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School Board Brief: January 27, 2020

January 31, 2019 

*Please note, these are not official minutes. Minutes of each meeting are approved at the next regular Board meeting.


On January 27, 2020, the Board approved the following:


Minutes – January 13, 2019 regular meeting.

Personnel Matters – Resignations, Hires.

Open Enrollment Available Seats for 2020-21 - PI 36 requires school boards have a policy that dictates how OE space is determined for the upcoming year. Policy 5113 is WSD’s policy and we use class size in Wauwatosa. The policy has us determine current enrollment so we can predict what enrollment maybe for next year. It also establishes classroom capacities for each grade level for the purpose of open enrollment only. Based on the above information, Wauwatosa School District has no seats available at the building levels at this time. This was unanimously approved 5-0.

Cemetery Real Estate Transaction – What’s this about? Turns out a small portion of the asphalt driveway to get to the cemetery that sits next to Longfellow Middle School is actually the property of the Wauwatosa School District. The cemetery proposed what’s called a Claim for Deed so that piece of property would be owned by the cemetery. In turn, they would give the district some easements. The exchange will not allow for additional cemetery plots, it’s strictly about access to the land and cleaning up the title. This was approved 4-1.

Legislative Advocacy Committee Mental Health Resolution -  The Wauwatosa School Board approved a resolution brought forth from the Board’s Legislative Advocacy Committee on mental health following feedback the committee gathered feedback from parents, community members, hospitals, the city, and students on the resolution. This was unanimously approved 5-0.

  • What Is the Resolution Proposing? The Wauwatosa School Board calls upon the State Legislature and Governor Tony Evers to partner to address the shortage of mental health professionals in our state qualified to address the needs of school-age children, including:
    • Establishing mental and behavioral health qualified treatment trainee (QTT) matching grant program to annually train pediatric mental and behavioral health providers.
    • Directing the Department of Health Services (DHS) to increase physician and other mental and behavioral health provider rates for services.
    • Preventing the expiration of Medicaid reimbursement for school-based mental health practitioners to consult with school personnel on student care plans.
    • Expanding the Child Psychiatry Consultation Program (CCPC), a mental and behavioral health physician consultation hotline service.
  • Why is this needed? The District and districts across the state are in desperate need of support in supporting students. Before we can help students learn and succeed, their basic needs to be met and that includes mental health. It’s a growing concern and the District is significantly under-resourced in this area.

Read Full Resolution Here and the shocking numbers behind the “why”.

The board was provided updates on or discussed the following:

East HS Student’s Personal Report on Mental Health -- East High School Student Sarah Gifford conducted her own study of students and staff at both District high schools regarding their thoughts on school safety and mental health. She shared her findings with the board and proposed some ideas around both topics.

District Mental Health Services and Staffing Report-  Sonja Phillips, a social worker at Wauwatosa East High School, provided a report on behalf of a Mental Health Committee the District formed last year, which includes school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists. They have been tasked with reviewing what the District is doing systematically to support the mental health needs of students and analyzing what the District is doing well and where opportunities of improvement exist.

  • What did they find? Based on in-depth analysis of data and review of current practices, the Committee believes the greatest strengths of the District as it relates to mental health are the staff working to serve students, the District’s commitment to mental health, and living in a “resource-rich” community.
  • And what are the weaknesses? The Committee of Student Services staff believe the greatest weaknesses of the District in this area are:
    • Current staff limits prevent mental health trained staff from doing anything other than managing crisis most of the time
    • Concerned about the mental health of our teaching staff and how that directly impacts mental health and wellbeing of students
    • Live in an unreasonable race to the top in our community and district.
  • What’s Next? Phillips told the Board the solutions would require a multi-year investment, but for 2019-2020, they are focused on the following:
    • Ethics and Boundaries training for all Student Services staff. 
    • Advocacy and support of staff safety & well-being at work.
    • Marketing of school services and ‘how-to’ for students, families, and staff. 
    • Universal practices with record-keeping, best practice identification. 
    • Explore training best practices and needs of student services and teaching staff with regard to MH intervention. 
    • Improve re-entry collaboration for students in MH treatment

You can see the complete presentation slides here.

There was lengthy discussion following the presentation from school board members, students in attendance of the meeting, and the student school board representatives.


WASB Resolutions Update -- WASB delegate and Board President Shawn reported on the results of the Delegate Assembly proposed resolutions vote at the WASB State Education Convention held on January 22, 2020.​​​​​​​

Following the regular meeting, the board adjourned into an executive closed session to discuss an Administrator contract.


To read more in-depth about any of the items approved above, click here to view the Wauwatosa School Board agenda and here to watch the board meeting.