AFE Events · District events · School Board Notes

District Annual Meeting Wed 9/6 7:00 pm

The Annual Meeting for the School District of Whitefish Bay is scheduled for Wednesday September 6 at 7:00 PM in the Auditorium of the High School.  This meeting is an important event for the district.  At the meeting the residents of Whitefish Bay who are in attendance have the responsibility of approving the proposed budget.  Attendance is highly recommended and the meeting is always kept short.

In addition, if you missed it the district has issued the following statement in October regarding the impact of the 2015-17 Biennial Budget on the Whitefish Bay School District it is still a good read.

Click here for additional information about the meeting agenda for Wednesday.

2017 Elections · AFE Events

Meet the School Board Candidates

Whitefish Bay has three candidates running for two seats on the school board.  Incumbent Doug Armstrong is being challenged by Friederike Lemaitre and W. Brett Christiansen.

AFE has asked each candidate questions for this post and in preparation for the forum taking place on March 6 at 6:30p at the Whitefish Bay Library.  Please come join us for the event.  Attendees will have an opportunity to ask the candidates questions about Whitefish Bay education.

 


DougArmstrong_Feb2017_056_crop3.jpeg
DOUG ARMSTRONG

Education Background: BA in journalism, University of Minnesota

Professional Background: Reporter, editorial writer, columnist, and movie critic for the Milwaukee Journal and Journal-Sentinel (33 years); fiction writer.

How long have you been a resident of Whitefish Bay? 47 years

Family:  Wife, Mary (teacher); two adult sons, David (WFB Class of 1986) and Patrick (2006); two adult daughters, Christine (1988) and Gillian (2008)

Activities: Milwaukee Press Club, Mystery Writers of America, former board member of the Council for Wisconsin Writers.

Why are you running for school board?  To continue a decade of service in safeguarding and improving our wonderful schools

What do you think most qualifies you for a school board position?

My experience — three years on the school board (including terms as vice president and treasurer), prior work as a member of the district’s Facilities Study Committee (2007-08), chairman of the Yes-Yes Nov. 3 Referendum Committee (2009), member of the district’s Communications Advisory Committee (2011-14), and school board representative to the Transformational Educational Practice Committee (2015-16). I feel a deep commitment to public education as well as a personal passion for life-long learning.

With budget concerns continually facing the district, what programs or areas would be on your priority list? What would top your list to cut?

Areas of priority: Class size and core curriculum. A competitive compensation structure to attract the highest quality teachers, administrators, and classroom support staff. List to cut: Instead of cuts, restructuring and realignment of existing resources, as has been the practice in the past. Also seeking additional funding from non-tax sources (facilities rentals, private donations) and further improvements in expense control of non-curricular areas. We are a very lean organization, but ways have been (and will continue to be) found to make do with less, without cutting the essentials delivered to children in the classroom.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing the district? How would you handle them?

  1. Preserving our art, music, and world language programming in the face of shifting student preferences for elective courses in math and science. The district needs to re-examine graduation requirements and pre-requisite obstacles that close doors to students wishing to pursue a more balanced education.
  2. Stress management is also a major issue for staff and students working to meet high expectations. Stress will remain a challenge in a world of constant change and growing demands. The board can help by carefully limiting new teaching initiatives and weighing its policy choices for students against the Focus Plan’s bedrock promise to address the needs of the whole child in a caring, inclusive environment.

Passbild.jpg
FRIEDERIKE LEMAITRE

Educational Background:  private school in Germany, Medical Doctor and thesis in medical imaging, University of Cologne in Germany

Professional Background: Medical Doctor in Germany, taught and tutored German at Eastbrook Academy and Recreation Department

How long have you been a resident of Whitefish Bay? 15 years

Family: married to Sergio Lemaitre, 4 children, ages 13-22.

Activities: community development: neighborhood events, hosting internationals, teaching German at all levels, and Middle School level STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) research. I love learning and traveling.

Why are you running for school board? I love the schools and want to support the district to be loving and excellent, which is a natural continuation of my involvement to date.

What do you think most qualifies you for a school board position? 

I am well versed in the functioning of the school district and have detailed knowledge of its curricular and extracurricular offerings through my children’s involvement. For about 15 years I have been involved in the gifted and talented program on a personal basis for my children and attended meetings in the past where parents have brainstormed how to improve the program. I have taught/coached children for more than 20 years in small settings and helped them reach their goals, especially with German. Music also has been very important.

‪With budget concerns continually facing the district, what programs or areas would be on your priority list? What would top your list to cut?

I would use the following question to orient my prioritization: Besides general excellence, which specific aspects or program do we want our school to be known for?

I would focus on keeping and hiring the best teachers. My husband and I chose the district because of its excellence and language program at the Elementary school level. Regarding cutting expenses: For example I would reuse materials like workbooks.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing the district? How would you handle them?

Keeping our excellent teachers: We have a world class English Department and right now we have the best science department at the High school since 2009. One of my dreams for the district is that we as a community find a summer internship for every Sophomore or Junior to help narrow down interests and build their resume. Parent involvement to tackle these issues is critical.


WBrettChristiansen.jpg
W. BRETT CHRISTIANSEN

Education Background:  University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduated with Distinction 2008, and Whitefish Bay High School, graduated Valedictorian 2004

Professional Background: Software Development

How long have you been a resident of Whitefish Bay? I grew up here and returned 3 years ago.

Family: Wife Elizabeth and daughter Lydia, age 3

Activities : Reading, camping, spending time with my family

Why are you running for school board?  Whitefish Bay is a community that values and prioritizes public education, from which I benefited greatly. I want to ensure that that tradition continues, doing my part to guide our great school district in the 21st century.

What do you think most qualifies you for a school board position? 

Being on the school board requires understanding of a wide range of issues affecting our district, from finances to curriculum, professional development to special education. You have to sift through a lot of information, learn about new areas, weigh each decision carefully, all while working well with other intelligent, motivated people. My passion for learning and my life-long education, at Whitefish Bay schools, college, and in my career, have equipped me with the skills and enthusiasm to learn, consider, and collaborate, all while working towards the goal that all of us share, keeping Whitefish Bay a shining example of public education for the benefit of our students and community.

With budget concerns continually facing the district, what programs or areas would be on your priority list? What would top your list to cut?

Number one, we have to prioritize meeting the minimum state requirements for serving all students in our district. Number two, give our teachers the tools, training, and support to educate our kids for the world they will be joining and creating. As for cuts, if we were unfortunately in that position, I would look carefully at each area, looking to trim inefficiencies before making wholesale cuts to entire programs.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing the district? How would you handle them?

Our biggest challenge will be how to do more with less. As a district, we are limited with what revenue we can generate to fund our schools and programs, but the long term cost trends for benefits, facility maintenance, technology, etc. continue to rise. As a board member, I will work with the expert parents and educators in the district to find ways to continually enrich our educational opportunities while operating within our budget constraints.

 

AFE Events

Recap of Screenagers

On Thursday January 26, 2017, approximately 175 parents, students, educators and other concerned community members attended the screening of the 2016 documentary Screenagers by Delaney Ruston, M.D. a family care physician and filmmaker.  AFE would like to thank fellow sponsors: WFBHS Parent Association and Cumberland PTO.

After the screening, there was a brief talkback session with audience participation.  Both adults and students spoke candidly about their personal experiences and reactions to the documentary.   Students and parents in the audience offered many insightful comments, including:

  • Agreement that students used devices to avoid social situations;
  • Appreciation of need for boundaries, especially when parents explain their concerns instead of just setting rules;
  • Recognition that peers sometimes don’t talk to each other but talk about what’s on their phones;
  • Striking a balance between creating restrictions and providing opportunities for independence;
  • Concern about digital device habits when kids go away to college; and
  • Instead of concern about over-scheduled students, acknowledging positive impact of extracurricular activities

After viewing the film and listening to the talkback, AFE’s takeaway was this: make rules for usage of devices/screen time but involve your child in the rule-making; start a dialogue with your child about their digital life and keep that dialogue going so they can develop healthy habits; and look at your own use of devices and see what sort of example you are setting for your family.

The website www.screenagersmovie.com offers many fantastic resources.   One is the Tech Talk Tuesdays program, by which parents can pledge to have conversations with the youths in their lives  and the program sends parents ideas for the talk.

Screenagers is a great place to start the conversation and it’s a conversation that needs to continue in our community, our schools, and our homes.

AFE Events

Screenagers showing at WFBHS Auditorium

screenagers-fb_post

AFE, along with the WFBHS Parent Association, will be presenting Screenagers on Thursday, January 26 at 7pm in the WFB High School Auditorium.

As devices turn into necessities and in the hands of increasingly younger users, many of us struggle with controlling our children’s screen time and monitoring their social media.

At what age should my child get a phone?  How do I set reasonable limits with my tween?  What are the negative effects of our digital habits?  These are some of the questions explored by  Stanford-trained physician and social change filmmaker, Dr. Delaney Ruston, in this documentary.

From www.screenagersmovie.com :

In SCREENAGERS, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can
empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

If you would like to view the Screenagers‘ Parent Guide, click here.  More informative tips may also be found in their educator discussion guide – click here.

68 minutes.  Admission is free and open to the public.