January 26th Edition

AWSA Update

The Empathy Interview: Building a Culture of Caring One Conversation at a Time

October’s Annual Meeting for the Sauk Prairie School District was setting up to be just the latest Wisconsin community in upheaval and division based on COVID responses and national politics rearing up locally. But on the night of the scheduled event, approximately 350 community members arrived, with the far majority quickly signaling to the couple dozen malcontents that their critical views did not represent those of the broader community. In short, a moment fraught originally with anxious concern quickly and resoundingly turned to one of support and commitment to work through the ongoing challenges together.  Read More

What Instructional Materials are WI School Districts Using?

DPI has partnered with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) at UW-Madison to collect and display (for the first time) district-level information on which instructional materials are being used in ELA and Math. The initial collections (fall 2019 and spring 2021) resulted in more than 80% of Wisconsin districts participating in describing which materials they use, stage of implementation, year of adoption, and selected aspects of professional learning. This information has been summarized on an interactive map (see https://wimaterialsmatter.org/) that is searchable by CESA, district, subject, grade span, and name of instructional materials being used, and will be updated by districts in late fall each year.


Considerations in Truancy Reduction

Our approach to working with students and families when unexcused absences occur greatly impacts the long-term outcomes for the goals we are trying to achieve. There are plenty of data available indicating worse outcomes for students with high rates of absence and simply put, if students are not present and engaged, they cannot learn.  The most effective school-based truancy reduction strategies include activities implemented across a continuum of supports within an equitable Multi-Level System of Support (MLSS) combined with proactive interagency collaboration. A continuum of support includes strong universal and prevention practices, with additional supports added, as needed, based on data and student voice.  Read More


January 12th Edition

AWSA Update

Top 3 Strategies Principals Can Utilize to Foster Inclusive Services in Preschool and 4K Settings

When students with disabilities are meaningfully included with their same-age peers we know that they are absent less, achieve more, and go on to obtain higher employment and higher earnings in adulthood. This article highlights three strategies principals can use to foster inclusive services in Preschool and 4K Settings. Read More

Issues Surrounding Student Preferred Names

Today, students are advocating for themselves and requesting preferred names and pronouns within the school setting. Districts are receiving requests such as a nickname, a preferred name of the opposite gender identity, or pronouns that better define the student. The questions of parental involvement or consent as to such changes also enter the picture. Wisconsin school administrators are seeking assistance with such requests because, at this time, federal and state laws do not provide many answers. Read More

Managing Malware, Phishing and Data Recovery

By October of 2021, Vice reported almost 1,000 schools suffered a ransomware attack during the year and in some cases, classes were disrupted.  To combat such attacks, logging and monitoring accounts are critical to keeping systems secure. Read More

Template Letter for Schools/Districts Related to Updated CDC Quarantine Guidance

AWSA's partners at The Donovan Group created this template related to the changes in the CDC-recommended quarantine period to five days. We hope it is helpful for your ongoing communications regarding COVID.

Registration is Open for the WI Educators Rising Summit

This summit for future educators will be held on March 2 at UW-Stevens Point. More information can be found here.