May 2014 
In This Issue
Have you Thanked a Teacher? 
A School Nutrition Worker? 
A Nurse? 

It is time to say thank you! 

The week of May 4 to May 10th is Teacher Appreciation Week, and it is a great time to say thank you to all the great educators in the Watertown Unified School District for the work they do educating our children every day.  In the words of State Superintendent, Tony Evers, "Wisconsin teachers are key to building and maintaining our future...there are thousands of dedicated educators working in Wisconsin public schools, putting in countless hours and extra effort to help students achieve, and without whom Wisconsin would not have nation-leading graduation rates, college entrance exam scores, and high level of Advanced Placement course participation and success." Thank you!  If you are looking for a way to say thank you, this link will give you some simple ideas  Showing appreciation


While you are saying thank you, it is also School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week.  We have some of the best food and nutrition employees in the state of Wisconsin.  They treat our students with kindness, serve with a smile, and prepare tasty and nutritious meals every day.  Thank you!


And finally, Tuesday May 6th, was National School Nurse Day.  Our District is served by an outstanding nurse, Lynn Gilbert!  Lynn has in her care nearly 4,000 students every day, and she treats each one with patience and concern.  Thank you, Lynn!  

Talent Development/Gifted and Talented Programming

The District is excited to announce, after spending the past several months studying our gifted and talented programming and models for programming across the state, that we have developed a new Talent Development Plan to be initiated at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.  The plan creates three levels of service for our students who are identified as gifted and talented in any one or more of five areas:  General Intellectual Ability, Specific Academic Ability, Creative Thinking, Artistic (Visual/Performing Arts), and/or Leadership.  

Take a closer look at the plan online at Talent Development.

Kohl Fellowship for Mr. Domer

Jesse Domer, Technology Education Teacher at Watertown High School, has been named a 2014 Herb Kohl Fellowship recipient. Both Mr. Domer and the school will receive $1000 in grant money. A letter from former US Senator Herb Kohl congratulating Jesse Domer for his accomplishments stated that he was chosen from a group of many fine candidates for his skill as a leader, his actions as an agent for change and his "superior ability to inspire love of learning".   Mr. Domer has been honored previously.  He was selected as WTEA Teacher of the Year in 2013.


 Jesse Domer, in red, is shown at a recent ribbon cutting.  Domer has been named a 2014 Herb Kohl Fellowship recipient.

Great Job, Decathaletes! 


Watertown High School's Academic Decathlon Team finished the State Finals in fine style - taking 2nd Place in Division 1 and 3rd Place overall in Wisconsin. Chris Kemp, who teaches Academic Decathalon at WHS said "This is an incredible accomplishment for our students and speaks volumes about our teaching staff as a whole."


Kemp explained that Academic Decathletes must have a very solid academic background that cannot be taught simply in the semester of their competition. Art, science, mathematics, music, economics, social studies, language and literature, public speaking, and writing are subjects and skills that have been taught to the students of this district since their first day in classes.


There were several individual medal winners and top ten finishers. The team scored second overall in the Super Quiz Relay, which qualifies WHS for the National On-line competition in April.


Congratulations to all our Decathletes!  They are: Adam Iverson, Lindsey Bliefernicht, Jacob Schleicher, Madeline Fagerland, Abby Sherman, Kevin Grabow, Kolttin Kislia, Scott Small and

Molly Hassler.



NAMM Award
We have known it a long time -- but now, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) has recognized WUSD for our commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation. Watertown is one of 307 districts in the nation to receive the award in 2014.
Districts are singled out for the honor for their funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.
"The Music program in our district is excellent and extensive support is vital to help our students develop the mental, physical, and cultural qualities of an active community member," said DeWayne Roberson, Watertown Music Department Team Leader. "Receiving this award again this year is a reaffirmation that music is alive and well in Watertown and in our public schools."
The Watertown Unified School District music program provides elementary general music classes and choirs, middle school general music, band, orchestra and choir, and high school music technology and guitar classes, School of Rock, Advanced Music study, and numerous bands, orchestras and choirs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit NAMM Foundation.



Get Gardening!

Riverside Middle School students will soon get out into the garden. Riverside was awarded a $4000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction - Team Nutrition, to put in a school garden.  More than 80 schools applied and Riverside was one of 24 to receive funding, which can be used for wood, soil, shovels, rakes, hoses, etc.,and curriculum development. Additional support has come from Zuern's Building Supply, which is providing lumber and construction materials at a discount, and delivering materials for free. Fisher-Barton donated $150 to help defray costs.


The first focus for teacher Peter Watts will be constructing 16 large, raised beds, providing more than 760 square feet of garden space, potentially on the southwest corner of the building, off of Hall Street. Thirty yards of soil and 13 yards of wood chips are on order.  Planting will happen in mid-May. Grade 7 students started sowing seeds in early April..


Students will learn sustainable food production. "We want them to be aware of where their food comes from, as well as our current agricultural practices," Watts explained, adding that most children who learn to garden become adults who garden.  Watts says he has big dreams for Riverside's garden, including an orchard, benches, and a shed.  


Watts is acting as Lead Teacher, Dr. Ryan Moston as chief curriculum writer, and Kristin Travis as the summer school course facilitator.



Professional Learning Communities

Three of our schools, Schurz, Webster, and Watertown High School, have been awarded a grant over the course of the next five years to work together to develop professional learning communities.  


Each of the schools is working on specific projects to improve the learning and the collaboration at their sites.  Webster is targeting co-teaching - using multiple teachers in the classroom to best meet the needs of all the students.  Schurz staff is working on implementing a Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS).  These supports help student learn what is expected behavior, and recognizes those that demonstrate those positive behaviors.  WHS staff has targeted implementing collaborative team planning time on Wednesday mornings.  This time will allow staff the opportunity to meet and work together on important curriculum directives to impact student learning without compromising instructional minutes.

Our last day of school is June 6. 
WHS graduation day is June 7.  
Let's end the year the way we started: STRONG!

Watertown Unified School District 
 111 Dodge St. Watertown, WI 53094  |  920.262.1460

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