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District Blog

This is the official online blog for the Shorewood School District. All content is created and published by Shorewood School District staff. The purpose of the District blog is to disseminate important information to the public in a timely and accurate way. The blog does not publish public comments, but does invite site visitors to submit comments, which are sent by email to District staff. Comments provide the District and the School Board with important feedback from community members regarding the blog posts, and then District staff respond as necessary to the feedback received. While all submitted comments are reviewed, the District does not reply to every comment that is submitted. Thank you for reading our blog.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Hiring Update

On Friday, November 13, a committee of teachers, administrators and support staff interviewed five candidates for the position of Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Two of the five candidates, Tim Joynt and Bridget Kotarak, were selected to return for second interviews.

View Tim Joynt's Resume.

View Bridget Kotarak's Resume.

Second interviews--in which all staff may attend--will take place on Monday, December 7, from 4-6 pm in the SHS Library. Tim Joynt will be slotted from 4-5 pm and Bridget Kotarak will be from 5-6 pm. The format of these second interviews will include a candidate presentation in addition to a question-and-answer session that will allow staff to submit questions to be asked of both candidates.

Community members are welcome to attend the second interviews, but there will also be a designated community session later that same evening, from 6:30-8:30 pm, during which community members can provide feedback. The format for the evening session will be the same as the 4-6 pm session.

Following the evening session, attendees will have the opportunity to provide written feedback on the presentations that will be used in Superintendent Davis's selection decision. If a candidate is selected, Dr. Davis projects that the candidate's start date will be mid-January to coincide with the beginning of the second semester. If neither candidate is selected, the pool will be reset in January and interview will reconvene in February.

Posted by kwatson on Wednesday November 18, 2015
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Giving Makes a Difference

Giving can make a big difference in expanding learning opportunities for students in Shorewood Schools. The Shorewood SEED (Supporters of Excellence in Education Development) Foundation has helped raise over $200,000 annually to help fund projects, grants, and other various monetary needs of the Shorewood School District since 2003.


Courage Retreat

During the 2014-2015 school year, $2,449.00 was awarded to late Shorewood Intermediate School (SIS) Principal Mark Harris to fund the annual 7th grade Courage Retreat. The Courage Retreat is facilitated by a Minneapolis-based organization called Youth Frontiers and is intended to help students identify the social fears and peer pressures that undermine responsible decision-making. SIS School Counselor Julie Wells explained how these retreats help build a more positive school community.

1) How many years has Youth Frontiers been hosting retreats at SIS?

SIS has been hosting the Courage Retreat put on by Youth Frontiers for three years. Our first year, we did it with both 7th and 8th grade because we didn't want our 8th graders to miss out. From then on, we continued it with just our 7th grade students.

2) Do you typically see an immediate impact on students who participate in the retreat?

We definitely see immediate impact with our students. First, we see students getting to know other students they might not have classes with during the introductory activities and when they meet in small groups. One important part of the retreat is to make better connections with those around you. The main message of the retreat is having the courage to stand up for what you believe and what you know to be right. Additionally, the leaders share stories about making choices that involve courage. Students also work and brainstorm in small groups facilitated by Shorewood High School student volunteers.

3) How have the themes and lessons instilled during the retreat continued to shape the behaviors of SIS students?

The Youth Frontiers staff completely address and connect with us before the retreat to tailor the program to our student population each year. Last year was more about supporting one another and healing, as we had just lost Mr. Harris. This year was more of a focus on how our words can affect others.

4) Were you optimistic that the grant proposal was going to be chosen for fulfillment?

We were optimistic, as SEED has been very generous in the past. The retreat experience has become a very integral part of 7th grade at SIS, and we are so grateful to have had their support.

5) Why do you think philanthropy is important for Shorewood Schools?

We were very happy SEED helped us out! Student, parent, and teacher feedback has been great. Also, Youth Frontiers continues to send us messages a couple times a month to share with both 7th and 8th grade kids through classroom teachers. It just goes to show how generosity continues to positively impact and enhance our school environment.

For more information about how you can support new learning experiences for students in Shorewood Schools, visit the SEED website at www.shorewoodseed.org or contact Ted Knight at tknight@shorewood.k12.wi.us or 414-961-3161.


Posted by kwatson on Tuesday November 17, 2015
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Giving Makes a Difference

Giving can make a big difference in expanding learning opportunities for students in Shorewood Schools. The Shorewood SEED (Supporters of Excellence in Education Development) Foundation has helped raise over $200,000 annually to help fund projects, grants, and other various monetary needs of the Shorewood School District since 2003.

LabQuest Technology

During the 2014-2015 school year, $5,733 was awarded to Shorewood High School physics teacher Kevin Kane to implement the use of LabQuest technology, which aims to improve literacy in physics by allowing students to manage and interpret real time scientific data during experiments and field work. Now that the school year is underway, Kane’s students are already well-acquainted with this new technology.

1) What inspired you to write the SEED grant?

For many years, SEED has funded many worthy district projects. I thought purchasing this science equipment would provide wonderful opportunities for students to collect and analyze physics data.

2) What exactly is LabQuest and how do you use it in the classroom?

LabQuest provides students with handheld computer devices with high resolution touch screens. The interfaces have a variety of motion, force, sound and light intensity capabilities that allow students to collect, record and display data. The devices also come with rechargeable batteries and free software updates.

3) How did you determine that this would be the best use of additional resources?

Research shows that the use of technology tools for data collection, visualization and analysis will help deepen students’ understanding of physics concepts. Getting real time data will make the abstract concepts more concrete through immediate visual feedback.

4) How has LabQuest impacted your physics classes so far?

Shortly, students will extend Newton’s Laws experiments to design and conduct outdoor experiments on everyday objects (e.g. sprinters, bicycles) that would not be possible in the classroom. Later this year, students will conduct energy experiments on outdoor lighting efficiency and solar energy.

5) Were you optimistic that your grant proposal was going to be chosen for fulfillment?

I was very optimistic because there is a need for the equipment.

6) Why do you think philanthropy is important for Shorewood Schools?

With cuts to public school funding, we are all very fortunate for individual and organizational philanthropy to compensate for the deficits.

For more information about how you can support new learning experiences for students in Shorewood Schools, visit the SEED website at www.shorewoodseed.org or contact Ted Knight at tknight@shorewood.k12.wi.us or 414-961-3161.


Posted by kwatson on Tuesday October 20, 2015
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2015 Revised School Board Committee & Liaison Assignments

View the revised School Board Committee & Liaison Assignments below.

Bi-Board Paru Shah, Colin Plese
CESA Delegate Paru Shah
Chapter 220 Ruth Treisman
MATC Rodney Cain
New Horizons Charter School Paru Shah
Policy Development Colin Plese
SEED Ruth Treisman
Shorewood Today Colin Plese
Southeastern Wisconsin
School Alliance/SWSA
Paru Shah
WASB Rodney Cain
Wellness Ruth Treisman
Posted by kwatson on Thursday September 3, 2015 at 11:49AM
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School Board Update Regarding Applications for Open Seat

Since the release of the community-wide announcement regarding the vacant Board seat due to the resignation of Board Member Rob Reinhoffer, the Board has received five applications for the open position. Click on the names of the five applicants below to view their resumes.

Nate Cade

Genevieve Kirchman

Joanne Lipo Zovic

Mark Miller

Pablo Muirhead

The Board plans to discuss the criteria for a successful candidate at the upcoming Board meeting on September 8, and Board members will conduct applicant interviews during the week of September 14-18, 2015. The final selection decision will be made by September 22 and the chosen candidate will start his/her duties on October 1 (serving through April 2016). The successful candidate will have the opportunity to run in the April 2016 School Board election.

Posted by kwatson on Thursday September 3, 2015
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School Board Seeking Applicants for Open Seat

The Shorewood School Board has announced that it will seek applications from residents interested in filling a seat left vacant due to the resignation of Board Member Rob Reinhoffer. Mr. Reinhoffer tendered his resignation at the Board meeting on August 18, effective October 1.

Mr. Reinhoffer served as a member of the School Board for two terms and his current term is set to expire in April 2016.

The School Board will use an established process to seek applications for the open seat. Board policy 133, "Filling School Board Vacancies" states that, "In the event a vacancy occurs on the Board of Education, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the remaining members of the Board in accordance with established procedure".

Applicants must be adult residents of Shorewood and must submit a letter of interest and resume to Ms. Kim Grady, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, c/o Shorewood School District 1701 E. Capitol Dr., Shorewood, WI 53211.

Letters must be postmarked no later than August 31, 2015. The Board will conduct applicant interviews the week of September 8-11, 2015 and select an individual to fill the vacancy by October 1, 2015. The successful candidate will fill the vacancy through April 2016. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to run in the April 2016 School Board election.

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Official Notice of Shorewood School Board Vacancy
Shorewood School District School Board is seeking candidates to fill a vacancy on the School Board

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, the Shorewood School Board is seeking candidates to fill a vacancy on the School Board created by the resignation of Board Member Rob Reinhoffer. The vacancy is being filled in accordance with School Board policy and guideline 133, "Filling Board Vacancies." Qualified electors (persons eligible to vote) in the Shorewood School District may apply to Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Kim Grady, c/o Shorewood School District, 1701 E. Capitol Dr., Shorewood, WI 53211. Applications should include a resume and a letter of intent that addresses the following:

  • Reason(s) the candidate wants to serve on the Board
  • Background qualifications and experiences relevant to the position
  • Candidate's educational philosophy
  • Candidate's general views regarding role of the Board and role of the Superintendent
  • Candidate's general views on District strengths and areas that may need improvement
  • Candidate's availability for Board duties
  • It is the intent of the Shorewood School Board that the successful candidate will be chosen by a majority vote of the Board by October 1. This person will then serve on the Board of Education from October 1 to the fourth Monday of April, 2016.

    Posted by kwatson on Saturday August 22, 2015
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    Shorewood School Board Heading Out Into the Community

    Dear Shorewood Schools Families,

    We’d like to start by saying that the Shorewood School Board is thrilled to welcome new Superintendent Bryan Davis to our wonderful community. We have no doubt that he and his family will be a great addition to the District. Click here to see the Introduction Video to Superintendent Davis and His Family.

    During the superintendent search process, the Board discussed moving to a model of governance that would help improve school board meetings and increase the Board’s connections with the community outside of meetings. These discussions led the Board to adopt a Coherence Governing Model.

    We feel that while we have a well-functioning district and are working hard to achieve our mission, the Board will be able to enhance its leadership and governing potential by changing to a Coherence Governance Model. The model requires board members to create “linkages” within the community to highlight the work being completed by the District and to get feedback from community members on how to move the District forward. Board members will create these “linkages” by connecting with groups throughout the community that are already in session. Common linkages include Booster Clubs, PTO’s, Service Organizations, etc. One Board member and the Superintendent will meet with each “linkage” twice a year (Fall and Spring) to develop a constant connection between Board members and the community.

    If you are part of a group that would like to become a “linkage” with the School Board, please contact Kim Grady, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, atkgrady@shorewood.k12.wi.us or call 414-963-6901.

    The ultimate goal of the Coherence Governance Model is to provide the Board an effective and efficient way to fulfill its responsibility as representatives of Shorewood School District citizens. This will help to both establish and then continue to hold the organization responsible for meeting stated outcomes.

    Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Coherence Governance Model

    1. Why did we move towards a Coherence Governance Model?

    As a governing board, we decided that more of our time and attention should be focused on setting direction for student achievement and clear performance standards for staff. We also wanted to be more effective at monitoring results and enhancing our interaction with community members.

    2. What are the major areas of Coherence Governance?

    Coherence Governance provides a framework to enable boards to lead the organization through policy, rather than the usual custom of board approval of administrative recommendations. The Coherent Governance board usually manages to effectively guide the organization with a policy manual that includes not more than 35-40 policies, total. The policies are organized into four categories, each with a specific focus (from The Aspen Group (http://aspengroup.org/)):
    1. Results: Defines organizational products and outcomes. These policies clearly state the “bottom line” which the organization is expected to achieve over time. What results? For whom? At what cost? The Results policies become the Superintendent’s and the organization’s performance targets. They also form the basis for judging organizational and superintendent performance.

    2. Operational Expectations: The Board can, through policy, control day-to-day operational decisions without making them. It does so through these OE policies, which define both the nonnegotiable expectations and clear boundaries within which the superintendent and staff must operate. They clarify the latitude and authority the Board vests in the Superintendent and staff. These policies articulate the actions and decisions the Board would find either absolutely necessary or totally unacceptable.

      Once stated, the Superintendent is authorized to make all other operational decisions as long as they fall within the Board’s stated values. This process enables boards to articulate with absolute clarity the Superintendent’s decision-making authority.

    3. Governance Process: The Board defines its own work and how it will be carried out. These policies clearly state the expectations the Board has for individual and collective behavior, and also clarifies the role and function of any board committee.

    4. Board-Superintendent Relationship: The Board stipulates in policy how authority is delegated by the Board to the Superintendent, and how the Superintendent’s performance will be evaluated.

    These polices are created to capture the Board’s values and beliefs (through the process of “linking” back to the owners of the District) and it is the process of creating and consistently reviewing these explicit expectations within the policies that provide the clear and empowering direction for the staff to work towards the stated results. Each of these four sections of the model plays a very important role that influences the effectiveness of this governance structure.

    3. How long will it take to implement Coherence Governance?

    As this is a relatively new governance model for the District, the Board is committing to invest the next year (2015/2016) in trainings and workshops.

    4. How will the community be involved Coherence Governance?

    Linkage is the term used in Coherence Governance Model to refer to an ongoing process for connecting with, and gathering input from, various stakeholder groups. School Board members and the Superintendent will be setting up community groups to meet with every Fall and Spring to discuss the accomplishments of the District, highlight what is coming up and listen to feedback from the community. If you have a community group you would like the Board to connect with, contact the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Kim Grady, atkgrady@shorewood.k12.wi.us or call 414-963-6901.

    There will still be time set aside for public comments at School Board meetings.

    5. What happens to the current committee structure under Coherence Governance?

    Under the Coherence Governance Model, the Board is directly involved in only one committee – the Policy committee that develops and monitors the 4 categories of policy outlined above. All other committees are developed by the Superintendent, and are narrow in focus. These committees will be comprised of a School Board member as a liaison, teacher/staff leaders, and administrators.

    6. Who should I speak with if I want to learn more?

    All of our School Board members are available to discuss Policy Governance with you. You can also contact Superintendent Bryan Davis.

    Thank you for your continued dedication and support of our Shorewood School District.

    Sincerely,

    Paru Shah, President
    Shorewood Board of Education

    Posted by kwatson on Wednesday August 12, 2015
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    Shorewood School District Expands Drug Prevention Efforts


    The safety and well being of all students is at the core of the Shorewood School District’s mission. With this in mind, a group of Shorewood community residents, law enforcement officials, school administrators and board members met in recent months to review the District’s drug prevention efforts. The group discussed additional initiatives that would expand the District’s policies and ensure that the District provides alcohol and drug free learning environments for all Shorewood students.

    On Tuesday, July 21, the Shorewood School Board approved a new policy with prevention as the driving force, which allows the Shorewood Police Department to perform canine searches in District buildings when requested by school officials. This policy, 446.2-Use of Canine Units in School Search Activities, provides the opportunity for random, preventative drug searches to take place in lockers, hallways, locker rooms, parking lots, and other public areas both during and outside of the school day. The policy applies to all District owned facilities; however, at this time, preventative canine searches will only occur on the Shorewood High School campus.

    In conjunction with the new policy, and as part of the District’s evolving drug prevention efforts, sections of the Code of Conduct that address drug use will also be examined for revisions. Again, it’s important to reiterate that the reasons behind these potential changes are the safety and well being of Shorewood students as well as the opportunity to provide students with the support they need to succeed.

    With any questions, please contact Principal Tim Kenney at tkenney@shorewood.k12.wi.us or Assistant Principal Joe Patek at jpatek@shorewood.k12.wi.us. Additional information will be provided over the summer, so check back often.

    Posted by kwatson on Thursday July 23, 2015 at 01:21PM
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    Shorewood Secures Support for New Lake Bluff Tennis Courts, Project Planned for Summer 2016

    A combination of Shorewood community organizations and individual donors have reached the fundraising goal to support the installation of two new tennis courts at Lake Bluff Elementary School. On July 15, the Shorewood School District received a grant from the Shorewood Foundation, which provided the final funds needed to meet the project goal.

    The new tennis courts will be located on the northeast part of the Lake Bluff Elementary School property, on the current site of a small, fenced-in practice soccer field, adjacent to the school’s parking lot. The project has been in consideration since 2010, and has been a part of the Village’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan for the last several years. The courts were put on hold due to lack of funding, but the project gained new life when the Lake Bluff PTO, in partnership with the Shorewood Advancement Office, launched a fundraising drive to raise money for the courts in the early spring in honor of Lake Bluff Elementary School Principal Dr. Kirk Juffer and Shorewood High School Art Teacher Sonja Juffer, who both retired this year.

    The addition of the tennis courts will do much to enhance our community. The new tennis courts will benefit the entire Shorewood community and its 13,337 residents by providing additional tennis facilities for Shorewood residents to use, adding to the three courts at Shorewood Intermediate School and the two courts at Atwater Elementary School. The two new tennis courts at Lake Bluff will provide a great opportunity for community members to enjoy outdoor exercise and leisure, promote wellness in the Village of Shorewood and add additional facilities for Shorewood Recreation Department activities.

    The project was submitted to the Village Parks Commission earlier in the spring, and the Parks Commission passed a motion, recommending that the Village move forward on the project. The Village Board subsequently approved the project.

    Based upon preliminary cost estimates, the budget for the project is approximately $210,000, which includes storm water drain installation to prevent flooding. Installation of the courts will not include lights.

    Fundraising efforts in conjunction with the retirement of Principal Juffer and Sonja Juffer helped to raise $10,000 for the project from over 120 donors, including Lake Bluff alumnus and former tennis pro and current broadcaster Leif Shiras. The Shorewood Foundation has given $10,000 to support the project, while the Village of Shorewood has invested $50,000, and the Shorewood School District has provided $140,000 from its Recreation Fund, for a total of $210,000.

    Timeline:

    Now that total project funding has been secured, the Shorewood School District will announce an RFP (Request for Proposals), requesting competitive bids on the project in the coming weeks, with a tentative plan to select a vendor by Fall 2015 and launch the project in June 2016, at the end of the 2015-16 school year. The courts will run north-south, initially impacting some parking spaces in the staff lot, but allowing for an equal number of parking spaces to be added to the east once the courts are installed. The project is expected to take approximately three months to complete, with a tentative completion time frame of September 2016.

    Hours of Use:

    The Lake Bluff Tennis Courts will close at sundown, and will not have lighting that would permit play after dark.

    Multi-Use Capability for Futsal:
    As part of the project, additional lines will be implemented on the courts for Futsal, a variant of soccer played on smaller playing areas, which will add a multi-purpose dimension to the courts, allowing more use for additional recreational activities. The futsal lines will be painted perpendicular to the tennis court lines, therefore futsal games will not require the removal of the tennis nets and posts. Also, the WIAA does not prevent school districts or community programs from placing additional lines on tennis courts for use during the WIAA tournament series, so the futsal lines will not impact tennis tournament play.

    Practice Soccer Field Usage:

    Shorewood community soccer organizers have confirmed that another practice field location at Estabrook Park has been identified and secured, which makes the Lake Bluff practice soccer field unnecessary for future soccer practices.

    The Shorewood School District is also working with local neighbors on strategies to minimize neighborhood impact from the tennis courts.

    As the RFP for the tennis courts project is announced and a vendor is subsequently selected, announcements will be shared via the Shorewood School District and Village of Shorewood websites and communications channels.

    For questions and more information about the Lake Bluff Tennis Courts project, please contact Shorewood School District Communications Coordinator Katelin Watson at kwatson@shorewood.k12.wi.us.

    Posted by kwatson on Wednesday July 22, 2015 at 10:20AM
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    Update #6 on Superintendent Search

    The three superintendent finalists each spent a full day in our community on June 2, 3, and 4. The visit provided an opportunity for each candidate to meet Shorewood school leaders, visit each school, connect with community members at a forum and participate in a second interview with the School Board.

    The Finalists were:

    Dr. Dennis Pauli, Superintendent from Edgerton, WI

    Dr. Bryan Davis, Superintendent from Columbus, WI

    Dr. Kurt Schneider, Assistant Superintendent from Hinsdale, IL

    The School Board received helpful observations about each candidate from staff and community members through the feedback forms collected at the Forum and from administrators after the visits. Each day, over 50 people--parents, staff, and citizens --were able to hear each candidate make a brief presentation about himself, then respond to a dozen pre-set questions.

    The School Board members held a second interview later in the day. Questions and conversation at this second interview became more focused on the Shorewood school community as the school board worked to determine which candidate would be the best “fit” as our new Superintendent.

    The vetting process will continue over the next few days as the School Board narrows its focus from three candidates to just one. Typically, a school board determines which candidate is the best fit for our community, determine the “terms,” make a verbal offer to the candidate then have the district’s legal counsel draw up a contract and forward that contract to the candidate. The candidate then is likely to have an advisor review the contract before agreeing or asking for changes.

    This process may take several days until an agreement is reached. Given the strong competition for quality school leadership, the importance of the superintendent role, and Shorewood’s expressed need for stability, the process needs to be done well and seen as favorable for all parties. The Board will be thoughtful stewards of the District resources, balancing the need for excellent leadership with the District’s ability to pay.

    The School Board will continue to be engaged in the final stages of the selection process for much of this week and expects to name a new Superintendent of Schools on or before June 16. This has been a very busy and demanding time and we have had to accelerate the process given the time of year. But the search process has also been an opportunity to hear from Shorewood parents, staff, and citizens and to recommit to the education ethic for which the Shorewood community is well known.

    Posted by kwatson on Monday June 8, 2015
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    District Calendar

      • MonDec25 Winter Break
      • TueDec26 Winter Break
      • WedDec27 Winter Break
      • ThuDec28 Winter Break
      • FriDec29 Winter Break

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