes from the books: a catastrophe • a safe place • resilience • teamwork • survival is insufficient • a legacy • illumination • hope • rebirth

These contests are open to all amateur writers and artists who live in Wauwatosa or attend a Wauwatosa public or private school. Prizes will be given to winners of each contest in four age categories.

Deadline for entries is January 25, 2019 .

West High School selects new head football coach
The Wauwatosa West High School football team has a new leader. Athletic Director Jeff Gabrielson named Assistant Coach Andy Kolstad the team's new head coach on December 20.

Kolstad has served as the assistant coach since 2015. He's also a math teacher at the school. Prior to arriving at Wauwatosa West, Kolstad made coaching stops at West De Pere High School in De Pere (WI), Cary High School (NC), Holly Springs High School (NC) and was the head football coach at Grafton High School (WI). He resides in Wauwatosa with his wife (Kacia) and his two children (Delaney 5, Myles 2).

Congrats, Andy!

Wauwatosa School District | 12121 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53226  
Ph: (414) 773-1000 |