Supt Column - WSD Treasures Students' Diversity

Supt Column - WSD Treasures Students' Diversity
Posted on 01/25/2018

The Wausau School District is a diverse organization in terms of people and programs. The District and its schools are a microcosm of our community, and we would not have it any other way. This school year, our nearly 8,400 students from 4K to grade 12 represent many ethnicities and 34 home languages (down from a high of 44 languages). Our students come in all shapes and sizes -- short, tall, small, medium, and large. Our students have brown, black, blonde, red, white, and blue colored hair, and no hair. Some of our students wear glasses and hearing aids. Some walk with canes, or crutches, or use wheelchairs. Our students are blind, sighted, deaf, and hearing. Our students are in advanced classes, special education classes, and online classes. Some of our students need medication administered at school. Some of our students need occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech/language therapy at school. Some of our students are athletes, musicians, and artists. Some of our students are employed. Some of our students participate in co- and extra-curricular activities.

Our students attend 4K learning academies, 4K community outreach sites, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, alternative high school, District charter schools, District virtual education school, CARE Program, PEER Program, SSTeP I Program, SSTeP II Program, and/or a combination of these educational offerings. And a comprehensive guidance curriculum is delivered throughout our students’ educational journey.

Our students come from socially and financially advantaged and disadvantaged households. To understand how some families struggle financially, our teachers and other staff members participate in poverty simulations offered across our community. Some of our students have mental health issues. For those who do, treatment is provided in our schools by outside mental health practitioners. This helps students receive needed treatment with minimal loss of instructional time.

Our students have friends and classmates who are different than they are -- different races, ethnicities, languages, and religions. Our students come to school to learn. Our students come to school to be valued. Our students come to school to be respected. Our students come to school because they know more than 1,200 staff members want for their success. In the Wausau School District we acknowledge and embrace differences, and we do not discriminate nor stereotype. We live our mission. . .To advance student learning, achievement, and success. And our mission applies to each and every student.

Dr. Michael A. Schwei
Interim Superintendent of Schools