School District of New Berlin News

Information for the New Berlin community on school district news, events, and celebrations of success.

Highlights from the Board of Education Meeting - 2/11/13

February 11, 2013 

Moving New Berlin Forward Update
The New Berlin Career & Job Fair is Wednesday, February 20. More than 50 businesses have signed up to speak with students about careers in their industry, and some will be interviewing students for jobs and internships.  The community is invited to the Job Fair in the evening from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Goals, Projects & Initiatives Update: Curriculum & Instruction: Literacy
Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Eileen Depka, Director of Instruction Mary Washbush, and Literacy Specialists Donna Scheidegger and Denise Bord presented an update on literacy initiatives. After an audit in 2011-12 found inconsistencies in reading instruction across the district, literacy became a part of each school’s improvement plan. The district began seeking a reading curriculum and format for delivery that would align with the Common Core; be researched based; provide rigor for all students; allow more time for independent reading; provide consistency across all grade levels; and provide professional development for teachers. Lucy Calkins Units of Study from The Teacher’s College at Columbia University was selected to meet these needs.

The Units of Study use a Readers Workshop format to deliver the curriculum. It includes components in shared or interactive reading; mini lessons; small group guided practice; independent reading and conferencing; word work (vocabulary instruction); and writing. This year, literacy specialists are visiting each classroom to work with students on the Units of Study and are providing professional development to classroom teachers. Next steps in literacy include full alignment to common core standards.

Student Services Update – Transition Programming (18-21 year olds)
Director of Student Services David Funk and Pathways C.S.O. Transition Teacher Kathryn Erickson provided information on the district’s transition program for students ages 18-21 who require additional services after high school.  Program objectives include increasing levels of independence; accessing natural supports in the community; improving social and communication skills; learning independent living skills; building vocational skills; and providing community work experiences. Ms. Erickson shared successes from the The Crockery – the program’s student-run soup business.

First Read: Revision of Policy 5117.1 – Homeless Children & Youth
The Board received proposed revisions to the Homeless Children & Youth policy as a result of DPI recommendations. The Board will be asked to approve the policy changes at the February 25 meeting.

Renewal of Consulting Agreement with Willis
The Board approved renewal of a contract with Willis, a continuing partner that supports the district in its work with health insurance and benefits.

Long-range Facilities Planning – Draft Project List
Chief Financial & Operations Officer Roger Dickson shared that the Potential Facilities Project List has been posted on the district website, for public review.  A public hearing on the disposal of the district’s surplus properties will be held on February 25. In March and April, sessions will be held to collect feedback on the project list. The Board is committed to open dialogue with the community on the long-range facilities planning process. More information and the project list is available at

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