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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.

Update from School Board President Rob Reinhoffer

Dear Shorewood Schools Community,

First I would like to thank members of the community who responded to my recent post on the school district blog. Continuing to communicate is essential as we work through recent concerns.

Issues raised at our February 10, 2015 board meeting will be addressed through written communication with the intent that we clarify any inaccurate information and that we better communicate current efforts. We will publish this communication in the next few days.

We will also address concerns through specific discussions at our Board meetings. At our upcoming board meeting on February 24, 2015 we will have a report on our Advanced Learner Program. Other items will be addressed in the future.

Recent communication on the district blog and in social media is questioning the process and procedures used in the renewal of administrative contracts, and I would like to address those here. First, administrative contracts and extensions are governed by Wisconsin Statute 118.24. This details that administrator contracts must be for no more than 2 years, and when notice of renewals must be given. Additional information about contract renewals are included in the individual contracts, available on board books.

Second, the board makes determinations about renewals for the Superintendent alone. The Superintendent is responsible for making recommendations for all other administrative contracts and renewals.

Third, the board conducts two reviews of the Superintendent each year, and these form the basis of our decisions. As a matter of appropriate personnel practices, evaluation of employees is not discussed in public meetings. The board properly conducts these discussions in closed session. Conversations and discussions we have with parents, teachers, and administrators are taken into account in our evaluation process.

I would like to encourage our school community to focus on how we can work together to serve students. There will always be moments of disagreement. However, the manner in which we face these moments creates the opportunity to resolve issues and move forward or to further divide us. I ask you to think about how we might best come together for the students of Shorewood Schools.

Sincerely,

Rob Reinhoffer

School Board President

Posted by kwatson on Saturday February 21, 2015 at 11:00PM
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Badger Exam Update from State Superintendent

February 17, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

Thanks for all you do to further the achievement of Wisconsin's children. The work of you and your staff is truly heroic given the difficult environment. As I travel the state, I too have heard concerns about the proposed changes in assessment, how those changes might impact data in the educator effectiveness and school report card systems, and whether the state should continue with testing this year.

I want you to know my principles and position regarding our state assessments.

The Badger Exam (Wisconsin's Smarter Balanced Assessment) is a rigorous and valid assessment that was successfully piloted across Wisconsin last year. Everyone agrees this assessment is a vast improvement over the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE). The Badger Exam will measure our collective efforts to implement our more rigorous standards and will provide valuable feedback to our state's educators and parents.

I support the annual testing requirements that presently are found in state and federal law, including the use of the same tests by all publically funded schools in our state. Annual statewide assessments are necessary to provide information about student growth and achievement to parents, educators, policy-makers, and to the community. While the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), has its faults, disaggregating student achievement data by race, poverty, disability, and English language proficiency is critical for improving learning for all students.

Wisconsin is a high achieving state overall, but we face some of the largest achievements gaps in the country. This issue is real and affects Wisconsin's communities in different ways. An annual assessment of all students is more vital than ever to meet these challenges. Without it, we have very limited measures to inform and assist our parents, students, and educators. This principle of annual assessment remains true regardless of the test vendor or how often the test vendor changes.

Assessments should be seen as a flashlight that helps educators and parents shine a light on students' strengths and weaknesses and supports student learning. It is the increasing use of test results as a hammer to punish schools and educators that drives much of the fatigue and frustration. Do I think that any standardized test can totally and accurately reflect all the good work that is going on in your schools? Absolutely not. Standardized tests are one important checkpoint in time, nothing more, and nothing less. But it is one checkpoint that helps us to identify achievement gaps and successful work that is being done to close those gaps.

There is a great deal of national dialogue about testing, including the number of tests, the value of formative versus summative tests, and the role of tests in high-stakes accountability and instructional improvement. I share these concerns, signed onto a national effort to examine this, and will be working with stakeholders, including many of you, to address this in Wisconsin.

Let's get to what we know right now and a road map going forward:

1. We will administer the Badger Exam as scheduled. Every student is required to participate in an annual statewide assessment under state and federal law, which cannot be waived in either state or federal law. Wisconsin State Statute §118.30 and ESEA section 1111(b)(3) (20 U.S.C.-§6311(b)(3)) govern testing requirements. These are long-standing laws that are very clear with regard to the testing requirements. Failure to administer the required assessments at the state or local level will jeopardize up to $500 million in federal education funding.

2. If state law mandates a new Mathematics and English language arts/reading test for 2016 in grades three through eight, we will move forward to ensure that the replacement is high quality, aligned to our standards and on-line, like the Badger Exam. The preparation and hard work you, your staff, and your students have done for this year's Badger Exam will not be wasted if the test changes for next school year.

3. I am working at the state and federal levels to delay for one year integrating the new assessment data into educator effectiveness evaluations, and school and district report cards. I support hitting the pause button on aspects of school report cards, and educator evaluations, related specifically to the new Badger Exam. I am working with legislators on a bill that would provide this delay for the 2014-15 school year. Also, the DPI is exploring flexibility under the federal ESEA waiver renewal process to delay integrating new assessment data for one year in the educator effectiveness system and the state's school and district report cards.

4. As always, due to public reporting requirements, results will be included in WISEdash after you have had the chance to check them. We will be able to smooth the transition so the longitudinal data is still relevant from last year to this year and with whatever happens in the future. Transparency of results will continue to be a high priority, even if there is a pause in the use of this assessment on the report cards.

We will be discussing what test will be used in 2015-16 and beyond with policy-makers. If vendors change, the test will be aligned with our standards. I understand the massive amount of work that has been done over the past four years on our new standards and I continue to support your hard work in using them.

I offer the DPI's support to you through our assessment period this spring. Contact Mike Thompson, PhD, Deputy State Superintendent, at michael.thompson@dpi.wi.gov or 608-266-3584.

Thank you for your continued service to Wisconsin's children.

Sincerely,



Tony Evers, PhD, State Superintendent

Posted by kwatson on Thursday February 19, 2015 at 10:54AM
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School Board President Addresses Some Community Concerns

February 16, 2015

Dear Shorewood Schools Community,

In the past week considerable attention was given to community concerns shared at the February 10, 2015 meeting of the school board. The concerns were shared through a petition and through comments at the board meeting. This letter is intended to communicate how we will respond to the concerns and to additional rumors that we are hearing as well.

Before I address how we will move forward I want to encourage members of our community with concerns with the school board or district employees, to have conversations first. We are at our best when solving problems together and seeking to understand truthful information instead of reacting to incomplete or inaccurate information.

The petition sent to Shorewood school board members lists a number of concerns and asks the Board to not renew contracts with Dr. Tabia Nicholas and Dr. Martin Lexmond. We are approaching these concerns as a learning opportunity and a unique leadership opportunity as well.

Shorewood is a community that deeply loves its public schools and I am proud to serve on the school board in a community that is so supportive. Because of the passion members of our community hold, disagreements arise. Even though moments like this can be uncomfortable, they also clarify for our administrative team and the school board areas where we can improve.

It is important to keep in mind that the petition included just over 100 signatures in a community of 13,000. While we are putting in place a plan to address the concerns, we are also being mindful that there are many parents who are very supportive of our current direction.

Shorewood Schools continues to be among the best in the state. The recent 2015 Niche Rankings of schools and school districts place Shorewood as 4th in the state with all four of our schools in the top 20 in the state when compared to schools with the same grade levels. In 2013, U.S. News and World Report ranked our high school #1 in the state of Wisconsin. We are proud to be part of these accomplishments knowing that they indicate there is much more going right in Shorewood Schools than the recent discussion and media coverage of concerns may indicate.

We are moving forward with a plan to address the concerns noted in the petition and will be sharing additional information with the community. We feel that addressing the concerns, while maintaining a focus on what is working well, will bring our community together to focus on improving outcomes for all students.

There are also rumors circulating regarding internal investigations of employees. The District does not comment on ongoing personnel matters. However, as a matter of general process, the District uses outside investigators where it is appropriate.

I hope this information is helpful. Please watch this space for additional background information on concerns raised in the petition. We will also be addressing some of the concerns at upcoming board meetings.

Sincerely,

Rob Reinhoffer

School Board President

Posted by kwatson on Sunday February 15, 2015 at 11:00PM
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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.


Discovery Education Streaming Plus in School Libraries

During the 2013-2014 school year, $31,207.50 was awarded to Shorewood School District librarians Sara Kemp and Alan Karbel for the purchase of Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a multimedia offering that excites and engages students while providing educators with instructional support and assessment resources for the development of 21st century learning skills. Elementary school librarian Alan Karbel discusses the benefits of Discovery Education and how it is currently being used in the District.

1.) What inspired you to write the SEED grant?

Prior to this year, Atwater and the high school had both been using Discovery Education and liked it. Both schools' subscriptions were expiring and there wasn't enough money in the libraries' budgets to renew them, so we decided to see if SEED would be interested in funding this resource for the entire district.

2.) What exactly is Discovery Streaming Plus and how do teachers use it in their classrooms?

Discovery Education Streaming Plus is a collection of rich multimedia resources. It includes instructional videos, skill builders, games, audio files, images, writing prompts, and encyclopedia reference materials supporting multiple learning styles. Their video library features exclusive, award-winning titles from Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and more. Teachers can use these resources in numerous ways to motivate, excite and enrich student learning. The great thing about Discovery Education is that they do not just provide resources: They also provide online and face-to-face teacher training, as well as a variety of strategies, virtual events and classroom challenges.

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

We both knew how rich and valuable Discovery Education Streaming resources are. We wanted to make them available to the entire Shorewood district.

4.) How has Discovery Streaming impacted classrooms thus far?

We're still in the process of training staff on all the features of DE Streaming Plus, but usage of DE resources has continued to increase each month. Classroom teachers have shared a few ways that they use it:

Third graders were shown videos on curriculum content, most recently landforms. After viewing the video several times, students wrote a fact they learned from the video clip on a post-it note, then did a fact read and swap. Students found the lessons engaging!

Fifth grade students used the Discovery Education site when they were researching their planet for their science unit on astronomy. Most of the students viewed short video clips that were engaging and gave updated, accurate information about their planet. The video format was motivating for students and helped them keep pushing for more information than they had learned from books. Also, taking notes while watching a video is a difficult skill. Because students were watching it independently, they could re-watch important parts or pause it to record information in their notes.

Sixth grade science students have used the interactive vocabulary module for their unit in ecology. Students have also used DE's experimental simulations provided from Discovery Education to control variables and interpret data generated by running virtual experiments.

Students who are newcomers to the US, level 1 & 2 ELL students, are currently researching science topics. They were assigned a DE video segment to watch specific to their topic. They all watched their video at least four times; once without sound, then with sound. They then took picture and word notes about what they learned from the videos.

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

Not terribly optimistic, but we thought that SEED would be interested in funding this since it impacts all students and staff in the school district in so many ways.

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

With school funding as tight as it is and there being no end in sight to that changing, philanthropy plays a very important role in keeping quality educational programs and resources available to Shorewood students and staff.


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 February 10, 2015 at 02:21PM
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SHS Welcomes Counseling Intern

This semester, Shorewood High School is happy to have Tres Mansfield joining their office as a counseling intern. Tres is in the masters program at Mount Mary, and just completed the first semester of his practicum at SIS. Feel free to read more about him below:

New to the Shorewood High School Student Support Office for the spring semester is Mr. Tres Mansfield, school counseling intern from UW-Milwaukee. Originally from Florida, Tres moved to Wisconsin in high school, and graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon. Tres began his involvement in the District in 2010 as a student mentor, started an Ultimate Frisbee program through the Shorewood Rec. Department, and also worked as an instructional aide at Atwater Elementary during the 2013-2014 school year.

"Tres seems to be up for anything. He wants to get the full experience and he isn't shy about trying new things, "said SHS school counselor, Sarah Johansson. "I am looking forward to having another person to help in Student Support Services, and another adult kids can get to know and seek support from. It will be nice to share my experiences with someone entering the field."

Tres has a BA in Psychology, and will obtain his MS in August. He completed his fall practicum this past semester at Shorewood Intermediate School, where he worked alongside school counselor Julie Wells.

"Tres has been a wonderful addition to the Student Support Team at SIS. He has made significant growth with his counseling skills this semester," said Wells. "We will miss him during lunch. Students have connected with him and are excited he will be back for Session 2 of Winter Experience. I'm excited for him to move to our high school and work with our counselors."

Tres was able to get some testing experience at SIS, which is something both SHS counselors are hopeful that he can help out with at the high school level. In his free time, Tres enjoys snowboarding, longboarding, Ultimate Frisbee, disc golf, traveling, and watching Netflix.
Posted by kwatson on Friday January 30, 2015 at 10:25AM
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Alumni Spotlight: Leif Shiras '77

Leif Shiras (right) pictured with Roger Federer (left).

Above: Leif interviewing tennis sensation Roger Federer in Indian Wells, CA.

Though it has been 52 years since former tennis champ and sports journalist Leif Shiras moved to Shorewood, he can still remember his old address: 4475 N. Murray Ave. Originally from Rowayton, Connecticut, Shiras and his family relocated to the Milwaukee area in 1963 to be closer to family and to follow his Dad's work in public relations.

After completing his education at Lake Bluff and Shorewood Intermediate School, Shiras moved on to Shorewood High School (SHS), where he joined the tennis, basketball, and volleyball teams. Despite being an all-around athlete, it was tennis that occupied most of Shiras' attention.

"Mom and Dad played tennis socially," Shiras said, "So I was drawn to what they were doing. [I] played most of my tennis growing up at the Lakeshore Club in Bayside."

Shiras won the State High School Title as both a junior and senior, and eventually earned the #1 spot in the state for 18 and unders. However, it wasn't just skill that helped Shiras get to the top: he also credits caring coaches who really drove players to win.

"My experiences at SHS, in all sports really, helped make me an intense competitor. If they say you learn more from losing, I suppose I was gradually becoming one of the smarter athletes around. I was constantly being pushed to improve. And I did learn how to win, how to compete, and those skills helped me immensely throughout my life."

For post-grad, Shiras wound up at his father's alma mater of Princeton, who had taken great interest in his tennis skills. Upon finding himself in a more competitive environment, Shiras was motivated to improve his game. During his time at Princeton, Shiras became a two time All-American, reached the NCAA semifinals, and was part of an elite team, (along with Jay Lapidus, former long-time Duke tennis coach), that finished in the top 8 nation-wide. All this was enough to make Shiras wonder if he was good enough to go pro, which he did in 1981.


Above: Leif in action during one of his matches.

"I was hardly an overnight sensation, but I did become a very solid pro," Shiras said. "I had career wins over Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, Andres Gomez, and Johan Kriek, all Grand Slam champions. I also was ranked as high as #31 on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Rankings."

During his professional tennis career, Shiras was an unseeded finalist at the Queens Club in London in 1984, reached the 4th round of Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and the semifinals of the Mixed Doubles at the U.S. Open. He considers his run to the Queens Club final, where he beat world #1 Ivan Lendl before losing to John McEnroe, as one of his career highlights.

"The British Press was not so warm to Lendl, but they loved me," Shiras recalls. "I was an English major from Princeton who studied some Shakespeare. They called me Shakespeare Shiras and as I continued winning, the story only got better."

Though Shiras retired from professional tennis in 1991, he hardly abandoned the game. Currently living in Laguna Hills, California with his wife, Maria, and two sons, Emmett and Austin, Shiras now commentates for the Tennis Channel and British Sky Sports. He works over 120 days a year, either hosting, analyzing, or just talking tennis at a number of the world's major competitions.


Above: Leif interviewing world #1 Novak Djokovic in Paris at the Masters Series event on the ATP World Tour.

When his schedule allows, Shiras enjoys coming back to the Milwaukee area to visit his mom and sister, as well as hit the courts and catch up with old friends who are still active in Milwaukee's vibrant tennis community.


Posted by kwatson on Tuesday January 20, 2015 at 11:00PM
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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, academic programs, student and teaching activities, and other needs of the Shorewood School District since 2003.


SHS Science Olympiad

During the 2012-2013 school year, $1,500 was awarded to Shorewood High School science teacher and Science Club advisor, Karen Grzybowski. Thanks to SEED's contribution, the Science Club and Science Olympiad team were able to purchase equipment and participate in competitions that they otherwise may not have been able to afford.

1.) What inspired you to write the SEED grant?

Science Olympiad is a great experience for our students, but is not funded. We need money for the build events, transportation, hotel rooms for the State competition, and other supplies the team needs in order to participate. The SEED grant was written to allow our team to be competitive.

2.) How did you determine that Science Olympiad was the best candidate for these additional resources?

Science Olympiad engages our students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning beyond the classroom.

3.) How has the SEED grant impacted the Science Olympiad team thus far?

We were much better prepared last year and this year thanks to the SEED grant and the materials we now have available to us.

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

I was hopeful. SEED has been wonderful to us and continues to be a major supporter for our students.

5.) Science Olympiad is also sponsored by a number of local businesses. How has that support helped to enhance the team?

We have had help from a few local businesses including Shorewood Family Chiropractic and Yo Mama! Frozen Yogurt. This support has also allowed us to be more competitive.

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

Philanthropy impacts our students' lives in a very positive way. We have seen enhanced learning opportunities for them because of the generosity of others. Science Club deeply appreciates all the help we are receiving.

Science Club President, Nathalie Bolduc (class of 2015), is equally as grateful for donations the club has accepted over the past couple of years.

"Sponsorships have allowed us to purchase materials for Science Olympiad, such as wood for build events and books for paper tests. It has also paid the fees to enter Science Olympiad and Sturgeon Bowl, which are relatively high," Bolduc said.

Thanks to donations from SEED and business sponsorships, the cost for students to attend the 2014 Science Olympiad State competition at University of Wisconsin-Stout was drastically reduced, which is something Bolduc said the whole team appreciated.

"I would like to say thank you to all of the people who have donated and helped us fundraise. The club is very important to me, as well as many other students, and it would not be as successful without donations and grants."

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 January 20, 2015 at 01:47PM
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Inclement Weather Closing Procedures

When determining whether a snowstorm closure is necessary, the Shorewood School District monitors the estimated snow accumulation and the timing of the storm through the National Weather Service. If the District is considering closing school due to bitter cold and wind chill, it will do so if the National Weather Service changes a wind chill advisory to a wind chill warning.

In the event that the inclement weather occurs outside of school hours, the North Shore school superintendents conduct an early morning conference call (typically conducted between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.) to compare information and to determine the impact on the snowfall in each local community.

In the event that the inclement weather occurs during school hours, the North Shore school superintendents conduct an immediate conference call to compare information and to determine the impact on the snowfall in each local community.

Ultimately, the decision to close the schools or to dismiss students early in the event of existing or predicted hazardous weather is determined by the Shorewood District Administrative team. When school is closed or dismissed early due to weather, school district-sponsored activities, athletics, and Shorewood Recreation Department activities are also cancelled.*

*If school is in session all day and inclement weather is forecasted for the afternoon and/or evening, the Recreation Department and the District Admin team will make decisions on the closures of afterschool/evening activities by approximately 2 p.m.

Please note the following:

-The decision will always be made to ensure the safety of the Shorewood School District's students, parents, and staff.

-When possible, the decision to close school will be made by 5:30 a.m., and to dismiss early by 11:30 a.m.

-The District will use the Alert Now communication system to contact families. In addition, the District will also post the school closure information on its website and social media pages.

-The following radio and TV stations will be notified and asked to announce the closures.

-TV Channels 4, 6, 12, and 58

-WISN (1130 AM)

-WTMJ (620 AM)

-Parents/guardians should be certain that their children are properly clothed, instructed, and otherwise prepared for weather emergencies. If you will not be at home, please have an alternate safe location arranged. Listen to radio and TV reports during times of severe weather.

- If parents/guardians disagree with a District decision to hold school on a bad weather day because they think it is unsafe, they are urged to keep their students at home. Likewise, if a parent/guardian becomes uncomfortable with the weather conditions throughout the day during a bad weather day, we encourage the parent/guardian make the necessary arrangements to pick up the student(s). In either situation, the students will be marked as excused as long as the school receives a phone call from the parent/guardian citing "inclement weather conditions."

What might appear to be a simple decision involves the consideration of many different factors, and the decision to cancel school is only reached after seeking the counsel of many sources. The District's first priority of is to ensure the safety of Shorewood students, parents, and staff.

All of the information above can also be found on the District website under the Family Resources tab-->Inclement Weather Closing Procedures.

Posted by kwatson on Wednesday January 7, 2015 at 11:00PM
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Alumni Spotlight: John Fiedler '43

Born in Platteville, Wisconsin, screen and voice actor John Fiedler moved to Shorewood at an early age, graduating from Shorewood High School in 1943. Throughout his youth, Fiedler was known to put together neighborhood productions with other children in his family's garage.

After completing high school, Fiedler enlisted in the Navy and served through the duration of World War II. Upon his discharge from the military, Fiedler moved to New York City and immediately started to follow his passion for acting. While his first performances were on the stage, it's Fiedler's voice that many are most familiar with. His most well-known performances have been as the voice of Piglet in various "Winnie the Pooh" features from 1968 through 2005. Fiedler has also lent his "helium-high" voice to other animated films like Disney's "The Fox and the Hound," "Robin Hood," and "The Emperor's New Groove."

As a screen actor, Fiedler was often typecast, playing roles of meek and nervous men, most notably as Juror #2 in the 1957 movie, "Twelve Angry Men." He has also done guest spots on a number of television shows such as "Bewitched," "Gunsmoke," "Perry Mason," "Star Trek," "The Golden Girls," and "The Bob Newhart Show," among many others.

Though he was diagnosed with cancer later in life, Fiedler didn't let illness interfere with his work. He continued voice work, mainly as Piglet, right up until his death in Englewood, New Jersey, on June 25, 2005.

Posted by kwatson on Monday January 5, 2015 at 10:49AM
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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, academic programs, student and teaching activities, and other needs of the Shorewood School District since 2003.


iMac Computers For Band Practice Rooms

During the 2012-2013 school year, $7,500 was awarded to Shorewood Intermediate School band teacher Justin Olson. Thanks to the grant that SEED provided, Olson was able to purchase iMac computers for band practice rooms at both SIS and SHS, with the goal of integrating technology in order to enhance the educational opportunities for students who play instruments.

1.) What inspired you to write the SEED grant?

The band program had only two computers located in practice rooms. These computers were 15 years old and no longer functioned in terms of supporting the music software that the band program uses to help students learn and be assessed on their music. Knowing that the practice rooms could be utilized much more efficiently and successfully, the Band Parent Association and band staff all agreed that applying for a SEED grant would be a great way to try and finance this goal, considering all the amazing technological and other educational grants that this generous organization has contributed toward in the past.

2.) How did you determine that iMacs would be the best investment for the band program?

The music software program that the band department uses is called SmartMusic, which has been designed for Apple computers. The iMacs would remain stationary in each practice room and be perfect to allow all students access to this incredibly helpful musical assessment program throughout each school day, and after school as well.

3.) How has the SEED grant impacted the band program thus far?

Some years ago, SEED has also helped sponsor the "Jazz Fronts" used on all our concerts. Since the SEED-funded technology grant has been received, the band program has been positively impacted in so many ways. First, a huge number of band students now come in to the band practice rooms to practice their music and scale tests with SmartMusic now available on these computers. Students' interest and excitement for playing, as well as their musical and technical proficiency, have increased due to this wonderful opportunity from the SEED Foundation.

4.) How have additional resources expanded students' learning experiences?

My ability to differentiate instruction to individual students through assignments customized to each student's needs has become limitless with the use of technology. I am now able to provide personalized feedback and instruction through SmartMusic while students are using these computers.

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

While writing this grant proposal, I described and focused on the positive impact this would have on the students' learning, which made me feel confident that it would be seriously considered, especially knowing that SEED is all about maintaining the highest standard of education.

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

As educators, we all understand that our budget is usually limited to the bare essentials or general materials from year to year. Without private fundraising initiatives, such as improving the quality of education in Shorewood achieved by the SEED Foundation, I feel that teachers might not even have the motivation to attempt to propose these often costly things for their students, such as Courage Retreats, the Watershed Wisdom course, funding computer labs, and so much more!

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 Monday December 15, 2014 at 09:50AM
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District Calendar

    • MonDec25 Winter Break
    • TueDec26 Winter Break
    • WedDec27 Winter Break
    • ThuDec28 Winter Break
    • FriDec29 Winter Break
    • MonJan15 Special Education Info Session 6:00 PMSHS Library

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