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.
February 2019
Watertown High School Academic Decathlon team
WHS Academic Decathlon Team Advances to State Tournament!
Dear Parents, Students, Friends and Neighbors,

It is hard to believe that we are already two months into the New Year! Welcoming a new year is always exciting because it creates a great opportunity for reflection and renewal. 

In the first half of the school year, we had many accomplishments that should bring our students, families and District great pride:

  • Jamie Koepp, WHS Athletic and Activities Director, was recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as a Certified Athletic Administrator. This honor is bestowed to an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide, and we are fortunate and proud to recognize Mr. Koepp for attaining this honor. 
  • Our Academic Decathlon Team continues its tradition of success, bringing home the UW-Whitewater Regional Championship on Jan. 11. The team is currently ranked first in the State – watch for their performance at the State Championship March 7-9. 
  • Our Watertown Blue Revue Team continues to excel, taking home 2nd and 3rd place in Division 1 at the largest dance competition in the State. 
  • In the music arena, we had the opportunity to once again host nationally-recognized musician Mark Wood, who along with our WHS and RMS students, hosted a spectacular music event on Feb. 4. 
  • We have seen our students improve their skills in math and reading over the course of the year, we have seen our athletes compete and represent us admirably across the state, we have seen our students, staff and parents engage in opportunities to give back, and we have seen our students perform in musicals, contests and concerts. We look forward to a new year of continued great accomplishments for our students and our staff!

Our students continue to impress us with their dedication to service and kindness. This past week, Douglas participated in its first ever Great Kindness Challenge, engaging in acts and celebrations of kindness all week. Thank you to Amy True and everyone at Douglas who worked so hard to make this week a wonderful success! At WHS students hosted Dude Be Nice Week which culminated in the recognition of our spectacular office staff – Katie Pirkel and Kelley Piasecki. 

We are in the second year of our successful STEM programming at Lincoln STEM, and they just hosted an interactive Family STEM night with passion projects and STEM activities highlighted. If you are interested in learning more, come to STEAM night on March 5 which will feature classroom Link Up performances, drumming demonstrations, technology demonstrations and more. 

We are currently registering our students in 4K and 5K for kindergarten for the 2019/2020 school year, and we encourage all of our families to consider STEM programming and dual language programming while considering all the great opportunities our elementary schools across the District offer our students.

We have many exciting events coming up over the next month. Our winter sports seasons will be ending, and we will begin gearing up for our spring sports seasons. There are many upcoming concerts, literacy nights and other events for our students and parents to enjoy. If you are looking for a fun way to support the school district, considering participating in the Jig Jog on March 16 to support the Education Foundation.

May all of you find a way to live the life of your dreams in the year 2019.

Sincerely,
Cassandra Schug
Superintendent of Schools
Upcoming Events
  • Feb. 4-April 30: Open Enrollment application period
  • Feb. 13 - Webster Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Feb. 14 - Lebanon PTO Meeting
  • Feb. 15 - No School - Staff Development
  • Feb. 20 & 21 - ACT Work Keys/Testing for Juniors at WHS
  • Feb. 24 - Arts, Beats and Eats Festival at WHS
  • Feb. 25 - School Board Meeting
  • Feb. 26 - Schurz Literacy Night
  • March 1 - End of Trimester 2 - 11:30 a.m. Dismissal for WHS only
  • March 6 & 7 - Webster Book Fair
  • March 7 - Webster Pizza with Picasso Night
  • March 9 - WSMA District Solo/Ensemble Festival
  • March 12 - Webster PTO Meeting
  • March 12 - Schurz Art Fair/Pizza Night
  • March 12 - WHS Vocal Concert
  • March 14 - Lebanon PTO Meeting
  • March 18 - Webster Elementary Chorus Concert at WHS
  • March 22 - All School Early Release at 11:30 a.m.
  • March 25 - 29 - Spring Break - No School

See WUSD calendars to find spring concerts, school events and 2018-19 district annual calendar
Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Every Child - Every Day
4K & 5K Online Enrollment is Now Open
The WUSD welcomes families to enroll online for 4- and 5-year-old kindergarten for the the 2019-2020 school year by visiting www.watertown.k12.wi.us/onlineregistration.cfm.

Families can also get there by scrolling to the bottom of the District’s webpage and clicking on “Prospective Families” and then on “Enrollment Information.” 

At the bottom of the page, families should choose “New Families to WUSD Enroll Here” or “Current Families Enrolling New Students at WUSD.” Current families with students in the District will need their Skyward Family Access username and password to enroll. If you do not have this information, please e-mail Katie Schroeder at schroederk@watertown.k12.wi.us.

Need computer access?
For those families who do not have computer access, please visit the Educational Services Center, 111 Dodge Street, between the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays to receive support from staff and computer access. Please feel free to call (920) 262-1460, ext. 3208 for more information.

Age Requirements
  • In order to enroll for 4K, students must be 4 years of age on or before September 1, 2019.
  • In order to enroll for 5K, students must be 5 years of age on or before September 1, 2019.
Riverside STEM Academy Finishes First Semester; Info Session Feb. 21
Two boys building machine to generate energy
Mastering a whole new way of schooling is a difficult task, but students at Riverside STEM Academy have experienced great strides since September. Students have shown exceptional development in demonstrating a growth mindset, seeking out feedback, advocating for their needs, understanding the project process and reflecting on their interests, strengths and stretches. 

Incoming 6th grade families for the 2019-2020 school year are encouraged to attend an informational session on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at RMS. Check out the latest news by visiting this STEM Newsletter link.
Students Serve as Technology Leaders in Generation YES! Program
Beginning next fall, our high school students will have the opportunity to serve as school technology leaders fulfilling technology assistance projects as part of their school day. 

The belief is that our students offer solutions to many tech challenges we face in school – from troubleshooting problems to researching and teaching new classroom apps.

Generation Yes! supports this vision with blended curriculum tied to technology standards coupled with a vision for technology’s strategic use in delivering desired outcomes in academic skills, collaboration, communication and innovation. Generation YES believes all students should:

  • Have opportunities for personalized learning

  • Help drive how technology is used in schools

  • Be prepared for the 21st century workforce

  • Engage with their community and serve their school
Innovation
'Discipline with Dignity' Focuses on Compassion and High Expectations
Pam Suski and Tim Suski
The "Discipline with Dignity" program launched in September 2017 with support from a Watertown Way grant is finding success using positive support and high expectations for students who make poor choices.

"Discipline with Dignity" aims to go beyond "punishments that are punitive" to a plan that is focused on the "whole child" so:

  • Negative behavior declines with more meaningful consequences
  • Recidivism rates drop
  • Students complete academic work during "restorative" time
  • Students become more connected to WHS and Watertown itself
  • Academic achievement and positive behavior improve, setting students up for more positive futures. 

Understanding students' stories
Program leaders Pam and Tim Suski say they understand there are deeper reasons why students make poor choices. Often our students who regularly struggle to make good choices at WHS have challenges at home. We want to provide POSITIVE support and HIGH expectations for both academics and behavior. Through this program we show that we BELIEVE in them and expect excellent behavior — because they are capable of it. We have brought consistency to the restorative time program, earning students' trust, so they are more willing to work with us and talk with us about their struggles. 

During the first hour of restorative time we work on academics and in the second hour we work on social skills/empowerment activities to help them become better members of WHS and the City of Watertown. We also "recruit" our toughest cases who consistently skip detentions (because they want out-of-school suspension) and have them serve time in an in-school suspension with a retired staff member who strives to build positive connections. As they work through this new system, we hope they see that we respect them, and they will then have more respect for the building, teachers, peers,and most importantly — themselves.

We were graciously awarded a $4,800 Spark! Health Grant from the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation; we are using those funds to purchase items for building, cooking and recreational projects and compensate teachers for their help with this project.

'Restoration Hours' include Skyward review, activities
The kids have responded well and seem to like the calm, consistent manner of “restorative hours” on Thursdays. Each week we look up their grades on Skyward to help direct them towards what things they need to do to pass their classes. We have also started with recreational and cooking activities in the first half of the year, and we will now be moving to some small building projects as well as outside projects in the Peace Garden in the spring. The hardest part has been trying to get our students who struggle the most to “buy in” to the system, and sit down to work on school work and/or talk with us, but we keep trying! Overall, due to a variety of changes at the high school, not just from our program, the number of discipline referrals is down.

The highlights are watching the kids find success with work and see that they CAN accomplish assignments and that people truly care about their success. It is also wonderful to see kids accept rules, consequences, and high expectations for behavior, as they realize that teachers and administrators care for them and want them to make great choices for future success. It is also great to see these kids interact positively with each other as they learn to play euchre, play an intense game of Uno, bake cookies, decorate for Homecoming or Prom, or work together to accomplish some building project. They feel more connected with the school overall.

Slowly, over time we know that our high expectations for them, their academic performance, and their behavior show that we care — and we won’t give up on them. If we can turn just one kid around who is walking a rough path, then we feel we have succeeded.
City-School District Broadband Network to be Completed by July 1
Throughout much of December and early January, work crews west of Highway 26 were busy installing the first phase of the Watertown Collaborative Fiber Optic Network. This is a partner project between WUSD and the City of Watertown to deliver 10gb broadband speeds throughout Watertown, including WUSD schools within the city limits. 

The plan is for its full installation to be completed by July 1. The upgrade comes at a time when more cloud-based computing and multi-media streaming are increasingly common in a digital world and will position WUSD’s infrastructure to accommodate growing demand for the next 25-30 years. Thanks to staff and students for your patience during this time of transition. The future looks bright!
Camp Invention is Coming Back to Watertown!
Logo for Camp Invention
In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Watertown Unified School District is pleased to offer the nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program to children entering grades one through six.

It’s an exciting, weeklong summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Children will work together to seek solutions to real-world problems and sharpen critical 21 st century learning skills while rotating through several fascinating modules.

Camp Invention will run Monday, July 22   through Friday, July 26 at Lincoln STEM Elementary School with Alexandra Agar-Pratt continuing to serve as Program Director. Local educators will facilitate program modules, and enthusiastic high school students will serve as Leadership Interns ensuring that one staff member is in place for every eight children.
 
Take a sneak peek at this year’s program featuring superheroes, deep sea adventures, smart farming, dancing bots and more! https://youtu.be/xoEMaz1g9ZE

Register on or before March 22, 2019 to receive $25 OFF using the promo code INNOVATE25. Every registration includes a complimentary Camp Invention T-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit www.campinvention.org or call (800) 968-4332 to secure your child’s spot today!
Developing People and Partnerships
Alumni Spotlight on Robert Stocks
Robert Stocks
Class of 1993 WHS Graduate, Science Teacher at RMS


I grew up in Watertown and graduated from WHS in 1993. I have an undergraduate degree from UW-Whitewater, as well as Master degrees from UW-LaCrosse and UW-Madison. I became an Eagle Scout at the age of 15 with St. Henry’s Boy Scout Troop 43. My wife Sarah is a nurse, and we have been married for 19 years. I have two sons, Jayden and Jameson. 

What do you love most about your work at the Watertown Unified School District? 

I have always considered Watertown my home. It was very strange to work with my former teachers in the WUSD. Now, I am working with my former students. The staff in the WUSD is always willing to help each other. It is a large city but still small enough for the staff to know each other no matter what school we work at. We help each other.

Share a favorite success story.

I have taught more than 1,600 students throughout my career. There are so many memories and students that will always be in my heart. Over the years my students have taught me more than I ever taught them! I think the biggest compliment students can give a teacher is to become a teacher themselves. When I find out my students go to college to be a teacher it really makes me feel good.

Share a surprising fact about yourself. 

I did not like school when I was growing up. I did not see the importance when I was young. Rarely did I go the extra mile or put a lot of effort into my work when I was young. I had some great teachers in Watertown that gave me hands-on projects and helped me come out of my shell. By my senior year I earned an Academic letter and was accepted into college. I owe all my teachers at Lincoln, Schurz, Riverside and WHS for that.

When your students and colleagues talk about you, what do you hope they would say?

I hope my colleagues know how much I care for them and the work they do for our community. I try to be a role model for students. I place high expectations on my students, not just in the classroom, but also how they work and act at home and in the community.

Any words of wisdom or advice?

I always act goofy and joke around with my family, friends and especially at work. I am a kid at heart. My advice is live each day to its fullest! Work hard every day! Set goals! Our lives are not set in stone. We make our lives as fulfilling and meaningful as we want them to be. Life can be tough - with hard work and dedication people can reach their goals and have very fulfilling lives.
Certified Staff Spotlight on Andrew Bare
Andrew Bare
Schurz Elementary School Principal
 
It was 29 years ago that I started teaching sixth grade at RMS. It was only the second year of the “house system,” so people were just getting used to it. My teaching partner was Sandy Fleming. I taught Science, Social Studies and Communication Skills (Language Arts). My first year I had 32 kids in my class! I remember those days as being very busy, but exciting. I learned so much from my colleagues and students in my first years as a teacher. We had 10 sixth grade teachers at the time, and we were very close. In fact, that team stayed intact for all five of my years teaching sixth grade.
 
After five years of teaching, I had the opportunity to be the Assistant Principal at RMS. I followed a legend - Marv Zeman had been the AP for 17 years! I was the AP for three years, working with Bob Ratzburg for one year, and Kent Jacobson for two. Middle school is like no other place on Earth! There is more energy in one middle school than in any other place on the planet! 
 
After those three years, I became the Principal at Schurz Elementary. At the time, I said to myself that I would give it five years. And here I am, still here after 21 years! The students, families and staff have been great. I love running into former students and parents out in the community and talking about their time at Schurz. 

Share a favorite success story.

Meeting former students in later years and hearing about their families, and their own children, is my success story. Some of our best conversations are when they bring their kids to start school at Schurz.
 
I also want to say that I have had the pleasure of working under three outstanding Superintendents at Watertown. I could not have asked for more supportive, professional and dedicated leaders to work with than Suzanne Hotter, Doug Keiser and Cassandra Schug. They have all been true friends.
 
Any words of wisdom or advice?

I am not sure I have any wisdom, but I probably can share some advice with my younger colleagues. Remember this, kids are kids. They haven’t really changed that much. They are all just trying to make it in this world, and they need your help. Randy Neuser was the principal when I started at RMS. He often said, “They’re all God’s children,” no matter their behavior. Try to see every child as your own son or daughter, and as in my case, as your own grandchild. You can make a difference in each of their lives. Do your best to come to school every day with a smile on your face, love in your heart and enthusiasm in your actions. I have had many different jobs in my life, and believe me, being an educator is the best of all! 
Support Staff Spotlight on Lynn Linskens
Lynn Linskens
Executive Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent/ Director of Curriculum and Instruction

I grew up in Watertown and graduated from Watertown High School. After high school, I went to MATC and got my Associate Degree to be a Legal Secretary. My husband, Jim, and I are coming up on our 20 th anniversary in April. We have three boys, Jacob, Jeremy and Joseph. Jacob graduated from Watertown in 2018. He currently works full time at a dairy farm right outside of town. Jeremy is a sophomore and Joseph is a freshman, both at Watertown High School. We grain farm. Including the land we run, we also do custom farming, which includes tillage, planting and harvesting. Our boys play a huge role in the family business. They have been practically driving some type of equipment since they could walk.

I started working in the WUSD as the receptionist at the ESC. After that, I moved on to work in the office at Schurz. From there, I went over to Lincoln School’s office and was also the summer school secretary. I have been in my current position for over 16 years now.

What do you love most about your work at the Watertown Unified School District?

I love the connections I have made with my colleagues out in the buildings. There are many duties that fall under the umbrella of the Ed Services office and this gives me the opportunity to help out in a variety of ways.

Share a favorite success story.

I would say my biggest success story would be taking on the role of being the WUSD Skyward contact. Over the years, I have taken on many challenges and really embraced them. However, taking this on has been my biggest challenge yet and, with the help of my coworker, Katie Schroeder, it seems to be coming along well.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I was a co-op student my senior year of high school at the ESC.

When your students and colleagues talk about you, what do you hope they would say?

I would hope they would say that I am easy to work with and feel comfortable calling me when they need help.

Any words of wisdom or advice?

I guess my words of wisdom or advice would be just to support each other. We are all here for one reason and that is our students and families. By supporting each other in a positive manner, that just makes our jobs easier. That will reflect on how our teachers teach our students and it will give our families and students a positive outlook on their education.
Watertown Unified School District | 920-262-1460 |  www.watertown.k12.wi.us