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.
Commencement for the Class of 2014 will be held on Thursday, June 12, at 8:00 p.m. in the Shorewood High School Auditorium. To ensure that Commencement will be a memorable and dignified occasion for everyone in attendance, please review the following information carefully.
All seating in the Auditorium for Commencement is reserved and admission is by ticket only. Parents and guests should plan to arrive by 7:00 p.m. This will allow ample time for picture taking. Graduates will report promptly to the Studio Theatre at 7:30 p.m. All parents and guests MUST be seated by 7:50 p.m. The lobby area will be used at that time to line up the graduates in preparation for the processional. Anyone arriving after 7:50 p.m. will be seated after completion of the processional.
In keeping with the dignity of the ceremony, graduates are expected to wear clothes that are suitable for this formal occasion. Please carefully consider the appropriateness of the event for small children and babies. Please do not bring anything with you that could potentially obstruct the view of others. During the awarding of the diplomas, please refrain from acknowledging individual graduates with applause or other audible expressions. In maintaining an appropriate pace to the ceremony, individual student acknowledgement for one student tends to “drown out” acknowledgement for another.
A professional photographer will photograph each graduate as he/she receives his/her diploma. The school will furnish student names and addresses so that the studio can mail a proof and order blank to the student's home. There is no charge for the proof. There is NO obligation to purchase pictures. Pictures are ordered after you have had a chance to examine the proof. Fire regulations prohibit anyone sitting or standing in the aisles during the ceremony (this includes those taking pictures).
Parents are encouraged to have a discussion with their graduate concerning the importance of NOT engaging in drug or alcohol use. Graduates who show signs of or admit to having used drugs or alcohol prior to the ceremony will be removed from the group before the processional and will not be permitted to participate. For additional information regarding graduation activities, please refer to the schedule of Commencement events, which was distributed to each senior in homeroom. Click here to view that schedule.
Your support in helping to make the graduation commencement ceremony a memorable and dignified event is greatly appreciated. Graduation is a tremendous accomplishment and we look forward to celebrating with you on this special day.
on Monday May 12, 2014 at 11:00PM
On Thursday, May 22, the District will be hosting an evening for mental health awareness beginning at 6 p.m. The event will include a mental health awareness fair, with booths from various mental health providers, professionals, and community organizations, including RED (The North Shore group dedicated to mental health awareness) and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health). The fair will be held in the lobby of the Shorewood High School auditorium (*please note the change).
At 7 p.m., the District will host a performance of the play Pieces- In My Own Voice in the SHS auditorium. This is the youth version of the production; it will specifically address ADHD, depression, post-traumatic stress, bipolar, schizophrenia, and suicide. We feel this is an appropriate play for SIS students with a parent/guardian. SHS students can attend alone, but we are strongly encouraging all students to attend with a parent/guardian if possible. The performance will be 35 minutes long, and a talkback session will be held afterwards.
It is the District’s hope that this production will provide another avenue for students, parents, staff, and community members to have a safe, open, and honest conversation about mental health.
Click here for more information about the production and/or to view a trailer.
This event will also be open to other North Shore school districts.
Mental Health Awareness Event
- What: A mental health awareness fair, with booths from various mental health providers, professionals & community organizations and a performance of Pieces- In My Own Voice. A talkback session will be held after the play. The play is recommended for SHS students, and SIS students with parent/guardian attendance as well.
- When: May 22 at 6 p.m. (Fair begins at 6 p.m., play begins at 7 p.m.)
- Where: Shorewood High School (The fair will be held in the lobby of the auditorium building building; the play will be performed in the auditorium.)
on Sunday May 11, 2014 at 11:00PM
Dear Shorewood Schools Community,
I am pleased to share with you the recommendation of Kayla Russick to become the new principal of Atwater Elementary School. Kayla joined Shorewood Schools in September 2013 as the interim Atwater principal when Tim Kenney moved to the high school. After Mr. Kenney decided to stay at SHS permanently, he and I agreed to open the Atwater principal position.
The position was posted in March, and received more than 100 applications. The interview panel, made up of administrators, teachers, and parents, focused on applicants with experience, and on individuals that had the potential to be a good fit in Shorewood. The interview panel selected four strong applicants for interview, and narrowed the pool to two finalists.
The finalists participated in a staff and community input session on April 29. During the session, each candidate answered prepared questions before taking additional questions from the audience. After the session, participants shared written feedback that the interview panel used to make a final recommendation. Based on interview answers, feedback from the community input process, and strong letters of support from parents and teachers, the panel unanimously supported a recommendation to the School Board to hire Kayla Russick as the Atwater Elementary School principal.
Before coming to Shorewood, Ms. Russick served as Assistant Principal at Milwaukee Sign Language School, and the Assistant Principal both at Crestview and Skiles Test Elementary Schools in Indianapolis. Throughout her career in education, which began in 1983, she has worked in schools throughout Indiana and Illinois as a teacher and team leader, often in schools for deaf students, as well as a sign language interpreter. Ms. Russick earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Deaf Education from Northern Illinois University in 1983, and her Master’s Degree in education from Indiana University in 2009. She is also certified as a principal, teacher (K-12) and deaf or hard of hearing instructor.
The Shorewood School Board will consider the recommendation to hire Kayla Russick as the Atwater Elementary School principal at its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the SHS Library.
Dr. Marty Lexmond, Shorewood Superintendent
on Tuesday May 6, 2014 at 11:00PM
Below is a guest blog entry from SIS science teacher Kelly Steiner who recently attended a LGBT youth conference. Read her blog to learn more about her experiences:
On April 11, I attended the Safe Schools, Safe Communities state conference on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth. I was interested in going based on members of my family that I didn't feel were supported well in their schools and a desire to find ways to systematically let students know they are supported in Shorewood.
As I listened to the keynote speaker, I started to understand the challenges LGBT youth fact. LGBT youth experience disproportionately high victimization in schools, which can impact their academic success. Even more disturbing, LGBT youth have poor health, and are many times more likely to report depression, suicide attempts (and hospitalization from suicide attempts), substance use, and sexual behaviors at high risk of HIV/STD transmission. I also learned that 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning). I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Caitlin Ryan, talked about the Family Acceptance Project and their research demonstrating that helping diverse families take the journey to accept their LGBT child led to remarkably better health and safety outcomes for the youth. Her premise is that families aren't the enemy- even rejecting families are generally acting out of love and trying to protect their child from perceived dangers of their future life. Providers can work with families to help them move from rejection or ambivalence about their youth to acceptance.
I thought that a key takeaway from this was connectedness. Every human being feels a need for belonging. The attraction that we feel toward other people is emotional, social and romantic, as well as sexual. This explains why students know whom they feel attracted to long before they contemplate sexual activity.
The discussion of working with families had several connections to the school environment for me. School staff members can distribute information to families and can assist families in networking with each other.
Dr. Ryan also discussed the myth of "they're too young to know" or "it's just a phase." She pointed to research showing that children develop a sense of gender identity around age 3. So students whose biological sex (the parts, chromosomes. and hormones they’re are born with) doesn't match their gender identity (the gender that they feel like they are) would be aware of this tension before starting kindergarten. Research also shows that most kids have their first crush around age 10. It may have taken students longer to learn the vocabulary to articulate their feelings in the past, but with modern media, students are able to put words to who they are much younger. While students know who they are sooner, they come out into organizations, like schools, that aren't necessarily ready for them. This underlined for me: we, as a District, need to support students at all levels and, more personally, I need to move from thinking supportive thoughts to taking supportive action.
I feel empowered with more information on how to be more thoughtful toward these students. If I make them feel unwanted or afraid, it will certainly impact their learning. I believe that almost all intolerance and insensitivity comes from a sense of otherness. Educating all students on the struggles and gifts of the people they meet in the world can help them become more loving and have a powerful, positive impact in the world.
on Monday May 5, 2014 at 11:00PM
The Shorewood School Board recently passed a policy allowing SHS students with junior or senior status to complete an additional credit in math, science, English or social studies in lieu of one credit of health education. To opt out of Junior Year Lifetime Wellness (formally Lifetime Activities) students must meet the requirements outline below.
Any student interested in opting out for the 2014-2015 school year must submit an application to Mr. Kenney by May 15. You can click here to get an application.
P.E./Health Education Credit Option Quick Facts
Pursuant to Board Policy, SHS students with junior or senior status are eligible to complete an additional credit in math, science, English or social studies class (beyond the graduation requirement) in lieu of one credit of health education.
To opt out of the required Junior Year Lifetime Wellness (formerly called Lifetime Activities) course, students must meet the following requirements:
- The student must have successfully completed the required Integrated Health Course.
- The student must be participating in a District sponsored WIAA sanctioned sport. (The student’s coach must verify, in writing to the SHS principal, that the student is in fact involved in the WIAA sport.)
- The student must have completed two full seasons of participation in one or more WIAA-sanctioned or equivalent out of state governing body (District-sponsored) sports while in high school. Speak to the SHS principal directly if you are unsure if your sport meets this requirement. ( If the student was injured after the beginning of any sports season but continued to participate in physically active team activities for the remainder of the season, he/she still satisfies this requirement if there was at least 90% participation.)
- The student must be in good standing on the sport(s) team and cannot have, or have had, any athletic code violations.
- During the semester of the Lifetime Wellness credit option, the student must be enrolled and successfully compete the additional core curricular elective.
- The elective course, in lieu of the one credit of Lifetime Wellness requirement, must be completed by the end of the first semester of the student’s senior year.
*A student with a disability who is not able to meet the requirements for participation in any of the school’s WIAA sports due to his/her disability, but who has participated in another organized physical activity approved by the SHS principal under similar conditions as those outline above, may also be eligible for this physical education/health education credit option.
The Integrated Wellness Department and Administration strongly recommend that careful consideration be given to the application of the Integrated Wellness Credit Option. While time is spent in activity and utilizing heart rate monitors, a critical piece to the Lifetime Wellness Curriculum is the Forum. Forum occurs in the classroom and provides an in-depth study of total wellness using the Living Compass Curriculum. The Living Compass for Teens is designed to emphasize the student’s responsibility for their own health and well-being based on eight dimensions of wellness. The Forum uses discussion, lecture and guest speakers to develop and understand that all eight dimensions of wellness are interrelated.
Given that this is the last Health Education opportunity prior to graduation, Forum offers frank and honest discussions related to healthy relationships, stress management, bullying, human sexuality, drug use transitioning to college life and character education. Guest speakers deliver powerful messages on living with AIDS, life as a recovering heroin addict, date abuse and sexual assault.
Students and parents should also be aware of some changes that have occurred within the Lifetime Wellness Course that will better meet the needs of each individual student from a physical activity standpoint. Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, student athletes can opt to waive the required Heart Rate Monitoring if he/she is participating in a school sponsored sport that is in season during the semester in which the Lifetime Wellness Course is taken.
If you have any questions with regard to the Lifetime Wellness Course, please contact Mrs. Lisa Bromley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (414) 963 – 6921.
on Thursday May 1, 2014 at 02:00PM
As you may have heard, the Shorewood School District, like many districts across the state, is working to align to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The standards were adopted by Wisconsin in 2010 (for math and English/language arts), and are a group of national learning goals outlining what students should know and be able to do by the end of every grade level. (Previously, Wisconsin only had standards outlining what students should know at the end of grades 4, 8 and 12.)
In Shorewood, we think of the standards as a floor—they define the foundation of learning—all other aspects of our curriculum that are more advanced than the standards won’t go away; instead, students and teachers will continue to move upward, building upon the floor provided by standards, without drastically changing or altering the educational experience Shorewood families have come to expect. We think it makes sense to align to the standards so students are successful on the new assessments, while ensuring that this alignment does not limit our schools’ best work. (The District is not formally adopting the standards.) Even though there has been controversy surrounding the standards, Shorewood’s alignment effort is a reasonable approach to support students while maintaining our own unique, high expectations.
These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful, while helping families understand what is expected of their students. In Wisconsin, teams of educational professionals, including representatives from the Wisconsin State Reading Association, the Wisconsin Mathematics Council, the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English, and the University of Wisconsin System, as well as the state’s Technical College system and Private College system all reviewed drafts of the standards. UW-Madison leaders and the president of Gateway Technical College also provided feedback throughout the process. Currently, standards have only been released for English/language arts and math. Standards have not been adopted for other subject areas yet, although the Next Generation Science Standards are being reviewed and are expected to be formally adopted soon. Social studies standards are still being developed; we will continue to update you as more information about those standards becomes available.
To ensure that our families are adequately informed about the standards and how they’ll look in Shorewood, we are launching a CCSS communication effort, aimed at outlining exactly how the standards will be carried out in each grade level, as well as for specific populations of students, such as those enrolled in Special Education classes and those that are part of our ELL (English Language Learner) program, and what students and families can expect throughout the next few years as the standards are rolled out. The first part of this effort, a web page with general information about the standards, is live now. Additional communication pieces will be released during the coming weeks, using both online tools as well as more “traditional” methods, like paper brochures.
If you have any questions about the standards or their implementation, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Tabia Nicholas, our Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Pupil Services. She can be reached via email at email@example.com or by calling 414-963-6903.
on Monday April 28, 2014 at 11:00PM
Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 29, from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Atwater Cafetorium, the District will be hosting a Principal Candidate Forum with the final two Atwater Principal candidates. One candidate will join us from 6:30-7, and the second from 7:15-7:45. During the forum, candidates will have an opportunity to meet Atwater families and staff members, and answer questions. Information about both candidates can be found below. Additional information will also be available at the forum.
Barbara Dorn: Ms. Dorn is currently the principal at Orchard Ridge Elementary School in the Madison Metropolitan School District, a position she has held since 2005. In this role, she: hires, develops and evaluates the school’s teaching staff; manages school budgets and target resources; fosters distributed leadership through a School-Based Leadership Team structure; communicates and monitors staff and student expectations; collects and analyzes data to make decisions; ensures a safe learning environment, and develops parent empowerment groups, as well as other duties. Before serving as principal, she worked as a School Improvement Facilitator, supporting 14 Madison elementary schools, and was a regular education teacher for middle school students as well as fourth and fifth graders. She has also previously served as a Title I facilitator and comprehensive school reform grant facilitator. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, with a concentration in African American history, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991, and also has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University, which she earned in 2004. She is certified as a principal and director of instruction as well. Click here to view Ms. Dorn's résumé.
Kayla Russick: Ms. Russick is the current Interim Principal at Atwater Elementary, a position she has held since September 2013. As interim principal, she evaluates teachers and support staff, hires teaches/aides, provides staff development, addresses student disciplinary issues, and works with families to develop behavior plans. She also oversees the school’s Title I programs, serves on the District committee for RtI (Response to Intervention) and the school calendar committee, leads RtI at Atwater and oversees Atwater’s budget. Before coming to Shorewood, she served as Assistant Principal at Milwaukee Sign Language School and the Assistant Principal both at Crestview and Skiles Test Elementary Schools in Indianapolis. Throughout her career in education, which began in 1983, she worked in schools throughout Indiana and Illinois as a teacher and team leader, often in schools for deaf students, as well as a sign language interpreter. Ms. Russick earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Deaf Education from Northern Illinois University in 1983, and her Master’s Degree in education from Indiana University in 2009. She is also certified as a principal, teacher (K-12) and deaf or heard of hearing instructor. Click here to view Ms. Russick's résumé.
on Monday April 28, 2014 at 03:59PM
Congratulations to the more than 130 music students from Shorewood Intermediate School and Shorewood High School who qualified for and participated in the Wisconsin School Music Association State Solo and Ensemble Festival on Saturday, April 26. Of the almost 100 events that performed at State, the following events received a 1st division rating:
- Meredith Geissinger- French horn solo
- Charles Stahl- trombone solo
- Robert Treacy- alto saxophone solo
- Kelly Whittle- flute solo
- Luke Wittman- alto saxophone solo
- Paulina Ruiz-Maki & Kelly Whittle - flute duet
- Gretchen Froelich- oboe solo
- Justine Spore- piano solo
- Yiqing Zhao- piano solo
- Maya Lawnicki- Violin Solo
- Natalia Sorbjan- Violin Solo * Exemplary Performer Award
- Grace Stoll- Violin Solo
- Maya Lawnicki and Natalia Sorbjan- Vioin Duet
- Natalia Sorbjan, Maya Lawnicki, Caroline Fraser, and Sana Jeong - String Quartet
- SIS Chamber Orchestra
- Anjana Murai- Violin Solo
- Ananya Murali- Violin Solo
- Ananya Muralia- Piano Solo * Exemplary Performer Award
- Olivia Loomis- Cello Solo
- Dylan Larson-Harsch- Piano Solo
- Penelope Musto- Cello Solo
- Ari Schermer- Violin Solo
- Emma Soldon- Violin Solo
- Emilie Lozier- Violin Solo
- Nina Hemmer- Violin Solo
- Gus Pendleton- Piano Solo
- Allen Kang- Cello Solo
- Yunny Youm- Violin Solo
- Nori Moy- Violin Solo
- Rachel Robrecht- Piano Solo
- Ben Boehm- Cello Solo * Exemplary Performer Award
- Maeve McKaig- Violin Solo * Exemplary Performer Award
- Mayan Essak- Piano Solo * Exemplary Performer Award
- Elizabeth Hayes, Lina Jeong, Jeremy Landers, Ben Boehm- String Quartet
- Emilie Lozier, Anjana Murali, Annelise Bredeck, Tricia Nelsen- String Quartet
- Nina Hemmer, Haley Lipo Zovic, Laura Guadagnino, David Kunstmann- String Quartet
- Maeve McKaig, Annalise Lozier, Sabine Peterka, Penelope Musto- String Quartet
- Emma Soldon, Yunny Youm, Will Sandy, Olivia Loomis- String Quartet
- Haley Lipo Zovic and Rae Friedman - Violin Duet
- Elizabeth Hayes, Ben Boehm, Mayan Essak- Piano Trio
- Emma Soldon and Lina Jeong- Violin Duet
- Emma Soldon and Gus Pendleton- Violin and Piano Sonata
- Taylor Anapol and Olivia Loomis- Cello Duet
- Anjana Murali and Ananya Murali- Violin Duet
- Nina Hemmer, Haley Lipo Zovic, Rae Friedman - Violin Trio
- Violin Choir
- String Orchestra Chamber Orchestra
- Chamber Orchestra
- Ella Curran- Soprano Solo * Exemplary Performer Award, Musical Theater Solo * Exemplary Performer Award
- Simon Earle- Tenor Solo, Musical Theater Solo
- Claire Evans- Soprano Solo
- Abigail Grady- Soprano Solo
- Emma Grady- Musical Theater Solo
- Martha Hellermann- Soprano Solo. Musical Theater Solo
- Zach Lipo-Zovic- Baritone Solo * Exemplary Performer Award; Music Theater Solo
- Hannah Miller- Soprano Solo
- Casey Tutton- Soprano Solo; Musical Theater Solo
- Barbershop Quartet- Seth Bobrow, Simon Earle, Graham Hartlaub. Zach Lipo-Zovic
- Men’s Double Quartet- Seth Bobrow, Simon Earle, Gabe Freding, Graham Hartlaub, Zach Lipo-Zovic, Eli Miller
- Dayton Simenz and Ryan Shanahan
- Women’s Duet: Abbey Grady, Emily Kregloski
- Women’s Quartet : Abbey Grady, Martha Hellerman, Hannah Miller and Molly Spoerl
- SHS Chamber Singers -Madrigal Ensemble: Emma Anderson, Grace Anderson, Ella Curran, Claire Evans, Mara Garran, Micaela Gayner, Abigail Grady, Emma Grady, Martha Hellermann, Maureen Kailhofer, Victoria Klisch, Alex Knitter, Emily Kregloski, Hannah Miller, Rachel Munson, Sierra Nicholson, Alison Reinhoffer, Ellie Schmitt, Molly Spoerl, Kyle Tsuchiyama and Casey Tutton
on Sunday April 27, 2014 at 11:00PM
Members of the Shorewood School Board are expected to approve the District’s 2014-2015 calendar during their May 13 meeting. The District’s calendar is developed as a collaborative effort that includes teachers, administrators and School Board members.
Many aspects of next year’s calendar will stay the same: school will not begin until after September 1, and spring break will still begin on the last Monday in March (3/30/15).
However, there were some changes made to make the calendar more family friendly. For example, while the calendar still includes elementary planning days where students do not have to attend school, these are now full days, rather than half days. This will minimize learning disruptions while providing opportunities for families to plan for long weekends. Additionally, winter break has been extended to two full weeks, with classes resuming on Monday, January 5, 2015.
This year, the development of the calendar also included an ad hoc committee of the Board charged with investigating and making recommendations on school start times.
The Ad Hoc Committee submitted a report and recommendation that charged the District administration with developing several bell schedules that would move both Shorewood Intermediate School and Shorewood High School to a later daily start time. (Moving to a later start time was well supported in the literature and research the committee uncovered, and is also, according to a student survey, supported by the SHS student body.)
However, as scenarios were reviewed to move to a later start time, it quickly became apparent that a cascading number of changes required for the later start time to be successful were greater than the District’s capacity to plan for the change at this point in the current school year. For example, because there are many shared staff members between SHS and SIS as well as between SIS and our elementary schools, the elementary school schedules may need to change as well.
Simply put, the idea of moving SHS and SIS to a later start time is the right thing to do. The administration will formally recommend, during the meeting on May 13, that the District use the coming months to thoughtfully plan this change so new problems are not created in the process. The recommendation will likely call for SIS and SHS to start at roughly 8:15 a.m., with a dismissal time similar to what both schools have now. To review some of the rough drafts of how the SHS schedule could look, please click here. (Please keep in mind these are only rough drafts reflecting proposed changes to the schedule; nothing has been decided, and SHS staff members will be reviewing them at an upcoming staff meeting. These were designed to promote conversation.)
During the meeting on May 13, Board members will review the calendar, and take final comments and inputs from community members and District families before voting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the SHS Library. Additional information about the meeting, including agenda information, can be found on the District website.
Click here to view a PDF version of the calendar.
on Sunday April 27, 2014 at 11:00PM
The Shorewood School District is excited to welcome Patrick Miller as its new Director of Business Services. Miller will come to Shorewood from the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District, where he served as the Director of Business Services for two years. Before working in Palmyra-Eagle, he also served as the Principal/Instructor for 11 years at St. John’s Elementary in Jefferson, and as the School Business Manager in the Parkview School District.
Through his previous work experiences, Miller has extensive knowledge of budget development and management, participation in the development, implementation and review of employee handbooks, and the development of a $7.995 million energy service agreement between the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District and Nexus Solutions.
According to Miller, he was attracted to the position because of the strength of the commitment from both the District and community to provide the highest quality education for Shorewood students.
“Success in education is a result of a combination of qualities. I believe engagement, commitment and respect are key qualities in any school district,” Miller said. “These qualities in the community, school board, students, staff and administration are manifested in the Shorewood School District continuing to be one of the highest performing school districts in the State of Wisconsin, year after year. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that energy and pride?”
Miller is expected to begin in Shorewood on July 1, and will work with current Interim Business Manager Mike Garty for a few months to ensure a smooth transition.
on Sunday April 27, 2014 at 11:00PM
Choose groups to clone to: