February 14th Board Meeting Highlights
Student Achievement Presentation
SHS Lady Greyhounds basketball players Arianna Smith, Brooklyn Anderson, Oriyah Fleming and Samantha Mackowski attended the Board meeting to highlight the philanthropy projects and community service that the team has participated in this school year.
With the help of their coach, James Wright, the students found many opportunities to help the less fortunate in the community. One such volunteer opportunity was preparing over 300 baskets for senior citizens at the Greater Galilee Baptist Church of Milwaukee in November; another was collecting 150 cases of bottled water in partnership with the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity to give to Kentucky hurricane victims; the players also donated Christmas gifts to five families through the Boys and Girls Club and raised $1000 to purchase gifts for Children's Hospital residents as part of Holiday Uplift.
To learn more about these community service projects and the students' takeaways from these experiences, view the Board meeting video (starting at 5:00).
Operating Referendum Update
Referendum funds play a critical part in protecting Shorewood's tradition of excellence, including maintaining the academic, arts and authentic learning experiences that prepare students for the future, attracting and retaining top-notch staff and compensating them for their skills and experience, and more.
As it pertains to staff, the Board shared the following important update at the recent meeting:
With passage of the operating referendum, the proposed budget would allocate funds to cover a total base wage increase that includes funding the existing steps and lanes salary structure for teachers for the upcoming school year. Moreover, the Board supports District Administration considering similar, future total base wage increases for all employees through the five years of referendum funding.
The reassurance given by the Board at the Feb. 14th meeting responds to what we heard expressed by our teachers - a desire for a predictable salary system built on steps and lanes. This addresses both lane movement for those in educational programs and a yearly step. We cannot promise that a total base wage increase will do more than this.
How did we apply salary increases last year?
For the 2022-2023 budget, the District applied 4.7% to all salary schedules. For all groups with steps/lanes schedules (teachers, aides, custodians and secretarial groups), the cost of steps and lanes adjustments was taken from the total dollar amount first, and then the remainder was applied to adjusting the value of each cell on the schedule.
Is this a change from previous years?
The Board has prioritized steps and lanes, but since 2020 it has become increasingly difficult to fund steps lanes and CPI. First, CPI increases have outpaced revenue, and it has become clear that the state will not be adjusting their contribution to school funding to help offset this gap. Second, supporting "consistent and predictable" compensation and benefit plans for all employees as outlined in Operating Expectation 4, the Board is committed to salary adjustments that are equitable across all employee groups, meaning we would not offer one group a larger overall raise than other groups.
Are the District's salaries competitive?
Board Policy (OE 4.8) seeks to have teacher salaries within the top 33rd percentile compared to CESA1 school districts. As of the last 1202 staffing report released by DPI in 2022, Shorewood teacher average salaries ranked in the 87th percentile among CESA1 school districts and in the 97th percentile statewide.
We value our teachers and staff! What's the bottom line? If approved by voters, the April 4 referendum would provide the District with $5.5 million each year for five years, beginning in the 2023-24 school year. While the District still needs to make budget reductions, these funds would prevent reductions that go beyond right-sizing to our current needs and ensure we can continue offering competitive salaries, benefits, and instructional programming.
These are not "additional" funds that we are requesting, as in a facilities referendum. Instead, the funds will bring revenue up to the level needed to meet rising expenses.
These funds would also help ensure we can effectively maintain our assets and position ourselves for long-term financial health as inflation puts additional pressure on our operational costs.
Recreation Department Annual Report
Shorewood Recreation Department Director Jody Brooks, Supervisor Justin Calvert, and Supervisor Perry Perkins gave an overview of the programming and events offered by the department. The main takeaways from the presentation are below.
Community Events - The Rec Department spearheads many events including Shorewood Summer Sounds concerts, Movie Under the Stars, First Ride and Bike Rodeo, Spring and Fall Clean Ups, the Shorewood Chill, and a handful of documentary screenings.
Increased Participation - Between the last two school years, program participants have increased by over 1,900, class offerings have grown by 165 classes, and the first day of summer registration revenue grew by almost $50K.
Aquatics - 751 community members registered for swim lessons last year (despite the pool being down for four months); an electronic pool check-in procedure was implemented; 70 lifeguards are currently employed.
Camp Shorewood - The summer child supervision program has been extremely successful in providing a full day of activities for participants; last summer there were 83 registrations, the program went for 8 weeks, 10 hours/day, with six off site field trips, eight group art projects, 14 bowling sessions, and more.
Youth Programming - This makes up a large part of summer programming and includes both sports and enrichment programs such as majors/minors baseball, jr. tennis club, sports camps (football, soccer, basketball, cross country, mountain biking), youth pickleball, minecraft, intro to magic, sewing, ACT workshop, and more.
Adult Programming - There are many popular sports and enrichment programs offered including softball (two different leagues--18+ and 30+) , pickleball, old man lacrosse, daddy/daughter basketball camp, gardening, ballroom dancing, scuba diving, ballroom dancing, real estate buyer's guide, and more.
Fitness Center Recap - Many equipment improvements and upgrades were made; the membership makeup includes 1800+ members, 258 high school members, 600 senior members, and 115 district members; personal training has grown with over 130 clients.
View the entire presentation from the Board meeting here (starting at 24:45).
Upcoming Events & Meetings
This evening, February 23, parents/caregivers of rising 4K students are invited to visit Atwater and Lake Bluff Elementaries for a 4K Open House, from 5-6:30pm. Parents/caregivers will have the opportunity to visit the 4K classrooms and speak with 4K teachers, Milestones wraparound care representatives and members of the school PTOs. More information on this event can be found here.
There are many operating referendum community engagement opportunities coming up! We encourage families and community members to attend one of these sessions to learn more about the Shorewood School District's needs and the proposed solution on the ballot in April 2023. The next opportunity is the Referendum Q&A which will be held on Tuesday, February 28, from 6-7pm, prior to the Board meeting in the SHS LMC. For details on the additional dates, visit our Community Conversations webpage.
The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28. Participants can join the meeting in-person or virtually. You can find all Board packets and agenda items here.