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.
March 2019
Four Lincoln STEM students dressed up for Dr. Seuss Day
Students at Lincoln STEM had a blast celebrating Dr. Seuss Day during National Read Across America Week. What great outfits!

Dear Parents, Families, Students, Friends and Neighbors,

After a very long winter, I am very hopeful that spring is just around the corner! As always, we have a lot to celebrate at the start of spring – fantastic academic, athletic and co-curricular achievements! At Webster School, we want to thank our parents, staff and community for supporting a penny war that raised more than $3,000 to help a Webster Wildcat family with needed medical expenses – a phenomenal example of the Watertown Way! We want to extend an invitation to our families and community members to attend the first annual Gosling Career Fair on March 22 at WHS. Additionally, we have an open Board of Education position - Karrie Uttech will be moving out of state - and we encourage you to help us spread the word so we can fill the position with a dedicated candidate. Spring also brings a new WHS trimester, new sports season and annual state testing! 
We will begin our standardized testing in the WUSD on March 18, and testing will continue through May 10. Parents, please know that you play a critically important role in helping your children perform their best on these important tests. As you know, we have been busy preparing and reinforcing the skills necessary for students to demonstrate their learning. Even though this assessment is a snapshot – one single perspective – it is important that our students have every advantage to do their very best. We don’t want our students to experience test anxiety, but we do want them to be as prepared as possible. There are many ways in which you can help your child put his/her best foot forward. The following guidelines can help set our students up for success:
  • Read to/with your child and take time to discuss what you’ve read together.
  • Encourage reading for pleasure.
  • Provide a regular, quiet place for your child to read or complete homework.
  • Set high expectations for grades and attendance.
  • Take an active interest in what your child is doing in school. What is he/she learning? Parents who communicate daily with their children about what they are learning help to build a strong foundation for success.
  • During the weeks and days leading up to the test, begin to talk with your child about doing his/her best. You know your child better than anyone. Emphasize the importance of the test, but remember to build confidence, not anxiety.
  • On the night before the test, make sure your child gets to bed on time to help him/her be well-rested.
  • On the morning of the test, help your child have a nutritious breakfast and be positive about his/her opportunity to do his/her best.
Thank you for your support, involvement and partnership with us in your child’s education! A few other important reminders: Friday, March 22 now will be a full day of instruction for students at RMS and WHS due to lost instructional time during our emergency school closure dates. Thursday, June 6 will also be a full day of instruction for students at WHS. Please connect with your building principal if those dates will create a problem/conflict for your son/daughter.

May your spring be filled with warmth and happiness.

Cassandra Schug
Superintendent of Schools
Join the Irish Jig Jog Saturday to Benefit Watertown Schools
J&L Tire presents Irish Jig Jog 5K - on the move for Watertown Education
Saturday, March 16, 2019

10:00am | 5K Start
11:00am | Little Leprechaun Kids 1/2mi.

Awards: Overall Male & Female | Age Group | School Challenge Cup and $250 to School with most participants
Can’t run/walk this year? You can still make a tax exempt donation to the Educational Foundation of Watertown. 

The non-profit Irish Jig Jog is the first race in the M2N series. Proceeds for this event support teachers and classrooms in both public and private schools. (Last year more than $23,000 was distributed through the Educational Foundation of Watertown.) Featuring live music and free raffles, it jigs and jogs past historic homes, the Octagon House and along the river walk. Come join over 500 walkers and runners celebrate spring and being Irish, if only for a day.
Upcoming Events
  • March 12 - Schurz Art Fair/Pizza Night
  • March 12 - WHS Vocal Dessert Concert
  • March 12 - ACT Statewide Testing Make-Up Day
  • March 12 - Douglas 5th Grade Musical
  • March 13 - ACT WorkKeys Statewide Testing Make-Up Day
  • March 14 - Douglas Pizza with Picasso
  • March 14 & 15 - RMS Drama Production Performance
  • March 15 & 16 - WHS Spring Play
  • March 18 - Webster Elementary Chorus Concert at WHS
  • March 18 - School Board Meeting
  • March 18 - Lebanon Chorus Concert
  • March 19 - WHS Vocal Showcase Concert at St. Henry’s
  • March 22 - All School Early Release at 11:30 a.m. (WHS & RMS have a full day of school)
  • March 25 - 29 - Spring Break - No School
  • April 4 - Summer School Online Registration Opens at 4:00 p.m.
  • April 12 - WHS Show Choir Spectacular
  • April 13 - Children’s Day Fair - WHS, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • April 19 - No School
  • April 22 - No School - Staff Development Day
  • April 27 - WSMA State Solo/Ensemble Festival - UW-Whitewater
  • April 29 - WHS Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • April 29 - WHS Honor Society Induction Ceremony

See WUSD calendars to find spring concerts, school events and 2018-19 district annual calendar
Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Every Child - Every Day
Student Strategies for Upcoming State Testing
laptop and person writing with pencil in notebook
As you probably know, most of our students participate in annual state testing to determine how well they understand academic standards in Reading, Math, Science and other subjects. The Wisconsin State Assessment System includes the:
  • Wisconsin Forward Exam in grades 3-8 for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, grades 4 and 8 in Science, and grades 4, 8 and 10 in Social Studies.

  • ACT Aspire in grades 9 & 10 for English, Reading, Math, Science and Writing.

Test results arrive in the summer and offer teachers and staff a chance to use the data to learn more about teaching, learning and future planning for successful Watertown schools. Look for information from your school regarding specific testing dates. 
There are strategies that will help students perform better on the test. Please share these simple tips with your child:
  • Stay relaxed.

  • Think positively. Being in the right mindset can make all the difference.

  • Pace yourself. The test is not a race. Don't worry if others finish first.

  • Try your hardest. You’ll feel great that you did and celebrations await your school for putting forth a great effort!
For more information and resources, please visit the following link:
2019 Summer School Online Course Registration Opens on April 4
Summer School and yellow sun
The Watertown Unified School District’s 2019 Summer School program will run from June 18 to July 18, 2019. There will be no classes held on July 4, 5 and 12.

4K and Kindergarten
Summer School classes for 4K and Kindergarten students will be held at Lincoln Elementary STEM School from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 4K and Kindergarten students will register for their classes online. 4K students will choose one of the four sessions available and Kindergarten students will choose two of the courses offered.

Grades 1-12
Classes for students in Grades 1-4 will be offered from 8:05 a.m. to 1:20 p.m., Grades 5-8 from 8:05 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Grades 9-12 from 7:45 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. - all at Watertown High School. A full-day of classes for Grades 1-8 consists of five sessions. Those in Grades 9-12 will register in up to two sessions, or three if a student chooses to participate in the Strength and Speed program.

Online Signup via Skyward
The District will once again use the online scheduling process available through Skyward Family Access. For those who do not know their Skyward log-in and password, please email Amanda Ristow at ristowa@watertown.k12.wi.us as soon as possible, and prior to April 4, as it will be needed to register. There is no registration fee for Summer School 2019; however, some individual classes do have project/participation fees.

Sign-Up Window is April 4 to May 3
The window to schedule classes for Summer School will open at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 and close on Friday, May 3 for those students in 4K through 8th grade. High School students will be able to register for courses until Friday, June 7. For those in need of assistance with online scheduling, staff will be available at Schurz Elementary School on April 4 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Spanish translators will be on-hand to assist families. Students are encouraged to schedule early as classes do fill quickly. 
The WUSD Summer School web page is updated with the daily schedule, calendar, bussing and other important information. The 2019 course book is still a work in progress, but students and families may begin to review it. The course book is subject to change. Questions regarding Summer School may be directed to Amanda Ristow at (920) 262-1485 or Jamie Koepp at (920) 262-7500.
Welcoming New Students with Tours, Gifts and Information 
Making new students feel connected, supported and welcomed at Watertown Unified School District was the focus of our “Transfer Student Welcome Project”, that was generously supported by a Watertown Way grant.

The WHS Student Services Department enlisted existing WUSD students to help with the project. WHS Counselor, Kerry Neimon reported that WHS “Be the Change” students helped provide new students tours, plan various events and serve as peer mentors. Incoming new students received folders with a list of student clubs and organizations, staff names, the school calendar, bell schedule, grade level course information, a description of “The Nest,” free and reduced lunch details and a student handbook. New students also received goodies such as a Watertown backpack, water bottle, pencils, stickers and other items adorned with Watertown logos.

Feedback has been very positive! Students and parents appreciated the folder of helpful information to assist with their transition, and students liked the gifts with the Watertown logo. Mrs. Neimon stated that one highlight was seeing high school students meet and interact with new students - the peer-to-peer connection was more personable than an adult giving a new student a tour.

The impact the “Transfer Student Welcome Project” has made on our new students has brought a welcomed feeling by both our students and staff. We want new students to WHS to feel special and excited to attend our school.
Kerry Neimon, WHS Counselor
Kerry Neimon, WHS Counselor
Developing People and Partnerships
Alumni Spotlight on Carrie Theis
Why did you come back to Watertown/the District?
I liked the idea of teaching for the District I grew up with. I knew many of the teachers and administrators and was excited to build a professional relationship with them. The first principal I worked with at Lincoln was Kent Jacobson, who was my principal when I was an elementary student at Douglas! When it was time for me to move on to RMS, Mr. Jacobson also changed positions and moved to RMS! 
What’s most different from then and now?
There are many more learning options for students with different learning styles. I am so proud to be a part of the STEM learning community of the WUSD!
What is your favorite memory from your school days?
I was part of the co-op program my senior year. I spent a portion of my afternoon at Douglas in a kindergarten classroom. It was my first experience being on the professional side of a classroom. By the end of the year, I knew I was making the right choice to go into teaching! I had already learned so much! I also knew kindergarten was the age for me.
Advice for anyone wanting to become a teacher or getting into the field of education?
You’ll learn a lot from your college courses, but you’ll learn more in the field. Get as much experience in classrooms as you can, build relationships with those teachers and keep in contact. You’ll never know when you’ll need to reach out to someone! 
Share about yourself
I am married with two children - Maryah, 4, and Ryker, 5 months. Maryah is adjusting to being a big sister. She loves to dance and sing for anyone who will listen. We enjoy spending time with family - grandmas, grandpas and cousins. Our favorite season is summer! We really enjoy bike rides, pool trips and visiting beaches.
Certified Staff Spotlight on Julie Burchardt
Julie Burchardt
5th Grade Teacher at Douglas

I grew up in Roberts, WI. This is a tiny, but high-quality town located in the northwestern part of the state near Hudson. I graduated from St. Croix Central High School and UW-River Falls. Because I grew up 10 miles from the state border, I naturally became a loyal Minnesota Vikings, Twins and North Stars fan. Following college graduation, I landed my first and only job with the Watertown Unified School District. I was lucky to begin my career at Concord School as a 5/6 teacher. 

After obtaining my Master’s Degree in Reading from UW-Whitewater, I transferred into Title 1 Reading and served Douglas, Schurz, Lebanon and St. Henry’s. However, I truly missed the classroom setting, and then permanently landed in Douglas School, where I taught 3 rd and 5 th grades. Shortly after my employment, I was set up on the blind date by my Concord co-workers and got engaged to my husband, Daryl, three months later. We have now been married 31 years and have two wonderful children - Andy (Stephanie) and Amanda (Parker). In addition, I have been blessed with two adorable granddaughters. 

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

I never thought I would stay in southeastern Wisconsin, but I fell in love with the Watertown School District and many of my colleagues became my closest friends. My love for teaching stems from the relationships built along the way with colleagues, students and their families. I also have felt blessed to work with supportive administrators who continually encouraged teachers to spread their wings and dabble in new methodologies and technologies. Teaching is never boring. I love the flexibility and uniqueness that each new day presents. 

Share a favorite success story.

I have had so many touching stories throughout my career. It humbles me to think that I was the former teacher of an Air Force jet fighter pilot, a CIA agent and a teacher in Japan. I truly love watching my students carve out their educational paths and follow their dreams in life. This year, I have the children of five of my previous students, and I am so proud of the parents that they have become.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

In October, I will be attending my fifth Elton John concert. 

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

I hope that I have inspired students and their families in some small way. I hope colleagues can recognize that I truly had a passion for teaching.

Any words of wisdom or advice? 

Teaching is such a rewarding, yet consuming, life choice. The only way to be an effective teacher is to first take care of yourself. When times get stressful, you just need to laugh and lean on trusted colleagues.  
Support Staff Spotlight on Deenie Smith
Deenie Smith
Instructional Paraprofessional at Webster Elementary School

Watertown has been my home for the past 23 years. I grew up in a small town in the Texas Hill Country called Fredericksburg. Most of my younger years were spent with a basketball. I’d practice dribbling on the carport day after day. My mom would turn the TV on loud to drown out the sound. I remember coming home from school and my family had set up a hoop by clearing some branches in a pecan tree that was at the end of our property - far away from the carport. 
I started working at Webster Elementary School with Jeri Betts in Early Childhood 17 years ago. It was a great place to start - Jeri taught me so much. I was in awe of how she related with the children. From the moment I walked in that door I was on “The Team” and everyone made me feel that way. Soon after, a paraprofessional job became available at Webster with more hours. Since my youngest child had just started kindergarten, I took it. It was a hard decision because I loved what I was doing, but now, 15 years later, I couldn’t be happier.
What do you love most about your work at the Watertown Unified School District?
What I love most about working in the District is the sense of family. Things are bigger in Texas, but when it comes to family, Webster is the winner! We have a real connection with each other. I went through health issues many years ago and I was amazed at how the Webster Family got me through it. They literally picked me up and gave me the strength to beat all of those obstacles. They kept my family fed and helped look after my children. Now, even though my children have grown, I’m not alone. I come to work everyday with the people I enjoy being around. We all are working together to give the kids the best seven hours of that day. Whether it’s Mr. Clark, the cooks, teachers, custodians, support staff, secretaries and all of the others, we share this belief. Needless to say, I have some great friendships that will be with me the rest of my life.
Share a favorite success story.

My kids are my success story, and are everything to me. They’ve always been so special. Of course I’m still Mom, but hanging out with them as adults is just so great! Listening to them talk about their jobs, something they're compassionate about, or falling in love makes me realize all that hard work, all that worrying - I still worry. All of those nights wondering - I still wonder. Well, I could go on and on, but gosh, my kids are just awesome! Des, my oldest and only son, graduated from Watertown High School in 2009, went on to graduate from Princeton, and is now working in finance. Desiree (Desi) graduated in 2012 and furthered her education at Colby College. She now works for IBM in New York. Danielle graduated in 2014 and became a Special Education teacher after graduating from St. Norbert’s. She is teaching at the Lac du Flambeau Reservation near Minocqua.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.
A surprising fact about myself is that I was a Girl Scout for a very short time after being dismissed.
When your students and colleagues talk about you, what do you hope they would say?
I hope the students and coworkers would say that I was helpful, that we always had great times together and that there was lots of laughter. 
Any words of wisdom or advice?
I’m not very good with words of wisdom - those who know me will agree. I do try to remind myself that everyone matters, and whomever you come into contact with at any given time should feel that. Whether it’s any of the students you are working with, the clerk at the store, the stranger at the post office or your best friends, I feel if we treat each other knowing they matter, the feelings of everyone will be a bit better. LIFE is great!
Watertown Unified School District | 920-262-1460 |  www.watertown.k12.wi.us