District Announces Plan for Transforming Schools
District Announces Plan for Transforming Schools
Posted on 02/08/2018
District tree logoUpdate: Meeting on February 13 at 5 p.m. will be held in the Washington Commons. 

Dear Washington Middle School Families:

At 4:00 p.m. today, February 8, 2018, Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld and Board of Education members will be announcing a plan to transform schools within the District. The District recognizes that there has been great progress in the past few years regarding graduation rates, offering students the opportunity to earn college credit, and developing pathways for career exploration and postsecondary education.

However, there is still work that needs to be done to ensure all students are experiencing academic success. With that in mind, Superintendent Langenfeld has been working with the Department of Public Instruction and other large urban school districts in the state on ways to transform schools with academic challenges into schools where all children are academically successful.

At today’s public announcement, Dr. Langenfeld will share that Washington Middle School has been identified to be a turn-around school, with efforts to begin that process immediately. To be able to accelerate academic growth at Washington Middle School, a principal with experience and a specific skill set in turn-around schools will be hired.

As the plan has been developed, the District has sought input from Principal Christensen. The District recognizes and appreciates his work this past year to address the concerns that were raised regarding student behavior and safety. In addition, the District thanks Mr. Christensen and his team for their work to implement the Fine Arts Institute at Washington for next school year.  

The District values Mr. Christensen’s role in establishing a greater sense of safety and structure, as well as a culture of support and caring at Washington. Mr. Christensen will eventually join the administrative team at Lombardi Middle School.

Next Steps

Parents will be integral to the turn-around process. During the next few weeks, the District will be working on hiring a turn-around firm that supports Washington Middle School’s efforts. The firm will be responsible for conducting a collaborative and comprehensive needs assessment with all stakeholders. It will also support the Washington Middle School community to identify improvement initiatives and program goals. 

The District will immediately begin the process of hiring a new principal for Washington. Historically, the District has hired instructional leaders as principals, whose focus is to improve overall instruction and manage the day-to-day aspects of a school. Moving forward, the incoming principal for Washington Middle School will be someone with the skills needed to turn around a school, who has demonstrated experience with innovative practices regarding a school’s culture and climate, and engaged all stakeholders in a very intentional approach for school success.

To address parent questions and concerns, the District will be holding a meeting at Washington Middle School on Tuesday, February 13, at 5 p.m. If you have questions that need to be addressed prior to the meeting, or you are unable to attend the meeting, please call Associate Superintendent for Continuous Improvement John Magas at 920-448-2075  or email at jcmagas@gbaps.org.
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