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School Board Brief - April 1 Meeting


Highlights of the April 1, 2019, Wauwatosa School Board meeting:


*Please note, these are not official minutes. Minutes are approved at each Board meeting that follows.


The board approved the following:

  • Minutes – February 25 regular meeting and in-service, and March 11 regular meeting and executive sessions.  
  • Personnel Matters – Leaves, Hires
  • Business Services Items: 
    •  Special Education Transportation Contract: The Board unanimously approved the renewal of the transportation agreement for special education with Laidlaw (First Student, Inc.) for 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23. The agreement represents a 2.5% increase each year.
    •  Bid Package #1 for Roosevelt Elementary: HVAC component (univents) from Johnson Controls for $114,365

The board was provided updates on or discussed the following:

Student Recognition: The following students were recognized for their commitment to service in the US Armed Forces after graduation:

East High School:
Erin Lindemann, U.S. Navy
Lewis Huenink, Wisconsin National Guard DeAndrew Higgins, Wisconsin National Guard Mason Gould, U.S. Army

West High School:
Henry Albiter, Army Reserves
Jonathan Forrest, Marines
Corey Hayes, US Army
Rhetley Jones, US Army Military Occupational Specialty, Military Police Tyler Stair, (graduated after first semester) National Guard


Staff Recognition - Five Wauwatosa School District educators were selected as recipients for the 2019 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Awards for their leadership and excellence in their craft. Four Wauwatosa School District teachers are among the 100 recipients of the Teacher Fellowship: Katharine Petitt, McKinley Elementary School
Michael Walhovd, Wauwatosa East High School
Jean Biebel, Wauwatosa East High School, Jennifer Kannass, Washington Elementary School. Lincoln Elementary School Principal Michelle Miner was selected as one of 16 principals from across the state for the Principal Leadership Award.


Additionally, Dr. Ertl presented School Board President Shawn Rolland with his certificate of achievement from WASB (Wisconsin Association of School Boards).


Student School Board Representative Report: Student School Board Representative, Layne Donovan, along with Tighe Donovan, member of the Longfellow Middle School Forensics Team, gave a presentation on the Forensic Team’s activities and their experiences. Ms. Donovan presented about what the club does and why, as a student, she feels it’s an important extracurricular activity that helps build confidence, public speaking skills, and friendships with students from other schools beginning in middle school. The club began 21 years ago and has 55 students who participate in it, making it one of Longfellow’s largest extracurricular clubs. High School forensics students also help coach middle school students. View Report on Forensics Team


Teaching & Learning – USTEM Update: Underwood/USTEM Principal Jenny Keats and staff, Natalie Sturomski, Cheryl Wegner, Katy Pond, Sarah Wieck, Bridget Rindfleisch and Jasmina Ruano presented an update on the work of the Underwood STEM (USTEM) program. Highlighting their Science lessons, teachers explained that in K-1, they collaborate on lessons, in 2-3 they “team teach” a majority of the time with hands-on investigations and project based learning in science class. “It’s a very active classroom”. In grades 4-5, Ms. Wegner said you may see students taking notes, or building a project related to a topic they are learning about, or hear the students discussing the pros and cons of lesson topics. View Report


Discussion on Schematic Design of Lincoln and Underwood Elementary Schools: 
Manager of Buildings and Grounds, Melissa Nettesheim along with Chad Bathke, Nick Kent and Chris Coggins of VJS Construction Services provided an update on the designs for Lincoln and Underwood Elementary schools.


o   Underwood Design: Based on feedback from the City's Design Review Board, there were small changes made to the design including the drop-off zone – extending it a foot or two, smidge darker on color of the building, widths of sidewalks, emphasizing that there is an entrance for the community to use. Seeking approval at the next meeting on April 4. Underwood plans were submitted to City Plan Commission – on the agenda for April 8.

o   Lincoln Design: Have been asked by the City Design Review Board to re-evaluate the new construction portion of Lincoln. The 1919 portion of the building remains and will be completely renovated. The design for the new building construction will be taken down in height about four feet and changing some of the materials from the current design to compliment the 1919 building, but not replicate or mimick it. Going to be a substantial change to the exterior appearance. Design Review Board felt the kindergarten wing looked “out of place” and so instead of having it as a one level wing, it will be “stacked” horizontally with the rest of the building. New design will be presented to the school board on April 15 and to the Design Review Board on April 18. The manager of Buildings and Grounds said the project is still on time at this point, but the back and forth with the Design and Review Board has made the timeline incredibly tight.

o   The District’s construction manager gave a brief update on the bidding timeline and that it will occur once we have construction documents to bid, but first the exterior design of the buildings needs to be finalized. Underwood bidding of the projects will occur in four different bids March-July.

o   Capital Improvement Projects: The Capital Improvements to all other District buildings is broken down into three phases. Roosevelt, West and East are in the first phase beginning summer of 2019. There are numerous bid packages for the work at these schools occurring February through April with work scheduled to begin in May.

 A member of the community commented on his experience at a city Design Review Board meeting as it pertained to the design concept for Lincoln Elementary and felt the DRB members did not offer clear council or direction on the design.


View the Wauwatosa School Board agenda.  Watch the board meeting.