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 - 3/24/14

MARCH 24, 2014
Students were recognized for the following accomplishments:
Scholastic Art Award (West)
WSMA Strings, Instrument and Vocal (West)
WIAA Individual State Wrestling (Eisenhower/West)
National Merit Scholar Finalists (West)
Moving New Berlin Forward Update
Superintendent Joe Garza shared successes from the  Discover New Berlin Expo on March 21-22 at Ronald Reagan Elementary. The event featured New Berlin businesses and civic organizations, student performances, a job fair and more. Board members shared how they enjoyed connecting with local businesses and families. Thank you to the following student groups for offering entertainment: Eisenhower’s Les Miserables performers, Seventh Position String Ensemble, New Berlin West’s The Odd Couple and New Berlin West’s Once Upon a Mattress singers.
Common Core State Standards Clarification
Superintendent Joe Garza clarified information about the Common Core State Standards. Garza explained:
The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
The Common Core State Standards are not a curriculum – they are standards.  Districts have local control over curriculum, materials, instructional delivery models, etc.  It’s these locally controlled options that allow the School District of New Berlin to continue to deliver a rigorous curriculum and innovative instructional delivery methods.
The School District of New Berlin believes that the standards are the minimum expectations for what students should know and be able to do. The work our district does goes beyond the standards. Our focus is to meet individual student needs, and to ensure all of our graduates are ready for college, career and other opportunities—whatever their path may be.
Garza recently testified at the Senate Bill 619 hearing. He urged legislators to stay the course with the current Math and English Language Arts standards, but supported a representative Model Academic Standards Board to create standards in the future.
The district recently invested updating its curriculum and instructional materials in Math and English/Language Arts. This is something the district would have done regardless of the state-wide Common Core adoption. 
Strategic Goals Update – Curriculum Update
Director of Curriculum Kelli Kwiatkowski updated the Board on the English Language Arts K-12 Alignment, 7-12 Course Alignment; Curriculum alignment that will support educator development of Student Learning Outcomes; Response to Intervention; Educator Effectiveness Domain I (determining expectations for students); preparation for tests including SMARTER Balanced and ACT Aspire (9-12); and collaboration work within the District’s Professional Learning Community. Social Studies Teacher & Content Specialist Craig Callahan spoke about the content specialists’ role and the processes they use to ensure students are meeting Wisconsin Model Academic Standards.  
Student Representative Update
Student Representative Nittish Katta celebrated the following successes at New Berlin Eisenhower:
Academic Decathlon Team took first place in Division II; 4th overall in the State and 11th in the nation.
New Berlin Robotics BLITZ team earned the Rookie award at FIRST Robotics Regionals and is headed to the World Championships 
Eisenhower’s Les Miserables earned 17 Tommy award nominations 
Student Union will host a blood drive April 7 – the goal is to have 75 people donate blood
Eisenhower started a Physics Club 
Ike Youth Advisory Board created a program at the New Berlin Public Library to mentor/tutor students in reading
New Course Enrollment Update
Director of Curriculum Kwiatkowski shared that many students have enrolled in new courses being offered in the 2014-15 school year.
Donations Report
Vice President Tom David thanked the following organizations for their donations to programs in the district: New Berlin Swim Club, NB West Bank Boosters; NB West Girls Volleyball Boosters; Applewood Senior Living; PPG Industries Foundation; NB West Girls Basketball Boosters; Robert & Catherine Schweigel; and InPro Corporation.
Developed in response to legislation passed about Course Options. 
Revisions replace the Part-Time Open Enrollment Program with the Course Options Program. This revision was necessary to accept students through Course Options, a program that will allow students from other districts to take up to two School District of New Berlin courses if space allows. SDNB would be compensated by the student’s home district.
Employee Handbook
The Board approved changes to the Employee Handbook. Changes have been shared with staff, and clarify items in the Handbook that have frequently raised questions. The Handbook will be posted following legal counsel review.
Audit Contract for the 3 year periods ending June 30, 2014, 2015, 2016
The Board approved a three year extension with its current provider, Feld Schumacher. The District is satisfied with its services and prices are comparable to what other districts pay. 
Next Meetings
Board of Education Election – April 1
Board of Education Meetings – Monday, April 7 & 28 – 7 p.m., New Berlin West Idea Center
Please note: These highlights do not serve as Board of Education meeting minutes and do not include all agenda items.Some regular district reports, closed session and consent agenda items are not included.

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