Swallow School and District Earn 88.0 and Significantly Exceeds Expectations Rating on 2013-2014 State Report Card
Today the Wisconsin DPI announced that Swallow School earned an 88.0 and rating of Significantly Exceeds Expectations for the 2013-2014 school year. The Swallow School District has earned the same score and rating and based on these measures, is the top performing school district in the state for the 2013-14 school year.
While numbers and data are only a part of the picture of school performance and there are many other factors not included in this report card which are critical to understanding school and district performance, they do tell a part of Swallow’s story. This recognition validates the exceptional work of our highly qualified teaching staff, dedicated students, and supportive school community under way at Swallow every day. The district is committed to celebrating this accomplishment and the continued work of personalizing learning for each student to ensure their highest performance and growth during their years at Swallow. To view Swallow School’s Report Card select this link.
Annually the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction releases School Report Cards measuring and reporting school effectiveness in four areas*. Each School Report Card calculates a school's accountability index score (0-100) through the use of a complex mathematical formula. Based upon this score, the school earns one of the five ratings: Significantly Exceeds Expectations, Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Meets Few Expectations and Fails to Meet Expectations. Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, District Report Cards also became available. Please follow the links below for additional information or contact Melissa Thompson, Superintendent, at Thompson@swallowschool.org.
DPI Press Release: http://dpi.wi.gov/files/eis/pdf/dpinr2014_97.pdf
DPI Report Card Site to view any public school’s report card: http://reportcards.dpi.wi.gov/
DPI Accountability Page for the context and changes to school accountability at the state level:
*Report Card accountability index scores are based on four criteria:
· Student Achievement in reading and math on state tests
· Student Growth as measured by year-to-year improvements in achievement
· Closing Gaps in performance between specific student groups (English Language Learners, low-income, students with disabilities, members of racial or ethnic group with their peers)
· On-tract/Postsecondary Readiness including graduation or attendance rates, reading and math achievement and ACT participation and performance
Swallow School District Named 2014-15 Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition
The Swallow School District has been named a 2014-15 Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction as both a High-Achieving and High-Progress School, one of only eight schools in the state to earn both recognitions. To earn the specific distinctions as both a High-Achieving and High-Progress School, the following was achieved:
- meet all Annual Measurable Objectives for achievement
- have achievement gaps that are less than three (3) percentage points between student groups or show evidence of reducing gaps greater than three (3) percentage points
- demonstrate high achievement at the school level
- fall within the top 10 percent of schools experiencing student growth in reading and mathematics for elementary and middle school students
- have achievement gaps that are less than three (3) percentage points between student groups or show evidence of reducing gaps greater than three (3) percentage points
Additional criteria were met because Swallow students surpassed the required attendance and state test-participation rate thresholds for the prior school year and the district receives federal Title I aid.
District Superintendent Melissa Thompson commented, “This recognition validates our commitment and work to ensure each student at Swallow is growing both academically and as a person. Our teachers have worked collaboratively to develop a rigorous curriculum which is geared to what our students need and our community values. Our entire staff appreciates this recognition and its significance.”
For earning this award, Swallow will receive recognition at a reception and ceremony in Madison on Monday, October 13th, 2014, $500 for school-related purposes, and the opportunity for Swallow teachers to participate in a Teacher Fellowship program. Questions about this recognition can be directed to Melissa Thompson, Superintendent, at Thompson@swallowschool.org or on the DPI’s website at: http://news.dpi.wi.gov/files/eis/pdf/dpinr2014_91.pdf.
Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!
Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! This year continues the 170th year for our school community and we are already off to a great start with two successful registration days and a phenomenal Open House and tailgate under our belts!
We look forward to the first day of school Tuesday, September 2. As a reminder, office hours are 7:30am-4:00pm and the front office can be reached either by calling 262-367-2000 x100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students may arrive at school beginning at 7:50am and the first bell rings at 8:05am with school starting at 8:10am. School dismisses at 3:15pm. We look forward to seeing you and your children here Tuesday!
Swallow Preparations for School Year Include Emergency Preparedness Drill
With Registration and Open House laying foundations for a successful 2014-15 school year, the district wishes to remind residents that TODAY, August 27 from 7am-noon it is completing preparations for the school year by hosting a significant emergency preparedness drill. Please do not be alarmed if you encounter significant law enforcement in the area. We appreciate your support and patience during this time and the building and grounds will reopen at 12:30pm. Below is the original letter to families and residents for your review:
Swallow to Participate in Emergency Preparedness Drill in Late August
(sent home 8-8-14)
Over the past two years Swallow has updated safety and security plans with a team of local law enforcement and safety experts. Routinely these same individuals assist the Swallow staff in running crisis and emergency preparedness drills. On the morning of August 27, 2014 the Waukesha Sheriff’s department and local fire and emergency response personnel will be teaming together to simulate and practice responses to multiple serious crisis scenarios at the school and on the school grounds. Various other local fire departments and law enforcement agencies, including the Milwaukee office of the FBI will also be participating in this worthwhile training exercise. Access to the school building and grounds will be restricted during this time.
The purpose of this joint venture is to practice in real time the response and cooperation that is necessary to successfully handle these types of tragic events in the community. Furthermore, by practicing at Swallow, school staff have a chance to practice safety protocols while law enforcement officials become familiar with our building and grounds. In a true emergency, this familiarity would be of great benefit. By practicing together, the capabilities of each agency as well as the collective response will allow for identification of strengths, as well as gaps in responses, which will enable more effective safety planning for the future. We appreciate your support of our desire to practice our emergency preparedness.
Please contact Melissa Thompson at Thompson@swallow.k12.wi.us or 262-367-2000 x108 with any questions.
School Board Announces Next Steps in Master Planning
Dear Community Members,
We are writing to provide you with an update on the school board’s consideration of a possible referendum to address the school’s facility needs.
As you know, the board has been deliberating about possible solutions to address a number of facility needs related to building security, the accessibility of the building to handicapped students and community members, and the need for flexible learning spaces.
As part of this effort, the district held a series of tours and listening sessions, as well as conducted a community-wide survey. We are very grateful for your participation in these efforts.
According to state law, the board would be required to vote in mid-August to place a referendum question on the November ballot. One of the takeaways from the board’s engagement efforts is that its members do not feel ready to present a referendum for this coming November. Instead, the board has recommitted itself to more broadly engage residents and staff regarding the needs of the school and ultimately find a referendum solution at a later date, likely in 2015.
In the very near future, you will receive more information from the board about its next steps. This information will be sent via email and will also be available on the school’s website (http://www.swallowschool.org/referendum.cfm).
With that, we want to thank you, again, for your participation in the various facilities-related activities, and for your ongoing support of our school and our students.
Board Announces Work Session as Next Step in Referendum Planning Process
The Swallow School Board will hold a Work Session on Thursday, August 7 at 6:30pm in the school’s multipurpose room as a next step in the referendum planning process. This Work Session will provide the school board the chance to process input gleaned from community presentations and tours as well as a community survey, all completed during the month of July. Additionally, more information about potential financing options for proposed design solutions will be discussed.
The board is considering a referendum that will address the school’s facility needs including the school’s safety features and the fact that sections of the building are inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. In addition, the board is looking at the need for flexible learning spaces, which are necessary to implement a modern curriculum and provide personalized learning environments to students with diverse needs.
More information about the school’s needs, the process being used to determine and address those needs and relevant questions and answers are available at http://www.swallowschool.org/referendum.cfm. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Thompson, Superintendent, at Thompson@swallow.k12.wi.us
School District Hosts Community Presentation and Tours
On Tuesday, July 15 the Swallow School District hosted two Community Presentations and Tours to explain the facility needs of the district, showcase design solutions, and discuss estimated costs for each solution.
Attendees had the chance to discover first-hand aspects of the current facilities which need renovation to provide a secure front entry, make the entire building and grounds accessible for individuals with disabilities, and areas that could provide varied and flexible learning spaces to better support current and future educational programming.
The district will offer one more Community Presentation and Tour Tuesday, July 22 at 5pm. For more information please contact Superintendent Melissa Thompson at email@example.com or visit the website at: www.swallowschool.org/referendum.cfm
Board Announces Opportunities to See Design Solutions and Tour School
The Swallow School Board will host Community Presentations and Tours so that residents can see design solutions, hear how each solution addresses identified needs and priorities, and costs associated with each potential solution.
- On July 15 at 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and July 22 at 5:00 p.m., the school will host presentations about the design options and offer tours of the school.
- Additionally, on July 22, the school board will host a listening session at 6:00 p.m. before its regularly scheduled board meeting.
All community members are invited to attend these events.
The design options the board is considering address the school’s safety features and the fact that sections of the building are inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. In addition, the board is looking at the need for flexible learning spaces, which are necessary to implement a modern curriculum and provide personalized learning environments to students with diverse needs.
More information about the school’s needs, the process being used to determine and address those needs and relevant questions and answers are available at http://www.swallowschool.org/referendum.cfm. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Thompson, Superintendent, at Thompson@swallow.k12.wi.us.
Celebrations for 170th Continuing in Fall
This fall celebrations for the district's 170th year will continue at the August back to school tailgate and on Thursday, September 18. The back to school tailgate will feature special food and music and is meant to be a time for the whole community to connect and celebrate the kick off to another school year. September 18 will provide hands on history experiences for all students featuring different periods of history and categories of activities. If you are able to assist with this day by coordinating any stations, please contact Melissa Thompson to volunteer or for more information at 262-367-2000x108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Preparations Underway for All 4th-8th Graders to Bring Own Mobile Devices in Fall
Over the past three years significant upgrades to the wireless infrastructure at Swallow have been made to accommodate the increased usage of internet-ready mobile devices for student learning. This summer additional upgrades have been made so that all areas of the school can support each student and staff member using mobile devices at any time to support classroom inquiry and instruction.
"Our goal as school district is to ensure that all students and staff have access to any tool that meets student learning needs, on demand. Today a significant amount of learning support can be provided via web applications and online tools. We believe these upgrades will be of great benefit in our efforts to personalize the learning experience for each Swallow student," commented Superintendent Melissa Thompson.
In addition to these upgrades, earlier in the spring the district purchased Chromebooks and Microsoft Surface tablets to round out the availability of more than 400 computers at the school. The Chromebooks were chosen because the district is transitioning to Google and these devices are at a great price point for their features and battery life. The vast majority of student work can be completed via the internet on a daily basis and does not always require a full suite of applications. Surface tablets were also added because of their more robust features and compatibility with existing network infrastructure. They are ideal for more complex computing needs that require more traditional computer programs rather than simple internet access like the Chromebooks.
Teachers in grades 4-8 are also hopeful that all students will regularly bring their own internet-ready mobile devices to school daily in the fall so that all students always have access to a device. Staff find that many students do best when they are using a device that they are more familiar with and many educational resources are designed to continue where kids leave off. Having a singular device, rather than one used by many students throughout the day, allows for a more seamless user experience. If you are considering purchasing a device for your child's use and have questions about which internet-ready mobile device might be the best fit, please feel free to contact Principal Kyle Moore at email@example.com or 262-367-2000 x103.
Summer Building Hours and Contact Information
The Swallow School office is open during the summer from 8am - 3:30pm daily. Because staff do leave to attend meetings and take vacations during the summer months, to be sure that someone is here to assist you, we encourage you to call to ensure someone is here who can best assist you. The voicemail has been set up to route calls for common summer questions so that we can get back to you in a timely manner (262) 367-2000. Thank you!
Swallow Surveys Shared At May Board Meeting to Inform Future Planning Efforts
At the May Board meeting Bill Foster of School Perceptions presented survey results from student, parent, and staff surveys administered this Spring. The School Board and administration wish to thank all members of the community for taking the survey and providing valuable feedback that will be used to inform future goal setting and planning efforts in the areas of Character and Community, Personalized Learning, Master Planning/Building and Grounds development, Finance and Operations, and Communications. Overall, your feedback lets us know that we are doing really well and the strong participation provides excellent data that can serve as a benchmark for our work moving forward.
The survey reports are available here: Student Parent Staff. Please contact Melissa Thompson, Superintendent with any questions at Thompson@swallow.k12.wi.us or 262-367-2000 x108.
Destination Imagination Team Wins Prestigious Award at Globals
The Swallow Middle School Destination Imagination team, named S.A.V.E. earned 8th place overall (out of more than 60 teams) and was the only team to be awarded the prestigious Torchbearer Award at the Global Competition last week. The Torchbearer Award is presented to teams whose solutions have had extraordinary impact in and beyond their local communities. Read More
Swallow 8th Graders Enjoy Annual Washington, D.C.Experience: http://swallowschool.wordpress.com/
Swallow Students Raise Funds to Find a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis
After learning about Human Inherited Disorders in 8th grade science class, a group of Swallow students created a team to participate in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides Walk in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sunday, May 18. The team successfully raised in excess of $30,400.00 for Team Shake Shake making them the number one fund raising team for the Milwaukee event.
The school district is proud of this team of students and their initiative and willingness to care so deeply and promote this cause on behalf of fellow students. The team wishes to publicly thank everyone for their support and generous donations to support finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
Destination Imagination Team Competing at Globals
The Swallow Middle School S.A.V.E. Team is off to compete at the Global Competition in Knoxville, Tennessee. The team honors Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans through interviewing and documenting their stories and retelling these stories to ensure important lessons learned from these individuals continue to be heard. S.A.V.E. stands for Survivor and Veteran Experiences and you can read more about this team and their project at http://www.savehistory.org/ and follow their week at Globals at http://saveteam5.blogspot.com/.
The team earned a trip to represent Wisconsin by placing first at a regional competition in March and second at the state tournament in April. Members of the S.A.V.E. team are students Mary Baumgartner, Bailey Wakefield, Jake Julius, Morgan Roelke and Gary Griepentrog. The team is coached by Christy Julius and Karyn Roelke.
Swallow Student Wisconsin 2014 Saris Cycling National Poster Contest Nominee
Swallow student Emily Wartman was recently selected as the Wisconsin first place winner in the 2014 Saris Cycling National Poster Contest, which is open to 5th grade students statewide. Wartman’s design was selected by students and staff from several 5th grade submissions and forwarded to the state level contest as Swallow’s entry. Wartman’s entry is now being considered at the national level. More information and short features about the contest can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Facebook page.
Swallow School District’s Wisconsin Student Assessment System Performance Remains Strong
Scores released recently by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction indicate that Swallow School students continue to perform well on the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS).
The WSAS is a state-mandated, five-subject test taken by students in grades 3-8 and 10. Administered every November, the test provides a basic measure of overall student academic achievement, with results falling into the categories of minimal, basic, proficient and advanced. The district’s scores outpace the state average by a wide margin, with high percentages of students scoring proficient or advanced in math, reading, language arts, science and social studies. (Read More)
Architectural Firm to Showcase First Design Iterations at Work Session
The architectural firm PRA will showcase first design options based off of staff and community feedback at a work session in the school’s library Monday, March 31, 2014 at 6:30pm. The School Board will have the chance to review these first designs and begin to consider what potential next steps are in the Master Planning process.
The district will continue to send emails to those wishing to receive timely updates as well as posting to the main district webpage. If you wish to receive emails, please contact Kim Zabel at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information about the Master Planning Process, please contact Melissa Thompson, Superintendent, at Thompson@swallow.k12.wi.us or 262-367-2000 x108.
Swallow Destination Imagination Teams Have Strong Showing at Regional Competition
On Saturday, March 22 three Swallow Destination Imagination teams participated in the regional competition in Germantown. All three teams did their best to showcase their finest efforts and thinking for each of the challenges presented.
The Dream Team of 5 Miners competed in their first competition beyond the rising stars category in science and many months of practice and preparation went into planning for this competition. Congratulations to team members Zeke MacKay, Andrew Barthel, Lily Wakefield, Grace Anderson and Addison Koper on all of your hard work!
Congratulations to the DI/DIE team that competed in the Fine Arts Challenge and earned 3rd place overall. They presented a creative skit about the Jazz Era and incorporated both tap dancing and musical instruments into their program. The members of this team include: Libby Barthel, Rachel Roelke, Sam Felker, Nick Proell, Jonathan Oury, Rett Fawley and Carson Anderson.
The Middle School S.A.V.E. Team placed first and will move on to compete at the State Tournament in Stevens Point on Saturday, April 12th. Members of the S.A.V.E. team are students Mary Baumgartner, Bailey Wakefield, Jake Julius, Morgan Roelke and Gary Griepentrog. S.A.V.E. stands for Survivor and Veteran Experiences and you can read more about this team and their project at SAVEHISTORY.ORG.
2014-15 Kindergarten Registration
Internet Safety Speaker To Address Swallow Students and Parents
The Swallow Education Foundation is sponsoring Special Agent Eric Szatkowski, a renowned speaker on Internet Safety, to address students in grades 6-8 (during school assembly) and parents (at 6:30pm) on Tuesday, March 18. We look forward to your attendance at this important event!
Slogan for 170th Selected
Earlier this month more than 50 students submitted slogans to be considered for the school district’s 170th Anniversary Celebration. We are so proud of each student who prepared a slogan and the thoughtful and unique features of each submission. While the final design and words used to describe our school are drawn from common themes across many submissions, we wish to congratulate Lily MacLean whose design formed the basis of the final slogan. Look for this slogan in future communications announcing upcoming events to commemorate the school’s 170th year!
The school district is planning a celebration to commemorate Swallow’s rich history and significant role in the community during 2014. There are a number of ways to be part of the celebration:
•Mail or email your favorite memories about Swallow School, a great experience you have had with Swallow School, its impact on you personally or that of a family member.
Please email or send information to:
Swallow School District
Attention: 170th Committee
W299 N5614 County Road E
Hartland, WI 53029
•Share your historic photos with us. Please email email@example.com or call Kim at 262-367-200x124 to make arrangements to come in and have your old photos scanned.
•Become part of our planning committee by contacting Melissa Thompson, Superintendent at Thompson@swallow.k12.wi.us or by calling 262-367-2000x124.
After School Student Activities Canceled Due to Weather
Posted 2-17-14 at 2pm
The Arrowhead Area K-8 Superintendents have determined it best to cancel all school-sponsored after school student activities given the forecast which calls for continued snow accumulation and blowing throughout the evening. At Swallow that means there will not be basketball practices or games, Jazz Band rehearsal, or other school clubs that were planning to meet today, Monday, February 17, 2014. Staff who oversee these activities will let students know about new times/dates for these meetings, practices, and games once they have been established.
School will still release at normal time and Y care will continue to operate normally to ensure parents who use this service have ample time to safely arrive and pick up kids after work. The Board meeting is still on. Please contact the school office with any questions at 262-367-2000 x100.
Board Approves Expenditures to Purchase Mobile Learning Devices
The School Board approved additional expenditures for the purchase of mobile learning devices as a next step in following the district’s Three Year Technology Plan which calls for platform-neutral internet-ready devices to facilitate personalized instruction for students. Phase I of the plan includes the immediate purchase and deployment of 113 Microsoft Surface Pro Tablets and 90 HP Chromebooks for student and staff use. These mobile learning devices will be added to Swallow’s current stock of mobile devices and will be shared amongst all of the K-8 students. Forty-five of the new Surface Pro Tablets will be provided to teachers so that desktops can be repurposed to better meet student needs in the Upper Lab. It is expected that these new devices will be ready to use by the end of March 2014.
Board Hears Vision of School Community to Guide Next Steps in Master Planning Process
During the month of January a series of Community Conversations were held to engage parents and students in understanding the community’s vision for educational programming and expected services. This information, combined with staff feedback from earlier in the fall has created a shared vision suggesting features of the building and grounds to be considered in the next steps of the Master Planning process.
An overview of the Community Conversation Series was shared with the School Board, architectural firm PRA, and members of the community at a work session on Thursday, February 13, 2014. Five themes emerged in the area of educational programming that supports the district’s mission: Curricular Offerings in General; Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math; Personalizing Learning for Students; World Language Offerings; and Wellness. Services expected by the community aligned into three main themes including: Before and After School Offerings; Community-Building Offerings; and Adult Learning Opportunities. Based upon these prioritized areas of educational programming and expected services, the community provided recommendations for overall features of the building and grounds, indoor spaces, and outdoor spaces to assist in the generation of design options.
The first design options are expected to address both known maintenance needs and reflect community recommendations related to features of the building and grounds. It is anticipated that these will be available for Board review by the end of March. For more information please contact Superintendent Melissa Thompson at Thompson@swallow.k12.wi.us.
Swallow School District Selects Infinite Campus
The Swallow School Board approved a contract with Infinite Campus to become the district’s student information system at its Special Meeting on Thursday, February 13, 2014. Throughout a process in January 2014 that included the participation of students, staff, and parents, stakeholders agreed that Infinite Campus was the product that successfully met each of the district’s Key Requirements, supports the District’s mission, and promotes growth in practice in each of the district’s four strategy areas. The district expects to begin using the new student information system at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.
Board and Architectural Firm to Hear Feedback at Work Session
The Swallow School Board and architectural firm PRA will hear feedback gained through the Community Conversations series at a Work Session Thursday, February 13 at 6:30pm in the school library. In January, nine Community Conversations were held which garnered participation from 23% of current Swallow families and 7% of all district residents. Each Conversation provided an overview of the Master Planning Process to date, then allowed participants the chance to discuss and provide feedback about educational programming to ensure achievement of the district mission, services expected by the community, and features of the building and grounds to support desired educational programming and services as suggested.
From this point forward the Board will direct administration and PRA related to solutions and design options as warranted. Participants in the Community Conversations will receive a summary of the session they attended by week’s end and a complete summary will become available on the district website following the Work Session. The district will continue to send emails to those wishing to receive timely updates as well as posting to the main district webpage. If you wish to receive emails, please contact Kim Zabel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about the Master Planning Process, please contact Melissa Thompson, Superintendent, at Thompson@swallow.k12.wi.us or 262-367-2000 x108.
No School at Swallow Monday and Tuesday, January 27-28, 2014
Posted 1-27-14 at 1pm
Swallow School is closed Monday and Tuesday, January 27-28, 2014, due to frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills. There will be no classes or after school activities. The District Office will be open from 8am-3:30pm.
No School at Swallow Monday, January 27, 2014
Posted 1-27-14 at 5am
Swallow School is closed today, Monday, January 27, 2014, due to frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills. There will be no classes or after school activities. The District Office will be open from 7:30am-3:30pm.
School Board Declares Space Available for Open Enrollment Seats
At the January School Board meeting, the Swallow School Board of Education declared space available for open enrollment seats for the 2014-15 school year as follows: