April 2019 

Including Students with IEPs in an Equitable Multi Level System of Supports

by Lynn Winn, Education Consultant – Systems Change, Division for Learning Support, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

I was in the 5th grade in 1975, the year PL 94-142 was implemented to guarantee free appropriate public education to each child with a disability. Due to overcrowding in my school, that fall I began attending a newly constructed elementary school built with this anticipated legislation in mind. There was an entire wing designed especially for the kids with the most significant disabilities, containing not just desks and books but therapy balls, wheelchairs, and parallel bars. I hadn’t been in the presence of someone with a visible disability before, and became quickly intrigued by the unique and separate education they received. Instead of pursuing the traditional rite of passage as a safety patrol that year, I volunteered during lunch recess as a peer model.

My school’s interpretation of least restrictive environment at the time invited kids without disabilities to walk over to that part of the building and either tutor or engage socially with the kids with disabilities. Inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classrooms with any genuine intent was (and often still is) outside the paradigm of what it meant to provide an appropriate education for every student.

Read more. 

Month of the Military Child

by Shelley Joan Weiss, Wisconsin Association for Middle Level Education President, Association for Middle Level Education Affiliate Advisory Committee - Chair, Wisconsin Commissioner for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in their families, their school districts, and their communities., The Month of the Military Child was initiated under the leadership of former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger in 1986.  April, the Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome.

Wisconsin joins the Department of Defense, the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, the Department of Public Instruction, and schools throughout the country in celebrating April as the Month of the Military Child.

Read more.

AWSA’s Annual Election

AWSA’s annual election will open on April 15. The success of our association depends, to a large degree, upon the quality leadership that members collectively choose to lead AWSA. We are proud that our tradition of strong leadership continues. This year, directors will be elected from Regions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9. If you live in one of these regions, please watch your inbox for a link to vote. The election will remain open through April 30. 

AWSA Professional Learning 2019-20 

(See Reimbursement Details for Completing an Academy)

Every year AWSA releases a catalog to outline our professional development and event offerings for the upcoming school year. 

We know that you are busy ensuring both the successful conclusion of the 2018-19 school year while preparing for 2019-20. We hope this catalog is helpful for you to plan for your continued growth.

We would also like to remind you that school leaders are eligible to be reimbursed up to 75% for completing an eligible academy. Please see the inside front cover of this year's catalog for all the details.

Charting AWSA’s Future

by Rick Flaherty, AWSA President and Principal of Superior Middle School

From June 2017 until April 2019 the AWSA Board of Directors reviewed our organizational goals or “Ends Statements,” which is something the organization does every five years.  This article includes AWSA’s revised mission and Ends Statements and describes the board’s process over the last two years.

Read more. 

Digital Learning: Reimagining Learning with Data Driven Decision-Making

by Janice Mertes, Assistant Director, Content and Learning - Digital Learning and Chad Kliefoth, Digital Learning Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

As instructional and technology leaders in your districts, you rely on relevant, up-to-date data and information in order to make planning and programming decisions. You want access to data to analyze it, make decisions for your district that support, and move forward student learning. Nationwide data on instruction and technology in education tend to be easier to obtain than local, statewide data, so it is generally easier to use previous studies to fit local contexts.  Understanding this, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has conducted its second annual Digital Learning Survey of public districts statewide to support obtaining the data you need to make informed decisions for and about your districts.

Read more.

AWSA’s Annual Election

The election in open! The success of our association depends, to a large degree, upon the quality leadership that members collectively choose to lead AWSA. We are proud that our tradition of strong leadership continues. The election will remain open through April 30. 

Vote Now!

Common School Fund

Last month, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) made their award of the annual payment to the Common School Fund. The payment was a near record of $36.2 million. This link includes timely reminders on what Common School Funds can and can not be used for.