The Fox Point-Bayside School District is ushering in the school year with a dozen new faculty members, several new software initiatives and a few new middle school classes tossed in for good measure.
Staff is also focusing on several goals at Stormonth Elementary and Bayside Middle schools, District Administrator Gary Petersen said.
Those goals include parent meetings on such ongoing initiatives as standardized grading and differentiation techniques that are being used in the classroom to close the achievement gap.
"We're planning to communicate these goals with parents," Petersen said. "There will be meetings and presentations."
A new business manager, Mike Garty, will oversee the district's financials on a part-time basis. Garty, who served in the same capacity with the Germantown School District, is coming out of retirement.
Rosalynn Kiefer, director of curriculum and instruction, said the district is planning to implement several new software initiatives this year at both schools.
The district in recent years has been concentrating on foreign languages. Spanish and French remain on the district's menu of options. The district is also piloting a mandarin Chinese program this year.
"We will always continue to offer two languages," Kiefer said. "We're in an exploratory phase with (mandarin Chinese) right now."
Rosetta Stone software will be used to aid students in their mastery of foreign languages.
"It's a language learning software," Kiefer said. "It emulates how we acquire our first language without having to translate."
Physical education teachers, meanwhile, will begin using assessment fitness software via personal digital assistants, which will help with such activities as determining heart rates.
The third software to be implemented, Soliloquy, will supplement the district's reading programming.
Seventh- and eighth-graders at Bayside have, for the first time, been offered an opportunity to choose between one of three classes during an elective period: dance and fitness, public speaking and robotics.
"This is something that they can choose, rather than having it prescribed for them," Kiefer said.
The intention behind the classes is to prepare students for high school, where there is far greater flexibility in course options.
Dave Fidlin can be reached at email@example.com or (262) 446-6603.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Bayside Middle School corn roast and open house
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6
WHERE: Bayside Middle School, 601 E. Ellsworth Lane, Bayside
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Stormonth Elementary School open house
WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27
WHERE: Stormonth Elementary School, 7301 N. Longacre Road, Fox Point
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