I had the opportunity to visit every school the first day of school, September 1, and it’s a brilliant sight to see so many students arrive with colorful new backpacks stuffed with supplies and their smiling faces filled with anticipation! Please accept my warmest welcome on behalf of all the students, faculty, and staff who make the Kewaskum School District an exceptional place to learn and to work. The depth of our programming, the community’s commitment to all children, and the dedication of our faculty and staff merge to yield this incredible school district.
We have a great deal to be proud of. Our schools perform at levels that exceed the state average. Career exploration begins at the elementary level and becomes increasingly personalized throughout the middle and high school years. Non-core offerings exceed the state recommendations, with daily music classes and free music lessons beginning in sixth grade. After-school programming provides “something for everyone,” with diverse options ranging from cribbage to foods classes to Boys and Girls Club to volunteer clubs. Our robust athletic program offerings boast a wide range of opportunities. Our highly qualified staff is committed to making the educational experience of KSD students meaningful. We complement all of these outstanding characteristics with a dynamic level of innovation, including personalized learning, high quality advanced learning opportunities, and reading and math initiatives that are some of the finest, research-based programming available.
Our district is committed to continuous improvement. Today is great, but we are continually striving to make tomorrow even better. In our district, we set annual measurable goals that are derived from our Strategic Plan. These goals cascade down to buildings and departments at all levels to ensure we are working together with the same focus and progressing in the same direction. We review our progress indicators regularly and adjust our sails if needed. We collect feedback from staff, parents, students, and the community. This feedback drives our work to provide exceptional service to our stakeholders. A perfect example of this is the School Perceptions Survey that was sent out last May. Almost 1100 responses were received, a 24% return rate, which is much higher than the average rate of return.
What also makes Kewaskum special is the partnership and support of our community. In September of 2015, the district engaged over 55 community members in creating a Long Range Planning Committee. Through interactive dialogue, the District learned what the community wants for its schools. This information, coupled with the aforementioned survey, was used to inform Board members which led to a unanimous decision to put a Resolution on the November 8, 2016 election, asking the community on whether or not it would support a referendum for $28,420,000. We are proud to be able to point to specific addendums and constructs to the Resolution being passed by the Board that are the direct result of community input.
I hope you are able to observe throughout our website, as well as all of our other publications, that KSD is enthusiastic about engaging the community; providing exceptional experiences for our children; and communicating with parents, families, potential staff, and the wonderful communities we serve. This is an exciting time in our District, and we know that we cannot continuously improve without strong support from you.
On behalf of the staff of the Kewaskum School District, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve the students and community. Our best days are still to come, and we are glad you are partnering with us on this exciting journey!
James L. Smasal