District to Implement Bold Measures to Transform Schools
District to Implement Bold Measures to Transform Schools
Posted on 02/08/2018
District tree logoSuperintendent Michelle Langenfeld and Board of Education members announced on February 8, 2018, at Howe Elementary School a bold plan to transform schools in the District to address academic performance.

Superintendent Langenfeld shared that while there has been remarkable progress in the District, noting in the 2016-17 school year the graduation rate increased by 4.4%, closing gaps in all but one student subgroup, more work is still needed to ensure academic success for all students. 

Starting last spring, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Leadership Learning Community, which includes the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Urban League and the Wallace Foundation, began meeting to build the capacity of urban principals and determine interventions to turn around schools that need improvement. Using research-evidence based best practices, the goal is to identify issues to accelerate learning in challenging urban schools. Superintendent Langenfeld has been participating in the work along with the Department of Public Instruction and the other large Wisconsin school districts (Madison, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha). 

After intensely studying the issues at Washington Middle School, Superintendent Langenfeld and the Board of Education have identified Washington to initiate this transformative work, recognizing that while safety has improved, the challenges and life circumstances that students face have not changed or been eliminated. 

The plan has two specific actions, one of which includes contracting with a turn-around support partner, which will assist with school improvement efforts focused on data-driven decision making, visioning, problem solving and driving results. The second is hiring a principal who has experience with turn-around schools and success in improving academic achievement for all students. The leader will have a track record of implementing innovative approaches to school climate and culture and demonstrate high expectations of students and staff resulting in accelerated student achievement.

“We are confident in the transformative plan we have developed, having seen the results that occurred at Fort Howard Elementary School, which underwent a similar process after having been identified as a Priority School several years ago,” stated Superintendent Langenfeld. “At that time the District was required to take bold steps, which included hiring a new principal and working with a turn-around partner. This fall, we have seen the results, with Fort Howard’s state report card showing significant growth from just a few years ago when it was identified as a school that ‘Fails to Meet Expectations’ to now a school that ‘Exceeds Expectations.’ We are committed to ensuring this transformative process is a reality across the District.” 
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2018 West Corporation. All rights reserved.