News & Notes: Feb. 26

Feb. 26, 2014

District holding meeting on achievement gap

Shorewood — The School Board is holding a "big idea" meeting in April on the achievement gap in Shorewood schools.

At the April meeting, date to be determined, the board and administrators will discuss the achievement gap and what measures, like test scores, attendance and behavior patterns, among others, can be used to quantify it, District Communications Coordinator Rachel Vesco said.

The April meeting will be informational and precede a community conversation on how to go about closing the gap.

"(The School Board) wants to get everyone on the same page before they do that," Vesco said.

Leading the big idea meeting will be a Closing the Achievement Gap Consortium sponsored by North Shore school districts.

The consortium, led by Wisconsin School Board Association Executive Director John Ashley, takes place 5:30 p.m. March 19 in in the Lakeshore Room at Concordia University, 12800 N. Lake Shore Drive, Mequon.

Shorewood drafting later-start schedules

Shorewood — On recommendation from a recently formed scheduling committee, the School Board on Tuesday directed Superintendent Marty Lexmond to work with district stakeholders and return with draft later-start middle and high school schedules.

The schedules are expected to have start times between 8-8:30 a.m. and end times around 3 p.m. Committee members have been working through the start time issue in recent months in reaction to parental concerns over the high school 7:35 a.m. start time, and sleep research that suggests students should start later rather than earlier.

Viewpoints were varied Tuesday evening as parents and students turned out to weigh in on both sides of the start-time issue, District Communications Coordinator Rachel Vesco said.

The board didn't set a deadline for the draft schedules to return for consideration, Vesco said, though the schedule change is tentatively planned for the 2014-15 school year.

Foundation accepting scholarship applications

Whitefish Bay — The Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation is accepting applications for $1,000 scholarships for civic-minded graduating seniors.

Any applications must be postmarked by March 31 at the latest.

Details on requirements and the application process are available at

NSHD hosting Affordable

Care, BadgerCare event

Shorewood — The North Shore Health Department, Columbia St. Mary's and Milwaukee Enrollment Network are holding a March 4 informational session on available options under the Affordable Care Act and BadgerCare.

From 6-7:30 p.m. at the lower level of the Shorewood Library, 3920 N. Murray Ave., Columbia St. Mary's and the Milwaukee Enrollment Center present and counselors will be on hand to speak with attendants who have questions about the health plans and eligibility.

For information, contact the North Shore Health Department at (414) 371-2980.

Synagogue hosting brunch on hunger crisis

River Hills — Local Jewish Responses to the Hunger Crisis is the subject of Tikkun Ha-Ir's Brunch 'n Learn event on March 9.

Brunch is served at 9:30 a.m. at Congregation Emanu-El B'ne Jeshurun, 2020 W. Brown Deer Road. A panel discussion from 10-11:30 a.m. addresses local hunger issues and Jewish programs that provide food for the hungry.

The panel includes Pam-Frydman-Roza, Tikkun Ha-Ir, Heidi Salter, the Salinsky Program to Feed the Hungry, Douglas Fox, the Jewish Community Garden & Donna Neubauer and Congregation Sinai's Mother Scott Meal Site.

After the program, attendees are invited to help Salinsky Program volunteers prepare a meal for Meta House. Donations of salad vegetables, low fat salad dressing and desserts are encouraged.

Those interested may RSVP to Susan Ellman at (414) 272-3294 or

Student artists featured at Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum's annual exhibition of works by Wisconsin students grades seven to 12 is on view. More than 2,300 individual artworks from 112 schools across the state participated in the Scholastic Art Awards-Wisconsin.

Gold and Silver Key winning artists are on display in Schroeder Galleria and Pieper Gallery now through March 16.

The following students received a gold key award from Brown Deer Middle/High School: Xiong Moua and MouaMong Yang

The Scholastic Art Awards-Wisconsin competition and exhibition is the regional section of The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards National Program, conducted by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers Inc. In ceremonies on Feb. 8, student artists were awarded 283 individual Gold Keys, advancing them to a national competition, and 130 Silver Keys, for statewide recognition of their work.

Planning under way for Glendale's Fourth of July festivities

Glendale — Although July is still months away, planning for Glendale's annual Fourth of July festivities is already well under way.

Bryan Kennedy, chair of the Fourth of July Committee, provided the Common Council with an update on the tentative schedule and action plan for the event, which includes a full day of activities, beginning with the children's parade at 10 a.m. and concluding with fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

In between, activities include a children's carnival, food vendors, softball, soccer, music and other events from noon to 5 p.m., as well as other vendors from 5 to 9 p.m. Kennedy said the committee has discussed having bounce houses and relay races for children, as well as the possibility of performances or presentations by community groups, which would require rental of a temporary stage. He noted that the committee is hopeful the city will move forward with plans to have a more permanent location to hold such events in the future, which Mayor Jerome Tepper said has been discussed.

The committee is also putting together a booklet that would highlight the events for the day and include advertising spots to showcase local businesses. Kennedy said he has been very pleased with the recent growth of the committee, which has included representatives from Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Common Council and local school boards and parent-teacher organizations, for example.

Software company

expanding in Mequon

Mequon — Field workforce automation software maker MSI Data is expanding its Mequon headquarters, according to a company news release.

This is MSI's second expansion in the last two months, and the company more than doubled its staff in 2013.

The expansion is a 45 percent increase in office space to about 9,000 square feet and will make room for several new departments.

Fundraising under way

for 'Richards court'

Whitefish Bay — A volunteer fundraising committee is asking for donations to help rebuild the dilapidated "back yard" area at Richards Elementary School.

A two phase plan is set to begin in the spring. In the first phase, the existing tennis court area will be demolished replaced with the "Richards Athletic Court," composed of three tennis courts, three half-court basketball courts, several foursquare and hopscotch grids and backboards for kids to throw and kick balls against, according to a news release from the fundraising committee.

Phase two will focus on improvements to the existing playground equipment at Richards.

The committee encourages donations, which are tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to The School District of Whitefish Bay with Richards Athletic Court in the memo line. Donations should be addressed to School District of Whitefish Bay Business Office, Attention: District Accountant — Penny Little, 1200 E. Fairmount Ave.

More information is available at "Richards Athletic Court" on Facebook or by contacting committee co-chairs Carol Fairborn at (414) 241-4086 and Leah Schneider at (414) 559-4397.

Kindergarten registration


Mequon — The Mequon-Thiensville School District will hold 2014-15 school year kindergarten registration from 1-6 p.m. on March 19 and 20.

According to a district news release, children who will be five years old by Sept. 1 are eligible.

Parents should bring proof of residency, their child's immunization records, and their child's birth certificate. More information is available at (262) 238-8514 and the district website,


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