Elementary School Program
What course a child's future will take is often determined by his or her early educational experiences. West Allis-West Milwaukee Schools strive to instill students with a sound basic education and a positive attitude toward learning. In addition to the core subjects of reading, language arts, writing, math, science and social studies, the elementary program features. . .
- comprehensive computer keyboard training for all students during the course of their elementary education;
- an innovative musical instrument program beginning at the kindergarten level and taught with active parental involvement;
- specialized instruction in art, music and physical education.
Intermediate School Program
West Milwaukee and Lincoln and Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate Schools are designed to provide students with a transition from self-contained elementary school to a comprehensive high school program. The middle schools have adopted the "house" concept to aid in this transition. Each house contains a group of approximately 125 students who are taught the basic curriculum by a team of five teachers. Students are also provided many opportunities to explore a variety of interests including. . .
- exploratory programs in technology, drafting, business, education, and family consumer education;
- art, music, multi-media, and foreign language instruction;
- a variety of intramural sports and extracurricular activities.
High School Program
District high schools offer comprehensive educational opportunities for students intending to continue their schooling after graduation and for those entering the work force. West Allis Central and Nathan Hale High School students can choose from over 200 courses to meet their educational and career needs.
For university-bound students, annual College Board Advanced Placement tests are provided. Guidance counselors are available to assist students in designing programs to meet their secondary education and career goals.
A number of courses are available to students that are directly transferable to the Milwaukee Area Technical College, thus reducing the time and number of courses needed to earn a degree. Career guidance centers, employment-focused curriculums, and cooperative education options help students set their career paths early.
Co-curricular activities are many and varied, and include interscholastic sports; drama; debate and photography clubs; National Honor Society; school newspaper and yearbook; band, choir and orchestra.
Among the district's most important innovations is the implementation of full-day kindergarten. Half-day programs are also offered.
Full-day kindergarten was initiated at parental request with the support of kindergarten teachers. A survey taken in April of 1998 indicated that 83 percent of parents with kindergarten students preferred the full-day kindergarten option. Many educators believe that full-day kindergarten programs better prepare students for the first grade.
Special Education Program
Exceptional education programs are as diverse, and as special, as the children they serve. Exceptional education programs are available to students with physical, emotional, mental, and learning disabilities. Just as important is a historical commitment to integrating these children into their schools - and society - to the greatest extent possible. That tradition is carried on as the district continues to innovate and implement programs to best serve the academic and social needs of its special children.
The link between learning and earning is the School-to-Work program. The program connects classroom instruction to real-world work experiences, in addition to providing career exploration opportunities and an awareness of good work habits.
School-to-Work is a means for students to discover for themselves which careers they may wish to explore and learn what post-graduation education and training those careers require. Some of the many opportunities available through School-to-Work are internships, job shadowing, cooperative education and community service experiences, career guidance by employees in fields of student interest, and vocational education training.
Students who know which employment path they wish to take can start their journey through School-to-Work experiences. Students who are unsure or unaware of their career possibilities can explore them with help from School-to-Work exploratory activities.
Family Resource Center
Families looking for community resources or a place where their children can play with others are encouraged to check out the Family Resource Center. Located at Horace Mann Elementary School, 6513 W. Lapham St., the center is geared toward families with children up to the age of eight. Games, toys, videos, books, and parent resource information are available to be borrowed. A morning program is offered for families with young children and parenting and family educational workshops are offered.
The Family Resource Center is not a baby-sitting service. Adults must accompany children at all times. For further information, call Joan Luedke at 604-3900.
Fine Arts Program
An education that doesn't include the fine arts can't be considered complete.
The fine arts develop and enhance critical thinking and communication skills,
creativity and self-expression. For these reasons, West Allis-West Milwaukee
schools offer students a vast array of fine arts experiences. Included among
them are Suzuki Strings for K-3 students, high school jazz ensembles, the
Strolling Strings and inter-generational choirs. Art classes include, but
are certainly not limited to, ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry
making and pottery.
Gifted, Creative, and Talented Program
Gifted and talented programs are designed to recognize and expand the abilities and interests of students who perform above the norm. Enrichment opportunities are available at all grade levels to students who demonstrate exceptional aptitude in one or more academic areas, the visual or performing arts.
Programs for the gifted and talented are provided in the regular classroom setting and through a variety of outside activities tailored to meet their needs.
Standards of Excellence
West Allis-West Milwaukee schools are increasingly becoming "standards based." A standards-based education is one that measures what students know and can do in a particular subject. They are based on Wisconsin Model Academic Standards, which were recently adopted by the state legislature and were developed by educators, business people, and other citizens.
The advantage of standards is that they are consistent from one classroom to another, from one school to another, and from one school district to another. Knowing specifically what it is that students are expected to know and be able to do, as defined by state and school district, allows teachers to focus their instruction on what has been determined to be important.
Standards provide a guideline for textbook adoptions and curriculum revisions. Teachers select materials based on how well they match the standards.
Standardized assessments, or testing, go hand-in-hand with academic standards. Such assessments provide parents and others with a means of determining whether or not students are learning what is taught. Standardized assessment tools enable educators to determine successes and areas in need of improvement.
Wisconsin Model Standards are also mandated by the state, and all indications are that they will be required of public schools well into the foreseeable future.