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Wauwatosa Elementary Schools Significantly Exceed Expectations

The Wauwatosa School District has announced that five of its elementary schools recently achieved a rating of Significantly Exceeds Expectations on the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) annual report card. 


Lincoln Elementary School received a score of 97.2, ranking it as the best traditional elementary school in Wisconsin. A score of 96.8 for Wauwatosa STEM (WSTEM) placed the school fifth overall for all elementary schools in Wisconsin.  The District’s other choice school, Wauwatosa Montessori, received a score of 88.4.  


Superintendent Dr. Demond Means praised the schools by stating, “I want to recognize the extraordinary leadership of Dr. Michelle Miner and Mr. Michael Heun, as well as the dedication by the staff at Wauwatosa Montessori, Lincoln and Wauwatosa STEM. It is evident from the instructional practices deployed at these three schools that the results they have achieved are a by-product of a high degree of hard work from the teachers and students,” says Means. “The schools have highly talented educators, engaged and supportive families, and students who are determined to apply their best efforts toward learning - everyday. The amazing things happening at Lincoln, Wauwatosa STEM and Wauwatosa Montessori can and will be replicated across the District. We can learn much from these exceptional schools.” 


Roosevelt Elementary School follows closely behind Montessori with a score of 86.4. And rounding out the schools that significantly exceed expectations is Washington Elementary School, with an impressive score of 83.4. 


“The journey that Mr. Supa and Mr. Russell have modeled at Roosevelt and Washington indicates great promise for the rest of the schools in Wauwatosa,” said Means. “From these examples, we know that there are no barriers to achieving the goals we desire for all students. Regardless of the demographics of a school, the locus of control that the school does hold is how its leader and educators respond to the circumstances. Roosevelt and Washington have proudly set the pace for improvement in Wauwatosa.” 


Both Roosevelt and Washington have at least 20% students of color and 20% of students receiving free or reduced lunch and yet, both schools achieved a 60% proficiency rate on the Wisconsin Forward Exam in English Language Arts and receiving ratings of Significantly Exceed Expectations on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s School Report Cards. 


In reviewing practices at Roosevelt and Washington, the first area of note is the singular focus on student achievement through ensuring high-quality instruction. The principals at Roosevelt and Washington, Mr. Mark Supa and Mr. Joseph Russell, consistently review instructional practices implemented in their buildings. 


They also maintain a close partnership with the English Language Arts (ELA) Coach assigned to their school. It is the role of the ELA Coach to ensure that the principal and teachers effectively implement the District’s English Language Arts curriculum. The collaboration between the principal, the ELA Coach and school teachers made the implementation of effective reading strategies seamless. 


The use of student performance data to inform and direct instructional practices is a third area of note that was observed at Roosevelt and Washington. Data was not an issue only for the principal and the reading specialist. The use of data was a critical part of the school culture. Finally, the schools and their leaders were diligent about setting goals and maintaining a laser focus on achieving improved student outcomes. 


Roosevelt and Washington both deserve a considerable amount of praise due to their commitment to continuous improvement. 


“It is important to celebrate the great success of many of our schools while also being transparent about the need for continuous improvement throughout the District. While we have much to be proud of, we also have a significant amount of work to accomplish to ensure that every child in the Wauwatosa School District receives an exceptional instructional experience - which is already happening in many of our schools,” concluded Means.